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Under the Half Dome: Orchestrated Versions by Ken Allen of His Sierra Game Music

posted by MusicallyInspired on - last edited - Viewed by 1.3K users
For those who don't know, Ken Allen, composer of many early Sierra games such as Colonel's Bequest, King's Quest I, King's Quest V, Space Quest IV, Space Quest I VGA, and also some games outside of Sierra like Descent has started a KickStarter project called Under the Half Dome for a music album based on, inspired by, and re-imagining his old works.

The project has already hit its goal in under 48 hours and there will be an announcement soon of some interesting stretch goals. Backer rewards include the album in physical and digital format, access to backer-exclusive blog of the production of the album, t-shirt, blow-up poster of the album artwork (made by ex-Sierra artist Rich Powell), and even big things like a MIDI keyboard controller (same one Ken is using to record the album), a chance for you the backer to perform on one of the tracks on the album, write some liner notes, as well as Ken composing a song specifically for you of your direction in the higher tiers. And more!

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Kickstarter Project Page

http://kenspace.com
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29 Comments - Linear Discussion: Classic Style
  • Hi friends. Jennifer told me about this discussion.

    Yes, I'm reviving my old Sierra game music. MusicallyInspired is correct. I have found a legal provision to make a new album based on the music I made for Kings Quest and Space Quest.

    And, yes I'm Kickstarting the album, which is called Under The Half Dome. If you're curious about it, check it out here.

    http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/mrkenallen/under-the-half-dome-an-album-by-sierra-composer-ke

    Do you have any questions for my next podcast?

    Ken "your music pal" Allen
  • Jennifer;770240 said:
    Wow, he managed to find a legal provision that allows him to make updated versions of his original Sierra songs! Definitely backed by me! The Space Quest music was a huge inspiration for me to get involved in composing. :D
    The provision is that anyone is allowed to do that. As long as the original artist(himself lol) and the owners of the music are given credit, it's still just a "cover song" and no one can legally do anything about it(even if he does use his own master tracks). Hey, I could go make an album rerecording classic Sierra songs if I wanted to.
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    Jennifer Moderator
    mrkenallen;770363 said:
    Hi friends. Jennifer told me about this discussion.

    Yes, I'm reviving my old Sierra game music. MusicallyInspired is correct. I have found a legal provision to make a new album based on the music I made for Kings Quest and Space Quest.

    And, yes I'm Kickstarting the album, which is called Under The Half Dome. If you're curious about it, check it out here.

    http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/mrkenallen/under-the-half-dome-an-album-by-sierra-composer-ke
    Hey, wow. Thanks for coming over here and posting. :D

    You really do have some great Kickstarter rewards (it's hard to pick from). It definitely does deserve its place on Forbes' list of the 10 Most Clever Kickstarter Rewards. :)

    Oh, and I just realized I never posted about your project on my blog. That's rectified now. :)
  • Johro;770431 said:
    The provision is that anyone is allowed to do that. As long as the original artist(himself lol) and the owners of the music are given credit, it's still just a "cover song" and no one can legally do anything about it(even if he does use his own master tracks). Hey, I could go make an album rerecording classic Sierra songs if I wanted to.
    Uh no. No, you can't. Well, you could, but you'd probably get sued. It's infringement as Ken didn't retain any rights from his music work at Sierra (something he was more careful to ensure in his post-Sierra composing years). He has to pay for a license through a third-party company. You can't just go off and do whatever you want. He approached ActiVision about getting a license for the music, and they had an interesting conversation, but ultimately they weren't interested in granting it. Fortunately, there's another method. But it's not free and it's not cheap.
  • I had the opportunity to conduct an interview with Ken Allen two weeks ago, and I asked him a few questions about his work on Space Quest IV, Under The Half Dome and the forthcoming SpaceVenture. I already knew by then that he had squared away the copyright issues, but I still tossed in a question about that to ensure everyone was well aware.

    For those interested, the interview can be found here: http://www.1up.com/do/blogEntry?bId=9117876

    EDIT: With 1UP's pending closure, I cannot guarantee that the above link will last, so you may also find the interview on my personal blog: http://thegrigpost.blogspot.com/2013/02/interview-with-ken-allen.html
  • I promise you I'll support this as soon as my replacement card comes in.
  • This is pretty cool to connect with new friends. Spread the word about the KS. I'd like to reach the stretch goals and use live musicians on several tracks.

    My old HS marching band has expressed interest in recording one of the tunes on the album.

    That would be kinda cool.

    Ken "your music pal" Allen
  • BTW, I have a call out for dancers, to record video of yourself dancing to this tune
    See this update for more info.

    And in case you were wondering, I do lead by example. Watch me littering the streets with my insane dance skills here.

    Ken "your music pal" Allen
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    Jennifer Moderator
    mrkenallen;770634 said:
    BTW, I have a call out for dancers, to record video of yourself dancing to this tune
    See this update for more info.

    And in case you were wondering, I do lead by example. Watch me littering the streets with my insane dance skills here.

    Ken "your music pal" Allen
    Ha, that video is great. I hope you're going to include parts of it in your final video. :)

    I'm not beyond acting goofy. I'll do some dancing myself tomorrow when it's light out. :D

    I just posted about your kickstarter at The International House of Mojo. Hopefully that helps a little bit. I really want to see this hit at least some of its stretch goals. :)
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    Vainamoinen Moderator
    I'm not too comfortable with the word "orchestrated" in the title of this thread, as that's not what is happening here. MusicallyInspired, can I change the title somehow to actually match the project? Suggestions welcome...
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