Edgar Allan Poe Inspired Soundscape

“Tales of Mystery and Imagination” is a gothic horror soundscape inspired by the works of Edgar Allan Poe. The piece is in four sections, each inspired by, and reflecting one of Poe’s short stories.

Track 1 – Ligeia.

The protagonist marries the love of his life, Ligeia. He does not remember exactly how or where they met, but he is infatuated by her otherworldly beauty and esoteric knowledge. After a time, Ligeia becomes ill and dies, and her husband grieves sorely, but eventually moves to England where he remarries. In a bizarre twist of fate his second wife, Lady Rowena, also becomes seriously ill, but just as she is about to expire seems to revive and return to life. However, she has returned seemingly not as herself, but as Ligeia.

Track 2 – The Pit and the Pendulum.

The protagonist is condemned by the Spanish Inquisition. He loses consciousness and awakens in a completely dark dungeon like cell. Whilst exploring in the darkness he discovers – and almost falls into – a huge pit in the centre of the room. The next time he awakens there is some light, but he finds himself bound to a wooden frame. Above him a huge pendulum tipped with a sharp blade is swinging, and very slowly descending, above his immobilised body. He narrowly escapes death by attracting some rats to eat through his bindings. The walls then begin to move, pushing him towards the pit. Death from this final torture is avoided by the arrival – in the nick of time – of French forces opposed to the religious zealots.

Track 3 – The Tell-Tale Heart.

The protagonist suffers mental health problems, and one night murders his (acquaintance / neighbour?) – an old man, whose offence is nothing more than being deemed to have an “evil eye”. The murderer cuts up the body and hides it beneath the floor. However, the old man screamed out as he died, and the police have been alerted. As the police investigate, the villain becomes convinced that he can hear the old man’s heart beating under the floorboards – louder and louder – until the sound becomes unbearable. Unable to tolerate the sound, he confesses his guilt.

Track 4 -The Fall of the House of Usher.

The protagonist responds to a letter requesting assistance from his friend Roderick Usher, who lives in an ancient, crumbling Gothic mansion on the edge of a lake. On arrival, he finds the house in disrepair, with serious cracks in the masonry. Roderick and his sister Madeline are both ill, and prone to catalepsy. When Madeline dies, she is placed in the tomb under the house. In the following days Roderick gradually loses his sanity, becoming convinced that the house is somehow alive, that he can hear every creak and movement from it, and that Madeline was alive when she was entombed. A fierce storm arises, and the ghastly figure of Madeline burst in and attacks Roderick. The protagonist escapes from the house just in time to see it collapse completely and fall into the swamp.


These soundscapes were created using a hybrid tuning system involving the use of Fibonacci “Golden Ratio” intervals. For more information visit: A Golden Ratio Musical Vocabulary.

The interval patterns used are adapted (with permission) from the the work “Piano Sonata No.7” by Eric Craven: https://divineartrecords.com/recording/eric-craven-piano-sonatas-78-9/

The accompanying images were created in collaboration with the Craiyon AI image generator.

“Tales of Mystery and Imagination – the Soundscape” is available on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z3F27X3BkGA


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