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Hail the nightmare: Music, sound and materiality in Bloodborne

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This article investigates the usage of music and sound in the 2015 video game Bloodborne, exploring how the game’s aesthetics of difficulty and maximalism exert a disruptive influence for a struggling player. In particular, it focuses on how the soundtrack attenuates the series of escalating monster boss battles around which the game is structured. Combining ‘Gothic’ and ‘Weird’ horror tropes with the techniques of musical modernism, these composite ‘musical monsters’ gesture, disturbingly, towards new kinds of monstrous materialities that challenge a simple distinction between sound and image.
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Keywords: Gothic; Weird; film music; horror; modernism; monsters; video game music

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 0000000096069301Open University

Publication date: August 1, 2020

More about this publication?
  • The Soundtrack is a multi-disciplinary journal which brings together research in the area of music and sound in relation to film and other moving image media. A complex cultural, technological, industrial and artistic phenomenon, sound-with-moving image is a rich area for analysis, investigation and speculation. We encourage writing that is accessible to audiences from a diversity of intellectual backgrounds and disciplines as well as providing a forum for practitioners. The Soundtrack's aim is to nurture this new and expanding area of academic investigation in dialogue with soundtrack producers of all kinds.
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