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Theskymoves' "Music To Play Morrowind By"
I love Morrowind's in-game music - the main theme is one of the things that sucked me in - but there just isn't enough of it! After a while, the repetition makes me bonkers, and I turn the music down all the way. Then the sound effects and voices are jarringly loud in the otherwise quiet game-world, and my character becomes a very unhappy little Assassin. My solution has been to turn off the in-game music, leave the other sounds intact, and play music on an external system, making an effort to choose music that adds to the game's atmosphere rather than just serving as background noise.
Offered for you consideration, then, is my "Music to Play Morrowind To (Summer 2010 Ancient Music Geek edition)":
Sandy Denny, especially the album The North Star Grassman and the Ravens, but also her work with Fairport Convention and Fotheringay.
Classic period Renaissance. Amazingly silly pompous overwrought self important dated prog rock. Always makes me want to sneer back at Ordinator scum.
Loreena McKennitt. World music with a strong Celtic/Middle Eastern bent.
A potpourri of what I think of as "the British pastorals;" I play these when I'm kicking around Seyda Neen and Pelagiad: English trad-folk and folk-rock like Steeleye Span, the aforementioned Fairport Convention and Fotheringay, Shirley Collins, Richard & Linda Thompson and the great Anne Briggs:
Fovea Hex. I hesitate to describe or categorize this project, but is mesmerizing nonetheless.
Mellow Candle, a long forgotten early project of Fovea Hex's Clodagh Simonds.
Dead Can Dance. Ambient, world, post-punk.
The Decemberists, with their musical musings on ghost babies, not-pirates, dead lovers, and.... genuinely weird stuff. Almost as weird as Morrowind, in fact.
My secret prog-metal boyfriend Steven "Mr. Porcupine Tree" Wilson's lunatic ambient/drone side project Bass Communion, especially Pacific Codex (mostly sounds like big metal things grinding against each other underwater) Ghosts on Magnetic Tape (sounds like recordings of ghosts. Duh!), and Loss (creepy and atonal). Perfect for dungeon crawlin' ancestral tomb raids and late night skooma deals.
I also mix in a couple of film soundtracks (The Last of the Mohicans, The Secret of Roan Inish and Of Mice and Men) and some Benedictine Monk chants, and a number of CDs of polyphonic chants and songs by the group Anonymous 4, as well as several hours of music written by the 12th century mystic abbess Hildegard of Bingen. This is from my favorite, an album that places her work into a more modern musical setting:
I use a random playlist unless a game session dictates a more specific mood. I also realize now that I've typed this up that I've chosen a LOT of female vocals... I do plan on adding some Anthony Phillips guitar pieces to the mix, and in retrospect some Japan or David Sylvian would probably fit in well. (In fact, I'll think I'll take care of that right now...)