The music that comes out of the Destiny franchise has been consistently impressive throughout the series’ nearly seven-year lifespan, with the composers who work with Bungie capturing the often-spooky ongoing narrative of undead superheroes fighting alien gods. The next Destiny 2 expansion, 2022’s The Witch Queen, is going to bring together story threads that span Destiny’s entire life, which has inspired a fan-made soundtrack that’s so good, it sounds like Bungie could have created it.
The soundtrack is called Savathûn, named for the evil Hive god who has existed as an antagonist since the release of Destiny 2–and who has been a central figure since the Forsaken expansion. Savathûn is the Witch Queen to which the next expansion refers, and she has ties to Oryx, the villain players defeated back during the Destiny 1 expansion The Taken King.
What’s remarkable about the soundtrack, created by freelance artist and musician Benjamin Noisette is how well it takes into account Destiny’s musical history, while also telling a story of its own. Noisette’s soundtrack calls back major elements of Destiny music, linking The Taken King and Savathûn’s Song, a tune that first showed up in Shadowkeep and which has some threatening in-world story implications, and mixing them with the soundtrack’s original compositions.
“I wanted (the soundtrack) to tell a story through music, and I wanted the listener to see it as they listened,” Noisette, who lives in Paris, said in an email interview with GameSpot. “At this point, I very much wanted to include nods to existing Destiny themes, and I wanted it to sound like something that could belong to the soundtracks, while maintaining some sort of identity. I didn’t want it to be all bombastic and a series of boss themes either. It needed the right amount of emotion, the right amount of desperation and nostalgia.”
While Noisette explained that he wanted his soundtrack to feel like it could tell a story, he didn’t want to impose that story on the listener.
“The storyline within the music is not something specific–I wanted the listener to make it their own, be it something they want to hear while battling a boss in a raid, or something they hear while watching Savathûn’s story evolve,” he said. “Of course, I had specific ideas for specific tracks. ‘Sathona’ was the idea of an origin story, like “beauty, corrupted.’ ‘Swordbreaker’ and ‘Pro Regina’ were quite obviously more action-focused, for instance, which I wanted to balance with more nuanced tracks. These two tracks were like anthems in my mind.”
In addition to Destiny-inspired tracks, the 30-year-old Noisette has created music tracks in tribute to other games, like Horizon: Zero Dawn and Detroit: Become Human. While he’s always been a musician, having studied cello since the age of 6, Noisette said he’d never considered as a possible career. Instead, he spent the last decade working as a freelance motion graphics designer and 3D modeler.
But the expansive Savathûn project came out of the last year and the global pandemic that has marked it, he said.
“Last year was pretty rough, for obvious reasons, as I’m sure it was on a lot of people,” Noisette explained. “Lockdown didn’t really help with the fact that I was struggling to keep interest in what I was doing and I was increasingly desperate for a change, so I quit my job.”
Noisette said he’s now working to become a full-time composer and that he hopes to do more tribute work related to video games–and possibly do it for a living. As for what’s next, he’s considering exploring different musical genres, while possibly taking on inspiration from other well-known composers, like Doom Eternal’s Mick Gordon.
“I like the idea of writing original music to beloved games for now, and I want to do more,” he said. “Hopefully some day in the future, I might be able to do that for a living.”