Gavin Dunne (born 1980) is an Irish indie musician who produces mostly video game themed music, under the name "Miracle of Sound".Miracle of Sound began as a hobby during a lull in Dunne's music career. After playing Half-Life 2 he began thinking of song lyrics related to Gordon Freeman, the protagonist. He wrote it all down, recorded it and released it on the net. After seeing the mild popularity of the song, Dunne wrote and released more.This side project quickly became popular after his Commander Shepard song was released and went viral. Soon afterwards, his show was picked up by The Escapist for a biweekly (later monthly) music video, with a monthly behind-the-scenes article called "Encore". He left The Escapist on good terms in 2015.All his work can be found on his YouTube channel, Bandcamp, iTunes, Amazon Music, Google Play, and Spotify.His Patreon can be found here. He also has an official website, which can be found here, though it has not been updated since 2015.
As of December 2017, Gavin has released eleven albums, detailed below:
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Level # ( 2011 - Present)
Released yearly since 2011, these albums are the bulk of Gavin's output, being Compilation Rereleases of all the singles he's released throughout the respective year. The vast majority of the songs are inspired by video games, ranging from the ultra-popular like The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim to the more obscure or Cult Classic like Planescape: Torment.Less frequently, a song will have been inspired by a movie, such as Guardians of the Galaxy, or a TV show, with Game of Thrones being the most frequently highlighted. Occasionally a song will be completely original, with no ties to any previously existing media.The tracks are remastered from their original single release.
Press X To Rock (2011)
A selection of tracks from Gavin's first album, Level 1, Press X To Rock consists of his biggest hits from 2011. The only Miracle of Sound album to get a physical release, it was released exclusively on The Escapist's online store, and is now out of print.Windows identifies the genre as "Awesome".
And now for Something Completely Different: Vistas is a collection of instrumental, relaxing ambient tracks, most of which are not based on any particular media. Includes an instrumental version of The Call, which was inspired by The Elder Scrolls Online.Another track, Hitoshio, was rereleased on Gavin's YouTube channel in 2017 as a tribute to Ōkami, in celebration of the announcement of the eighth-gen remastered version of said game.
Metal Up (2015)
Taking a small break from his usual output, Metal Up consists entirely of original metal songs. When released, this was the best-selling Miracle of Sound album, as well as the best-selling metal album on iTunes.
Collaborations and Unsorted Songs
Despite all the albums, a handful of the singles have never found their way onto any of them:
- Somewhere Over the Rainbow
- Winter Still
- I Want My RPG (Lyrics written by inXile Entertainment)
- The original, shorter version of Take It Back, from Level 2
- A remix of Reclaimer, from Level 3.
- Dan Bull:
- Jim Sterling:
- JT Music:
Tropes associated with Gavin 'Miracle of Sound' Dunne include:
- Added Alliterative Appeal: Uses this in spades, such as in "Road Rage"."Guns and gas and gods!""I will redden the road, release the rage!"
"Slaves in seas of soot we drown,come on down, to London Town,the cogs they creak, and the pistons pound,come on down, to London Town".
- "London Town" is another prominent example.
"Cold kings clutch crumbling crowns"
- And another one in "Fires Fade":
"Courtship of chemical and chrome"
- One more in "Ditto":
- Alliterative Title: "Fires Far", "Fires Fade" and "Forever Flame" are about the same game series and start with the same letter. Subverted with "You Died", which is Odd Name Out due to Early Installment Weirdness.
- Affectionate Parody :"Shooter Guy" is one to the entire First-Person Shooter genre and the people who play it.
- Arc Words: He does this for songs about games in the same series (if not about the same game):
- For his Assassin's Creed songs he has "Justice runs in crimson rivers"
- For his Bioshock songs he has "And I dream of the (blank)".
- For his main series Fallout songs, he uses "Sterile Soil/Will Harden/Wasted World/My Garden"
- For his 3 GTA V songs, he has "I get in my car and drive"
- Author Appeal: Loves to layer his vocals, experiment with non-mainstream genres and tends to default to or infuse things with metal. Also Skyrim. More specifically, for "Life in Bullet Time", he took cues from Faith No More, to the point of him admitting that he basically ripped them off. In an appreciative way.
