Understanding the Minecraft Soundtrack | Volksgeist
If there is a game that I have an ungodly amount of hours in, it’s most likely a tie between the Fallout franchise and Minecraft. As a kid growing up, I played Minecraft with my friend Will for hours on end, while we built towns and cities together in a single-player world while taking turns. It was a time that was filled with joy, to say the least. One area of Minecraft that Will and I always enjoyed was not only the game itself but the soundtrack of it. Above is a video from Volksgeist that details the story of Minecraft’s soundtrack, which can be read down below.
The soundtrack of the 2011 Mojang video game Minecraft was composed by German musician Daniel Rosenfeld, better known as C418. The game’s soundtrack is instrumental ambient music, with a particular sound to it that’s distinctive compared to other games.
It has been praised by critics; in 2011, the video game blog Kotaku chose the soundtrack as one of the best video game soundtracks of that year. Minecraft’s soundtrack was released across two soundtrack albums, Minecraft – Volume Alpha (2011), and Minecraft – Volume Beta (2013). Both albums include music featured in the game, as well as other music included in trailers, and instrumentals that were not included in the game’s final release. In 2015, Rosenfeld hinted at a potential upcoming third album for Minecraft’s soundtrack. In 2017, Rosenfeld confirmed the future release, claiming the album “is still far from done”.
In a panel at MineCon in 2012, Rosenfeld stated that he has had a long-term interest in video games, and was involved with several video game communities. He met Markus Persson in an Internet Relay Chat (IRC), and began composing music for Minecraft when the game was in its very early stages as a tech demo. The two shared an interest in Aphex Twin and exchanged each other’s projects. Both were impressed by each other’s work, and eventually, Persson chose to pair Rosenfeld’s music with his game.
On the topic of the music’s minimalism, Rosenfeld has stated that it was unavoidable, as Minecraft has a terrible sound engine. The ambient music style of the soundtrack has been compared to the works of Brian Eno, Erik Satie, Aphex Twin, and Vangelis. In 2018, The Boar described the soundtrack’s composition as nostalgia in its purest form.
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