Jeremy Soule is not thrilled by the news of a Skyrim concert.
Earlier today, Bethesda announced Skyrim in Concert – an orchestral concert dedicated to the music of Skyrim.
The concert has been organised to celebrate the release of the Skyrim Special Edition but the after getting wind of the news, Skyrim’s composer Jeremy Soule is not happy.
In a Facebook post that was written shortly after seeing the story, Soule wrote:
“Concert? What concert???
Anyone that knows me also knows that I care passionately about the integrity of my music. Skyrim took years for me to compose and it was constructed very carefully. Today, I’m seeing reports of a concert of ‘Skyrim’. This is the first I’ve heard of it. For the record, this concert has nothing to do with me, nor are they are using any of my original scores. They had to transcribe whatever notation they are performing by ear from the recordings. This is a flawed process as transcriptions are always fraught with errors. To be sure, I don’t know who these people are and I don’t endorse a concert that is trading on my name and music that has absolutely no oversight or involvement on my part. For my fans, I just want you to know what you’re getting if you pay to attend this concert. Be wary.”
Further in the thread, he acknowledged that “Skyrim belongs to Bethesda. They can do whatever they wish with this IP. However, I have a right to tell those that do care about my work to say whether or not I’m involved.”
He describes the concert as “a total transcription job,” and cites the integrity of the score as the point of contention, using John Williams’ score for Star Wars to illustrate his point.
“Star Wars scores are rented (meaning they come from an official source) and John Williams has had his hand, literally, in the making of those concert works.”
Reading through the thread, there seems to be some confusion on Soule’s part as to Bethesda’s involvement in the concert, but his main issue seems to be that he wasn’t consulted on the project.
“I never complain about covers of my music, but when they are charging fans for an experience that’s implied to be authentic, the fans deserve to know what this is.”
Bethesda’s press release does make it clear that the music is based on his original score using some new arrangements, but it seems as though Soule doesn’t agree with this on general principle.
“When the London Symphony Orchestra completely changed ‘Far Horizons’ B section, I didn’t think of it as a compliment. Do we go around changing Beethoven for fun? But if the composer is alive, I guess his music is fair game.”
Bethesda is well within their rights here, and if Soule’s complaint is simply that he wasn’t asked to participate and that the score is being rearranged, then it’s a matter of courtesy that he’s taken as an affront.
We’ve reached out to Jeremy Soule for comment.
For the musician’s among you, do you think he has a point? Chime in below.