Preparing for Season Two – leitmotifs

We want to take season two to new levels in many ways. Eddie Louise is working on an overall story arc for the season. We will be adding some additional video content about Abigail, and new information is coming about the Charges du Faire (and the Narrator’s role in the organization). Music is something we want to have more of as well, not just new featured artists, but thematic music to help set the mood.

Chip has begun working on leitmotifs—themes for each character—which can help not only set the mood but extend the relationship of the characters to each other. Leitmotifs are associated with Wagner in his use in Der Ring des Nibelungen. They are recurrent themes throughout a musical or literary composition, associated with a particular people, ideas, or situations. John Williams used leitmotif effectively in the Star Wars films. Whenever the Imperial March is played it informs the movie goer of who was about to appear. Even if imperial soldiers were not in the scene, the empire’s presence is felt.

Dr Sage leitmotif

For the Tales of Sage and Savant, Chip is wanting to create themes that identify character, which can be used to set the mood, but also identify who is the focus of the scene. The leitmotif for Doctor Petronella Sage is to the left, inquisitive, thoughtful, perhaps even a bit haunting.

Dr Sage leitmotif embellished

The theme can be extended and embellished for potential use as mood music. Perhaps Dr Sage is in her lab trying to decide what she can (and what she cannot) tell Abigail about the next experiment. We could increase the tempo and make the theme frantic, desperate to find a solution.


Professor Savant is more grounded than Dr Sage, so his leitmotif is more predictable, rooted in a major key. Although, there are unresolved issues, so it doesn’t end on the tonic. If you think about this theme in minor, it ends on a dominant fifth chord, which cries out for resolution.

Dr Sage and Prof Savant leitmotif together

Of course, both leitmotif can be played simultaneously. Professor Savant is the underpinning to the Dr Sage melody that takes focus, but there is also a sense of how the two themes play together. There is a slight variation to Dr Sage’s leitmotif at the end, but it is still recognizable.


Dr Sage and Prof Savant leitmotif together
All of these leitmotif can be played with the dies irae—the first seven notes are the basis for the opening theme for our show, significant because it is Latin plainchant used in the Mass of the Dead. Here is an example of both leitmotif for Dr Sage and Prof Savant superimposed over the dies irae. While this is just a rudimentary example of how these themes work together, there is a great deal we can do though variation, instrumentation and expansion of these themes to create a soundscape for season two.

While we did not incorporate a lot of background music in season one, the dies irae was used a the basis for all the music. We felt it was a nice tie into the main theme. For season two it is important for the characters to have their own themes. To strengthen the story by adding a layer of music.

The Narrator and Abigail will also have their own leitmotifs. As season two develops, there are other characters and situations that will receive leitmotifs, but we can’t really discuss them yet.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.