Modern Scoring, Inspired By The Past
A celebration of un-notated traditions passed down through generations, and captured through the magic of sampling, Albion Solstice explores the visionary artistry from modern, folk, and heritage instruments. Passionately curated, this library transcends genre to give you everything you need to create modern cinematic scores.
The breadth of instrumentation and alternative techniques that forms the nucleus of this composing toolkit is staggering. Inspired by our rich and varied musical heritage, Solstice is a wellspring of opportunities featuring strings, brass, and woodwind accompanied by unique instruments from nyckelharpa, Celtic fiddles, hurdy-gurdy, and modern synthesizers, percussion performances, and much more. This is not a library to create folk music with, but simply everything you need to create cinematic scores for today, inspired by the past.
Mist Over Acheron - Paul Thomson (0:00 / 2:09)
Albion Solstice Trailer - Christian Henson (0:00 / 1:39)
Out From The Dark - Dan Keen (0:00 / 2:15)
Solstice vs Anna Phoebe - Christian Henson (Solo Violin by Anna Phoebe) (0:00 / 3:53)
Rites To Rituals To Raves - Christian Henson (0:00 / 2:26)
Forest Chase - Christian Henson (0:00 / 1:20)
Blue Hour - Homay Schmitz (0:00 / 2:04)
Castlesound Vs Air - Christian Henson (Contextual) (0:00 / 1:36)
Redhead - Christian Henson (0:00 / 0:56)
Jónsmessa - Snorri Hallgrímsson (0:00 / 2:26)
Sundancer - Lucie Treacher (0:00 / 2:11)
Recorded at the legendary Castlesound Studios in Edinburgh, Scotland, Albion Solstice is an ultra-intimate and dynamic selection of uniquely workshopped ensembles, featuring highly specialised players and sound smiths from a cross-section of classical, folk, Celtic, Gaelic, and other traditions, mixed with modern instrumentation such as analog synthesisers, Eurorack modular, electric guitar textures, tuned percussion, and distinctive audio processing. This folk noir library is a deep wellspring of endless inspiration, stemming from the organic sounds of modern and heritage instruments from across the United Kingdom, treated, blended, and unleashed to create extraordinary soundworlds fit for modern scoring.
Formed to be a vast and powerful scoring toolkit with everything you could need to create incredible cinematic tracks in one box. The sounds in this NKS-compatible library are grouped into three distinct sections: The Solstice Orchestra, the organic core featuring 10 expertly curated ensembles and 1 solo instrument, The Cassette Orchestra with 750 tape-warped, affected organic sounds available for you to expand upon using the intuitive eDNA GUI, and The Drone Grid, an almost infinite pool of stunning and unique textural evolutions to offer composers never-ending inspiration.
By design, the Albion series offers you everything you need to create film scores, helping you instantly jump-start ideas with sounds that support the writing process, allowing you to move beyond the blank page. With Albion Solstice, the approach to recontextualise folk and traditional instruments allows you to transcend genre, creating modern scores where anything is possible. Helmed by Spitfire Audio’s co-founder Christian Henson, who expertly curated and workshopped each section over two years, Solstice is our boldest Albion yet.
The Elders (Traditional Strings, Classic Strings, Solo Bass) • The Callers (Brass & Winds) • The Mystics (Whistles) • The Blaggards (Band) • The Hosts (Choir) • The Generator Trio (Electric Guitars) • The Gut Circle (Acoustic Guitars) • The Nursery (Bells & Mallets) • The Marauders (Percussion)
Featuring 10 ensembles and a soloist, 235 articulations, 78 of which are found in the two string sections, including legatos, The Solstice Orchestra is a collection of folk and contemporary instrument ensembles presented in an achingly honest and truthful light. The beating heart of Albion Solstice, these organic sounds are hand-selected by Christian Henson, working closely with a carefully selected group of players from the traditional music scenes in Scotland and the rest of the United Kingdom. Offering new, intimate, and sometimes provoking sounds imbued with raw emotion, evoking past, present, and future at once.
Discover strings, brass and woodwinds, a choir, percussion, whistles, synths, and guitars, presented in pre-orchestrated ensembles, featuring single hits, common and alternative techniques, motors (rhythmic performances that sync to your host tempo), evolutions, drones, textures and much more. Introduce yourself to the lamenting performances of The Callers, a unique brass and woodwinds section featuring soprano sax, clarinet, tenor trombone, baritone sax, tuba, and contrabass clarinet. Create indie-like textures and tones with help from The Generator Trio, an ensemble of 2 electric guitars and electric bass, creating momentum with strummed, plucked, and e-bowed performances. The Blaggards bring a totally unique and useful grouping of drones and movements, an ensemble comprised of traditional folk instruments including accordions, bass harmonica, nyckelharpa, hurdy-gurdy, harmonium, and clàrsach (Celtic harps), the folk core of the library — but we’ve made it cinematic. Compose with The Elders, a pair of string sections, the Classic Strings Octet offers a raw beauty featuring more common techniques, whereas the Traditional Strings Sextet provides more Celtic, Gaelic, and folk colours to their Classic counterparts. Each section inside The Solstice Orchestra has been orchestrated to allow you the time to just write with confidence in your tools.
