I was listening through a bunch of old Slightly Dark Christmas albums. Each year, SD has been creating mix albums to match the theme of the season. Once in awhile there is a track that stands out from the rest, and Akiko Shikata’s “Winter” from Hanakisou Soundtracks really caught my attention. This track was featured on Slightly Dark Christmas Volume 5, which I think will be available again through the site once Volume 6 is complete.
The mix has a style that’s kind of hard for me to place. It almost sounds a bit medieval in composition, mostly due to the instruments used – a wonderful selection of pipes, guitar, violins, piano, and percussion. The scale also seems to give it an archaic feel as well, a sense of walking through a snowscape. The high quality of the instruments is due to the soundtrack being a live recording. This has become more common now as composers have access to even small groups of musicians, not necessarily having to rely on a fullblown orchestra. I kind of like the more intimate quality that a smaller band has to offer because the musicians have a better opportunity to play off each other. The music quality is all here, and that’s something you never want to skimp on in a game.
Akiko Shikata has composed for numerous other games including Shadow Hearts and Ar Tonelico. Read the rest of this entry ?