A new video featuring a track from the upcoming Riders of Rohan expansion has been released today by Turbine. This track, titled “Learning to Ride”, we find is inspired by a specific experience concerning mounted combat within LOTRO.
From Chance Thomas,
“This track accompanies the player’s first attempt at horseback riding in the game. It’s basically a tutorial tune. Thus the gentle beginning, the gradually climbing harmonies, the simple arrangement, and the gradual tapering off at the end. It also marks our first introduction to Rohan’s riding motif.
The riding motif is typically played on the strings in the lower registers. It is a signature rhythmic riff that repeats at various points in the song. The idea is to convey a lively sense of galloping motion. The choice of low strings is due to the organic nature of the instruments. Their hollow wooden bodies resonate with a rich, natural energy in the lower registers. Not to mention the drawing of actual horse hair bows across the strings!
To complement the strings, two differing sizes of Bohdran are added to the percussion ensemble – one with a 12″ diameter and a tightly drawn head. The other is much larger, approx. 22″ in diameter with a more loosely drawn head. Also unique to our equine percussion ensemble are a horse whip and leather strapping sounds.
By now the players have made their way into Rohan proper, so you will notice some changes in instrumentation and tone. The fiddle takes on a prominent melodic role. The percussion and strings are loose and rustic. The brass adds girth to steady the arrangement. And when the song transitions from the timidity of learning to the joy of roaming freely, we bring in baritone guitar and mandolin too.
All of these elements work together to help us perceive an ongoing sense of forward momentum — mentally pulling us off the couch and into the saddle of our own fiery Rohirric steed.”