The Banner Saga
Composer Austin Wintory
Dallas Wind Symphony
The official Soundtrack CD for the newly released, highly touted video game THE BANNER SAGA!
GRAMMY®-nominated, BAFTA-winning* composer Austin Wintory created an earthy, multi-layered orchestral score for the single player role-playing tactical game from Stoic Studios, currently available on PC and Mac. The soundtrack score features the Dallas Winds (America’s Premier Windband), recorded by GRAMMY®-winning engineer Keith O. Johnson and the Reference Recordings team at the Meyerson Symphony Center,in Dallas, TX. In addition the score features a trio of famous YouTube soloists: vocalists Malukah and Peter Hollens, and violinist Taylor Davis.
Austin Wintory is an American composer who has scored over 40 feature films, a dozen video games, and numerous concert works. In 2012 he received A GRAMMY® nomination for ‘Best Score Soundtrack for Visual Media'(the first ever for a video game) for the game soundtrack from “Journey.” His film efforts include the scores to the 2009 Sundance hit “Grace”, as well as the 2008 Sundance Audience Award winner “Captain Abu Raed”, which put Wintory on the short list as a contender for the Academy Awards for “Best Original Score.” He was also nominated by the International Film Music Critics Association for “Breakout Composer of the Year.”
THE BANNER SAGA is the first-ever video game soundtrack recording from independent audiophile label Reference Recordings, on its FRESH! from RR series.
*BAFTA is the British Academy of Film and Television Arts
“Mr. Wintory considers his next project — a warm, earthy score for the role-playing video game The Banner Saga, set for release this month — a step in this direction. The score incorporates dynamic cues that react to the player’s actions during a battle scene. If a player starts to win or lose a fight, the music will subtly shift between tense and triumphant. That the music reacts to the player is a relatively new concept. ‘At its best,’ Mr. Wintory said, ‘game music turns the player into a co-storyteller.’” —The New York Times
“That music was composed by an increasingly well-known name in video game soundtracks, Austin Wintory (who was nominated for a Grammy for his work on the incredible game Journey – the first video game to receive that honor). But its DNA can be found here in Dallas, with the Dallas Wind Symphony…” —The Dallas Morning News
“‘The Banner Saga’ is orchestral music, with electric guitar, didgeridoo, accordion, and Icelandic singers. It’s exciting stuff, and since it was recorded by legendary engineer Keith O. Johnson, the sound is superb!” —Steve Guttenberg, CNET
“Wintory’s The Banner Saga is a wonderful experience on its own. A union of classical string and wind sections, ethnic instruments like the didgeridoo, and some fine vocal talents are at Wintory’s disposal, and to say he makes good use of them would be understating things. Wintory runs the emotional gamut here and even as the pace slows, it is not for a lack of feeling. Rather, Wintory understands well the curvature necessary to build proper character within a score. Journey experienced a meteoric rise to popularity, due in large part to its ambiguity and universal appeal. With The Banner Saga, both Wintory and the project as a whole explore a different direction, one with a definitive focus on folk lore and tradition, a focus that shines in Wintory’s latest work.” —Sean Elliot, of The Daily Album
“As I played The Banner Saga, I was swept away by its chilled tapestry of brass harmonies and meandering woodwind melodies. It was as if the musical score had been woven together of shimmering mithril, evoking both the bleakness of the frozen landscape and the stubbornness of the varl race. I was reminded of several composers, Finnish composer Jean Sibelius chief among them. The opening of Sibelius’ fifth symphony captures a similar kind of comforting loneliness with its glowing French horn chords and frigid clarinets. Composers like Sibelius and Carl Nielsen have been often praised for capturing the essence of Scandinavia, but given his work on The Banner Saga’s soundtrack, I could argue for composer Austin Wintory to be added to that short list.” —Kevin VanOrd, GameSpot
“The Banner Saga sports a 71 minute magnum opus, most of it recorded by a group of musicians known as ‘The Dallas Winds.’ So it’s a wind orchestra, and they’re from Dallas, TX. And they sound absolutely amazing. … Listening to the score over and over reveals one point I cannot stress enough: painstaking care was put into balancing the audio. The mixing and mastering is perfect, especially for this genre. The mixdown isn’t too “wet” or blurred. Silence isn’t feared. There are times when things are sufficiently sparse, often to offer a contrast to moments of peak volume or tension.” —Patrick Gann, Original Sound Version
“I really like the score. The recording is superb like all Reference Recordings material. I’m interested enough to try the game and see how the material fits into the framing as long as it doesn’t take too long to learn. You can teach an old dog new tricks.” —Thomas Kiefner, Film Music: The Neglected Art