Archive for June 25th, 2010

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Shadow of the Colossus – “The Opened Way” (Kow Otani)

June 25, 2010

Returning to Shadow of the Colossus, here is “The Opened Way”, one of the main Colossus battle themes. Each colossi uses one of several themes, helping give it a unique feel. “The Opened Way” is one of the best of the bunch as it has one of the most memorable melodies from the soundtrack and gives a perfect soundtrack to the massive movements of the colossus coupled with the nimble motion of the hero, Wander. This theme is used when fighting the first colossus, as well as several others.

Shadow of the Colossus – “The Opened Way” (Kow Otani)

“The Opened Way” seems a little antique, probably due primarily to the deep drums as well as the strings. The entire soundtrack is like this, feeling like a setting distant from our own. The theme has a lot of desperation, the gruesome work of fighting and brutal sword slashes, as well as a tinge of melancholy. There are three major sections, the first dominated by strings, the second with a trumpet line and flute, and the third with and excellent call and response between strings and drums. The second and third sections in particular have incredible melody while the drums have amazing volume. The overall impression is a metaphor of battle as a waltz to the death.

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Passion – “Sakura” (Yuki Kajiura)

June 25, 2010

Passion (2007) is a wonderful album from Eminence Orchestra featuring the work of Yasunori Mitsuda, Hitoshi Sakamoto, and Yuki Kajiura. The soundtrack is a recording of a concert held in a select number of cities such as Singapore, Baltimore, and Sydney, so is fairly difficult to find. It contains music from games, anime, and standalone albums, all using a six-piece orchestra conducted by violinist Hiroaki Yura (Grim Grimoire). This piece, “Sakura” is from Xenosaga II: Jenseits von Gut und Bose (2005). It is one of my favorite tracks.

Passion – “Sakura” (Yuki Kajiura)

This piano and violin piece has a fleeting beauty – though intensely emotional, after only a short time, it is gone. This makes it an excellent selection for an album of this name, but also gains greater meaning when given its context. “Sakura” is the theme of Sakura Mizrahi, a girl who contracted a disease which left her unable to “respond to external stimuli” – yet learned the piano. Her theme song is thus very fitting for reflecting her musical skills as well as a fleeting beauty and innocence that is soon lost, like a falling cherry blossom.

The in-game theme has four versions, and this YouTube video contains three of them. The first is a piano arrange, while the second contains Italian lyrics (no translation). Version #4 was the version arranged for Passion. Read the rest of this entry ?