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Mare Nostrum: Empires» Forums » General

Subject: Music for Mare Nostrum rss

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Steven Townshend
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Some folks like to play thematic music in the background while board gaming. I'm one of those. With my giant Mare Nostrum map on the table dotted with caravans, markets, cities, temples, legions, forts, and triremes, a good soundtrack is that last element I like to add to create the atmosphere. I thought I'd share my playlist in case you'd like to do the same.

My Mare Nostrum playlist is roughly comprised of one album for each empire so far. Most of these make use of ancient instruments native to the region. These are all for the most part modern compositions--the 8-tracks holding the original music of the ancients were all destroyed with he Library of Alexandria. Even so, they attempt to evoke a feeling of ancient days.

EGYPT: Ancient Egypt, by Ali Jihad Racy.
From Allmusic.com: "This musical tribute to ancient Egypt was originally composed in 1978 for the King Tutankhamun exhibit at the Seattle Art Museum. It was inspired by the artistry of the ancient treasures and the religious symbolism of the Egyptian Book of the Dead, which suggested titles of the compositions. Only traditional Near Eastern instruments were used in making this recording, like the nay, salamiyyah, buzuq, mijwiz, mizmar and others."
http://www.allmusic.com/album/ancient-egypt-a-tribute-mw0000...

BABYLON: The Flood, by the Lyre Ensemble
Coolest musical discovery I've made all year. The ancient Sumerian proverbs between the tracks makes for a unique listening experience. A few (like Enkidu Curses the Harot) are in English.

From laughingsquid.com: "The Flood, A Haunting New Album Bringing Ancient Sumerian and Babylonian Language and Music Back to Life

The Flood is the self-described “first-ever CD of new music sung entirely in Sumerian and Babylonian” by the Lyre Ensemble, a collaborative project by composer and singer Stef Conner, instrument builder and harpist Andy Lowings, and producer Mark Harmer.

Conner devoted research efforts to bridging the time gap between present day and ancient cultures by creating music inspired by studies of ancient languages and texts. She combined Babylonian poetry with music she and Lowings composed to be played on a lyre. Using a painstakingly accurate reproduction of the Gold Lyre of Ur—an ancient stringed instrument from Ur, an ancient city-state that is now part of Iraq—Lowings beautifully plucks out rich melodies as Conner’s deep, haunting voice sings a language used millenia ago."

https://laughingsquid.com/the-flood-a-haunting-new-album-bri...

GREECE: Ancient Greek Musical Instruments / Music of Ancient Greece, by Petros Tabouris Ensemble
Exactly what the title suggests. I can't find any good write-ups on it, but you can sample the tracks here: https://www.amazon.com/Ancient-Musical-Instruments-Tabouris-...

ROME: Rome, by Jeff Beal
I'm probably cheating here, using the soundtrack to HBO's series, but composer Jeff Beal uses instruments from the region throughout his composition. It appears as if the soundtrack isn't currently available--a shame, because I think it's brilliant. Here are YouTube links to it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rC0dltjPRtw&list=PLURQ_xwn_O...

CARTHAGE: Mare Nostrum, by Jordi Savall, Monsterat Figuerras, and Hesperion XXI.
Prior to Roman dominance, the Phoenicians ruled the sea in trade. Mare Nostrum combines the music of cultures from all across the Mediterranean, which is why it's my pick for Carthage.
There's a big writeup here, with samples of the tracks: http://www.allmusic.com/album/mare-nostrum-mw0002278294

Sometimes I'll choose the order of the albums, but other times I'll just shuffle all the songs together and see what happens. These are all more or less atmospheric albums, not "LET'S WAR!!!!!!!" albums; if you're looking for "LET'S WARRRRR!!!!" put on Conan the Barbarian (Atlantean Sword!) and Gladiator, and possibly Rome, and call it a day.

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Jussi Rissanen
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I've been compiling a list of my own. Its still a work in progress cool
https://youtu.be/OihCg50glpU?list=PLMhwbcOU-IvBgpObps3oaF6gn...
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Steven Townshend
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yuzu wrote:
I've been compiling a list of my own. Its still a work in progress :cool:
https://youtu.be/OihCg50glpU?list=PLMhwbcOU-IvBgpObps3oaF6gn...


That's awesome! Definitely more upbeat than mine. I dig it! Clicking through the tracks, I see that Vangelis did the Alexander score. Gonna have to check that out. Thank you.
 
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Jussi Rissanen
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No problem! Check if you find some to your liking!

I also struggled to include upbeat battle oriented tracks and some relaxing ones for building, etc. And to find a good mix. Many of them are from videogame osts, which I've enjoyed during the years.
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Jon Snow
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laugh Thanks guys. I usually play music when I'm doing a historical or fantasy game of some type, but Ancient stuff is hard to find! Now on to Atlantis...there's always the old single by Donovan!

"Way down below the ocean
Where I want to be
She may be"
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A. I. H
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Funny that the "Civilization VI" soundtracks at least for Egypt and Arabia are not original scores
 
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Steven Townshend
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chas59 wrote:
:laugh: Thanks guys. I usually play music when I'm doing a historical or fantasy game of some type, but Ancient stuff is hard to find! Now on to Atlantis...there's always the old single by Donovan!

"Way down below the ocean
Where I want to be
She may be"


It was hard for me to find, but by GoogleFu is getting stronger. iTunes and YouTube "related" tracks are also helpful. I've had ROME for years but only discovered the other stuff recently. I was looking up music for FIEF when I stumbled on that "Mare Nostrum" album. Delving into work by that group (Jordi Savall, etc) I've found lots of other "old school" music.

The Flood, though... I've never heard anything like it.

Not sure what I'll play for Atlantis. I'll find something eventually.
 
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Harvey Wallbanger

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You can't beat Miklos Rosza's epic sword-and-sandal screen soundtracks for this game -- Ben Hur, Quo Vadis -- and I'd add selections from other composers/movies as well: Cleopatra, Spartacus, even Conan the Barbarian or Xena!
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