Welcome to Right on Cue, the podcast where we interview film, TV, and video game composers about the origins and nuances of their latest works, as well as select commentaries from some of the score’s most important tracks.
Earlier this month, the 2022 Grammys ran its first-ever category for Best Score Soundtrack for Video Games and Other Interactive Media — a long-overdue recognition of the value of video game scores as a legitimate method of expression, and a source of some incredible music. And among an initial crop of stellar composers offering intriguing sounds to all manner of video games big and small, it was a DLC, of all things, that took home the prize: the Dawn of Ragnarok DLC for Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla.
While the base game put you in the shoes of a Viking descendant of the Norse god Odin, Dawn of Ragnarok puts you right in Odin’s shoes, telling a mournful, mythological tale of revenge that required a huge, bombastic sound suffused with Nordic muscle. Stephanie Economou, fresh off previous Valhalla DLC The Siege of Paris, took to that assignment with her signature gusto: She recruited black metal band Wilderun to contribute tracks and give her an education on the genre itself, her frequent collaborator Ari Mason to contribute vocals, and the show-stopping title theme saw her collaborating with Assassin’s Creed musical titan Einar Selvik.
It’s a pulse-pounding, immersive score that’s as big as its game.
Stephanie Economou sat down to talk with us the week before the Grammys to discuss the building of Assassin’s Creed Valhalla: Dawn of Ragnarok, how it dovetailed into her growth as a composer, and how it feels to be the first female Grammy nominee for Best Original Video Game Score. Plus, exclusive commentaries from some of the score’s most pulse-pounding cues.
You can find Stephanie Economou at her official website here.
Assassin’s Creed Valhalla: Dawn of Ragnarok is currently available to play on PC, Xbox, and PlayStation. You can also listen to the score on your preferred music streaming service courtesy of Lakeshore Records.