Destruction of Dalaran

Made by Amal Sahay

Created: December 4th, 2014


Analysis of Destruction of Dalaran:

Intro is quiet. There isn't yet any sort of malevolence, and so instrumentally, this would be soft. As the camera pans to the city (0:28), the music would develop - it would still be soft, but there might be a theme of sorts (I like wind sounds here too, but I might save those for later). As the sand rises in the replica, the music would slowly start to increase in volume - I would probably include some percussive sounds here, building up to the moment Archimonde wraps his hands around the pillar at 1:08. Silence. Chime strike at 1:10 when his hand closes around the tower. Low brass would play as the tower collapses, and volume would build to the point where Archimonde destroys the sand. Silence in the darkness. The sound of desert wind and sand blowing as the collapsed circle is the only remaining link to Dalaran.

Account of Rough Draft

I open and close with the same wind sound. I think it makes sense given the way the video opens and closes, by focusing on the circle. I use two main themes, one for the city and one for Archimonde. Fading the city theme to when Archimonde's actions begin the destruction of that city works from the fade out point of view, but I'm still somewhat uncertain about the jarring nature of the transition to Archimonde's theme. I'm debating whether or not to fade in Archimonde's theme. It will make the sound clearer, but might lose some of the edge of the transition.

I read the early critique, and agreed that perhaps the significance of the destruction of the replica was not the most obvious climax. As such, I duplicated the chime sound in order to connect the destruction of the replica with the destruction of the actual tower. I also shied away from the development of the theme at :28, instead opting to draw attention to the closer look at the city around :38. In order to do so, I stretched (slightly) the loop to fit the transition period and started the fade out slowly from that point, leading into Archimonde's theme.

I added in some of Archimonde's lines from another source as recorded and pitch-shifted by myself, and am looking to add in his full Demonic speech.

Account of Take Two

I added in the above prescribed fading, fading mostly around Archimonde's theme to smooth out the transitions. I like them when used in conjunction with the Demonic, as the transition to Archimonde's theme is covered by the vocals. The remaining content is unchanged.

I'm looking for feedback mainly with the vocals and with the transitions. Which version do you prefer? Should one stay and the other go? I personally am of the opinion that the transitions make a lot more sense faded in and out this way. While I like the speech, I'm am not as certain of its place in the composition.

Curatorial Statement: Destruction of Dalaran is a re-imagination of a cutscene from popular video game Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos. Retaining the familiar demonic speech, Destruction of Dalaran draws attention to the two main forces in opposition, the city of Dalaran, and the demon Archimonde. Focusing on the actual destruction, the video notes that the city clearly falls, as the city's theme is present only in the beginning whereas Archimonde's theme extends throughout. The ending fades away from the collapsed circle as Archimonde's declaration of war is made clear for all. The video aims to bring to mind the hopelessness and power of the demons that are yet to come.

Critical Reflection: Admittedly, this in no way stands up to Blizzard's take. That said, I believe the syncing of the music/sound to the video was accomplished fairly well (though I am slightly less certain about the position of the second chime strike). In addition, I like the familiar theme of minimalism in the use of the two main themes to focus on the conflict represented by the piece, leaving environmental sounds for times where the conflict is less obvious. The actual pitch shifting process was harder than I expected it to be, and that largely leads to my hesitation in including the Demonic.

The way in which I would have responded to this piece at the beginning of the module is different, not from a composition point of view, but from a complexity point of view. Prior to my experience in this module/semester, I didn't fully understand the behind the scenes work that goes into the creation of works such as this. While I do not claim to fully understand them now either, I have a greater appreciation for the process. I've had to think through my decisions far more than I had in the past, and it is truly interesting to see how each decision has pros and cons that are only apparent after deep consideration. It is not nearly as easy to just hand in work and be done anymore - even the simplest things require deep scrutiny, which I am only now able to really begin to offer.

Status: Second embedded video is the current "final" product. Still attempting to determine the worth of the added Demonic and re-imagination of the transitions.

Comments: Children of the Earth (visual), Game of Thrones trailer (sound), Agent Peggy Carter (sound)