- Auto-Tune: Averted, in that the artist has never used it and has gone on multiple rants saying that it is one of the biggest problems with today's music industry.
- Ballad of X: Did one for Clayton Carmine.
- Berserk Button:
- Do not accuse him of using Auto-Tune.
- On Social Media, it's been making claims that every country's politics and social issues are exactly like America's.
- Bilingual Bonus:
- In "The Day The World Died", there's a brief verse in slightly broken Russian, saying: День, когда умер мир; which translates to: "The Day The World Died".
- Similarly, "Silver and Steel" has the lines with the song title sung both in English and Polish, the original language of the Witcher novels. According to his blog, he found out later that the pronunciation is completely wrong.
- "Sirona," and "Gráinne Mhaol, Queen Of Pirates" from Metal Up have verses in Irish.
- The Skyrim song "Legends of the Frost" has a verse in the dragon language from the game.
- Blog: He occasionally produces vlogs, often talking about what he's working on next, or doing things like thanking everybody who got him to where he is now.
- Call to Adventure: "The Call" is about this, specifically about the people of Tamriel to rise up and answer the threats of Molag Bal's invasion and the civil war for the Empire's throne.
- Call-Back: Gavin really likes this trope. Also crosses over with Arc Words above:
Wake The White Wolf: Wake the white wolf at the dawn of war, the end of the age is a-comin' now.The Path: Weary wolf at the end of war, loves aloof are apart no more.
- "Take it Back", a song made for Mass Effect 3, has a bridge that includes the first line from "Commander Shepard", his first Mass Effect song, and a line similar to the chorus from "Normandy" , his second.
- "Blood Of The Creed" ends with the verse "Musket guns and silver slivers/Justice runs in crimson rivers/Words of ancient truth we follow/Bleed these veins into tomorrow". The exact same verse turns up in "His Father's Son". The first part ("Justice Runs In Crimson Rivers..") turns up yet again in "Beneath The Black Flag," as well as an instrumental nod to "His Father's Son." "My Revolution" contains the verse "La justice est une rivière rouge", French for "Justice is a red river." Following that is the verse "Crimson are the rivers/Bleed our grief into the sea" from London Town. Hallowed Land has "The Nile runs red tonight".
- Also shows up in Ballad of Clay Carmine and The Grind ("We won't stop because we're brothers in blood now/We'll meet again at the end of the line")
- "Hengsha" shares part of its melody with "The New Black Gold".
- "Joker's Song" references "Mind of the Bat" ("I have studied the mind of this bat").
- "Dream of the Sky" has this call back to "Little Sister" towards the end: "And I dream of the sky/Broken clouds drifting by/And I dream of the sky/My utopian lie".
- "Dream of Goodbye" has a similar call back at the end: "And I dream of goodbye/Sinking sea falling sky/And I dream of goodbye/No more tears well's run dry".
- "The Call" has a clear instrumental callback to "Nord Mead", and according to Gavin, it also has a hint of "Legends of the Frost" in the chorus and "Sovngarde Song" in the harp and verses.
- Similarly, "Winter Still" reprises some of "Sovngarde Song" in instrumental form.
- The 2016 version of "Sovngarde Song" features an instrumental callback to "Legends of the Frost" at the end.
- All of his GTA V songs ("Drive", "Rampage", and "Hard Cash") contain the line "Get in my car and drive", or some variant thereof, which was part of the chorus of "Drive". "Hard Cash" also ends with the same lyrics as "Drive" ("Gonna drive my blues away/just another sunny day").
- His Dark Souls II "Fires Far" ends with a melodic call-back to "You Died", his first Dark Souls song. Used again for the Dark Souls III song.
- Part of the chorus of "Shadow Of The Ash" is a lyrical call back to "Call Of Home" his previous Lord of the Rings related song: "Through rubble, rock and stone/The ashes are my home/The silver sting of hatred/It creeps into my bones".
- "All As One" has a couple of musical call backs to "Age of the Dragon" and actually uses a slightly modified version of its chorus towards the end.
- "Lady of Worlds" has several lyrical callbacks to Gavin's earlier Witcher 3 song "Wake the White Wolf", such as the words "hatred's sails" to describe the Wild Hunt, and the line "Wake the wolf with a distant roar" appearing in one of Geralt's parts.
