Tavern Tunes - Stitcher’s Sorrow
Cast an ear back to Forsaken Shores and find out about the making of Stitcher Jim's song!
When we released the teaser trailer for the Forsaken Shores content update back in September, and it was structured around a song – hearkening back to We Shall Sail Together from the E3 2016 cinematic trailer, this time with the song performed by a character right there in the world – we had a feeling it'd go down well. We thought that people might even ask for a clean version (without the trailer's overlaid sound effects) to be released as part of our Tavern Tunes series. So we made sure we had that covered!
As always, to add some more depth we barged into composer Robin Beanland's office, got him talking and stealthily transcribed his thoughts for public distribution:
"The Forsaken Shores trailer started out with an idea from Rare's Video team. John McMurtrie came to me with the lyrics already written and sang them along to the melody from the Grogg Mayles shanty in the game. I really liked the idea, but thought it would be a bit of a cop-out to use an existing tune. It deserved its own piece of music.
"So I wrote a new melody, composed it as a bare-bones piano piece and recorded John's guide vocal over the top. We sent the results over to Realtime, the partner we work with on our trailers, so that they could start work on the animation. As they did that, we went into the studio with our Stitcher Jim actor, Francis Magee. We already knew from his showreel that he could sing, and as he performed we recorded facial capture too – this was all sent over to Realtime to build out the scene of Jim in his rowboat for the trailer.
"The timings of the tune needed to change when scenes of the doomed Forsaken Shores Alliance were inserted into the trailer, which meant some rejigging, but it gave the song more room to breathe and ended up being a change for the better.
"After that I went back to the melody, took out the bare-bones piano backing and worked on making it more orchestral. The final version starts with just violins and builds to include basses, cellos and some low percussion – then drops back to solo viola for Stitcher Jim's mournful final line. I really like how this one turned out, I think it's one of our best trailers."
Thanks to Robin for the rundown. If you enjoyed those insights, check out our previous articles on Tavern Tunes for more Audio department knowledge drops!