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The Story Behind Bloodborne’s Haunting Soundtrack

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The Story Behind Bloodborne’s Haunting Soundtrack
6 Author Replies

Bloodborne’s boss fights are dead scary, and heightening the sense of terror is the epic musical score. The ambitious music project was a globe-spanning collaboration between JAPAN Studio, From Software, and SCEA’s Product Development Services Group (PDSG), and was recorded at London’s prestigious AIR Studios.

Bloodborne: The Story of the Score

And you can now set your heart racing even when you’re not playing Bloodborne, with the score available to listen to on its own — from the punishing orchestral stabs of “Blood-starved Beast” to the soothing respite of “Hunter’s Dream.”

To celebrate the CD and digital release of the Bloodborne Original Soundtrack and gain a little insight into how it was made, we spoke with Tsukasa Saitoh, Yuka Kitamura and Nobuyoshi Suzuki from the sound team at FromSoftware; composer Ryan Amon, whose previous credits include the soundtrack to Neill Blomkamp’s Elysium; and Peter Scaturro at PDSG.

Congratulations on the CD and digital release of the Bloodborne Original Soundtrack! What influences and inspirations drove the style and composition of the score?

Ryan Amon: Visually, there was a Victorian-Gothic crossover and just a hint of fantasy. The game developers discussed certain musical elements that they thought would represent the world of Bloodborne well, and the colors of the artwork were very influential in deciding the colors of the score for me as well.

Also, Bram Stoker’s Dracula was one of my first soundtrack purchases when I was younger, and with composer Wojciech Kilar’s recent passing in 2013 I felt that it was something I wanted to pay tribute to in my own way.

Tsukasa Saitoh: We drew on the keywords of “mortal struggle” and “horror” which were determined at the beginning of development, and also built up an image from things like the boss and map designs. In order to express the early-modern Victorian setting, we decided to rule out organ, woodwind instruments and certain brass instruments, such as trumpet, and so on. Rather than something grandiose, we aimed for a black and withered atmosphere.

The music in Bloodborne has been highly praised for its enhancement of the game world and atmosphere. Was storytelling part of the music brief?

Ryan Amon: We definitely talked about the story and why the main character is on his journey, and the fact that there is no one really holding your hand as you progress. There was a great emphasis on capturing the small intuitive details of the world, especially the loneliness and forlorn beauty of it.

Bloodborne: The Story of the Score

(L-R) Tsukasa Saitoh, Nobuyoshi Suzuki, Yuka Kitamura, Ryan Amon and Peter Scaturro

Each boss battle comes with its own intense theme. How much did the design and back-story of each specific boss affect the way you composed the music?

Nobuyoshi Suzuki: The design and back-story had a large effect on me. The One Reborn, whose music I was in charge of composing, is a ghastly figure of ritual mass-sacrifice, and so the feeling of horror and of something disgusting was the underlying premise, with greater themes of adornment and royalty. So I started with the simple image of using deep bass-instrument riffs to invoke a sense of royalty, and the choir to express adornment, and began composing from there.

Yuka Kitamura: While composing the music for (rollover for spoiler) Ebrietas, Daughter of the Cosmos, I sensed themes of the universe, of finality, of something godly, and I was filled with visions of the end of the world as I worked on that song.

What were some of the challenges of working with composers and performers on three separate continents?

Peter Scaturro: Talking about music is a challenge with every project, but this one was particularly unique because the language barrier added another layer of potential misinterpretation. In this regard, the production team at JAPAN Studio was key to the success of the score.

Bloodborne: The Story of the Score

And what were some of the benefits of working in this way?

Peter Scaturro: I think we all benefited from the cross-cultural exchange of ideas presented during this project. The Japanese composers brought a unique approach to the music that was very refreshing. And I think that the American composers were able to inject some of the sensibilities of a modern film score. We’re all very proud of the fusion of ideas that are presented in the Bloodborne score.

Finally, the music you wrote for Bloodborne will haunt the nightmares of gamers for years to come. How do you feel about that?

Tsukasa Saitoh: That’s quite an honor. My hope is that the fans will immerse themselves so fully in the world of Bloodborne that listening to the music, even when they’re not playing, will trigger lots of precious nightmares!

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15 Comments

6 Author Replies

  • somebignasty

    I believe my Collector’s Edition came with a voucher for the soundtrack on my PS4. Where can I buy the physical CD copy? Amazing game, congrats on its success!

  • Thanks to Yuka Kitamura for helping create the most notorious fight in the game besides one in the chalices. Great game and soundtrack.

    • Daniel Robson
      Daniel Robson

      Thanks, we’re glad you enjoyed the game and the music. The team will be thrilled to hear you appreciated their work.

  • Some of the best OST I have heard in a while. I just get goosebumps when i listen to it specially the Father gascoine theme and the moon presence.

    • Daniel Robson
      Daniel Robson

      It’s hard to pick favorites, but those are both good ones :) Thanks for your comment.

  • death_nation100

    They should have another Bloodborne sequel set in a Historical Japanese environment . You guys don’t want that ? Sigh.

  • BattleSkard

    Any news when and if a DLC will be out?

  • yowzagabowza

    Why put a post about the BGM for this now? Who cares? Oh, is it because Sony doesnt have ANYthing else going on for a long time? I dont care how you made the music OR the game. It came out months ago. Platinumed it and moved on.

    More important info would be what battleskard above asked: whats up with DLC? I only held on to this game cuz i expected DLC at some point.

  • Way to go on finally releasing something that should have come with the collectors edition. Everyone who wasted an additional $20 for a tin and art pamphlet should get copies shipped at $CE’s expense. Greedy scumbags.

  • bbswarrior_11

    The music for the title screen and the boss battles feels both soothing and eerie. It adds so much to tensions to the fights.

  • merrygoround656

    “To celebrate the CD and digital release of the Bloodborne Original Soundtrack and gain a little insight into how it was made… ”

    Nice one! :)

  • TomatoDragon

    I listen to this soundtrack everyday on my way to work. Love it.

  • Bunch of entitled whiners on here.
    This is great insight for people who actually appreciate the depth found in the game.

  • KiLLjoY-42481

    What a let down this game was. Took me a week of off and on playing and deleted. Cant remember the music. Is that cause i turned the bgm to zero? Really guys more effort into this game so it was bigger, had way more armor/weapon choices and stuff to do. Or maybe seriously improve on the multiplayer or add new stuff on ng+ or make sense of covenants. Something guys! Cause this game has zero replay value. Jus like destiny, too little too late. if dlc does hit, ill most likely be playing phantom pain or mgo2. Bye.

  • ZombieRollz

    Love this kind of thing. Thanks Playstation Blog for giving us an in-depth look at the music of Bloodborne! =D

    • Daniel Robson
      Daniel Robson

      Thanks – we’ll do our best to bring you more in future.

  • ShadowRaiserX

    Can we get an option in the backup ,to only back up games updates to Usb HDD instead of the full game with updates?

  • xChelseaSmile

    Thanks a lot for this. I know there are some naysayers here but on behalf of my friends and the people I shared this with on the 8 thousand strong Bloodborne community on Facbeook, thanks a lot for posting this.

    I love seeing insight into games like this, and I’m sure many others do. I’d be very grateful if the blog featured more things like this on Bloodborne and other games too.

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