The Music of Codename Cygnus

Published in
2 min readFeb 6, 2014


Today, we’d like to introduce our composer for Codename Cygnus, Li Xiao’an.


He is a composer and audio designer who has produced music for the App-Store featured game, Ravenmark: Mercenaries, and the immensely popular retro fan-made game, Sonic The Hedgehog: After The Sequel. Currently, he is working with game studios in Singapore, Boston, Argentina, Vancouver and San Francisco.

Li Xiao’an is also a chart topping international session guitarist, music educator and multiple award-winning graduate from the Berklee College of Music. One of his goals is to have long-term, full-time composition contracts where he can write music for and conduct a real orchestra.

How did we meet?

Before we met Li Xiao’an, we have already attempted to work out deals with two different composers. After neither of those had worked out, we cut our losses and licensed generic, royalty free music, for a low cost. Around then, we gave up on having an originally composed theme for Codename Cygnus.

But then we ran into each other at a Boston Post Mortem meetup. He was excited and passionate about the project, as well as super professional. Shortly after an introductory Skype call, he sent us an outline of notes for the meeting, along with specific details on how we can work it out. He knew exactly what he needed to create music for the game.

Musical Composition

In less than a week of iterations, Xiao’an had finished a theme that the entire team had fallen in love with. You can listen to a preview of the theme that Li Xiao’an composed for Codename Cygnus below:

In additional to the main theme, Xiao’an also composed several other types of music for the game, including short interludes and stingers.

Interludes are used to transition the player in time or location without losing immersion in the imaginary world. Stingers are used to emphasize or quickly underscore narrative events and moments of dialogue. For example, a 3–5 second stinger would follow a moment of success or it could “sting” the listener at the moment of a shocking cliffhanger reveal.

The Future of Codename Cygnus Music

We definitely look forward to the future of music in Codename Cygnus. We look forward to working with Li Xiao’an to compose more interludes, stingers and music for any future Codename Cygnus content!



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