Author: Chris Wickham
Pandaria is an ancient continent populated by lush forests and cloud-ringed mountains that had, until recently, been shrouded by mists for millenia in the southern oceans of Azeroth. It is home to the mystical Pandaren Empire, a simple pacifistic race, concerned with the pursuit of knowledge and creative exploits such as the brewing of strong alcoholic beverages. However, the arrival of Horde and Alliance soldiers on the brink of war has dissipated the mists concealing Pandaria, and its natives have recognised the need for a more violent evolution in order to defend their peaceful ideologies.
The expansion Mists of Pandaria; introduces more than seven hours of original music for the new continent inspired by the mystical concept art. Some of this music is composed by Senior Director of Audio at Blizzard Entertainment, Russell Brower. In an interview posted on Battle.net, Brower discusses the need for supplement the usual orchestral palette with more 'Eastern' instrumentation performed by masters, rather than replacing it entirely to remind the players they are still exploring a continent within Azeroth. New instrumentation for Pandaria includes the erhu (performed by Jiebing Chen), a two-stringed bowed instrument with has a distinct ‘vocal’ quality and the dizi (performed by Chris Bleth), which possesses a 'reedy' sound akin to blowing through a plucked blade of grass. However, while the traditional orchestra remains, the playing style becomes more legato, with smoother transitions and slides throughout to create a new sonic palette of exotic melodies for Mists of Pandaria.
The Music of Mists: an Interview with Russell Brower - 6th April 2013 (http://us.battle.net/wow/en/blog/9762739)