Gabriel Knight was developed and published by Sierra On-Line on December 17, 1993 for DOS/Windows/Macintosh. Join Gabriel, a bookstore owner, would-be author, and a man with a love for the ladies as he follows the “Voodoo Murders”. With the help of his trusty assistant Grace and longtime friend Detective Mosely, what starts off as searching for inspiration for a novel ends up uncovering ties to New Orleans’ voodoo past, the present day criminal underworld and his own tangled family history.
The evocative score was composed by industry veteran Robert Holmes, and the game was written and designed by powerhouse creative Jane Jensen. Together their work perfectly captures a place in time so memorably it resonates even all these years later. We’re honored to be joined by Robert Holmes for an interview that we’ve been looking forward to for a long time.
Robert Holmes grew up listening to the music of the 50s and 60s before playing in a number of bands in the Los Angeles music scene. Robert then worked in post production in Hollywood and shortly after joined Sierra On-Line as one of their in-house composers, initially doing Macintosh conversions and eventually composing original music for their games.
Holmes composed Hoyle Classics as well as most of the music for the Gabriel Knight trilogy, the recent 20th Anniversary remake of GK1 as well as Gray Matter and Moebius: Empire Rising. Over the years he’s also worked as composer, arranger and producer for Sting, REO Speedwagon, The Scarlet Furies, and many others.
In January 2019, Robert Holmes released two albums:
A Simple Refrain is a soothing piano album covering the most memorable themes throughout Holmes’ lengthy game career, with piano performed by the talented Roger Hooper.
Purchase link: https://asimplerefrain.com/
Renewal is a beautiful album revisiting classic folk songs by The Brothers Four, a folk group that’s been active for over 60 years. Holmes is both a performer as well as producer on the album.
Purchase link: https://www.renewalthebrothersfour.com/
Jane Jensen is the writer and designer of the Gabriel Knight trilogy. During her time at Sierra she worked on several games, including King’s Quest VI as co-designer and co-writer. She later went on to found several companies, Oberon Media, and Pinkerton Road where she created a number of adventure and hidden object games including Inspector Parker, Deadtime Stories, Gray Matter, Dying for Daylight, and Moebius: Empire Rising. She’s also written a number of novels under the pen name Eli Easton.
Link: Making of Gabriel Knight
Game purchase links:
- GOG: GK1, GK1 Remake, GK2, GK3
- Steam: GK1, GK1 Remake, GK2, GK3
Gabriel Knight, Sierra On-Line 1993
Composed by Robert Holmes
Episode Track List:
All tracks use Sound Canvas MIDI unless otherwise stated
- 0:00:00 Sierra On-Line Fanfare
- 0:00:13 Gabriel Knight Main Theme (20th Anniversary Edition)
- 0:06:20 New Orleans City Map
- 0:13:52 Dixieland Drug Store
- 0:21:30 Historical Voodoo Museum
- 0:30:51 Police Station
- 0:34:12 Interrogating Crash
- 0:42:52 A Priest to Cazanoux (20th Anniversary Edition)
- 0:46:18 The Bayou
- 0:52:09 The Inner Wheel (Wolfgang Ritter)
- 1:09:18 St. George’s Book Shop
- 1:21:46 Gedde Estate
- 1:27:55 Return to New Orleans
- 1:37:46 GK1 Theme (from the album “A Simple Refrain”)
- 1:50:00 Closing Theme
Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 1:52:22 — 196.0MB)
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Aw man, no “Crime Scene”?
Great to hear an entire episode devoted to this music though. I played this game when I was just a little squirt on a computer that was super old even at the time. It was my dad’s. I got about two days in with AdLib, then got stuck on the clock puzzle and gave up for several months. Sometime during those months, my dad got some recording software that included Roland Sound Canvas. Anyway, imagine my amazement when I fired up the game again and the music had just magically transformed from kinda cool to FREAKING AWESOME!!!
Glad you liked the show! It was such a privilege to speak to Robert and Gabriel Knight holds such a special place in my heart, as it does for many people that have played it.
It was a tough call to leave out the Crime Scene, although I believe it’s there in the background during one of our talking sections along with the Tulane University theme but they’re pretty subtle. I never got to hear it on Sound Canvas as a kid, but I played it that way on the more recent GOG release and it’s definitely the best way to experience it.