© 2024 WSHU
NPR News & Classical Music
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
89.9 FM is currently running on reduced power. 89.9 HD1 and HD2 are off the air. While we work to fix the issue, we recommend downloading the WSHU app.

Josh Sawyer and Alkemie create an immersive Medieval experience in 'Pentiment'

Obsidian Studios
Obsidian Studios

Pentiment, created by Josh Sawyer and a small team at Obsidian, is a mystery set during the transition from the Middle Ages to the early Renaissance in a small Bavarian town. It's a passion project for Josh, who's been wanting to create a game set in this remarkable time for years. To give players an immersive experience, Josh contacted Sian Ricketts of the early music ensemble Alkemie to ask if they'd be interested in providing the soundtrack. "Yes!" Was the immediate answer. I talked with Josh, as well as Alkemie founders Sian and Tracy Cowart about the process of blending Medieval music with 21st Century game design.

Pentiment takes the player back to this turbulent time to solve a murder through the questioning of townsfolk and clergy by the painter Andreas Mahler, whose mentor has been charged with the crime.

Tracy and Sian say the opportunity to reach a huge audience, who may never have heard early music before, was a great opportunity. They say they loved working on the soundtrack, which is grounded in history but not shackled by it.

Pentiment soundtrack cover art by Benjamin Vierling

The soundtrack is available digitally now, but a vinyl release is planned, featuring a painting by Benjamin Vierling which is a portrait of Andreas that includes symbols from the game, and Josh's cat, Sesame.

Episode tracklist:

all tracks created and performed by Alkemie

Pentiment: The Mob Pursues the Abbot; The Duke's Herald; The Body; Mythraeum; City of Melancholia B; Sister Amalie's First Vision (Quia Ergo Femina); Title Screen; City of Madness; A Deer's End; Flight from the Library

Stay Connected
Born in Madison, Wisconsin, Kate Remington joined WSHU in December of 2000, and she's been WSHU's Music Director since 2002.