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Fantasy Symphony No.1 in D minor, "Dragonborn" (Skyrim)


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Dear Friends,


I am so grateful to all Reaper Forum members for your support and help with "Legends: Fantasy Violin" and "Excalibur" releases, and I am proud and happy to have prepared a new musical experience that I would love to share with you! During the past 10 months, I have been writing a fantasy symphony, combining the traditional musical language and techniques with fantasy elements, themes, and sounds. The inspiration for this work came from Skyrim, video game world of fantasy with incredible gaming aesthetics and profound mythology. The power and missions of the main character, Dragonborn, became my inspiration for this work, Symphony No.1 in D minor "Dragonborn". The symphony is in 4 movements, each featuring different atmosphere and characters, that are united through motives, rhythms, and themes to create a symphonic portrait of Dragonborn and the external and internal realities of being immersed in the world of fantasy.




I started a Kickstarter project to record, produce, and release the symphony in December - as a CD and digital download featuring live and synthetic instruments. This is the first composition of such complexity and scale I have ever written, and your support means the world to me. Please visit the project at https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/okrusko/fantasy-symphony-no1-dragonborn-album-release to learn more, and THANK YOU so much for your enthusiasm, help, advice, and inspiration.


Thank you!

Julia Okrusko

Violinist & Composer




Dear friends,


I wanted to thank you for welcoming the new fantasy symphony with so much encouragement and support! Thanks to you, we have already raised 17% and are on a great track to our project goal, and I wanted to thank you for being there and for making this music possible! I also wanted to share some of my music with you and wish you a great weekend!




Julia :)*







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"inspired by" ... I don't believe a licensing agreement in necessary.  I like what I've heard.  If anything Bethesda Game Studios should consider licensing the music for one of their projects.  ... maybe the next Elder Scrolls

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Thank you so much for visiting the project! - and thank you for a great question about using imagery from Bethesda (Elder Scrolls is made by them). I would never think about using Skyrim footage in any of the videos, actually, but the Bethesda Video Policy now permits in-game materials created by user to be made public (and even monetized). All that I found at http://www.bethblog.com/bethesda-video-policy/and decided that since the symphony is definitely a fan tribute if anything (at least I feel like a fan :) ...I went ahead to create the visuals for this music. I think it is important to show some of the real Skyrim in this case because many of my friends are not gamers (although they are into symphonic music), and I was hoping to give them a chance to learn about Skyrim maybe for the first time, - I wanted it to reflect to some degree what inspired the actual music, too. I wouldn't be worried about Bethesda being upset with this, but if that would happen I would make sure their rules are followed, of course! In the meantime I think that the creators of Skyrim may just feel pleased knowing that their game inspires all kinds of creativity in many of its fans! :)

I hope that makes sense, but I am very grateful for your input and advice too, - and thank you so much again!

Julia :)


Dear friends,


I wanted to share with you a video just released today - it's a live concert recording of "Spellbound Dream", performed by Claflin Hill Symphony Orchestra and me as part of "Legends: Fantasy Violin" premiere.



This recording is very dear to me - not only because it was the first time that a symphony orchestra performed my work, but also because it is an expression of your support and your influence in making fantasy music possible. Initially created as a track for violin and midi orchestra, Spellbound Dream was a soundtrack for "Legends: Fantasy Violin" Kickstarter project video in 2013, and thanks to 405 Kickstarter backers it was released as part of a new fantasy music CD and digital album, orchestrated for symphony orchestra, and performed in concert as part of Legends fantasy music suite for solo violin and orchestra. Spellbound Dream was also presented live during FantasyCon shows, featured in visual media productions, and received a nomination with Hollywood Music in Media Awards. All of this was possible thanks to you, and I am so grateful for your continued support and help with creating and performing fantasy music. I hope that you will enjoy this video, and if you would like to have the album version of Spellbound Dream, I have created a Soundcloud track you could download and share freely, at https://soundcloud.com/juliaokrusko/spellbound-dream-julia-okrusko


I want to THANK YOU for supporting my new fantasy symphony project and raising it to 22% during this weekend! Thank you for sharing it with your friends and family, and thank you for making this music possible! I am so happy and excited, and so grateful for your support. THANK YOU!


