Laurence Juber

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Laurence Juber onstage at the Paris WWI 2008.

Laurence Juber is an accomplished studio musician, live performer, and guitarist who wrote and composed some of the music of Diablo III. Prior to Diablo III, Laurence created music for Starcraft II, though his vast bulk of his work has not been in the video game industry.

Additional information about Laurence Juber:

Diablo III Contributions[edit | edit source]

Laurence talked about how he became involved with the Diablo III project in a 2010 interview with All Voices.[1]

Although not a gamer himself, LJ was asked by Blizzard to create original compositions for the upcoming game, Diablo III. "The representative who asked me to play for Blizzard, Russell Brower, is someone I've known for at least 25 years. He was familiar with both my guitar playing and my composing ability. With Diablo, the original game was quite guitar driven and the original composer was no longer involved with the game, so he [Brower] was drawn to me because he knew that I was able to handle both the guitar and composition side of it."

"The [Diablo compositions] were original songs that captured the ambiance of the original game but needed to evolve because video game music has evolved over the last decade to be really orchestrated and more like movie music. The process for me was more like I am painting a picture than as if I?m scoring a movie."

"They introduced me to some of the early versions of the game so I had a sense of what was going on in terms of the characters and the avatars and all of the dynamics of the game. Then I went and created the songs and we revised it and created a whole bunch of music. It was mostly 12 string guitar and orchestra. On a couple of occasions I've had the opportunity to perform with an orchestra doing some of this music. Everything else is conceptual, which is part of my approach in general as a musician, which is also true to my approach as a studio musician. Once I understand the concept of the style I can then work within that mode to create something that fits within that framework but still has some of my original sensibility."

On filling Matt Uelmen's shoes, from an interview with Destructoid.[2]

Imposing shoes to fill indeed! And yes, I’ve had to do that before in other aspects of my career.

To prepare, I played around with the previous game and spent a little time with an early incarnation of Diablo III. I also did some deep listening to Matt’s music and started by establishing continuity with the Tristram theme, recognizing that the 12-string guitar and related double-string plucked, strummed and hammered sounds were essential textural elements.

I added some voices from my own arsenal: altered-tuned 6 string guitar, octave mandolin and Renaissance lute for example, as well as some manipulated electric guitar sounds. The hammered dulcimer is a voice that carried over from Matt’s work - it’s a cool instrument for the kind of spooky ambient texture that floats over drones.

Given such a strong and iconic starting point, I worked to counterbalance that with some randomness...

For example, I’d record some free-form electric guitar through a '60s-style germanium fuzz box, then reverse the audio and pick out the most compelling motifs. Then I’d orchestrate around that to create some unexpected blends, not recognizably guitar-based, still allowing for some broad orchestral and choral strokes.

Diablo III Announcement[edit | edit source]

Laurence was part of Diablo III's reveal at the Blizzard's 2008 World Wide Invitational in Paris, France. Diablo III was announced at that event, and the first hint of the title came from Laurence, onstage, with a red light glow, as he played some bars of Matt Uelmen's iconic Tristram theme from Diablo I.

Laurence's solo begins at 1:20.

This video from the crowd conveys the excitement of the event.

Interviews[edit | edit source]

Blizzcon 2011[edit | edit source]

Laurence gave a short, improvised, excellent live performance during the Diablo III Sound Panel at Blizzcon 2011.