StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty
StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty
Track Notes
Wings of Liberty
StarCraft II was announced to the world in Seoul, South Korea in 2008 with the help of the central theme of this overture, which was composed specifically for the event. It was performed by a live orchestra and choir for thousands of excited players. Later, more melodies were added to the mix, representing both the original releases, and several new themes created for Wings of Liberty and StarCraft: Ghost.
Public Enemy
The many sides of Jim Raynor are explored in this montage. The square-neck dobro and harmonica sing of his central character with overtones of a Western tale. His complicated romantic life and the despondency over the loss and betrayal of Sarah Kerrigan are seen through an empty glass and a tender acoustic guitar.
Heaven's Devils
The terran marines are a rough bunch who live their space-trucker-cowboy lives with a soundscape of "freedom rock" and other pulse-quickening anthems, so the music to accompany the player's terran-centric missions is of a similar spirit. This cue owes its heritage directly to the musical style first established in the original StarCraft.
The Deal
One of the first pieces composed for StarCraft II, this score provided the adrenaline rush that drove the original teaser video released in 2008. In the final release, players learn of the conditions of Tychus Findlay's release from incarceration, and his own "deal with the devil".
Escape from Mar Sara
Pursued in midair by the zerg, a brief but epic battle ensues ship-to-ship until Matt Horner can effect an escape for Raynor and his men aboard the Hyperion. In this same moment, they realize that the Queen of Blades has returned. All forces of the orchestra are brought to bear, along with some of the most intense choral riffs in the entire score.
Zeratul's Warning
Lost in his thoughts, Jim Raynor is startled by an unexpected encounter with his wise old friend. Hints of the protoss theme betray Zeratul's presence before he materializes, and begin to tell of the ancient prophecy which has brought them together.
The Prophecy
Alien symbols from long ago foretell of dire times to come. Zeratul's soliloquy about the fate of everything is interrupted by a hydralisk attack, and a confrontation with Kerrigan as the Queen of Blades. Haunting vocals further underscore the concept of the protoss and their place in the universe, leading to Zeratul's fight with the zerg and Kerrigan. The 78 players in the Skywalker Symphony Orchestra make each attack more violent than the last, and help Kerrigan's own prophetic words bore into Zeratul's soul.
Players squaring off in the protoss-centric maps are taken on a timbral journey through the collective cultural memories of this noble race. Orchestral strings, chimes, and a haunting choral background are key colors in this palette. This music was also some of the earliest composed for StarCraft II, and was the accompaniment to the first public gameplay footage.
I, Mengsk
Emperor Arcturus and his son Valerian have been manipulating the fates of millions, all within a strange context of sentimental art and tradition. Hence, the beautiful "Aria" is heard in the background while often horrific choices are made and commands given. (It was also featured in the original StarCraft with female vocals and a different arrangement.) This cue is couched in a montage that explores both the exploits and the devastation left in Mengsk's wake.
Better Tomorrow
A dream of what could be as expressed by Matt Horner is juxtaposed with a moralistic choice to be made by both Raynor and the players when Tosh brings them the latest news of the Dominion. Such is the case when the music shifts from dire to hopeful, then ultimately to a prayer of absolution for all.
Card to Play
Terrans and zerg clash on a vast battlefield, easily the bloodiest conflict of the campaign. General Warfield is severely wounded, leaving open the question of their very survival. Along with the epic underscore of battle, where a literal wall of orchestral might bears down on the fighters, a musical clue begins to emerge, which might indeed reveal whether the General has a card left to play.
The Hive
Millions of zerg... The swarm is everywhere as players compete in areas dominated by this insidious race. Musical timbres as other-worldly as the creatures themselves evolve and undulate with complex rhythms that are a microcosm of their realm.
Fire and Fury
Death lies all around Raynor and the remaining survivors of the last zerg attack. But within this chaos, the last piece of an ancient puzzle falls into place, offering a dangerous, but viable path for the terrans. The odds seem long, and now Raynor, with the help of the musical theme which has come to represent the rebel hope and spirit, must rouse the determination of the men... Because some things are just worth fighting for.
The Showdown
It all comes down to this. Choices are made, sometimes in a few seconds, with implications that may last many lifetimes. The contrasting emotions and the hope of another sunrise are depicted in this tapestry of orchestral beauty, and a haunting vocal which soars beyond what simple words alone could convey.
30-second preview
Total Duration: 01:02:58
Total: 14 Songs
About this album Read All

The StarCraft universe contains an eclectic array of musical influences, characters and situations which reach back to the original release in 1998 and its expansion set, Brood War. Most of the music was, at that time, realized on keyboards. Now, the StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty orchestra includes live, soaring horns, epic strings, biting synthesizers, a soulful dobro, harmonicas, guitars, choirs and a myriad of sonic colors, light and shade, intimate and loud.

