16th Century Sonic Electronica Soundtrack, Composed by Martyn Ware at The Illustrious Company for City Run London, Is Released 6 January 2016

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This smokey, sonic soundscape tells the journey of a mysterious agent on a night-long rescue mission across Tudor London. Combining electronica with live play, this cerebral album weaves medieval themes into a dreamy, contemporary space designed to illuminate an intoxicating era of glory and danger.

When I write historical compositions like this, I immerse myself in the whole experience with research and then kind of throw away the original inspiration. It frees you up to do something a bit more unusual.

From the outset with distant sounds of a city settling for the night and a curfew bell tolling in time to the haunting refrain of Salve Regina, the tone is set for real time travel immersion. "When I write historical compositions like this, I immerse myself in the whole experience with research and then kind of throw away the original inspiration. It frees you up to do something a bit more unusual," says Ware.

With references as wide-ranging as 16th century composer Thomas Tallis and Goldfrapp, the outcome is quite unique. Each track describes one of the ancient gate towers in the City Run London game - whether Newgate jail or the Royal Mint, angelic choirs one minute, Mission Impossible the next - each track describing a slice of life in the city in this night-long adventure across Tudor London.

The pace and melodies thread through the architecture of the city shadows, twisting new age synths into medieval chains here, letting a vibraphone bring ballet to another. Harpsichord and lutes weight the era with vocals and percussion driving the mood to a new place.

In the spirit of encouraging young talent, musicians on the soundtrack include Gianni Leone (17yrs) on guitar and Milo Seery (16yrs) on drum, percussion and vibraphone. Expert on ancient instrumentation and musician with the Lisbon Philharmonic, Duncan Fox played harpsichord/spinette/organ. This was also the debut for Martyn’s son, Gabriel Ware, who composed and played Track 2, Newgate Jail.

Live instrument recordings were made at the Strongroom Studios, Shoreditch, in London’s East End in June 2015. There are two Behind the Scenes films on the website with the game trailers, each carrying one of the soundtrack's themes.

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Natasha Seery

David Parmet
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