Nathan McCree (composer of the original first three Tomb Raider titles) has launched his Kickstarter to generate funding for his newest project: to record a collection of his favourite tunes and cues from the first three games performed by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra at the Abbey Road Studios and release it on vinyl, CD, digital download and streaming platforms.
The Tomb Raider Suite
When Nathan McCree wrote the extraordinary and iconic music for the first three Tomb Raider games between 1996 and 1998, it was recorded using the synthesizers available at the time. But for 20 years he dreamt of hearing his music performed by a full orchestra and choir and with the 20th Anniversary of the release of Tomb Raider in 2016, the timing was perfect to realise his dream.
Tomb Raider: Live in Concert
On Sunday 18th December, 2016, The Tomb Raider Suite received its World Premiere, performed live by the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra and the City of London Choir. Conducted by Robert Ziegler, it received three standing ovations from over 2,000 fans who attended the concert. It was an outstanding finale to the Tomb Raider 20th Anniversary celebration.
...is to do a studio recording of The Tomb Raider Suite with one of England's leading orchestras in England's most famous recording studios, Abbey Road in London.
Now that Nathan's themes and cues from the first three games have been fully orchestrated for a 76-piece orchestra and 20-voice choir, it is ready to be recorded to the highest standard, aiming for a release in the Fall of 2017.
This is a unique opportunity for all of us Tomb Raider fans to finally own and hear a world-class recording of the music as Nathan McCree had always intended it.
The music has been orchestrated, copied and printed and is now ready to be recorded. Nathan and his team will book the studio, orchestra, choir and conductor as soon as they know the target monies have been raised. Subject to availability of the studio and the orchestra, their goal is to record in August 2017 and to have the album available worldwide by November 2017.
The process of producing a full orchestral album approximately 90 minutes in duration is extremely expensive and they cannot achieve this without your help. To hire a 76-piece orchestra and a 20-voice choir with a world-class conductor and studio engineer at one of the top studios in the world, then mix and master they need to raise £160,000 until Sunday, June 25 2017 1:00 AM CEST. This figure also includes the costs of Kickstarter (credit card fees, Kickstarter fee, VAT and pledge fulfillment).
The Kickstarter website only allows one pledge per login. To allow for this Nathan's team has created Bundles to help fans pledge for a variety of items (exclusive signed Tomb Raider Posters, CDs, Vinlys, Score, T-shirts, Tank Tops, 3D Acrylic Logo and more). To enable an extra copy or extra different pledge this can be achieved by using an alternative email address. This can't be helped unfortunately. It's just the way the Kickstarter site works. There is also a cost for p&p in addition to the pledge value. These costs are actual calculated costs.
Notes: The artwork for the double CD, double Deluxe CD and double Vinyl Record have all been designed exclusively for the Kickstarter campaign. Those items will be unique, collectible and treasured. They will not be available using those designs again.
The posters are A3 in size. There are 2 versions: Red and Blue. Fans will be able to choose which version they want at fulfillment time.
T-Shirts and Tank Tops can be purchased as a standalone reward (TOMB RAIDER SUITE ANKH) or as an Add-On to an existing pledge.
Composer Buffet Reception Events:
(THE TOMB RAIDER SUITE ARK OF THE COVENANT package)
A ’One Time Only’ opportunity to attend the Tomb Raider Suite official party…
The Composer Buffet Reception will be held at a major venue in both London and San Francisco. After a welcome reception drink of bubbly served by Winston himself, you will be able to enjoy a delicious buffet and free refreshments for the evening.
There will be music from The Tomb Raider Suite, projections of the games, merchandise, and gameplay competitions on the original Tomb Raider games (Please, no locking Winston in the fridge!). This is a chance for you and your friends to talk to the people who helped create and shape Lara Croft and meet the famous names in the franchise: Nathan McCree (Composer), Shelley Blond (the first voice of Lara Croft), Meagan Marie (Senior Community Manager: Crystal Dynamics)
There will also be live Lara Croft models as the UK party will be graced by the amazing, Natalie Cook. In the U.S.A you will have the pleasure of meeting the fabulous Jill De Jong (unconfirmed).
All attendees will receive a special gift bag. Help support our Kickstarter campaign and join us for a party to celebrate The Tomb Raider Suite in style.
10 free tickets will be given away to each of the Composer Buffet Receptions in London and San Francisco! The prize draw will be open to all backers who have pledged £45 or more.
Attendance at Abbey Road Studios:
For 12 lucky people there's a chance of attending one of the 4 x 3-hour recording sessions at Abbey Road Studios during the live recording of The Tomb Raider Suite.
9 seats are available which can be purchased as an Add-On for £500 each on a first come first served basis. The remaining 3 seats will be given away in a prize draw which is open to all backers who have pledged £100 or more.
Either upgrade your existing pledge to at least £100 for a chance to win a seat to this exclusive event, or have your finger on the button to increase your pledge by £500 to purchase one of the 9 available seats.