- "I am the Night", released to celebrate the release of Batman: Arkham Knight, calls back to almost all of his previous Batman-related songs. One set of lines and a short melody change calls back to "Mind of the Bat", while the general feel calls back to "Rise" (which isn't even related to the Arkham series but the Dark Knight trilogy!).
- "London Town", as well as having the usual callback to the line "Justice runs in crimson rivers" has several contrasts to "My Revolution." The line "Revolution holds us bound" in the chorus is the opposite of "My revolution sets me free" from the other song's chorus. As well, the lines "Cry Revolution, Broken Dreams" and "Cruel Revolution, Smoke and Steam" are sung in the same way as My Revolution's chorus.
- "Friends to Foes" has the line "I was there by your side" from "Reclaimer", sung in a darker, more hushed and reserved tone, to give it a more remorseful feel instead of the more angry, mournful tone of the line in "Reclaimer".
- "Some Things Never Change" has a lot of motifs carried over from "Beauty Bleak", such as its somber tone and focus on pianos, as well as using the chorus "Sterile soil/Will harden/Wasted world/My garden"
- "The Path", due to being his conclusion to the Witcher Saga, carries a nice lyrical nod to "Wake The White Wolf".
The New Black Gold: Broken body built anew, spirit lingers torn in two, metal fingers grip my heart so cold.The Natural Heart: Broken bodies line the walls, Midas empires crash and fall, wings that melt when we try to soar.
- "The Natural Heart" plays this straight and inverts it, since The Natural Heart carries a lot of motifs over from The New Black Gold (including a very similar opening riff and some recurring lyrics) but it's lyrics provide tonally flipped themes to reflect the change from Deus Ex: Human Revolution to Deus Ex: Mankind Divided regarding augmentation technology.
Distant Honor: And the sad, sad faces of the weary and worn / Live in bad, bad places that are dreary and tornClockworks: And I have been to some bad, bad places / Taken gifts at the darkest shrines / I have seen despair in the saddest faces
- "Clockworks" contains one to "Distant Honor"
Cataclysm: We are the last / Children of the cataclysm / Awoken in a silent prisonBreak of Dawn: Just another silent prison / Ride into the cataclysm
- "Numbers" borrows the line "I rush and I run" from "Digital Shadow", and the line "Freedom is a backlight" is a callback to Shadow's "Freedom is a greenlight/redlight".
- Break Of Dawn has many callbacks to Cataclysm in the music itself.
Resistance: Hope is an ember in the dust / Spark of resistance will combustRevolution Spark Hope is a burning fusion / Spark of a revolution
- "Revolution Spark" reuses the lines "flawless has no face" and "rightness has no race", from "Resistance". "Revolution Spark" also reuses some of the opening bars of "Resistance", and the "Revolution Spark"'s lyrics further develop the hope mentioned in "Resistance":
- The Cameo: "Second Chance Song" features backup vocals from YouTube's 402THUNDER402 raging at the titular perk.
- Chew Bubblegum: Referenced when commenting on Duke Nukem's Badass Decay.Shit- I guess you found more gum.
- Circus of Fear: "Call of Duty Circus" portrays Call of Duty as one of these.
- Content Warnings: Occasionally Gavin will put one in at the start of the video that accompanies a song; usually it consists of a serious warning that quickly turns into a joke. For instance, Hell to Pay opens with:WARNING: This music video contains images of extreme violence, gore, metal, awesomeness, chainsaws, and a severe lack of diplomatic solutions to interpersonal conflicts. Viewer discretion is advised.
- Creepy Circus Music:
- "Joker's Song" opens like the theme for a Circus of Fear and keeps to that tune while Joker invites Batman to his "Fortress of Fun."
- "Call of Duty Circus" also uses this trope.
- Crossover: He collaborated with Try Hard Ninja on the latter's Call of Duty: Ghosts-themed song "Calling All Ghosts".
- Curse Cut Short: In "Rampage". He has no problem with swearing, but prefers to keep his songs PG-13.
- Dancin' in the Ruins: The lyrics of "Higher Tonight!" allude to this.And when the world is comin' down around me... I'm just gonna keep on dancin'... I'm just gonna keep on dancin'!
