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.
As of April 2019, Gavin has released twelve albums, detailed below:
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.
Windows identifies the genre as "Awesome".
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.
- 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.
Gavin has also contributed to many other artists' tracks:
- Dan Bull:
- Jim Sterling:
- JT Music:
Tropes associated with Gavin 'Miracle of Sound' Dunne include:
- Added Alliterative Appeal: Uses this in spades.
- Behold its use in "Road Rage"."Guns and gas and gods!"
"I will redden the road, release the rage!"
- "London Town" is another prominent example."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".
- And another one in "Fires Fade":"Cold kings clutch crumbling crowns"
- The chorus to "Wheatley's Song" includes this line:"There is no conundrum that my core cannot compute."
- One more in "Ditto":"Courtship of chemical and chrome"
- Behold its use in "Road Rage".
- Affectionate Parody: "Shooter Guy" is one to the entire First-Person Shooter genre and the people who play it. More specifically for "modern military shooters" (Modern Warfare, Call of Duty: Black Ops, Ghost Recon, Medal of Honor (2010), Battlefield, etc.)
- 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.
- 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 Dark Souls songs, he uses "Mourning bells."
- 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"
- Art Shift: The first few seconds of "Hell To Pay" start with Doom starting in the old sprite graphic and midi music before shifting to modern graphics and shredding guitars.
- 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.
- Author Avatar: In his "Place In Nature" video for Monster Hunter: World, he designs his character to look like himself. It's best seen when he and the Handler are escaping the Great Jagras at the beginning of the game.
- 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.
- "My Revolution" has verses in French. People seem to be split on how accurate the grammar and pronounciation is.
- "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:
- "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". "Crimson are the rivers" appears again in "My Odyssey", along with numerous other lines that will sound familiar to people who have listened to his previopus Assassin's Creed songs, such as "Take a leap of faith" and especially the lines at the end of the song (just listen to "My Revolution" followed by "My Odyssey").
- 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").
- "Mind of the Bat" is again referenced in "I Am The Night" ("Check my head, I guess the joke's on me/I'm not laughing at the irony").
- "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 The 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".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.
- "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.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.
- "Clockworks" contains one to "Distant Honor"Distant Honor: And the sad, sad faces of the weary and worn / Live in bad, bad places that are dreary and torn
Clockworks: And I have been to some bad, bad places / Taken gifts at the darkest shrines / I have seen despair in the saddest faces
- "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.Cataclysm: We are the last / Children of the cataclysm / Awoken in a silent prison
Break of Dawn: Just another silent prison / Ride into the cataclysm
- "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":Resistance: Hope is an ember in the dust / Spark of resistance will combust
Revolution Spark Hope is a burning fusion / Spark of a revolution
- 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 u
Gavin: You don't need to tell us, we can already tell by your social skills.
- 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.
- His song Embers Rise is about someone who never stops rising, no matter how many times he's knocked down.
- 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", the chorus says that "You are the voice in the song/It's yours when you sing along", in reference to the game's twist that you were playing as a body double of Big Boss the whole time, thus making yourself part of his legend.
- 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: Numerous songs are written from the first-person perspective of the or a main character from the work in question as they describe themselves in song.
- "I Am Pudge", naturally, is a rather meta song about Pudge bragging about his fame in the Dota 2 fanbase as a rather overpowered character.
- The Game of Thrones songs include "Halfman's Song" for Tyrion Lannister, "Mother of Flame" for Daenerys and "No One" for Arya Stark.
- "I Am the Knight"; also doubles as a Badass Boast.
- "Force of Nature" is one for Aloy from Horizon Zero Dawn, where she describes her motivations and backstory.
- 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: Gavin 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 Gavin's 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.
- Stealth Insult: His "I am Pudge" song was based on his experience being taught how to play DotA 2 by Grey Carter. Grey edited the video that went with the song and slipped 'Gav is a casual' into one of the frames.
- Take That!:
- "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:Roll up and see the amazing moving statue! SNEAK ATTACK!
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!
- "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."Wit for pace this riddle's just a race..."
- Title Drop: The majority of his song titles feature in the lyrics, usually the chorus.
- Twilight of the Old West: "Redemption Blues" and "Setting Sun", following the theming of Red Dead Redemption and its prequel where the era of cowboys has ended/is about to end.Our days are [all almost] overTimes have changed around these partsThere ain't no more cowboysOnly men with violent hearts
- 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.
- He rerecorded "Redemption Blues" from Level 1 to coincide with the release of Red Dead Redemption 2 in 2018.
- 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.
- Even more so with Grey Carter, to the point that people who see them interact for the first time tend to think they hate each other.
- 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 Us:Don't shake me/Don't make me bare my teeth/You really don't wanna meet that guy