Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

While video games are a visual medium, often it's the audio that immerses you in the worlds of the games. As with movies, composers are some of the most important people in the creation of video games. Yet Skyrim is apparently planning a concert without theirs. Last week Bethesda, the game studio behind The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim announced a concert "Based on the award-winning score by Jeremy Soule." However, according to Jeremy Soule, he's not involved in the show in any way, which will likely mean his own music won't sound nearly as good as he'd like.

For the record, this concert has nothing to do with me, nor are they are using any of my original scores. They had to transcribe whatever notation they are performing by ear from the recordings. This is a flawed process as transcriptions are always fraught with errors. To be sure, I don't know who these people are and I don't endorse a concert that is trading on my name and music that has absolutely no oversight or involvement on my part.

Jeremy Soule took to his Facebook page shortly after the announcement of the concert, taking place at the London Palladium on November 16, to make sure that his fans knew that while his name was used in the announcement, he was not directly involved in the concert in any way. It would appear that when Bethesda hired Jeremy Soule to do the music for Skyrim, the deal allowed Soule to keep ownership of the music. Therefore Bethesda doesn't actually own any copies of it and thus will need to have the music transcribed by ear. As Soule says, while that can work to a point, there will always be some errors.

To be fair, Bethesda did use the words "based on" when describing the upcoming concert, so they're not claiming the music will come directly from the game, but Jeremy Soule feels that the way it's being described, fans will believe they are getting an authentic Skyrim musical experience, and that isn't really the case. In a later comment on the Facebook thread, he points out that when live concerts happen with scores like Star Wars, the scores are rented, meaning the use of the actual sheet music is paid for, and that John Williams is directly involved in the productions, something that clearly did not happen here.

Jeremy Soule insists that the issue for him isn't about money, but more that his name is being used to promote a concert that he was not involved in. What do you think? Should Bethesda have reached out to Soule to work with them on the concert? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

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