Andrew Prahlow's Banjo Makes 'Outer Wilds' Feel Like Home

Jun 27, 2019

Outer Wilds screenshot
Credit mobiusdigitalgames.com

Andrew Prahlow's first thought when he heard the description of Outer Wilds as a "backpacking adventure in space," was that it would be the perfect opportunity to use a plunky old banjo a friend had given him. Andrew was invited to compose the soundtrack for the game by his friend at Mobius Digital Games, Alex Beachum, and they agreed that the rustic home area of Outer Wilds needed a "homely" ensemble of guitar, banjo and harmonica. Of course, that changes when you set off on your adventure to nearby planets and moons.

The challenge of Outer Wilds is that while you're trying to discover what happened to an ancient race of beings called the Nomai, the sun wipes everything out with a supernova, and you're back in your home base of Timber Hearth beside a campfire where you can roast a marshmallow or two. 

Andrew's proud that he was able to use live recordings of his performances on guitar, banjo, harmonica and synths. He also recorded cellist David Tangney to add strings to the mix. Even Alex contributed as a whistler! Besides creating the homey sound for Timber Hearth, Andrew used a unique piano sound for the Nomai, and synths for the Quantum areas of the game. But no matter where your travels take you in the solar system, there's a subtle hint of home with the banjo theme from Timber Hearth.

Episode tracklist:

All tracks composed and performed by Andrew Prahlow

Outer WildsTimber Hearth; Main Title; Nomai; Castaways; Space; 22 Minutes; Giant's Deep; The Sun Station; The Uncertainty Principle; 14.3 Billion Years; Travelers (feat. Alex Beachum, whistler); Morning (feat. David Tangney, cello); Into the Wilds

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Thanks to Dick Roberts for production assistance and 

Korey Madson & Maike Eilert, White Bear PR