C.106 - "Dies Irae" (Wrath of the Abyss)

Composed: 28th November 2016

     These next two, “C.106” and “C.107”, I had nearly forgotten about.

    They were two small tracks written for an indie video game I was working on, “Wrath of the Abyss”. The developer asked for numerous ambience track for dungeons, one of which called for a “Monastic Chanting”. Therefore, I wrote two small chanting compositions using familiar Latin phrases, and then created recordings of them (complete with my own singing!)

     This first chanting track was based on the famous “Dies Irae”. It was, of course, scored in D, but it did not contain the renowned “Dies Irae Melody”:

     Instead, it uses very simple modal phrases based on D Dorian, with its characteristic B-natural. I would have thought I was using the rules of Fuxian counterpoint to construct these chants, but after finding a couple leaps of a diminished 4th tritone (the infamous “Diabolus in Musica”), it seems I disregarded the rules.

     Regarding instrumentation, there is a long organ pedal on the tonic down below, which I recorded on my local church organ. The voices are a combination of my own (recorded in as many different voices as I could create) and EastWest Choir samples with WordBuilder. The result is a rather unrealistic large choir chanting the text.

     But this was not the first chant I was to construct.

Reminiscence written on 28th July 2019

Last updated: 19th August 2019

© 2020 Jonathan Shaw