Sunday, March 2, 2014

Sunday Soundtracks: Wolf's Rain

Well, since last week we talked about music with lyrics, lets drift back into the world of instrumental music this Sunday and talk about a woman named Yoko Kanno.

File:Yoko Kanno.jpg
This wonderful woman right here

Yoko Kanno is a Japanese composer and one of the biggest names in Anime scores. She has yet to turn out a bad score for a show. Whenever her name is attached, the music is gold. And often times the shows are as well, but that's a topic for another time.

Yoko Kanno is a woman of many genres, composing blues, jazz, techno, J-pop and classical, to name a few. And all of them fit fantastically with the images on the screen.

The soundtrack I want to talk about today is the Wolf's Rain soundtrack. This show is comprised mostly of classical music, unlike one of her other well known projects, Cowboy Bebop (We'll talk about that one another Sunday) which uses largely jazz and blues pieces. 

And the music is gorgeous. Some of the most stunning orchestral pieces I've heard. There's just such emotion in each song and it really fits a fantasy setting. I'd say it would be good background music for sci-fi, dystopian and post-apocalyptic settings too. Anything with really grand visuals and locations, or with a lot of emotional scenes.

Here are a few of my favorite tracks.

Strangers- Good music for a journey. Its thoroughly pleasant and though it has lyrics they kind of fade into the rest of the orchestration. Really pretty and good for writing calmer scenes or transitional scenes.

Gravity- This is the ending song of the show and there's a sense of calm and perseverance in this song. Like someone who has been working toward something for awhile and still has a long way to go. I really like how calm and pretty this track is.

Heaven's not Enough- Another song with lyrics (I promise there's orchestral music in here somewhere). This one is rather depressing fare. Which you probably picked up from the title. But its really good theme music for a character going through a rough time, especially after a recent loss.

Shiro Long Tail's- This is the music for a triumphant comeback. When a hero gathers all their strength and makes a final stand. Its emotional and powerful, definetily one of those tracks that just fills you up as you listen to it. A personal favorite of mine.

Tsume no Suna- This is the song for a character's dramatic entrance. You know who I'm talking about. The first meeting of the really badass character no one messes with. This makes a perfect opening theme to that character, or the build up to a fight scene.

Friends- This is the kind of music that plays behind emotional dialogue while two characters are having a moment in their relationship, romantic or otherwise. Obviously, there's a reason its called Friends. This is a softer piece but none the less powerful.

Go to Rakuen- If you listen to NO OTHER song on this list, listen to this one. Its absolutely beautiful and one of my favorite classical pieces in general. The emotion of it is hard to duplicate. I know I'm using 'emotion' a lot but that's the best way to describe this. An absolute surge of emotions and the conclusion to a long journey. Its a peace full of hope and beauty. Listen to it. NOW. ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WwvQ6Hs7tJE )

Emotional is really he best word to describe all of the Wolf's rain soundtrack and I highly recommend every last song from the show. I recommend the show as well but only if you're prepared to let your feels take a pounding. Because they will.

That's all for this weeks Sunday Soundtracks! Enjoy the Oscars and keep a look out for the nominees for best music. You could find some gems for your writing!

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