Monday, September 28, 2015

A look back: "Samhain"

It's finally Autumn (my favorite time of the year) and the super blood moon eclipse is behind us... time to focus our attention on Halloween!

Today marks the 5th anniversary of the mp3 release of "Samhain" by Stratos.

Copyright 2010 Winged Warrior Publishing (ASCAP).  All Rights Reserved!
Song Length = 03:19
Audio = Stereo MP3
Sample Rate = 44,100 Samples/Second
Bit Rate = 192 Bits/Second

Style = Cinematic / Soundtrack
Theme = Celtic horror!

Dark ambience.  Terrifying sounds.  Spine-tingling melodies.  This is Horrific Universe!

"Samhain" is track #12 on Horrific Universe: 12 Months of Horror (Bailey Records, 2010).  Composed and produced by Stratos, "Samhain" is a blend of ambient horror sounds and traditional Celtic instrumentation.  Inspiration for this horror tune song came from two distinct origins; history and pop culture.

Historically, Samhain marked the end of the harvest; the end of the "lighter half" of the year and beginning of the "darker half."  It was traditionally celebrated over the course of several days and possibly marked the beginning of the Celtic new year.  It has some elements of a Festival of the Dead.  The Gaels believed that the border between this world and the otherworld became thinner on Samhain because some animals and plants were dying.  This event (Autumn) led to the belief that the dead were allowed to reach back through the veil that separated them from the living.  Bonfires played a large part in the festivities.  People and their livestock would often walk between two bonfires as a cleansing ritual and the bones of slaughtered livestock were cast into its flames.

The Gaelic custom of wearing costumes and masks was an attempt to copy the spirits or placate them.  In Scotland the dead were impersonated by young men with masked, veiled or blackened faces, dressed in white.  Samhnag - turnips which were hollowed-out and carved with faces to make lanterns - were also used to ward off harmful spirits.

The Gaelic festival became associated with the Christian All Saints' Day and All Souls' Day, and has hugely influenced the secular customs now connected with Halloween.

In pop culture, Samhain is the name of a character who assists Cassie Hack and Vlad fight the Black Lamp Society in the comic book Hack/Slash, issues #19 & 20 of the Devil's Due Publishing on-going series.  The character of Samhain also appears in the Hack/Slash Annual 2010: Murder Messiah (Image Comics).

Horrific Universe: 12 Months of Horror is part of the Horrific Universe catalog (dark ambience / horror music) of Bailey Records Composition and Sound Design.

"Samhain" is composed and arranged by Stratos of Bailey Records Composition and Sound Design - the team that brought you the Origins Award-nominated Universe87 Campaign Setting Soundtrack.

On October 27, 2014, we released the official video for "Samhain" on Youtube. Watch it here ->

Download "Samhain" by Stratos from, iTunes, DriveThruRPG, RPGNow or WargameVault. Thanks for your support!

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