- Deadpan Snarker: His responses to some of the more idiotic comments on his videos.Youtube Comment: I master prestige so f all of uGavin: You don't need to tell us, we can already tell by your social skills.
- Determinator: Gavin developed tinnitus, which is a condition that causes you to constantly hear a high pitched ringing. He has yet to allow it to stop him from making music, although it's a significant obstacle when it comes to live performances.
- Drunken Song: He made a song about these for Skyrim, "Nord Mead".
- Early Installment Weirdness: The first handful of songs were much more explicit in referencing their subject matter, to the point of directly mentioning characters or places from the games by name. Later songs would take a more indirect, metaphorical approach. Especially noticeable with Fire In Your Hole, Gordon Freeman Saved My Life, and Commander Shepard.
- Even the Subtitler Is Stumped: In the video for "Niko It's Your Cousin!", when the song gets to a brief segment of Little Jacob singing, the subtitles give up and go "Uhhhh..." before Niko takes over again.
- Evil Laugh: He pulls a particularly magnificent one in "Joker's Song". You'd be forgiven for mistaking it to have come from the man himself.
- Fake Band: As Gavin can't play the drums very well, his percussion is entirely sampled. Since Internet Musician isn't the highest paying profession, other instruments like the very prevalent strings are handled the same way. Averted gloriously in "Sweet L.A.", though, where he had guest artists on piano and saxophone.
- Fan Dumb: According to his Encore articles, this is the reason that the Escapist and Bandcamp versions of Brothers Of The Creed are different is because some fans took offence to the lyrics "And I kill for good/Under my white hood," due to the belief about assassin in white hoods was a reference to the Ku Klux Klan. This is also potentially the reason why the revised version of the song sounds a little awkward and bitter.
- Filk Song: He creates songs based on games he loves. One distinguishing aspect of his work is that he uses completely new music, rather than re-purposing other music with new lyrics.
- The Fourth Wall Will Not Protect You: In "Don't Say A Word", a song based on a game which includes parasites which infect a person and are lethal if they speak even a word of the English language, Gav tells you that,You are the voice in the song yeah
It's yours when you sing along
- ...makes you think twice about singing along, doesn't it?
- Glamour: From "A Dog's Life"No glamour or garb can hide the animal heart inside of me
- Heavy Mithril: The metal version of "Wake The White Wolf" takes The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt and infuses electric guitar and pedals with the original bouzouki-using piece.
- I Am the Band: He does all work on the music himself, without assistance from other musicians, with a few exceptions, such as "Sweet L.A.".
- "I Am" Song: "I Am Pudge", naturally, though a somewhat less obvious example is "Half-Man's Song", which is one for Tyrion Lannister.
- Vistas is an entire album of them.
- "The Strut", described as "Music to rob banks to."
- "Winter Still" reminiscent of the ambient themes from the actual Skyrim soundtrack. Compare with "Far Horizons" from Bethesda.
- Interspecies Romance: "PLOUGHING A TROLL" is about relationship between a human and a troll. This being the Witcher-verse, it ends badly.
- Last Note Hilarity:
- Most notably used in his Fallout: New Vegas song, Trip to Vegas, where it ends with the song stuttering and 'crashing to desktop,' with Gavin saying "God dammit, not again". This is an Affectionate Parody of how many people, the artist included, experienced many problems like crashes and freezes.
- "Crucible"'s ending represents Mass Effect 3's pre-Extended Cut ending: all buildup, no resolution.
- Loudness War: The "Everything Up To Eleven Mix" of "Reclaimer" invokes this.
- Monster Clown:
- "Joker's Song" is sung from the perspective of Mr. J himself.
- In "Call of Duty Circus", he compares that one player who is constantly sneaking around to a clown.
- Not So Different: From "Joker's Song"
- Ode to Intoxication: Nord Mead is essentially an in-character Nordic ode to mead.
- Our Lawyers Advised This Trope: The video for "Higher Tonight" has been rated "W for Wubs. Unplanned exposure to wubs may cause erratic bouts of rhythmic head nodding and/or dancing and in some cases feelings of extreme rage and betrayal towards your favorite musicians."
- Real Men Wear Pink: When asked about having a lot of pink customized cars and weapons in Grand Theft Auto V, gave this:Gavin: I like the idea of such hyper-masculine, aggressively macho characters having pink cars & weapons, I think it's funny.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: "The Day The World Died" is one to humanity as a whole. In his words, it's "A tribute to man's eternal folly". The chorus ends with "The day the world died, nothing was learned".
