The following is from Jim Bonney, Music Director.
“Little Sisters’ Song”
I was thinking about ways to create depth in daily life in Rapture, and thought that the Little Sisters’ Home could use a little propaganda music… A song that would ease the minds of the citizens that little girls being taken from their families was really just another example of living the Objectivist’s Dream! So I took on the role of being the music producer who put together this totally phony recording session with a professional singer and a group of child singers, to create an idealistic musical conversation between “Mama Tenenbaum” and a group of fresh-faced, joyful little sisters.
The melody and lyric for the chorus came easily:
“We are free, free to be
Free to be what we want to be
Papa Ryan, Uncle Suchong, my sisters and me.
We can be what we want to be!”
Then I wrote verses that took a common childhood notions like “don’t take candy from strangers…” and turn it on its Objectivist head – so instead of “…because they could be bad people”, in this song it is “…because you don’t need charity.”
I played a rough version of the tune for Ken and he thought it was great. He created the spoken opening, and suggested I write an extended musical intro, in the traditional structure of a song from a musical of the 40’s or 50’s.
All that was left was to create the final track. Duncan Watt turned my lead sheet and rough MIDI sketch to a full orchestral arrangement, while producer Marc Lacuesta found a singer named Shelley Jennings to perform the “Mama Tenenbaum” part. The little sisters were performed by in-house talent: Sarah Rosa, Kayla Belmore, and Ashlee Flagg. I mixed all the tracks together, making sure that the transition from “spoken voice” to “singing voice” was appropriately mismatched, and antiquing it so it sounded like it had been spinning on repeat for days.
In the game, you only hear the end of this track… Though if you stay in that area long enough, it will start to play again…
“The Pie Song”
Joe Fielder and I were tasked with writing an anti-establishment tune, in the style of a 50’s folk revivalist. If it was going to be a pseudo-folk song, we knew it needed to be simple, and maybe even… Dare I say it… a little trite. We tried a bunch of different approaches, then decided that we needed a metaphor for the singer’s angst:
Ryan rewards those who are strong and able
While I work hard just putting food on the table
If the good life is dessert, then I gotta ask why
Why can’t I have a slice of that pie?
We tried several different approaches to the performance, but none of them were quite right. Enter Marc Lacuesta, who called a great singer/songwriter based in Nashville named Korby Lenker, and together we created our Rapture-version of a 50’s folk revivalist.
“Old Man Winter Jingle”
It was great fun making jingles for Burial at Sea – Episode One, and Ken asked if I could do one more for Episode Two. Jorge Lacera had come up with a slogan for his print ad: “Keep your cool with Old Man Winter” and Ken’s only request was that the tune include that in the lyric.
The concept was that the tune would start by establishing the “need” for the product, all uptempo and uptight:
Always hot and hurried like a rat-in-a-race?
Life can fly by at such a frantic pace!
Need to freeze the moment, put your worries on ice?
We got a plasmid for you that’s just the splice!
and then the product would resolve it with a lazy, easygoing feel, to compliment its character:
Chill out… Relax…
Be cooler than the coolest cats.
When things heat up don’t be a fool,
With Old Man Winter you can keep your cool.
I saved Jorge’s tag line for the very end of the ad.
Marc Lacuesta is not only a great producer but also a great singer and arranger, so he did the vocal arrangement, and hired 3 more singers to make up a jazzy vocal quartet; while I created the jazz quintet instrumental tracks to back them up. Joe Fielder knocked out a spoken section for us to slot in and Senior Sound Designer Jeff Seamster voiced the announcer.