Hidden Orchestra release an ‘infinite’ album ‘Creaks’
as a computer game soundtrack album as well as in the form of an interactive app.
The project – originally formed in Edinburgh by Joe Acheson – has teamed up with Prague-based indie games company Amanita Design to create the soundtrack to their new puzzle adventure Creaks.
The solo studio project of Joe Acheson, the imaginary orchestra is compiled from individual recordings of a diverse array of instruments, drums and found sounds, with Acheson pulling these samples together to form music.
For ‘Creak’, the composer / producer created an endless ‘living soundtrack’, using software primarily designed for sound effects and atmospheres. By creating numerous variations for every part played by every instrument, and choosing between them using randomised conditional logic, the game’s music is self-generating and infinite, with constantly varying arrangements – while each piece is clearly recognisable, it will never sound exactly the same twice.
Users can control what they hear by choosing the length of each section of each track, or choosing an initial approximate album length, and letting the app automatically play a new version of the whole album.
Of the project, Acheson says: “Composing music, like any creative task, is about making a series of choices. For every choice made, at least one other option remains unexplored, and another version of the work is never created.
“Composing music using software which can choose between several different ideas at each fork in the road allows you to explore multiple options simultaneously, and many different versions of a piece of music can exist at once. This is at once incredibly liberating, but also inspiring – when making the ‘fixed’ version of the soundtrack for conventional release formats, I often struggled to make arrangements as interesting as the ones thrown up by the carefully-controlled randomisation in the app – with the result that I actually used arrangements created by the app for several of the tracks on the OST album.”
Acheson has previously collaborated with The British Library, National Trust, BBC, Eden Project, Kew Gardens, Saatchi Gallery, Sydney Botanical Gardens and more.