Elder Scrolls 4: Oblivion (2006) was a game that helped redefine the PC RPG with such level of detail and realism as well as professional voice actors (such as Patrick Stewart). The soundtrack is also an impressive work by Jeremy Soule, a mature work whose influences can be seen reflected from his earlier visions of how game music should be defined. It also contains very personal elements – Soule was involved in a terrible car accident (that he left virtually unscathed), which lead him to see the preciousness of life and depict this within each score of the game. The songs were virtually unrevised, and so are well thought-out first impressions from Soule’s heart.
“Sunrise of Flutes” is my favorite piece from the album. It’s the daytime theme for several towns (songs change for the night, like in Zelda: Ocarina of Time and Castlevania II). There core of the song is built around about a dozen notes played on flute, though there is a short interlude that interrupts halfway through until about 2 minutes in. Calm and peaceful, the song has a slightly inquisitive nature for exploring, but also the precious fragility of this life, threatened by the forces of darkness that seem so far away in these sunny streets. Soule’s style is prevalent in “Sunrise of the Flutes”, which contains compositional echoes with Secret of Evermore.
The entire soundtrack has this level of orchestral glory that paints a brilliant picture of a medieval fantasy world. The Oblivion soundtrack was published through DirectSong, which is an iTunes-type site which sells ‘high-quality’ MP3s without DRM (I’d prefer FLAC sales, too). Soule uses DirectSong for most of his work, and his Guild Wars and Prey soundtracks are on there as well for $9.99 a pop. It’s a pretty nice soundtrack for a good price.