Share a link to your online playlist for Night’s Black Agents (or just your suggestions) on Twitter with the hashtag #nightsblackagents — or leave a comment below — and we’ll pass it along. We can always use more cool spy music in our lives. And if you listen to cool spy music and haven’t ordered the [REDACTED] Edition yet, for heaven’s sake fix that right away.
In a spy thriller, sometimes it’s the music that makes it all work.
The 1996 movie Mission: Impossible is a good example. In one scene, Ethan Hunt’s team discovers that they’re going to have to steal something they need from a secure room in CIA Headquarters . The scene instantly shifts to Langley, Virginia and the famous theme song blasts on the soundtrack, letting us know that we’re about to see the Impossible Missions Force swing into action.
Music can also be a great mood-setter for role-playing games. Groups playing Night’s Black Agents have no shortage of evocative music that can take them from ominous to ass-kicking and back again. Here are a couple of online playlists for your enjoyment:
Mathey’s Night’s Black Agents mix on 8tracks.com combines music from spy movies such as The Ipcress File, Ronin and Léon: The Professional with indie rock to pulse-pounding effect.
When I took a break from promoting 13th Age and started reading The [REDACTED] Edition, I assembled a Night’s Black Agents Spotify playlist to conjure the high-tech menace of the intelligence underworld, with music from the soundtracks of Taken, Spy Game and Tinker, Tailor, Soldier Spy.
James Semple and his team have mastered over 70 minutes of original, fully orchestrated music of amazing quality for Trail of Cthulhu, and in particular, our mammoth campaign Eternal Lies
The Complete Eternal Lies Suite (now more squamous!)
At last, the entire recordings of the Eternal Lies Suite are released. The complete suite includes all of the original tracks plus an extra seventeen minutes of entirely new music and original voiceover recordings from the legendary Wil Wheaton. These new tracks cover the incredible climax of this world-spanning campaign with orchestral music of truly epic proportions. This soundtrack is now designed to be both used in game and as a separate listening experience. The narrative from Wil Wheaton sets the scene and evokes the perfect atmosphere for all Trail of Cthulhu games.
The musicians have been working closely with Jeff Tidball and Will Hindmarch, the authors, to create a thematically consistent soundscape which works both as music in its own right, and as an atmospheric background to the campaign itself in actual play.
If you have the Strange Aeons edition of Eternal Lies, you’ll be able to select the music in context from the ebook itself.
While it was written with Eternal Lies in mind, it can be used in any period horror game. There is simply nothing comparable in the RPG world in terms of quality, and it holds its own against the best film and television music.
It combines live instrumentation with the best samples available. All music is carefully planned so that it loops unobtrusively, and the action tracks can be randomly shuffled and blend seamlessly.
The music is available in CD + download, or download versions, and you can listen a sample here.
For the pianists amongst you, here is one of the main themes of the Eternal Lies Suite, which I think has an echo of Chopin about it.
The Complete Eternal Lies Suite is available as a bundle with the Strange Aeons edition from the store at a discount
Author: Wil Wheaton, James Semple, Marie-Anne Fischer, and Yaiza Varona with Mike Torr
Cover art: Jerome Huguenin
Format: 39 tracks, 70 minutes of music, mastered at 24 bits
The music of Eternal Lies is split into three categories: ambient music to play during most of the game, short stings to be played at specific instants and ‘action loops’ to be played during combats, chases and other stressful scenes.
These action loops are each 2 minutes long and generally of a frantic disposition to help increase the tension in appropriate scenes. They have also been designed to not only loop but to smoothly follow one another in any order. This means that they can be put into a player software and ‘shuffled’ in any order for a 20 minute action track if desired. Sometimes a Keeper may wish to use a specific track as some are specifically more about tension and apprehension, some are slower and more menacing and some are faster reflecting chase scenes.
Without further ado, here is an action track specifically for chase scenes.
The music in the suite varies from adventure through sentimental to horror. This is probably the most sentimental piece in there and although there’s an element of surreality, the theme feels familiar and comfortable.
Hopefully we’ll have a chance to give out more previews in the coming months. After all the suite will be around 70 minutes in total!
This is the last of the introductions to the composers for the Eternal Lies suite.
My name is Yaiza Varona, I’m Spanish, born in Barcelone but lived most of my life in Tenerife,
Canary Islands. I am a musicologist and composer.
When James Semple offered me the chance to be part of this project, even before he had finished to
fully explain what it was about, I knew I had to do it, because even with first words “Eternal lies”
sounded so interesting and because of the chance of working with all three such talented composers.
Writing music for a Roleplay game means for me to create a subtle musical background that can
help boost the play´s emotions and contribute to “taste” more effectively all the experiences that
shall bring with it. This, in a way, offers the composer the chance to share that same experience as
well, and in that respect it is absolutely useful all the information we are provided about the game.
My personal approach to the project tries to focus on translating the character´s feelings into sound.
The weariness, solitude, concern or responsability weight that can appear during the playing in the
different scenario possible can be conveyed musically in a way that becomes part of the game itself,
or at least that is what I intend to achieve.
It is a huge pleasure for me to be here. I am really excited to be part of this, and am enjoying the
project since the first minute.
Great emotions can be expected from “Eternal lies”, and I will try my very best to make the perfect
music for it.
Yaiza’s website is here, and you can listen to a sample of her music here.
Following on with the music blog, I’m going to let Mike Torr introduce himself…
I’m a composer with a broad spectrum of experience and influences. A long history as a keyboard performer (and one-time double bass player) has taken me through a landscape of Electronica, Blues, Classical, Jazz, and Rock; via the usual grind of touring and recording with bands; and landed me on the shores of media music land. Writing music is always an adventure, and I’m attracted to it because it feels like a back door into the human subconscious. Perhaps I was a necromancer in a previous life…
I live and work in Southampton and I’ve known James for a few years. He’s already written some great material for Eternal Lies and I’m going to be joining his team and helping him to express his ideas in a variety of ways. With Marie-Anne and Yaiza on board, I’m in the company of a great group of talented and creative people, and I’m really looking forward to discovering where this is going to lead!
Hi … I thought it apt to begin introducing the various composers who are working on the Eternal Lies suite.
Here is Marie-Anne Fischer in her own words…
I fell in love with composing music when in South Africa, after moving from my native Belgium. Rhythms, beats and sounds of Africa stylised my music, some of which was used for television, wildlife documentaries, sport and corporate video. Further colour was added during time spent in the USA. I moved to the UK where I focused on composing music for media after completing a diploma course in the same. My main instruments are piano and violin.
I look forward to co-writing music for “Eternal Lies” and have already been exploring the range of possible emotions and ambient sounds that might accompany live role play. Composing can be solitary, so I welcome working alongside such talented friends and taking the opportunity to broaden my musical spectrum.
I’ll be introducing Mike and Yaiza in the coming weeks and hopefully I can bring a few of these musical types along to Dragonmeet in November.
I believe next week we will post up the first preview of the music!