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This article is about the soundtrack. For the Halo Wars 2 multiplayer map, see Ashes.


Halo: Reach Original Soundtrack


Martin O'Donnell and Michael Salvatori




From the Vault




Ashes is the thirteenth track (Disc 2 Track 6) included in Halo: Reach Original Soundtrack.


Ashes is composed of two themes. The first theme opens with piano notes, then lead into a mournful melody by piano and vocals. The full melody reprises once before leading into the second theme.

The second theme is a more expressive and hopeful melody by strings and piano. It features the same ending to the second theme from the later track Ghosts and Glass.

The piano and vocals then reprise the first theme of Ashes in a higher register, then ends with the vocals fading out.


The full piece plays in the credits of Halo Reach, after the piece Latchkey (from the earlier track ONI: Sword Base) and before the piece Unreconciled (from the earlier track Tip of the Spear).

A strings-only version of the second theme, titled The Fall (from the earlier track Overture), plays in the menu of Halo: Reach.

A piano-only version of the first theme is briefly featured in Discontent (from the earlier track Winter Contingency), and plays in the ending cinematic of the campaign level Winter Contingency.

A version without vocals, titled Reflection (from the earlier track New Alexandria), plays during the ending cinematic of the campaign level New Alexandria.

A full piano-only version, not found in-game or in the soundtrack, can be downloaded from here.

Production notes[edit]

  • Ashes began composition as “Sad Theme1”, and O’Donnell considered the first theme too thick because there were too many notes. After removing some notes from the melody, he found it spare and haunting, befitting for the intended mood.[1] O’Donnell sung the vocals, then edited his voice using an unspecified software to reach a higher register.[2]
  • The title of the track may be a reference to the burning, smoldering ashes as a result of glassing.


  1. ^ YouTube - Martin O'Donnell, Reach Music Inception Pt1 (Retrieved on Feb 13, 2021)
  2. ^ Halo: Reach Developer Commentary