INTERVIEW

Revisiting Sword & Sworcery: A Talk with Jim Guthrie

Words By: Lisa Mior
Published May 11, 2019

Sword & Sworcery was an indie title that sparked the hearts and minds of countless people, thanks to its engaging gameplay and melodious, ethereal soundtrack. From the original Mobile iOS release to the countless platforms the game made it too since it’s launch, the vivid music from Jim Guthrie that stuck in players’ minds long after the final credits ended helped to cement the game as a masterpiece.

The unique charm of Jim Guthrie’s soundtrack helped to tell the story in a way only music linked with gameplay could, relaying a lyrical and magical journey to save a land threatened by fear and despair. With the Nintendo Switch version recently hitting the shelves and a new release of the Sword and Sorcery Vinyl hitting the shelves, thanks to iam8bit, it was the perfect time to catch up Jim Guthrie and discuss the game, the soundtrack, and what people can expect when they throw this on the old turntable.

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Sword & Sworcery (Super Deluxe Edition) - image courtesy of iam8bit

CGMagazine: For people new to your music, how would you describe your sound?

Oh jeez, my sound…..Well, I’ve done a lot of stuff but I suppose it lives in this middle void of electro / acoustic, dark, pretty clouds of hooks, drones and tones.  

CGMagazine: How does it feel to have your music considered iconic by many gamers and lovers of the medium?

That’s a very nice thing to say.  If someone told me that 20 years ago, I’d say all sorts of silly things and try and change the subject but now I’m more inclined to give you a gentle handshake or hug and just say “thanks for saying."

CGMagazine: What do you hope the bonus tracks add to the overall listening experience?

Just perspective, really.  I’m so thrilled that all these artists took the time to mix my stuff and reimagine the tunes. It’s always exciting to hear what people will do.  Remixing can be really tough sometimes. You want to honour the original recording but you also want to sort of eff it up. It’s a fine line. I think they all killed it!

CGMagazine: What are your thoughts on companies like iam8bit elevating the collecting of game and geek media music?

I think it’s incredible.  The packages are all so beautiful.  And game music deserves the royal treatment so it’s nice to see someone stepping up and sparing no expense.  I’d consider this era a golden age for game soundtracks and iam8bit obviously agrees 🙂

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Sword & Sworcery (Super Deluxe Edition) - image courtesy of iam8bit

CGMagazine: What can we expect from your future projects? Should we be on the lookout for more game soundtracks?

Yes I’m actually working on a few different things right now.  It’s actually a little nuts but I’ll be able to share soon. I’m lucky because with every new project I’m being asked to “do that thing you do” but there’s always lots of room for me to try new things.

CGMagazine: For people, the first release of the album was back when Sword and Sworcery first launched. How will this release differ, and what can fans expect when they first set it on the turntable?

Well, first of all, if there’s a blackout people will be able to find the album because IT’S GLOW-IN-THE-DARK!  Sonically it’s not much different BUT it’s the first time the entire OST has been released on vinyl. Up until this point, I had been pressing a version that was shorter and flowed as a single slab of vinyl.  But now all 27 tracks are here along with remixes and incredible packaging. If that wasn’t enough it also comes with a Moon Phase Slipmat. It really is the definitive version of this soundtrack. It’s for the super fan, but it’s also just in time for any newcomers who picked up the game on the recently released Switch version.  For me, personally, I’m just blown away by the whole thing. I still get messages to this day from fans old and new saying how much the game and soundtrack means to them. I can’t ask for much more than that. Cosmic friends forever?