In May of 2010 I was presented with an opportunity through the magic of Facebook. Paul Holmes, one of my best friends in grade school (!) contacted me asking if I was interested in making a soundtrack for his game. I was on his radar because I had just started my modular synthesizer and couldn’t resist putting photos and soundcloud links up on facebook. Naturally, I assumed that he was making a video game and needed background music. However, Paul’s game Cipher is not a video game but a pen and paper role playing game. I was confused but excited to help out. Paul’s brilliant idea was to have secret codes imbedded in the Cipher rule book that would lead the most clever readers to a web page where they could download an album of ‘mood music’ made specifically for listening while playing.

Cipher is a game about factions of people who have psychic abilities who are at war with one another in the near future. The rule book is a fun read and the game is very fun to play as well. I tried as best I could to absorb the source material so that I could produce some tracks that would integrate with the rich world of Cipher. This world was very inspiring and made the tracks a gas to work on.

I used my modular as much as I could but augmented the process with some of Live Studio’s included soft synths and samplers. I worked on it from May until September and I mastered the tracks myself. Overall, I am happy with the results. Paul and Broken Meme were also happy and very encouraging during the process. It was a very rewarding collaboration.

After the first players deciphered the code for the soundtrack it was offered for sale at It’s still available there for sale but I thought that I’d put it up here at no charge for people who register at the blog.  A preview of 3 of the tracks is below.

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Author: Bendu

Bendu is Ben Vance, an electronic musician living in Los Angeles California.

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