Music of the Spheres, the original soundtrack to Destiny that, despite the collaboration of Paul McCartney, was shelved and never released by Activision, made its way online over the weekend.
The soundtrack is currently available on Soundcloud (where it may be downloaded) and YouTube (below). It’s 50 minutes long, comprising eight tracks. Martin O’Donnell, the longtime Bungie composer, collaborated with McCartney and Michael Salvatori on it.
McCartney, formerly the frontman of the rock band Wings and, before that, a member of the Beatles, was brought aboard for the soundtrack to Destiny in 2012, before the game was even titled. He supplied the game’s theme song “Hope for the Future,” which later was released as its own single.
O’Donnell had a bitter falling out with Bungie and was dismissed in April 2014, five months before Destiny launched. He successfully sued the studio for unpaid wages and profit-sharing benefits he was owed. His case mentioned that Activision had replaced the music that he, Salvatori and McCartney had created with another soundtrack that the publisher had commissioned.
Bungie, according to O’Donnell’s lawsuit, protested on O’Donnell’s behalf, but the episode began an acrimonious relationship between the two that led to his dismissal. O’Donnell viewed himself as pushing back against Activision’s presence in Bungie’s works; Bungie considered O’Donnell to be insubordinate and bent on publishing Music of the Spheres over the orders of his superiors.
O’Donnell, about a month ago, began tacitly encouraging those in possession of the soundtrack to share it, noted Kotaku. He had given away nearly 100 copies of the soundtrack, and while O’Donnell said that he didn’t have the authority to permit someone sharing the music, “no one in the world can prevent me from giving you my blessing.”
Owen Spence and Tlohtzin Espinosa, who had been trying to reconstruct and release Music of the Spheres from publicly available material, were then contacted by someone with a full copy who wanted it made public. And now it is.
Music of the Spheres covers eight tracks and spans 50 minutes. The songs are “The Path,” “The Union,” “The Ruin,” “The Tribulation,” “The Rose,” “The Ecstasy,” “The Prison” and “The Hope.”
Destiny 2’s beta, which opened with the mission “Homecoming,” seemed to take a poke at “Hope for the Future.” In the Homecoming mission, players could hear the song playing through a locked door in the Tower as it was under siege. In the first Destiny, players could go to the same room of the Tower to hear the song.
Destiny’s official original soundtrack, available from the Bungie Store, credits O’Donnell, Salvatori and McCartney along with C. Paul Johnson. Johnson and Salvatori share credits on the Destiny 2 original soundtrack.