Julia <3


KICKSTARTER: Fantasy Symphony No.1 in D minor, 'Dragonborn"





Dear friends,


Thank you so much for supporting the Fantasy Symphony No.1 "Dragonborn" album release Kickstarter! Thanks to you, we already raised 26%, and we are on a great track to our goal!


I wanted to share with you today's interview published by Bedrock Games about this symphony, talking about the musical architecture of the piece, and creative process of writing a musical work inspired by Skyrim. You could visit the Bedrock Blog at http://thebedrockblog.blogspot.com/2015/10/dragonborn-interview-with-julia-okrusko.html to read more, and I am including a copy of the interview below as well.


I would be very grateful for your support to Fantasy Symphony No.1, "Dragonborn" - Album Release project on Kickstarter; it runs between October 2nd and November 1st and can be found at https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/okrusko/fantasy-symphony-no1-dragonborn-album-release


Thank you very much again for your continued support and help making fantasy music possible!







Julia Okrusko is an award winning violinist/composer, a member of the New England String Quartet, and has appeared as a violinist on several albums. She also composed Legends: Fantasy Violin and Excalibur: Fantasy Violin, producing both through successful kickstarter campaigns. Now she has a new Kickstarter for an intriguing symphony called Dragonborn. I am a big fan of Julia’s music, and used one of her tracks from Fantasy Violin in our Sertorius preview (this year she wrote and recorded a new track just for Ogre Gate). Julia is also a gamer and much of her inspiration comes from fantasy online gaming and the worlds they create. When I found out about Dragonborn, I decided to do an interview to learn more. I was particularly interested in this project because it is a four movement symphony.


You can learn about the Dragonborn Kickstarter here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/okrusko/fantasy-symphony-no1-dragonborn-album-release


Brendan Davis: You have a new Kickstarter for a symphony called Dragonborn. Can you tell me a little about the project and what inspired it?


Julia Okrusko: This symphony is inspired by Skyrim (video game). I was captivated by the beauty of Skyrim's fantasy world, by its atmosphere, music, gaming aesthetics, and mythology. I was inspired by the role of Dragonborn, and I wanted to write a piece of music that would reflect my admiration for Dragonborn's power and missions, and share my journey in Skyrim. I feel enormous gratitude to the creators of the game for this incredible experience and inspiration.


BD: What drew you to the violin and why is it a good vehicle for these fantasy and gaming inspired projects?


JO: I have been a violinist for 25 years, and violin is the instrument which I introduced as a key element in "Legends: Fantasy Violin". I have been composing for various instruments, but violin remains one of the most important and expressive parts in my orchestration for concert music and soundtracks. In the symphony, there are numerous violin solos, and throughout the piece the violin sections are blended as live mixes, allowing it to lead the recording through multi-voice performance as parts within the orchestra. The violin is an instrument that expresses my own musical identity, and it took a prominent part in the musical texture of the symphony.


BD: What does the Kickstarter help you do in terms of funding?


JO: With the help of Kickstarter backers, the symphony can be released as a CD and digital download featuring live and synthetic instruments. Kickstarter support would allow for recording, mixing, mastering, cover design, and the manufacturing of the discs.


BD: You talk about symphonies and the sonata in particular on your kickstarter. Can you explain these musical forms and why they appealed to you?


JO: As a classically trained performer, I am actively involved in a number of musical projects featuring different styles and applications, including soundtracks, classical concerts, new academic music premieres and recordings. Through experiencing the diversity of methods in musical composition and production, I am developing the approach to musical architecture, and as part of this development I wanted to employ a musical form that could internalize the image of Dragonborn and the meaning of his presence in Skyrim. In my mind, the stylistics of Skyrim and the powers and choices of Dragonborn project an image of great and legendary organization, and as a musician, I connected this image with the musical architecture of a symphony. I was inspired specifically by the traditionally established symphony form, and I felt that an older model of musical organization would convey and support the atmosphere of Skyrim. A prominent part of the symphony, the sonata form is a large musical structure that became universal in the late 18th century. This form is centered around a tonal and thematic conflict between two subjects that are presented in the exposition part of the sonata form, elaborated and contrasted in the development, and resolved harmonically and thematically in the recapitulation. I felt that the sonata form would create a great structure for presentation of Dragonborn in the first movement, and that it would lay the proper stylistic foundation for the entire work.


