Lair Video Game for the Sony Playstation 3



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Lair (Promo) by John Debney

High Score: The New Era of Game Music  - Tracksounds Special Feature

Lair (Playstation 3 Video Game)







Lair (Promo) (Soundtrack) by John Debney

Lair (Promo)
Composed by John Debney
Promo Release (2007)

Rating: 9/10

(Cover is Tracksounds Concept Only)


Listen to this soundclip of Lair (Promo)Main Titles 1 (347 kb)

Listen to this soundclip of Lair (Promo)Main Titles 2 (352 kb)

Listen to this soundclip of Lair (Promo)Asylia 4 (362 kb)

Listen to more clips on the soundtrack review


“Composer John Debney is certainly well-respected and well-honored in the world of musical scores and if he has not yet had his defining musical moment, LAIR, just might be it. ”

What Layeth in Wait in Debney's Lair?
Review by Christopher Coleman

What layeth in wait in John Debney's LAIR? 
Be this a film? A concert? A video game dare?
Surely not such a work as this.
A piece that none honest could easily resist.
Musical themes? A film score fan's dreams.
Yes for the gameplay itself,
and, of course, the cut-scenes.
Doth today's orchestras blare with such bold fanfare?
Indeed they John Debney's LAIR!

What is a poem doing here you might ask.  It's simple.  This 5-track promo of composer JOHN DEBNEY's upcoming score for the Playstation 3 video game, LAIR, has inspired this bit of spontaneous poetry.  Now any score that can do that might just be worth a listen.  But before you on.

Composer John Debney's epic effort for what has become one of the most anticipated games for Sony's next-gen-gaming console certainly contributes to the level of "must-haveness" the game has garnered.  The promo delivers some 16, enticing minutes of score, but reportedly there were literally hours of material recorded by the London Symphony Orchestra.  According to an interview in February 2007, conducted by, John Debney and orchestra recorded some 8 discs of music for LAIR!  Ah what a glorious tease this promo is.

Each of the five tracks are engaging in their own right.  The end result being a whistle-wetting-experience that bodes well for the upcming soundtrack release (releasing label not determined at the time of this review).  Track 1, "Main Titles" delivers a bold and majestic introduction to LAIR's main theme.   The heroic piece echoes back to musical eras seemingly long gone.  Thankfully, the video game industry continues to keep this fading musical style alive and well and Debney takes full advantage of the opportunity.  After a initial brass fanfare, the track flares into a clear Miklós Rózsa reference...and it's just beautiful to hear.  While that bit would be enough to distinguish this score from any other video game score (and many contemporary film scores), Debney delivers yet another unexpected twist.

Continuing his inventive use of ethnic instrumentation as he did in THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST, Debney surprisingly employs the Chinese erhu.  Karen Han's performance on the erhu introduces another prominent motif of the score.  This unexpected introduction of Eastern instrumentation into a predominantly Western score is startling at first, but soon settles into the overall score quite well. 

Again John Debney collaborates with Lisbeth Scott, whose vocal and composition talents have graced such film scores as THE LION, THE WITCH, AND THE WARDROBE, MUNICH, and Debney's own THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST.  For LAIR she writes the lyrics which are performed by lead vocalist, TANYA TSAROUSKA and THE LONDON VOICES.  Every track on this promo release contains some vocal element usually performing one of the two apparent main themes.  The final result is an expansive and deep musical experience that has been exclusively reserved for feature films until recent years.

While tracks such as "Epilogue" (2) and "Rohn Basil" (3) are performed at a slow, dream-like tempo, the promo concludes with two, tour de force pieces:  "Fire Bomb" (4) and "Asylia 4" (5).  "Fire Bomb" features heavy percussion undergirding the theme first introduced by the erhu in track 1.  The track builds in drama, anticipation and simultaneously with the sort of hope and vitality that marked "The Resurrection" from Debney's THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST.  And finally we reach track 5, "Asylia 4" and Debney moves full into John Williams territory.  With more than a slight nod to Williams' "Battle of the Heroes" and perhaps "Duel of the Fates" from the STAR WARS prequel trilogy, "Asylia 4" hits all the same musical peaks as Williams' headline pieces did:  the expansive choir, the blasts of brass, the heroic performance of the main theme countered by unrelenting timpanis, anvil strikes, cymbals, gongs and yes, even the "boom tiss" all there.  Suffice it to say that this piece goes beyond just "working" soaringly brings the promo to a triumphant conclusion.  One can imagine just how much these pieces lift the game experience to a completely new level.

Composer John Debney is certainly well-respected and well-honored in the world of musical scores and if he has not yet had his defining musical moment, LAIR, just might be it.  Hats off to Factor 5, the developer of the game, and Sony Computer Entertainment for spending the money and taking their score's production to the highest levels.  John Debney, the London Symphony Orchestra, Lisbeth Scott, The London Voices, and Abbey Road Studios?  It doesn't get any more top-drawer than that.  Whether you bother with the game or not, make sure you keep your eyes and ears open for the eventual soundtrack release of LAIR...and see what poetic words John Debney's music might inspire in you.

Read the review of the LAIR release hereRating: 9/10


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Track Title Track Time  Rating
1 Main Titles 2:14  *****
2 Epilogue 3:17  *****
3 Rohn Basil 2:07  ****
4 Fire Bomb 3:59  ****
5 Asylia 4 4:26  *****
  Total Running Time (approx) 16 minutes  




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