- Repulsive Ringmaster: Call of Duty Circus is sung from the point of view of one of these, presenting the people who play Call of Duty as freaks at a Circus of Fear.
- The Rock Star: He used to be one in the band Lotus Lullaby.
- This Is for Emphasis, Bitch!: He's comin' for your tank, bitch!
- Self-Backing Vocalist: As a one man band, most of his songs use multiple layers on the vocals. Especially prevalent in Little Sister.
- Single Stanza Song: Beauty Bleak features only three lines. Sterile soil will harden/Wasted world, my garden/Beauty bleak in a wasted world
- Singing Voice Dissonance: He sings with an American accent, but in interviews, he speaks with whimsical Irish accent. He has explained this to the fans who think he's putting it on. (Especially after Nord Mead, in which he uses his natural accent.)
- Song Style Shift: Dream of The Sky is a mish-mash of musical styles emulating the alternate realities and anachronistic music featured heavily in its inspiration.
- Shout-Out: The song "I Suck At Call of Duty" has a reference to SeaNanners, who was well-known for his CoD videos at the time.
- Take That!:
Roll up and see the amazing moving statue! SNEAK ATTACK!
- "Roll Out" features a line in its chorus that says "we're making a bigger mess than Michael Bay".
- "Trip to Vegas" ends with Fallout: New Vegas crashing, and Gavin uttering a soft "Oh goddamn it, not again...".
- "The Call of Duty Circus" is essentially one long take that towards the various types of players in Call of Duty. For example:
He waits in corners till you pass then shoots you in the back. (Ha ha!)
He never moves or shoot so he will always blow.
For all he cares about in life's his Kill/Death ratio!
"Wit for pace this riddle's just a race..."
- Doorfighter" is a short song dedicated to directing one of these at the bizarre trend of smashing down and destroying doors.
- "Wigglesticks" is a quick song directed towards the abundance of QTEs in Resident Evil 6.
- A brief one happens during "I Am the Night" that refers to the changing of Riddler challenges to races.
- Title Drop: The majority of his song titles feature in the lyrics, usually the chorus.
- Updated Re-release:
- Gavin re-released The New Black Gold, his Human Revolution song, for his 100th video, completely re-recording the song in the process.
- Take it Back, his Mass Effect 3 song, got an updated version with better layer balancing to celebrate the release of the 'Extended Cut' patch for the game.
- Digital Shadow has an updated version with different balancing, called "Digital Shadow 2014".
- "Wake the White Wolf" was originally released as a folk song, but he later decided to redo it as a metal song.
- "Shadow of the Ash" was later released again with an "alternative vocals" mix.
- "Sovngarde Song" was completely re-recorded and updated, nearly five years after its initial release. It apparently took him over 200 hours of work before he was satisfied with releasing it.
- Up to Eleven: Ladies and gentlemen, the "Everything Up To Eleven Mix" of Reclaimer.
- Villain Song: Joker's Song, which is from the Joker's point of view about his obsession with Batman.
- "Savior's Seed" is sung from the point of view of Far Cry 5's antagonist, Joseph Seed. Gavin was worried that, without the context of the music video to link the lyrics to the game, the song would be taken at face value as his own opinion.
- Visual Pun: In the video for "My Iron Skin," the lyrics, I been tryin' to take a detour from these patriotic roads, play over a picture of War Machine, real name James "Rhodey" Rhodes.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: Gavin has this relationship with Jim Sterling.
- Woman Scorned: In "PLOUGHING A TROLL", the she-troll eats the farmer once he grows tired of her.
- War Is Hell: The basis of the song "Pawns of War".
- Word Salad Lyrics: To someone unfamiliar with Soma, the lyrics for Ditto can be a tad obtuse, particularly its main recurring line of "Divide the zero down/Sunder and multiply me" and the variations thereof, resulting in some confusion in the YouTube comments section.
- You Wouldn't Like Me When I'm Angry: From "A Dog's Life," about werewolf protagonist Bigby from The Wolf Among UsDon't shake me/Don't make me bare my teeth/You really don't wanna meet that guy