Gaelic music takes centre stage in video game set in 18th century Scotland

Music composed by Simple Minds bass player uses homegrown talent in gaming first

Simple Minds bass player Ged Grimes has composed and produced an authentic soundtrack with Gaelic artists and traditional musicians for a new video game set in 18th century Scotland, the sequel to the highly successful Bard’s Tale from the late 1980s.

Dundee born Ged Grimes was responsible for sourcing musical talent, composing and producing the soundtrack to The Bard’s Tale IV Barrows Deep in a gaming first which features Scottish traditional and Gaelic music at the heart of the game to propel the storyline and characters.

A breadth of Gaelic artists, who span generations, collaborated with Grimes to record an authentic soundtrack for the game which uses a central character, The Bard, to tell the story of life in ancient Scotland through a virtual Highland landscape.

Talent ranges from 16-year old Peigi Barker, who was the voice of Young Merida in Disney’s hit children’s film Brave, to Scottish piping sensation and Gaelic singer Rona Lightfoot, aged 82, who brings over five decades of music experience and talent to the game’s soundtrack and voiceover. Lightfoot boasts a successful career in Gaelic music, becoming the first and only female piper to win a major piping competition.

Grimes’ soundtrack features more than 30 songs for the game from Scotland’s Gaelic community, including a 40 strong Gaelic choir.

Commenting on the launch of the Bard’s Tale IV Barrows Deep, composer and producer Ged Grimes said: “Scotland’s traditional and Gaelic music is an intrinsic part of our history and culture. Its beautiful melodies reach deep into our souls and its magical songs, passed down through the centuries, tell stories of a proud ancient civilisation.

“When composing the scores for the Bard’s Tale, I wanted to capture the breadth of outstanding voices and musicianship that exists in my homeland and create a soundtrack fit for the Bard which reflected Scotland’s unique musical heritage. These ancient songs tell us about how life was lived long ago but can also give us wisdom, vision and hope for the future.”

The Bard’s Tale IV Barrows Deep will mark the 30th anniversary of the original 1980s Bard’s Tale game. It uses 3D reconstruction to transport gamers into a virtual 18th century world of fantasy role play in the Highlands where they must navigate maze-like dungeons and battle against monsters, beasts and brigands.

The soundtrack, which will also be released as a separate feature to the game, has been developed over the last three years to encapsulate the Gaelic essence of Scotland. A live show of the Bard’s Tale IV Barrows Deep incorporating the game, music and voice acting from the game is being planned for 2019.

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Ged Grimes Music