A Musical Journey Through Dante's Hell

As I mentioned in my review of Dante's Hell, I loved the scoring and sound of Visceral's take on hell.

So I had to get up early today to check out the Game Developers Talk by the team behind the music titled Scoring Hell.

The scoring of Dante's Inferno was influenced by many different composers and conductors, but the biggest influences were polish composer Krzysztof Penderecki, Austrian composer György Sándor Ligeti (some of his work was featured in the Stanley Kubrick films 2001: A Space Odyssey, The Shining, and Eyes Wide Shut) and American avante-garde composer George Crumb.

Here's a taste of what that means in terms of scoring the opening scenes of the game.

More interesting is how the score of the game shifted as you traveled down the worm holes of hell's increasingly sinful circles.

Lust

This sample is a taste of the music played during the Storm of Lust, the tornado of human bodies you come across in the circle of hell dealing with lust. The idea here, they say, was to to lean on something late romantic like Brahms, big and operatic.

Gluttony

In gluttony the music had to convey a sense of the circle which was packed "corpulent, ugly, all mud, crap and vomit." This is the music you hear while fighting Cerebus.

Anger

Pretty straight forward stuff here, anger is all violence and fighting.

It's hard to pick up the nuance of music while thumbs-deep in a game. I hope you enjoyed these little break outs, all of which were pulled from the GDC session Scoring Hell.