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BioShock Infinite Original Soundtrack

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For the turn-of-the-century period tracks, see BioShock Infinite Licensed Soundtrack.

The original soundtrack for BioShock Infinite and its downloadable content, Clash in the Clouds, features compositions by Garry Schyman, who previously composed the BioShock and BioShock 2 orchestral scores. Additional tracks were composed by Irrational Games' music director Jim Bonney and written by Ken Levine. Additional artists are specified for each track.

BackgroundEdit

In addition to veteran composer Garry Schyman, music director Jim Bonney was brought in to help contribute to the score. Part of new challenge was that Columbia was still a living city in the air which required a different feel than the dilapidated, damp corridors of Rapture. Since the story focused on Booker and Elizabeth the score was designed to give a "more intimate experience".

Ken Levine conferred with Schyman to create a simpler pieces unlike the grand orchestral sound from the first BioShock. Schyman at most used a maximum of ten players in his ensembles. Since the orchestrations were smaller, instead of writing the entire score and having a complete recording session, small samples were recorded for various game cues as they were written. They would be given to Bonney to mix down into video clips for review by Levine.[1]

"Elizabeth" was not initially requested by Ken Levine. Garry Schyman composed it after seeing how Elizabeth transformed from a minor character to a central role. The original mockup was accomplished with a live string quartet as opposed to using synthesized samples.[2] For Schyman, "finding her theme was what helped me find the score".[3] "Lighter Than Air" was designed to have a more happy and "chipper" feeling for citizens going about their business as a counterpart to "Welcome to Rapture". Much of the tune was inspired by Stephen Foster melodies from the 1800s.

"Welcome to Columbia" resulted because Jim Bonney had a out-of-tune and off-key piano in his office. It created an "old time feeling, a sort of beautiful, quiet feeling" after all the commotion in the rocket as it pierces the clouds to look at Columbia for the first time.[4]

More aggressive pieces such as "Battle for Columbia" were more primal with some parts involving Ken Levine banging on a drum from Jim Bonney's office. However, Garry Schyman also included a string player playing very intensely while adding percussion using small distinct taps as opposed booming rhythms. He further comments that the strings and the percussion were not recorded under perfect quantization with the notes perfectly aligned, giving an almost sloppily played rhythm. The percussionist experimented with techniques including using old violin with a spoon.[5]

This became a part of the dynamic music that defined the combat in BioShock Infinite, a different approach from how combat was presented in BioShock. Schyman realized that such dynamic music "added drive" and could be explored in two levels of intensity: music when not directly involved in conflict and in the heat of battle. Gameplay cues included string stings when scoring a headshot or the finishing lick when the last enemy is killed.

"Lutece" was an interesting venture into the "quirky and enigmatic personalities" of the characters. Schyman describes it as a tango-ish waltz rife with humor and tongue-in-cheek in contrast to the violence seen in the game.

Original SoundtrackEdit

This is the list of soundtracks and re-orchestrated songs from the official digital BioShock Infinite Soundtrack included with the limited Premium and Songbird Editions.

Soundtrack title Artist(s) Additional performer(s)
1. Introduction Ken Levine Performed by Oliver Vaquer, Jennifer Hale, Troy Baker
2. Welcome to Columbia G. Schyman, J. Bonney
3. Will the Circle Be Unbroken – choral version A. Habershon, C. Gabriel Arranged by Marc Lacuesta
Maureen Murphy – vocal soloist
4. Lighter than Air G. Schyman
5. Lutece G. Schyman
6. The Battle for Columbia I G. Schyman, J. Bonney
7. The Girl in the Tower G. Schyman
8. Elizabeth G. Schyman
9. The Songbird G. Schyman
10. Rory O’More/Saddle the Pony S. Lover Rodney Miller – fiddle
Elvie Miller – piano, accordion
David Porter - guitar
11. The Battle for Columbia II G. Schyman
12. The Readiness is All K. Levine, J. Bonney
13. Lions Walk with Lions G. Schyman
14. Will the Circle Be Unbroken A. Habershon, C. Gabriel Courtnee Draper – vocal
Troy Baker – guitar
15. Unintended Consequences G. Schyman
16. The Battle for Columbia III G. Schyman
17. Family Reunion G. Schyman
18. Solace S. Joplin Duncan Watt – piano
19. The Battle for Columbia IV G. Schyman
20. The Battle for Columbia V G. Schyman
21. Let Go G. Schyman
22. Doors G. Schyman
23. The Girl for the Debt G. Schyman
24. Back in the Boat G. Schyman
25. AD G. Schyman
26. Smothered G. Schyman
27. Baptism G. Schyman, J. Bonney
28. Will the Circle Be Unbroken – full version A. Habershon, C. Gabriel Courtnee Draper – vocal
Troy Baker – guitar

Additional ScoreEdit

The following tracks are all songs and music composed for the game which were not featured on the digitally released album.

Title Artist Location
"Native Chant" Jim Bonney (composer, performer)[6] Hall of Heroes (Wounded Knee Exhibit)
"We Dwell Here" Urban Thunder[6] Hall of Heroes (Wounded Knee Exhibit)
"Chinese Court Music" (Traditional) Duncan Watt[6] Hall of Heroes (Boxer Rebellion Exhibit)
"The Sea Storm" Duncan Watt (composer, performer)[6] Hall of Heroes (Boxer Rebellion Exhibit)
"The Girl They Call Fitzroy" Ken Levine, Jim Bonney, Duncan Watt, Charles Dworetz[6] Sometime near the elevator and market in Shantytown

Video Edit

Garry Schyman Score Excerpt00:39

Garry Schyman Score Excerpt

Behind the ScenesEdit

  • Two sound cues from BioShock's original score were reused in Clash in the Clouds and can be heard when buying the Resurrection power-up and finishing a wave. They are both featured on the track "Gameplay Cues" on the original soundtrack, I Am Rapture - Rapture is Me.
    • The track "Empty Houses" from the same score can also be heard in Clash in the Clouds at the museum gallery of the Columbian Archeological Society, once all missions have been cleared. Its use and the apparition of a Splicer from a Tear were Easter eggs announcing BioShock Infinite's next downloadable content, Burial at Sea - Episode 1, which takes place once again in Rapture, the setting of the original game.

References Edit

  1. BioShock Infinite's composer Garry Schyman on making music for the Songbird at PC Gamer
  2. Hit List Interview with Bioshock Infinite Composer Garry Schyman
  3. BackTrack Composing BioShock Infinite Act 1 at GameTrailers.com
  4. The music behind Bioshock Infinite: Burial At Sea - An interview with Ken Levine at GameSpot @ 5:50
  5. BackTrack Composing BioShock Infinite Act 1 at GameTrailers.com
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 "Music and Score" section of the BioShock Infinite end credits.

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