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One day the chorus magically popped into my head. I guess that's the way it happens sometimes.

Jack Wall

Making the Music "Myst III: Exile Main Theme" by Jack Wall

Objective
• To establish a main theme, and subtheme (Saavedro's theme) and a tie-in melodically and stylistically to the scores for Myst and Riven.
• To introduce the sonic palette for game: The Armenian Duduk for what I imagined the Maral-Obe might sound like; the Sheet Metal for its haunting mystery; Percussion as there was some drums in the village in Riven, so I wanted to reflect that in this score; and, a choir to represent the Narani people who were so effected by the events in the story.
• To give the signature title power and drama since the storyline consisted of great struggle by the main characters.

Process
This was a very complex arrangement. I sketched out the piece using synths and samples in Digital Performer. I took this file to Steve Forman's Tambourine Studio in Venice, CA. He played the various percussion instruments on top of my recording until I had a nice percussion bed on it. I took this arrangement back to my studio and finalized the form of the piece and sent it off to Presto. They pretty much approved it without any comments. This was a fortunate start for all of us in the composition process.

Next, I did another rewrite of the whole theme to take it to a level that I was happy with, being careful not to change the foundation of the piece that was approved. While working on other music I began the orchestration process with Steve Zuckerman, which went back and forth between he and I 8 times. We really wanted this to be right when on the scoring stage.

I began conversations with Steve Smith, the engineer in Seattle, about the technical issues concerning transfer and sync to Tascam DA88 of all pertinent prelay tracks. Making sure the click would be the most helpful, I not only recorded the click, but a vocal count of the click that I could use while conducting - that way, I was assured never to lose my place during the session. This was an enormous time saver during the session, that enabled me to record over 5 minutes of finished music per hour.

Comments
This was where it all began. Actually, one day the chorus magically popped into my head. I guess that's the way it happens sometimes.

I wanted to put enough ideas into this piece, so that I could cull various themes for the different ages and characters from this piece - making it a true main theme.

The only place this theme exists in its entirety is on the soundtrack CD at 4:26. It appears in a 2:39 edited form in the game only when you finish the game and credits are scrolling. It also played in the theatrical trailer.

I wanted to put enough ideas into this piece, so that I could cull various themes for the different ages and characters from this piece - making it a true main theme.

Jack Wall

Lyrics Narani (D'ni dialect)

Chorus
Tomahna, Edanna, Amateria, Voltaic, Narayan;
J'Nanin, comensanin, expidan revilani erte yan.

Boy Soprano (Saavedro as a boy)
Naray alani;
Naray latiste t'dee;
Nosis amani azhwa na.
Famani Sa;
Havana devota.

Chorus 2
Tomahna, Edanna, Amateria, Voltaic, Narayan
J'Nanin, apic'Nanin, revilani ero yamani yan

Bridge (Saavedro swearing vengeance to his family)
Ami malisa pariel;
Memondama ami soule!

Break (Saavedro to Atrus)
Tomahna! Edanna! Amateria! Narayan!
Releeshahn! Nilashahn! Malisa ma Narayan!

Chorus 3
Tomahna, Edanna, Amateria, Voltaic, Narayan;
J'Nanin, locusani, degraca soule de yamani...

Lyrics English Translation

Chorus
Tomahna, Edanna, Amateria, Voltaic, Narayan;
J'Nanin, where the journey to learn the Art begins.

Boy Soprano (Saavedro as a boy)
Narayan, my home; Narayan, whose lattice tree is life;
I think of you with joy.
Keep my family safe;
Shelter the ones I love.

Chorus 2 (After brothers visit Narayan)
Tomahna, Edana, Amateria, Voltaic, Narayan
J'Nanin, use what you have seen to unlock all that my Ages have to offer.

Bridge (Saavedro swearing vengeance to his family)
I will avenge your peril;
Remember my heart!

Break (Saavedro to Atrus)
Tomahna! Edanna! Amateria! Narayan!
Releeshahn! Annihilation! I will avenge my Narayan!

Chorus 3
Tomahna, Edanna, Amateria, Voltaic, Narayan;
J'Nanin, breeding ground for lost souls...

Musicians

Steve Forman Prelayed percussion: Taos Drum, Jun-Jun, chimes, Sheet Metal, Talk Drum, Bass Drum, Gong, and "The Bag" - a burlap bag full of rocks, and various small percussion we used as a shaker.
Timothy Washburn: Boy Soprano
Chris Bleth: Duduk
Cindy Wall, Dave Stringer, Jack Wall: Additional vocals
Northwest Sinfonia Orchestra: 51 players
Philip Smith Choir: 8 voices
Total musicians: 64

Support

Simon James Orchestra contractor for Northwest Sinfonia
Steve Smith Recording and Mix Engineer
Audrey DeRoche Music Coordinator and all around person to keep things going smoothly.
Ross DeRoche Copyist
Philip Smith Choir contractor

Myst ® Revelation © 2004 Ubisoft Entertainment. All Rights Reserved. Ubisoft, ubi.com, and the Ubisoft logo are trademarks of Ubisoft Entertainment in the U.S. and/or other countries. D'ni™, Cyan ®, and Myst® are trademarks of Cyan, Inc. and Cyan Worlds, Inc. under license to Ubisoft Entertainment.

 

Join James White and Luke Romer on their journey to Exile
| more |

Hear his unreleased Exile music:

Exile Demo 1
Exile Demo 2
E3 Trailer Music

Jack Walls website
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Check out the funny stuff that the Presto Studios have hidden inside the game
| more |

All the available updates for Myst III: Exile:

Mac
Version 1.22
MacOS X Update

PC
Version 1.2
Version 1.22

Friday, September 21 2001: Swiss radio channel DRS 3 broadcasts a short feature with Dany R and Jürg Schaeppi on Myst III: Exile. Attention: Swiss German! | more |

Official Exile site
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