When working on the soundtrack for The Guild II: Renaissance in 2010, Munich-based composer Yannick Süß needed someone to help him get all the music done in time. He found a competent partner in Robin Birner, who has remained his co-composer to this day. Under the name of Audinity, the duo have amassed a considerable portfolio, including the soundtracks for THQ Nordic-published The Guild 3 and the upcoming city builder Foundation, which concluded its Kickstarter campaign at 223 % funded in March 2018. We recently had the pleasure of interviewing Robin and Yannick about scoring music for video games set in past historical eras while steering clear of bagpipe-y clichés. Listen to our new BTAPodcast to learn all about Audinity’s work:
In the podcast, Yannick and Robin tell us about their studio’s history and how just saying “yes” to a surprising offer can go a long way. They also provide insights into their composition techniques, both on a musical and a technical level, especially pertaining to their specialty: soundtracks for games set in past centuries. The latest title in their portfolio, The Guild III, contains over 100 minutes of original music, some of which is based on tracks dating back to medieval Germany.
“We didn’t only want to write some Hollywood-sounding medieval music”
“Something that we try to do in most of our soundtracks is to bring some authenticity to the music”, says Yannick Süß. “The historical and authentic approach is very important to us because I personally think: What could be more immersive and set the mood better than some authentic influences to the music? So we didn’t only want to write some Hollywood-sounding medieval music, some cheesy things, but also some authentic tunes, like original lute pieces. Lute solos, John Downland style. Renaissance music – or medieval dances. Or what I did was: I did some research in old manuscripts from that time, from the medieval era. And for example, I found a melody from 1348. That was the year of the big plague, the Black Death. And there’s one melody that […] [the flagellants] were singing in the streets. And I thought: ‘Wow. In the game, when the plague comes to the city, I have to use this melody.’ And so I did an arrangement of this original melody.”
Also check out the Guild III OST compilation on Audinity’s SoundCloud channel: