As you hopefully are aware by now, Code Club together with Tom E Morrison has released an album containing new music for Wurm Online. The album is titled “Wurm Online: Meditation and Work” and can be found on Spotify, Amazon.com and iTunes.
For those interested, I thought I’d explain a bit how this album came about.
I’ve always loved concept albums and the idea of using modern music to tell a story or convey a theme over several songs. My personal favorite would be “The Wall” by Pink Floyd among other artists such as Yes, David Bowie, Alan Parsons Project, and Marillion.
Several years ago I got the idea that we should do a concept album for Wurm. After all, Wurm is a setting where a lot of stories happen to people all the time. If we could put some of those stories together and use it as in-game music people would be able to relate to it outside of the game as well.
The album had to be of perfect quality when it comes to moods and sounds. Every song had to have something catchy and would be listened to hundreds or thousands of times by each player over the years.
In Wurm, we don’t play music constantly. Instead we play a song every now and then often based on the setting or a special event such as when you form a village. If you ever played the Lara Croft Tomb Raider game, the rare music scores really enhanced special situations and that’s what I was aiming for as well.
We could have gone in the direction of adding constant background music changing based on the situation. This would have its downsides and risks as well but would probably work out very well.
If we went for the Lara Croft way though, the idea of a concept album fits right in.
Two years ago me and my family was heading to Normandy and was stopping by our team member Egal who lives outside Amsterdam. We purchased a few compilation records to listen to in the car named “Simply Brazil” and “Simply Meditation” which accompanied us through the rest of the trip.
As we listened the music grew on us, and a year later as we still were listening to some songs on Simply Meditation I realized that we could ask one of the artists on the record to help out with the music. When we looked the names up on the disk cover it turned out that in fine print they were synonyms of the same artist, namely Tom E Morrison. The songs also often contained the voice of his wife, Rachel, and she was listed as composer together with Tom on them.
I’ll list some spotify links here to some of those songs:
Governing Body – Crystal Clear
Brahma Singh – Resting Place
Long Shadows – Road To Heaven
I find the songs to be very well composed, mysterious, interesting, superbly performed and produced and durable.
We had never heard about Tom E Morrison but checked up on him and it turned out he’s a well connected and reknowned composer in England.
I contacted Tom and to my great happiness he could be convinced to do music for us. Since neither me nor Tom were experienced in commissioning game music, we discussed how to go about it. In the end we struck a deal which included availability on Spotify so that people can listen for free, as well as the right for our users to use it in Wurm videos, for instance on YouTube. That’s right! - you’re allowed to use the songs in your own Wurm videos and we encourage it. Please do include “Music by Tom E Morrison” somewhere to give proper credits.
So here we are with the first concept album in a series of three. Tom asked me for song names so those are my doing. It was pretty cool to give names to the songs of my dream concept album. Tom did a fantastic job interpreting the theme “Work and Meditation” and created some really coherent, beautiful and addictive songs.
During post-production of a music record, when all music and singing is recorded, comes the mixing and mastering phase. To my great surprise and joy, Tom had contacted Andy Jackson who is famous for being Pink Floyds sound engineer to do the final mix. Jackson is a two-time nominee for the Grammy Award for Best Engineered Album for A Momentary Lapse of Reason and The Division Bell - albums I’ve listened to a lot and enjoyed immensely.
We have two more upcoming album releases - Wurm Online: ”Travel and Exploration” and later the final album in the trilogy “Battle and Danger”.
Together they’ll create a concept album experience like no other!