|Virgin Records America proudly releases RIVEN: The Soundtrack, the companion audio CD to the Riven game, the #1 software entertainment title of 1997. The evocative ambient soundtrack is composed by Robyn Miller, co-creator of Riven and its predecessor, the phenomenally successful MYST. Virgin will follow the Riven Soundtrack release with a remastered, repackaged MYST Soundtrack early this spring.
Using all the familiar musical signatures from the game, Miller has crafted an album that effortlessly fuses traditional instrumentation with unconventional sound. The haunting, otherworldly soundscapes Miller composes are both soothing and disturbing, tranquil yet disquieting, subtle yet provocative. Just as a great film soundtrack allows the listener to revisit the movie via the music, so fans of the game can now relive the "Riven" experience without switching on a computer.
Click the image of the D'ni music device the Maralobe at left to listen to "Gehn's Theme" from the Riven Soundtrack [requires the RealPlayer, click here to download for free]
The album's elaborate packaging and liner notes (excerpted below) were designed by Robyn and feature exclusive English translations of some of the hieroglyphic language found in the game ("D'ni" to the Riven cognesi), making it a must for all those fans looking for an even greater understanding of Riven's cryptic world.
"Riven's defining musical motif is Gehn's Theme. Originally composed for the Wahrk Throne Room, Robyn felt the piece was too strong for the location. He heard in the song something larger than any one place and ultimately decided it made a definite connection to the man who dominated Riven's world. Although you don't hear the complete song until you meet Gehn in his Age, the piece is all over the game. On the Jungle Island for instance, the Rivenese village is represented by music that's largely percussive, yet underneath it Gehn's theme is woven in as a sign that he wields considerable influence over the villagers."
Where it all began, check out the story of MYST and RIVEN at the home site of Cyan, the developers of the games.
Riven.com is the official game site, with a wealth of information, picture galleries and the ability to order the game online.
The Riven Guild is the critically acclaimed fan site and home to the Riven and Myst 'lysts' for fans of the game and devotees of D'ni culture.
Don't miss the MYST Soundtrack with new imagery and the original music from the #1 game of all time. Coming early spring 1998.
"I try to blend traditional sounds together to come up with unusual effects," Robyn Miller explains. By mixing and matching conventional instrumentation, you can create an odd, interesting mood. I also experimented with using white noise in the sound to add a slightly unsettling atmosphere. I wanted the Riven music to reflect the game itself, which has a familiar-yet-strange feel to it."
For all the sonic experimentation, Robyn admits that melodies and harmonies are still the most important elements, and a lot of effort goes into creating that melodic foundation. "Once the melody is in place, the process is very similar to painting, where you build up all these layers and then you start scraping away and pulling back refining the whole thing as you go along."
"There were times," Miller adds, "when the music seemed to be creating itself, I just tried to remain open to the music avoiding the things that were overly clever or augmented to get to the purer stuff. Without trying to sound hokey," he laughs, "I was letting the ‘Riven’ environment dictate the music’s sound."
Born 31 years ago in Texas, Robyn and his older brother (and longtime business partner) Rand grew up in various towns throughout the U.S. Their father was a pastor who led congregations in a variety of locales, and the two boys were shaped by their frequent travels.
"Moving around so much is why I got into art as a kid," says Robyn. "It was difficult to get well acquainted with my peers. I ended up spending a lot of time by myself with my ideas. I definitely don’t have a hometown. In some way, ‘Myst’ and ‘Riven’ might reflect a desire to create a place of our own; a place we can call home. The fact that Rand and I create worlds is probably a result of that."