Jump right in using the broadcast-ready mix created by the award-winning film, tv, and game engineer Jake Jackson, or tweak signals to meet your needs using the intuitive GUI, featuring 3 microphone positions and a cinematic impulse response reverb, unique to Solstice and formulated by Christan Henson and the Spitfire Audio Development team, giving you brilliant control over the dry, tight nature of Castle Sound and allowing you to mix with any orchestral library.
For a full overview of what is inside The Solstice Orchestra see the What’s Included section at the bottom of this page. We also highly recommend you watch Paul Thompson’s Walkthrough below.
A cornucopia of creative sound, The Cassette Orchestra is an expansive set of 150 presets made from 750 sound sources from The Solstice Orchestra. Imperfect by design, the sounds are processed, mangled, and degraded by Christian Henson personally via numerous specially developed paths, including vintage cassette machines, analog tape delays, an epic Eurorack modular rig, and his enviable collection of guitar fx pedals. Go through the looking glass into Christian’s world, exploring the impossible and creating the unimaginable. Tweak, customise and warp pairs of sounds using Spitfire Audio’s eDNA engine, a creativity machine that allows you to make your own distinctive sounds from the sound sources we have produced.
An imagined history is the inspiration for The Cassette Orchestra. How would these instruments sound if the folk players of the past recorded to cassette via stompboxes? How would they have communicated their explorations of sound? Supporting this is the Eurorack modular and cassette communities, modern-day equivalents of oral traditions of the past, centered on the sharing of ideas, passing from person to person through modern communication channels on the internet, creating a new shared musical tradition and language.
The Visitor—an easter egg in a library of easter eggs—is an inspired group created with 100 different synthesizer sounds from Christian’s vast collection. Vintage and modern instruments are represented, including the SOMA Lyra 8, Roland Juno 6, Jupiter 4, and Jupiter 6, Korg MS-20, Moog Prodigy and so many more. Going a step further, as is the Albion Solstice way, each synth was doubled in the recording or physically doubled (as in, two Lyra 8s, two Juno 6s) for a widescreen stereo effect. Additionally, all sounds were processed via an array of analog effects.
For a full overview of what is inside The Cassette Orchestra see the What’s Included section at the bottom of this page. We also highly recommend you watch Christian’s Walkthrough below.
Featuring long, evolving textures sourced from The Solstice Orchestra and presented in our popular Evo grid, The Drone Grid offers an almost infinite amount of inspiration and creativity. Shepherded by Christian Henson, these are deeply characterful performances that allow for deeper exploration via the expression and dynamic sliders.
A layered, textural world, showcasing the movement and dynamics baked into the performances from these top-tier musicians, drawing from sources in The Blaggards (Band), The Elders (Strings), The Hosts (Choir), The Callers (Brass & Woodwinds), and others. The sounds within each section are presented as presets, or use the randomiser to create unique combinations from all sections. The Evos allow you to layer together sounds from each section of The Solstice Orchestra, including strings, accordion, nyckelharpa, and hurdy-gurdy, with each note on the keyboard representing a different drone Evo or a selected sound can be spread across the entire keyboard for focused inspiration. Pads and melodic lines are made possible via the full key range.
The Drone Grid serves as a great jumping-off point to move beyond the blank page or to enhance existing cues by blending in its complex textures. With the randomisation of each instrument, you can quickly write unique and unexpected ideas from the 48 presets. These are modern, inspiring sounds based on the rich heritage of folk instruments and performance styles, endlessly customisable to your needs.
For a full overview of what is inside The Drone Grid see the What’s Included section at the bottom of this page. We also highly recommend you watch Homay Schmitz’s Walkthrough below.
Distinctive strings form the core of all Albion libraries, and Albion Solstice is no exception. This grouping includes two string sections, split into three subcategories—The Classic Octet, The Traditional Sextet, and The Elders Bass. These sections feature articulations from the classic and folk traditions as well as totally new techniques developed for these performances. Additionally, there is a curated mix for each preset and 3 detailed microphone positions offering Close, Outriggers, and Room. Unique to this section is the use of a high-end DPA clip-on mic, for ultra-close, detailed sounds.
The Classic Octet includes violins, violas, and cellos (2,2,2,2) performed in a distinctly organic fashion. This group is a new take on classical strings, focusing on orchestral playing styles including all the articulations you would expect—a multi-layer legato, dynamic hairpin sustains, trills, staccato, pizzicato, col legno but equally focusing on new bowing techniques such as circular bowing, sinister sul ponticello, Evos offering cinematic evolving textures, circular sustains (performed by moving the bow in circular motions, allowing for slight pitch and timbral shifts over time, a breathy and organic sound), and motors. Traditionally referred to as measured tremolo, motors is a new technique of playing tremolos with a different feel, giving a higher sense of depth and giving you a tool to create a sense of pace in your score.
