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Tired of hearing the same old tracks in Warcraft instances? Last year, we visited with WoW-playing composer Jejin (The Venture Co. [US-H]), who created a library of original compositions for various vanilla WoW instance zones. The Warcraft Soundtrack Project was a method of replacing old world tracks with new pieces, all created by Jejin himself. When we left Jejin, he was working on a way to make his tracks actually playable in game, and now he's come up with an answer.
Jejin created the Jejin Soundtrack Project, a sound pack addon to be used in conjunction with the Soundtrack addon. Though not without its bugs, the addon finally lets players listen to Jejin's original tunes while running their favorite old world instances, including Dire Maul, Blackfathom Deeps, Ragefire Chasm and Wailing Caverns. For those looking for a break from the usual Blizzard tunes, Jejin's work offers a refreshing new perspective on what the music of these old world instances could be. Follow us after the break as we catch up with Jejin, find out what he's been up to, and also find out what kind of musical plans he has for the future.
World of WarCrafts: Thanks for taking the time to speak with us, Jejin! What have you been up to since we last spoke? Any new projects you're working on?
Jejin: I've been busier than ever writing music since the project was first on WoW Insider. The project itself was still in its infancy around the time that the article initially ran, so I've had plenty of time to grow as a composer and reevaluate the music written so far. I was able to go back and do some major rewrites, exploring and expanding on the material I'd drafted up already (and sometimes even shaving off the songs/cutting them entirely), which was a real joy!
I love revisiting old ideas and improving on them -- I imagine that I will do the same thing many more times in the future as my knowledge and resources improve! Within this time, I also contacted a few people who were interested in the project to help with the music/create an addon for it. Sadly, most if not all of these contacts left me with half-finished material, or none at all! But, things happen, and I'm optimistic, so I pushed through and managed to get into contact with Lunaqua over at Curse.com, who really took to the idea of the project and made it into an addon (and changed its name from Warcraft Soundtrack Project to Jejin Soundtrack Project, I might add).
Not just a stand-alone addon, however! The addon works in direct conjunction with the other that Lunaqua manages, which happens to be Soundtrack (the addon I used to test the music inside of the game). So, I guess you can say I've been very busy since last May when the project was last featured on the site. Other than the project, I've been busy with school and my first year of university, as well as multiple other musical projects such as a musical I'm writing and numerous songs for other theatre productions.
You originally designed your songs for vanilla instances; obviously, since Cataclysm, these zones and in some cases bosses have changed significantly. Do the changes affect the feel of your soundtracks, or are you still happy with how they came out?
Generally I'm very happy with how Cataclysm brought these old instances up to date (and their plot lines to a complete finish in some cases). Of course, some of the changes have affected the atmosphere of the zones, but many of the dungeons have merely been tuned up a bit and injected with some well-needed life and story. It's encouraging, actually, because it reminds me that there is a reason why these instances are worth revisiting and exploring. They're not just dead space, and Blizzard recognizes that!
The only instances that I feel have made my music a tad dated are The Deadmines and Shadowfang Keep, as they were not merely brought up to date, but more or less overhauled completely. For The Deadmines, I made the music rather piratey, and now I feel that it's rather too whimsical in the new heroic. Also, I wrote the Shadowfang Keep music to represent a lot of the bosses and characters in the dungeon that are long dead and replaced. But, things happen, and perhaps in the future I'll adjust the music to better compliment the new zones and their storylines.
Any plans on doing tracks for the new Cataclysm instances or raids?
Actually, I'm glad you asked that. I've received some requests for Cataclysm raids, which is something that I'm definately interested in! However, there are certain technical limitations that might make it difficult to get the music to play consistently without cutting out. The same goes for battlegrounds music. I think it has something to do with sound channels, but of course I'm not completely sure. If anybody has an idea to work around this, or if I'm sorely mistaken, I'd love to hear so!
In terms of the 5-mans, I sort of go by the mindset of "if it ain't broke, don't fix it." The Cataclysm soundtrack is absolutely gorgeous, and I feel like I'm in no position to replace the music already created for each specific instance (particularly Vortex Pinnacle and Grim Batol). I have been considering some Outlands dungeons, and a few Northrend ones, but no Cataclysm ones so far. I just don't see the need right now -- I have enough on my plate as it is!
Anything you'd like to add?
If you have an idea, pursue it. Even if it seems so ridiculously farfetched and overwhelming that you'll almost surely fail, there's always a chance you won't. If you don't try, then what have you got to show for yourself? I mean, my music is hardly polished, hardly perfect. Many people have argued with me that it's not even good at all, and chances are they're justified in their complaints. I know I'm probably never going to be a Blizzard composer, but hey, I kept pushing through, and it was one of the best decisions I ever made.
This little hobby of mine has helped improve my composition abilities by so much (I've only been writing music for about a year and a half), and it's brought me so much joy and entertainment. I can't recall how many times I've sat in my basement giggling to myself at the novelty of hearing my own music playing in my favorite dungeons, skipping raids so I can waltz around in RP gear in instances 60 levels lower than I am, and so on and so forth.
The best part, however, and this amazes and shocks me, is hearing that young people around my age have been inspired by the project to try writing music themselves or pursue their compositions more seriously. I got an email from a kid in Switzerland who told me that after hearing my music, he wanted to start making his own. I just sat there thinking, "Switzerland? How far away is that? I'm in Canada ... holy crap. Switzerland ..." I think that encouraged me to keep on improving the project more than any other message I've received in my inbox. So please, create!
And if you're interested in helping out with the project, please email me at Warcraftsoundtrackproject@gmail.com with whatever idea you might have, whether it be for music, track assignments, programming, anything! I want this to be more of a community project than just my own personal thing. I already have some collaborators helping me finish the remaining instances, but there's many more to go! I'm going to keep working on this music until I'm completely and utterly sick of it, at which point I'll pass it on to somebody else whom I trust with it. I don't intend to let this die, but grow better and better over time!
Thanks so much for taking the time and giving us the update, Jejin! If you would like to hear more of Jejin's work, you can check out the Youtube channel for the Warcraft Soundtrack Project, or download his works from Curse.com. World of WarCrafts spotlights art and creativity by WoW players, including arts and crafts, fan art, WoW-themed recipes, comics, cosplay, music and fan fiction. Show us how you express yourself by emailing email@example.com with your not-for-profit, WoW-inspired creations.