At least once in your lifetime, you’ve put on the radio in your car or on the internet or your digital music player and went about your daily activities. Somewhere within the mix of songs you listened to, there came that one song, the one that made you stop and listen in awe to it, one that made the hairs on the back of your neck stand up. It impressed you, thrilled you, made you want to listen to it over and over again. Years ago, I found that feeling with Austin Wintory’s soundtrack to the game “Journey”. It was plaintive, arresting, and called to a deeper part of me. Now, I’ve found a similar impression again with Wintory’s soundtrack to the game “Abzu”.
There is nothing more that excites me than finding a positively unique and brilliant story from something. Be it music, books, movies, or often video games, I immediately respect and admire anyone who has the capacity to come up with a story that no only engages its reader but also makes them connect with the protagonist in such a way that they don’t at first realize it. I enjoy studying the uses of story-telling in various media so that I can better my own writing. Every time I watch a movie or play a game, I am subconsciously paying attention to the story-telling, character development, and world-building. And as of only a few weeks ago, I was introduced to an atmospheric dark indie game that proceeded to hook me in very little time; The Cat Lady.
In my arsenal of music, I reserve spaces for certain composers who go above and beyond the expectations for a brilliant musical score. I have maybe five soundtracks that I consider to be the best and most inspirational of all time. These are songs that move me to tears when I listen to them, songs that alone without the aid of visuals, can make me envision a book scene in its entirety. These pieces move me and have moved many other people by their beauty. As of late, I’ve had the pleasure of discovering what I consider to be my new number one soundtrack in this area. I was introduced to the soundtrack for an indie video game called Journey by thatgamecompany, a work of art in its own respect.While telling a spellbinding story with the use of gorgeous visuals and this sumptuous soundtrack, thatgamecompany manages to win the hearts of all sorts of people.
I’ve written before about certain music inspiring scenery. When one song can teleport you to a place you’ve never been, a place you’ve only dreamed of or imagined, that’s real talent. Over the last week, I’ve been struggling with editing and haven’t had the chance to really write anything new. Editing puts your mind in a different mode entirely. It requires you to be more analytical but also keep a bit of your creativity so that you know how to fix things. But I’ve been longing for just that creative streak, that inspiration that keeps me writing and prevents me from getting hung up on mistakes that I can fix later. Imagine my delight when I discovered Jesper Kyd and his music. This man is truly a talented composer.
Jesper Kyd is a Danish composer who has done work for television and film but most notably, for video games. He’s worked on such popular video games as Kane and Lynch, Borderlands, the Hitman Series, and, my personal favorite, the Assassin’s Creed series. Particularly with Assassin’s Creed soundtracks, I find it so much easier to lose myself in the setting and in the characters heads, especially if the scenery is historical. He really has captured the time periods from the series in his music to a point that you can see everything about them when you listen. His work has been a real help to me while I’ve worked on the Monstrum Chronicles series. Below, I’ll be sharing 5 of his songs with you and discussing what I see when I listen to them.