While listening to the incredible soundtrack of Cloud Atlas during my writing session, I thought back to a post I read a few months ago about the power of music in storytelling. In it, the author shares his firsthand experience with something most of us know to be true, that music can play a crucial role in enhancing narrative: “Emotions become clearer, drama becomes more intense, and action becomes more exciting. The whole story is augmented and pushed to a new level that the visuals alone can’t accomplish.” But can sounds by themselves, without words, become primary vehicles for storytelling? Connecting this thought back to an environmental theme, I came across this fascinating video by University of Minnesota undergrad Daniel Crawford in which he converts global temperature records in a piece he plays on his cello. Have a listen:
I love soundtracks. To me, they play a crucial part in my enjoyment of stories in films, television, and games. Done properly, a soundtrack dynamically complements and enhances a narrative’s ability to resonate deeply with us. Good atmospheric music set the emotional tone of countless scenes, while pieces rich in memorable melodies and rousing leitmotifs can instantly transport us back to meaningful moments of the story, long after the tale itself has faded from our memories. Today, I want to return to the world of Termina with Time’s End: Majora’s Mask Remixed, an album by Theophany that was appropriately released on the Mayan End of Days. Even if you haven’t read the Majora’s Mask Ekostory and know nothing about videogames, the music is worth a listen. Theophany’s tracks capture the rich and terrible world of Majora’s Mask and the elements of grief, apprehension, mystery, and wonder that colour it. Terrible Fate and Time’s End are my personal favourites. Have a listen while living life in the first exciting days of a “post-apocalyptic” world!