From the space-cowboy terran marines, to the ancient prophecies of the protoss, to the hive-mind of the zerg—as well as the complex persona of marshal Jim Raynor, Sarah Kerrigan (now the Queen of Blades), and the infamous Arcturus Mengsk and the Dominion—each has a story, a mood, a timbre, a vibe to be supported and represented in the musical underscore. If Raynor can seem to pull his revolver a little faster, or if Tychus Findley’s presence can be a bit more imposing due to a theme or flourish in the music, then the composers and musicians have truly called down the thunder.

The music for StarCraft II was recorded in a wide variety of places and styles. Our quest for a classic "film score" sound led us to the legendary Skywalker scoring stage at idyllic Lucasfilm Ranch in Marin County, California. There we recorded 78 incredible musicians film-style, synchronized to picture. The players, who come from the San Francisco Symphony and Opera, are world-class, and definitely have earned the prestigious title of "Skywalker Symphony Orchestra".

Following the orchestral recordings, we journeyed to Seattle, Washington, where a 32-voice choir (triple-tracked to 96 voices) lent their talents to our music. The scoring mixer on both of these sessions was John Kurlander, who not only recorded the soundtrack to all three Lord of the Rings films, he also, as a young London lad, assisted the Beatles in recording "Abbey Road".

Finally, we found ourselves in Woodstock, New York, where several alumni of the Peter Gabriel band reside. There, we captured the Terran Band music in an old church-turned-studio called Dreamland. Band members included bassist Tony Levin, who has also played with John Lennon and countless others, along with drummer Jerry Marotta, who has performed at two of our BlizzCon events, and with Paul McCartney, to name a few.

Some local recording in the Blizzard studios, including Laurence Juber, formerly of Wings, and the legendary Tommy Morgan on harmonica, rounded out the music scope for StarCraft II, which clocks in at just over four hours of new music for the game and the many cinematics. Each composer selected favorite cues which, together comprise this album. We are extremely proud of the StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty soundtrack, and hope you enjoy this new addition to Blizzard’s and StarCraft’s musical legacy.

- Russell Brower, Director of Audio & One Of The Composers, Blizzard Entertainment

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Credits View All

Composers: Glenn Stafford, Derek Duke, Russell Brower, Neal Acree

Additional Music by:Laurence Juber, Cris Velasco, Sascha Dikiciyan, Inon Zur, "Eternal Father, Strong to Save" by William Whiting and John B. Dykes, 1860

Score Performed by:The Skywalker Symphony Orchestra

Conducted by: Eimear Noone

Contractor: Janet Ketchum

Violins: Laura Albers, Erin Benim, Mariya Borozina, Jeremy Cohen, Joe Edelberg, Connie Gantsweg, Candace Guirao, Robin Hansen, Dawn Harms(Principal), Adrienne Herbert, Maki Ishii, Gloria Justen, Julie Kim, Roy Malan(Concertmaster), Michelle Maruyama, Robin Mayforth, Kayo Miki, Yasushi Ogura, Ellen Pesavento, Deborah Price, Evan Price, Craig Reiss, Barbara Riccardi, Philip Santos, Wenyi Shih, Iris Stone, Marianne Wagner, Heidi Wilcox

Violas: Su Buchignani, Don Ehrlich, Paul Ehrlich, Pam Freund, Marcel Gemperli, Patricia Heller(Principal), Anna Kruger, Polly Malan, Emily Onderdonk, Liz Runnicles, Natalia Vershilova

Celli: Terry Adams, Michelle Djokic, Victoria Ehrlich, Nina Flyer, David Kadarauch(Principal), Emil Miland, Thalia Moore, Miriam Perkoff

Basses: Charles Chandler(Principal), Steve D'Amico(Principal), Shinji Eshima, Jon Lancelle, Patrick McCarthy, Michel Taddei, Richard Worn

