It’s great to see the internet abuzz with happiness regarding a long awaited follow-up (prequel) to Beyond Good and Evil.
Interestingly, the world and its culture is very much drawn from South Asian/East Asian traditions.
Inspired by this, friends of mine and I got together to collaborate and write music inspired by System 3 (The Surya System). All of us have one foot in ‘Western Classical’ musical traditions, with the other foot in South Asian musical disciplines (Carnatic, Hindustani….). The diversity of our musical upbringing helped us to mesh together different styles and produce the first piece.
The ‘Prelude’ features Ainkaran Sivaaji on Carnatic violin.
Here’s how Ainkaran described his process of composition and performance:
“The phrases improvised on the Carnatic violin here were inspired by grand awakening, gentle arousal, the wisdom and brisk pace of elephants and auspicious sunny dawns, which I readily associate with the deity Ganesh or Pillaiyar. I wrote in ragas like Hamsadhwani, Nalinakanthi, Naatai, Gambeera Naatai and Kalyani as well as the Hindustani raga Bageshri for these evoke many soundscapes that are musically linked to Ganesh. They remind me of the ancient temples of Sri Lanka.”
As for my process, I wanted Ainkaran to have the freedom to improvise around his chosen ragas.
I liked the idea of having a suite or canon of pieces. I wanted there to be an opening prelude to the whole suite that gave the listener a feeling of the universe, peace and freedom.
Ainkaran supplied me with almost an hours worth of stems that he had improvised freely. His stems were all recorded via IPhone, and we aim to re-record them. However, he did manage to capture some beautiful birdsong in some of his stems!
I rearranged his stems to craft a gentle melody that evoked a feeling of mysticism, wonder and the expanse of the universe. Once I had rearranged his stems, I added a supporting orchestral arrangement as well as santoor solo. I also included a reharmonised version of the Menu Jingle from Beyond Good and Evil I.
We hope you enjoy our efforts so far! We will be adding more pieces to the suite as we learn more about the game 🙂
You can find Aink and his work on :