Four years ago I joined up with Alchemic Studio, a mod team from the University of Texas, to participate in the 2008 ArtSpark Festival.

Our “sparks” were 1) a pastoral painting of a boy and his horse, and 2) an elaborate sculpture resembling a spiky flying saucer. After six weeks of non-stop Footmen Frenzy peppered by a few sleepness nights of game development (or was it the other way around?), we presented a humble little PC game about a shy country boy who’s whisked away to adventure among the stars.

The theme music I wrote for Eyrus was a simple piano tune intended to evoke a sense of childlike innocence and wonder, inspired by the delicate piano in scores like Elmer Bernstein’s To Kill a Mockingbird or Joe Hisaishi’s Spirited Away. Over the past few years I’ve kept coming back to Spirited Away in particular, and sometimes thought about that wonderful opening theme. The solo piano sets the tone, sure, but it’s the moment when the orchestra comes in that really tugs at your heart.

I wanted to see if I could accomplish something similar with the old Eyrus theme. So here’s “Night Sky,” an evolution of the original piano melody backed by strings and a little acoustic guitar. Music for camping out in the middle of nowhere, gazing upwards at an impossible number of stars.