Harp: Sarah Voynow, Anna Maria Mendietta

Flutes: Janet Ketchum(Principal), Julie McKenzie

Clarinets: David Neuman(Principal), Jeremy Simas(Principal), Clark Fobes

Oboes: Marilyn Coyne, Laura Griffiths(Principal)

Bassoons: Amy Duxbury(Principal), Rufus Olivier

Horns: Eric Achen, Meredith Brown, Chris Cooper, Keith Green, Larry Ragent, Kevin Rivard, Bruce Roberts(Principal), Glen Swarts(Principal)

Trumpets: Ron Blais, Adam Luftman(Principal), John Pearson

Trombones: Jeff Budin(Principal), Bruce Chrisp, Tom Hornig, Mark Lawrence(Principal), Dave Ridge

Tuba: Peter Wahrhaftig

Piano: Marc Shapiro, Richard Riccardi

Timpani: John Burgardt

Percussion: Victor Avdienko, Scott Bleaken, Galen Lemmon(Principal), Artie Storch(Principal)

Guitar, Dobro: Laurence Juber

Harmonica: Tommy Morgan

Keys: Russell Brower, Glenn Stafford, Derek Duke

Solo Vocals: Laurie Ann Haus, George DeMott

Additional Guitar, FX: Jonas Laster

StarCraft Terran Band Drums, Production: Jerry Marotta

Bass and Chapman Stick: Tony Levin

Guitars: Jesse Gress, Ben Butler

Piano, B3: Daniel Weiss

Fiddle: Candy Girard

Choral Performance by: Northwest Choirs

Choirmaster: Joseph Crnko

Contracted By: David Sabee, Simon James

Sopranos: Beth Ann Bonnecroy, Catherine Haight, Christina Siemens, Joelle Berry, Lara Papadakis, Linda Strandberg, Lisa Pontén, Maria Johnson, Susan Erickson

Altos: Deborah Stephens, Jennifer Ivester, Kari Frost, Linda Sabee, Mary Jo Dugaw, Melanie Stevens, Melissa Plaggeman, Stacey Sunde

Tenors: Jacob Winkler, Jeff Dubois, Joel Cummings, John Porter, Nathaniel Papadakis, Owen Bennion, Paul Karaitis, Sam Rodarte

Basses: Charles Stephens, Glenn Guhr, Kyle Downs, Loren Ponten, Manard Stewart, Michael Delos, Ron Knoebel, Tommy Adams

Orchestration: Bill Liston, Penka Kouneva, Tim Davies

Additional Orchestration: Danail Getz, Philip Klein

Music Copyists: Dave Wells, Robert Puff

Music Librarian: Robert Puff

Live Sessions and Orchestration Produced By: Edo Guidotti

Scoring Mixer: John Kurlander

Score Recorded at: Skywalker Sound, a Lucasfilm, Ltd. Company, Marin County, CA

Assistant Engineers: Dann Thompson, Judy Kirschner, Robert Gatley

Pro Tools Operator, Editor: Andre Zweers

Terran Band Recorded at: Dreamland, Woodstock, NY and JEL Recording Studios, Newport, CA

Engineer: Dave Cook

Choir Recorded at: Bastyr University Chapel, Seattle, WA

Recordist: Kory Kruckenberg

Stage Manager: Jon Schluckebier

Second Engineers: John Winters, Brian Valentino

Additional Engineering, Assistance: Joseph Gauthier


Coordination, Planning: Keith Landes, Jay Maguire, Dennis Crabtree, Thomas Pieracci

Talent Relations: Andrea Toyias

Soundtrack Producer: Russell Brower

Special Thanks: Aaron, Ethan, Quinn and Susan Stafford, Yuliya and Jasper Duke, Shyshkin and Duke Families, Savina Ciaramella, Margaret, Tina and Karen Brower, Margarita Kravets, Kevin Crook, Lynda Do, Sylvia Whiteshield, Jamie Crooks, Shelly Guidotti, Tom Brewer, Leslie Ann Jones, Chris Metzen, Nick Carpenter, Jeff Chamberlain, Matt Samia, Frank Pearce, Mike Morhaime, Paul Sams and the entire Blizzard Entertainment Sound Department.

We would especially like to extend our appreciation and love to all in our family of wonderful and cherished musicians--- Thank you!!!