The Traditional Sextet also features violins, viola, and cello (2,2,1,1) but takes inspiration from Celtic traditions, embracing playing styles and timbres outside of the conservatoire, with distinctive bends in pitch and characterful tone, sans vibrato. This band invokes more freedom and culture in the sound, via pitch and performance, with a wider portamento legato, an array of rising sustains, and an all-new type of articulation we developed called cellular longs. This exciting new articulation is created from dynamic performances set to a fixed scale, each note being entirely different, each its own unique voice with individual characteristics.
A booming, solo double bass, captured to increase the range of The Classic Octet and The Traditional Sextet. Gritty, deep, and dramatic, this instrument stands alone as the only soloist in Albion Solstice, allowing you fine control of this foundational element and designed to perform independently or mixed with either string band.
An eclectic selection of haunting brass and woodwinds, including saxophones, trombones, euphonium, tuba, contrabass, and clarinet. An inspired section designed to fill that of a conventional woodwind section, The Callers feature all of the articulations you would expect, legatos, sustains, shorts but is enriched with Celtic playing styles, including short pitch bends at the attack of notes, longs with slowly evolving timbres, and unique overblown sounds with natural distortion. To help spark inspiration, a specially workshopped technique called scattered tremolos (unmeasured tremolo) gives incredible performance realism. Spread out across the entire keyboard range, a truly full sound is immediately accessible.
An intimate group of flutes, mixed with Celtic flutes and whistles, representing the top end of a conventional woodwind section. The pairing of Celtic flutes with flutes more commonly associated with the classical tradition allows for a sharper timbre and wider spread of sound due to variances of pitch between the playing styles. A collection of sounds, unheard before, offering a rich and deep sound that has a mysterious, slightly unsettling quality. Includes traditional articulations as well the identifiably Celtic slight pitch bend at the attack of notes.
The soul of the Solstice orchestra, this rough-and-ready ensemble is composed of accordion, bass harmonica, nyckelharpa, hurdy-gurdy, harmonium, and clàrsach (Celtic harps). This grouping represents the clearest example of combining instruments from similar historical moments, but of different folk music traditions, curated for modern cinematic scores. Since this is the most diverse collection of instruments, care was taken to record these as an ensemble as well as in duo settings, allowing for greater control of the performances.
A haunting ensemble of female singers, 6 high voices and one low, originating from a variety of folk traditions. This collection of female voices may appear humble in size, but the multitudes of sounds and textures that are at your immediate disposal is truly beguiling. A pool of performers never heard before, each singer brings a wealth of knowledge from their traditional performance backgrounds, mixing different techniques, approaches to vibrato, and pitch inflection. Inherently performance-based, this organic ensemble conjures enchanting long pads, evolving textures, and vocalisations.
The only amplified instruments in The Solstice Orchestra, this is a magnetic ensemble of two electric guitars and electric bass, creating textures with strummed, plucked, and Ebowed performances. Although these instruments are quite different from the others in this library, they are performed with similar intentions and techniques. Recorded as a group and performed live with all processing, including distortion, reverb, and delay, baked into the performances, this section represents a modern folk instrument—the electric guitar. A huge inspiration tool, these performance-based patches feature Evos (pads with effects tweaked in real-time), as well as motors (repeated, measured notes that loop), all serving as a powerful jumping-off point for your score or to add texture to existing cues.
Representing the traditional folk side of the guitar family, this section is a shimmering grouping of ukuleles, steel and nylon string guitars, and mandolins. An identifiable sound that, like The Blaggards, provides a new palette without adjusting your writing style. Unique strum motors in this section bring a natural performance feel, each player drawing from their traditions, acting as a great inspiration for modern cinematic scores.
A quartet of tuned percussion, inspiring childlike sounds from a unique ensemble of vibes, celeste, dulcitone, glockenspiel, bike bells, hand drums, and various elements of found percussion. Performed together, these sounds combine to create unquestionably unique timbres, built from complex harmonics generated by multiple players striking notes simultaneously. This in-built human latency leads to a relaxed, natural spread that brings realism and nuance to your compositions.
A percussion ensemble featuring performances recorded as grooves. These are not fixed loops, but rather performances full of life and human nuance, providing the perfect building blocks of sounds that can be tweaked to be your own. This section is organized into four distinctive sets: The Main Kit (a unique drum kit paired with percussion and bodhrán), The Snake Kit (a more traditional drum kit expanded with dynamic hits and percussion), Grooves (2 patches, featuring 36 grooves all recorded at both 90BPM and 110BPM and designed to work at a huge range of tempos), and The Visitor (nearly a library on its own with 11 different kits and 12 grooves, created by sonic alchemists Andy Gray and Christian Henson). Many elements comprising the grooves can be broken out as stems, allowing for individual control over the elements for further customisation.
An expansive set of 150 presets made from 750 sound sources culled from the Solstice Orchestra. Imperfect by design, the sounds are processed, mangled, and degraded by Christian Henson personally via numerous specially curated paths:
Long, evolving textures sourced from The Solstice Orchestra and presented in our popular Evo grid, The Drone Grid offers an almost infinite amount of inspiration and creativity. Curated by Christian Henson, these are deeply characterful performances that allow for deeper exploration via the expression and dynamic sliders.