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(I'm sorry I can't recall who asked me to post this!)

Alongside my default playlist of 8+ hours of rain and surf sounds, I've accumulated an instrumental playlist for my World of Warcraft novel Deceiver that might serve others needing to write about despair, unrequited love, existential angst, and similarly-cheerful themes.

I haven't listed conductors/performers if other than the composer. Anything marked with an asterisk is on the playlist twice.


Airbase, Cherubini, et al.
"Ocean Realm (Kil'jaeden Remix)"
SK Gaming World Firsts (DJ Bluerose)

The only non-official .mp3 here, the only one specifically connected to the Warcraft universe, and the only one with words. Years ago my friend jacqland extracted the audio from the HD video of the SK Gaming World First Kil'jaeden defeat, and other than my standard surf-and-rain playlist (which also burbles while I sleep), this is by far my most-played track. (If anyone's curious, I did purchase all three songs used in the mix, though none of them have ever sounded quite right without Kil'jaeden rumbling "Oblivion!" and "Destruction!" *g*)

Barber, Samuel
"Adagio For Strings, (Op 11)"     

For years, this song has seemed to me to be the absolute distillation—into heartachingly musical form—of yearning and regret. (Barber apparently grew to resent the work, as it overshadowed all of what he thought were his better works.)

Budd, Harold
"Dark Star" and "Abandoned Cities"  from Abandoned Cities

Long, low volume, ominously droning ambient pieces.

Eno, Brian
"LUX 3" and LUX 4" from LUX
"Theme from 'Creation' "  from Music for Films 3   
"The Lost Day"  from On Land   

Eno has been one of my favorite musicians for (*gulp*)  35+ years now.  Most of his electronica is too light-infused to work for this playlist, but the first three listed do a good job of leavening the playlist with a thoughfulness that invokes Netherstorm, and "The Lost Day" is as unsettling as the Harold Budd pieces.

Liszt, Franz   
"Nuages gris, S. 199"  from The 50 Darkest Pieces of Classical Music   

For a long time this was the "Scourge invasion" piece; it's now shifted to being the "assault Arthas in Icecrown" piece.

Pärt, Arvo   
"Pari intervallo"  from Light   
"Für Alina: 1"  and "Für Alina: 2" from Alina - Spiegel im Spiegel    
"Cantus In Memory Of Benjamin Britten For Strings & One Bell"  from Fratres        
"Trisagion"  from Litany       
"Festina Lente"*  from Miserere           
"Tabula Rasa - Silentium"  from Sanctuary
"Tabula Rasa"  from Tabula Rasa
"Spiegel im Spiegel, For Violin and Piano"  from The Very Best of Arvo Pärt

Pärt ties with Prokofiev as my favorite classical composer. For me the appeal of most of his music is that it often manages to be simultaneously full of both sorrow and hope. (The Cantus is the piece I'd want played at my own funeral.)

For me "Trisagion" is Kael's theme music as a character; though I don't necessarily like assigning adjectives because they can be limiting, for me the piece has an overall feel of "heroic melancholy" interspersed with sections that remind me of the panicked, futile struggle of an animal in a trap.

"Spiegel im Spiegel 2" is a perfect Kael > Jaina theme.  Listening to it as I write this, I can imagine the piano part as Jaina and the violin part as Kael: the mostly cheerful and diligent piano melody seems almost unrelated to the mournful strings that accompany and quietly echo it. I didn't necessarily have this music in mind when I was writing their scenes (and at any rate the playlist is on shuffle & repeat) but what I hear in the music is completely how I see that unrequited relationship.

Satie, Erik   
"3 Gnossiennes"   from Satie: Piano Music [Disc 2]   
"Six gnossiennes: Gnossienne No. 1"*
"Six gnossiennes: Gnossienne No. 3"
"Six gnossiennes: Gnossienne No. 4"

These aren't necessarily sad pieces, but for me they have a certain je ne sais quoi that suits Silvermoon and the quel'dorei / sin'dorei in general.

Stars of the Lid   
"Even If You're Never Awake"*  and "Tippy's Demise"*  from  … And Their Refinement of the Decline   

A recent discovery, this ambient drone music perfectly captures the mood I want to be in while writing Deceiver.

One piece that was on the playlist for a while was Mozart's "Masonic Funeral Music in C Minor, K. 477 (Maurerische Trauermusic)."  There are parts of it that are perfect for Dalaran and Northrend, but ultimately it felt too bouncy compared with the other pieces. I also had "Murder" from the 1997 Berserk anime OST in the playlist for a while as well.


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