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Performance Check: Colm McGuinness’s “Welcome to Wildemount”
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Performance Check: Colm McGuinness’s “Welcome to Wildemount”

Critical Role is Geek & Sundry’s live Dungeons & Dragons show, featuring Dungeon Master Matthew Mercer and his troupe of fellow voice actors. Catch them every Thursday night at 7:00 PM PT on the Geek & Sundry Twitch channel and on Alpha.

Fans of Critical Role express their love of the show and the cast in many different ways. Whether it’s fan art or cosplay or just jumping into Twitch chat every Thursday night, Critters express their enthusiasm with their own unique takes.

Colm McGuinness, a professional composer and PhD student in Ireland, used his considerable talents to turn his love of Critical Role into the stirring composition “Welcome to Wildemount.”

Created as a theme for the new campaign, the rousing strings and incredible vocals–all performed by Colm–are inspired by Matthew Mercer’s world of Exandria, specifically Wildemount. Colm has been a fan of Critical Role since 2015, beginning with the DnDiesel one-shot and then diving into the first campaign.

“I had no real idea of what D&D actually was,” Colm recalls. “Shamefully I must admit that I thought it was like a standard board game prior to watching the show, but it was like watching a group of friends just in an improv session with an awesome setting and story.”

When the second campaign was gearing up, Colm began working on the music in between his professional work. Similar to composing for video games, he began by familiarizing himself with the history and lore of Exandria.

“Luckily Matt is very descriptive about the world he’s created so I didn’t have to look far in terms of research,” says Colm. “I think a while back on Talks Machina he’d said that he’d based certain aspects of society in Wildemount on Eastern European influences, so I figured a folk-orchestral was the best route to go with.

“Tal’Dorei has always seemed like the more posh counterpart to the small instances of Wildemount shown in the first campaign, so I definitely wanted to explore a more primal kind of voicing for the new environment.”

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In fact, Colm not only performed the instruments himself, but the vocal tracks as well. “The vocals are six tracks of me doing a kind of ‘tribe-choir’ with a lot of reverb and minor panning around,” he says.

In addition to the Eastern European influences, Colm found inspiration for the piece in a few other places. “I definitely wanted to work Jason C. Miller‘s original main theme into the piece in some way, so you’ll hear it in some violin passages and towards the end.

“In terms of the performance, Tina Guo is a huge inspiration for me on the cello end of things, there’s so much power behind her bowing and I definitely wanted to implement that into the piece. I’ve received a ton of messages asking if I like the Witcher or Vikings soundtracks (which I adore), and there’s also a small Game of Thrones reference at 2:43 because I love Ramin Djawadi’s use of tremolo glissandi in the show. So in short, a lot inspired this piece!”

Colm welcomes anyone who would like to listen to or use the song in their own campaign to download it now.

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Featured Image: Meghan Pagliaroni (SmallTownInk)

Other Image: Colm McGuiness

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