Gold Ultimate Edition:
The GOLD ULTIMATE EDITION has been designed to exclusively celebrate the Kickstarter campaign.
Should the campaign be successful, 100 copies will be given away at the end of the campaign. All backers who have pledged £5 or more will be entered automatically into a prize draw.
In addition to the prize draw all attendees of the Composer Buffet Reception in either London or San Francisco will have a second opportunity to win one of these GOLD ULTIMATE EDITIONS.
If Nathan's team is fortunate enough to exceed their initial target, their plan to put the additional funding back into the project. There are a number of things they would like to do if this happens:
- Increase the size of the Choir for the recording at Abbey Road
- Increase the size of the Brass Section for the recording at Abbey Road
- Increase the size of the Woodwind Section for the recording at Abbey Road
- Record and release the synthesizer only version of The Tomb Raider Suite
- Remaster and release the original, unchanged game soundtracks for Tomb Raider I, II and III
- Film and release a TV / DVD documentary about the making of The Tomb Raider Suite
WHY BE A PART OF THE PROJECT?
This is their and our chance, as Tomb Raider fans, to get a professional studio recording of the music of Tomb Raider I, II and III. You will be helping all Tomb Raider fans – original, current, and new – to appreciate the score. Their concert in London proved how exceptional the orchestrated version of the music is and how much the fans enjoyed the evening.
If you make the project a success you will be enabling the most recognised iconic games music to be played by one of the best orchestras in England and recorded at one of the most famous recording studios in the world.
Please help to continue celebrating 20 years of Lara and the greatest game music ever written! If we can do this, we will finally hear the music as we all have always dreamt it could be. Success could lead not only to Tomb Raider: Live In Concert touring worldwide, but also for entry into the classical repertoire so it can be performed by orchestras across the globe: from the BBC Proms in London to the Boston Pops; the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra to the Berlin Philharmonic. A truly international work celebrating all that we love about Lara Croft, Tomb Raider and Nathan's iconic music...
Preview (monitor mixes)
A few tracks have been published from the album on Nathan's SoundCloud page. You can also listen them here:
McCree: I had to reinvent this piece quite a bit because the original duration was quite short at just 00:53 seconds. So I imagined an elaborate story and extended the original piece to fit. The new piece describes the following events, inspired by the opening scene of the very first Tomb Raider:
- 00:00 to 00:16 Lara sees her guide friend lying on the ground after being mauled by wolves and approaches him.
- 00:16 to 00:32 Lara examines her friend’s wounds and although he’s still alive she realises he will not survive the attack.
- 00:32 to 01:04 Filled with sadness, Lara fondly looks into the eyes of her, still alive, friend and remembers the times they’ve had together.
- 01:04 to 01:36 Holding back her tears Lara looks to the sky in search of an answer to her friend’s predicament.
- 01:36 to 01:58 Returning her attention to her friend, Lara holds him in her arms and watches him slowly fade to his death at 01:56.
- 01:58 to 02:14 Lara gently lays her friend down on the ground to rest.
- 02:14 to 02:31 Unable to hold back her tears, Lara breaks down and weeps for her friend.
- 02:31 to 02:51 Lara regains her composure, stands up and looks towards the entrance of the cave - her next goal.
McCree: There was a little less work to do with "The T-Rex" as its original length was 01:43. I felt that the original piece already had a lot of high energy material in it, so I decided to add a new section at 01:36 which describes Lara hiding from the T-Rex. At 02:20 I introduce the TR Theme as Lara jumps out from her hiding place with guns blazing – somersaulting and rolling to dodge the T-Rex, eventually killing the beast at 03:01.
McCree: When I wrote Vertigo back in 1996, I just wanted to create a sense of space. I know from climbing myself, that you become so focused on holding onto that wall, that all other sensations seem to disappear. So I wanted the music to reflect that. As it happened I was so short of time when I was writing the music for Tomb Raider that Vertigo ended up as just a very simple and uncluttered variation on the Tomb Raider Theme - but, it did have the space I was looking for. There was enough sonic room to enable the listener to focus on the task ahead.
When it came to extending Vertigo for The Tomb Raider Suite, I wanted to focus more on the vulnerability one feels when climbing up a sheer rock face. So I wrote a new middle section for the piece which features deep pizzicato bass accompanied by a very delicate harp pattern and some long, high, searing violin chords. Together this provides the vistas and the vast scale of the rock climbs that I was imagining for Lara.
I am very happy with this extended version of Vertigo - it is much closer to what I was intending to write 20 years ago, but didn’t have the time to complete.
A monitor mix of the extended version of "She's Cool" (the "Statistics" screen theme song) from the original computer game soundtrack of Tomb Raider III: Adventures of Lara Croft. This extended version will be on the album "The Tomb Raider Suite" and was featured in the world premiere performance of "Tomb Raider: Live In Concert" at the Apollo, Hammersmith on 18th December 2016.