BD: Dragonborn will have four movements. Can you explain the process of writing each movement and how you organize them into a complete symphony?


JO: The process of writing the symphony was influenced by my performing experiences—work in the orchestras where I get to play the symphonies of great composers. Until now, I have professionally experienced symphony from the point of performance, and it was this internal exploration that taught me how material can be developed to convey the intended artistic effects. I also wanted to explore the management of time within a large symphonic work—I wanted to unfold the musical material with timing that would be familiar to the flow of the game itself. The construction of the symphony is based on Allegro-Adagio-Scherzo-Finale movement layout, and each of the four movements features different atmosphere and characters that are united through instrumental and vocal motives, rhythm, and musical references. During the course of the Kickstarter campaign I will be sharing audio sketches and notes on specific elements within the symphony.


BD: What can listeners expect to hear when the project is complete?


JO: The listeners can expect to hear an original symphony in four movements for orchestra and choir, recorded with live and synthetic instruments. The musical language of the symphony employs a combination of classical music techniques and fantasy themes, sounds, and effects, to create a reflection of being immersed in the world of fantasy.

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Thank you so much for supporting and for helping to spread the word! We have reached 28% of our goal, and are moving forward with you help! Thank you!! Julia :)*


Dear friends,


I wanted to thank you for welcoming the symphony inspired by Skyrim, and to invite you to join the Kickstarter project to release this new work, Symphony No.1 in D minor, "Dragonborn" - you could visit the project at https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/okrusko/fantasy-symphony-no1-dragonborn-album-release


For those of you who would like to hear some of the musical sketches, I have created a Soundcloud fragment which you could listen to, download, and share if you would like! This fragment is taken from the 1st Movement of the symphony, and it shows some of the thematic elements and atmospheres of the second subject group within the movement.




Thank you for your support and help spreading the word about this project, and thank you for becoming a part of it!





Hello everyone! Thank you so much for supporting the Dragonborn Symphony and joining the project! I wanted to post a small update here and let you know that we have added an all-digital tier including the full symphony, "Legends: Fantasy Violin", and "Excalibur" downloads.




Thank you very much for making fantasy music possible!




Dear friends, I wanted to share some of the artwork from the fantasy Symphony No.1 in D minor, "Dragonborn" Kickstarter.

Please visit the project to learn more, and thank you so much for you support!





Dear all, I wanted to thank you for joining the fantasy symphony kickstarter project, and share with you some more of the artwork and a musical fragment which you are welcome to download and share freely. We are 49% funded with 15 days to go, and I wanted to thank you for helping to spread the word about this music, and to ask you to share it with your friends who might like to support it!




You could hear the musical fragment of the symphony at https://soundcloud.com/juliaokrusko/fantasy-symphony-no1-in-d-minor-dragonborn-fragment-inspired-by-skyrim


Please visit the Kickstarter project at https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/okrusko/fantasy-symphony-no1-dragonborn-album-release to learn more and join!


I also wanted to reach out to everyone who uses fantasy and medieval music in their gaming sessions and videos, and share with you two fantasy music tracks for violin and orchestra - Tavern Dance and Northern Star, from "Legends: Fantasy Violin" album. They are available to download freely from my website at http://www.juliaokrusko.com/free-downloads.html and I would be happy to send out free permissions for use in gaming and visual media projects. If you are interested in using these tracks in your own productions, just send me an e-mail!

Thank you!♫



Dear friends, thank you so much for supporting the fantasy symphony album! We are at the moment 85% funded with 10 days to go, and I wanted to share with you a new gaming trailer for the symphony, produced by Shinji72 in support of this project:


Please visit and join the campaign at https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/okrusko/fantasy-symphony-no1-dragonborn-album-release

Thank you for your support!

Julia ♫♫


Dear friends,

Thank you so much for supporting the fantasy symphony Kickstarter! - we are 102% funded and we have 3 days left with the project - please learn more and join at https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/okrusko/fantasy-symphony-no1-dragonborn-album-release/


I can't wait for the release! Thank you for making this music possible!

Julia ♫â

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