Gavin Dunne enchants video game enthusiasts

Photo courtesy of Miracle of Sound

In this new age of the Internet and computers, it has become quite a bit easier for independent musicians to get their start. iTunes, Bandcamp, Spotify and Youtube, among others, all contribute to musician’s ability to self-promote and gain fans. One such independent musician is Gavin Dunne, who founded Miracle
of Sound.

One of the more interesting points about Miracle of Sound is that the band posts its songs on YouTube as well as its own website in full to gain interest, then it releases compilation albums
for profit.

This one-man-band’s Facebook page proudly proclaims Miracle of Sound’s genre to be “All of Them.” Impressively, Dunne lives up to this ambitious declaration, encompassing such diverse genres as rock, techno, alternative, pop and even doo-wop. In addition to creating a variety of genres, Miracle of Sound tends to feature lyrics in numerous languages including French, Dovahzul (the dragon language of the Elder Scrolls universe), Irish and even a self-admittedly terrible pronunciation of Polish in honor of the original language of “The Witcher” series.

Of course, with such a diverse array of songs, one would expect there to be at least some characteristic to unify Miracle of Sound’s collection. This line of thinking is not erroneous. While he has released some songs, such as “Iron Man’s” “My Iron Skin,” in honor of movies and some that are entirely original such as “Breathe,” many of Gavin Dunne’s works are tributes to video games.

Dunne meticulously forms each of his songs to match the theme and style of the video games by which they are inspired. For instance, “Digital Shadow” is a techno song about the “WATCH_DOGS” universe, which would not be out of place in the game’s actual soundtrack.

The Irish performer usually adopts an American accent in his songs with some notable exceptions. “Sirona” is a heavy metal song about the Celtic goddess of healing, Sirona, and features Dunne’s native accent as well as Irish lyrics. This song was also the first in Dunne’s uncharacteristic album “Metal Up,” which, as the name suggests, features only heavy metal songs, none of which are video game tributes (despite several, most notably “Get Your Metal On,” which would be right at home in a “Devil May Cry” game.)

In keeping with the video game theme, most of Miracle of Sound’s other albums are simply called “Level 1 – the 2011 Collection,” “Level 2,” and so forth, the most recent of which is “Level 5.”

In addition to the overall style, Dunne’s lyrics also complement their respective games. “Ciri Song: Lady of Worlds,” a joint effort between Miracle of Sound and Ailín Kennedy, demonstrates this well. The lyrics center on the plot of “The Witcher 3” and Ciri’s own struggle with her powers. This song received well over three quarters of a million views in less than a month of being posted to YouTube, demonstrating both Miracle of Sound’s popularity and that of the game. Dunne had previously released several songs honoring “The Witcher” series including “Wake the White Wolf,” a rock song that is one of the band’s most popular musical endeavors.

While there is no doubt, as reflected in each song’s comments section, that Miracle of Sound is quite skilled in each area attempted, Dunne was not satisfied merely creating songs with ordinary, lyrics. He has also branched into reviewing games with his works. Perhaps one of the best examples of this is his treatment of “Resident Evil 6,” titled “Hammer the Buttons and Wiggle the Sticks.” This is a rather harsh (perhaps justifiably so) review of the games poor controls.

For “Grand Theft Auto IV,” Miracle of Sound released an intentionally awful song “Nico, It’s Your Cousin!” The subtitles at one point even gave up, writing “Uhhhh … ” as Nico continued to complain about the video game’s plot.

One of Miracle of Sound’s recent releases introduced yet another genre for Dunne, doo-wop, which complements the subject matter quite well. “Going Nuclear” is a humorous tribute to “Fallout 4,” which will be released later this year. He cheerfully describes the end of the world and what fun can be had in “Fallout’s” universe.

Another of Miracle of Sound’s most recent songs is “London Town,” a steampunk sounding tribute to “Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate,” which was released Oct. 23. This song is but one of many that Dunne has created for the “Assassin’s Creed” series; each individual song has a unique sound but bear several similarities such as consistently referring to “crimson rivers” and fitting the video game as much, if not more so, than their official soundtracks.

In keeping with his diverse genre selection, Dunne’s “Assassin’s Creed” tributes are each the genre most fitting for their respective games. “Beneath the Black Flag,” for example, has a swashbuckling tune, fitting for “Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag,” where the protagonist spends quite a bit of time aboard ships as a pirate.

Miracle of Sound tends to release about three songs a month. While his main emphasis is on music, Gavin Dunne does create videos for his YouTube releases, which normally consist of gameplay or trailer footage from the song’s subject. The comments section for these videos is quite an interesting place, for unlike many places on the Internet, it is entirely positive, such is Gavin Dunne’s popularity and musical talent.