Spirit Climes - a Tales of Xillia inspired electronic album by Emrls Community Music

Spirit-Climes-ECMusic

I love these types of albums, such as Spirit Climes from ECMusic that take inspiration from a game, then flip that into an original album full of tunes inspired by that game. It's almost as if you get a bonus disc of amazing music included with the game. In this instance, said game is Tales of Xillia 1 & 2 from the often overlooked Tales of... series of RPGs. Though I haven't played this particular iteration of the series (I am also doing some o that overlooking, sorry Xillia fans), I feel like I can recognize the style of To... series composer Motoi Sakuraba.

This album opens with a breezy, cool summer evening style atmosphere, a sharp contrast to the burning sunlight hours of August, when this album debuted. As the album continues, tracks such as "Sylph" and "Volt" create a different atmosphere. One filled with a little more adventure and perhaps a few enemy encounters.

Even in this albums most intense or bass thumping moments though, there is always a sense of calm flowing just beneath the surface. I believe it's that undertone that shows the influence of the renowned but slightly obscure music of Motoi Sakuraba through the entire album.

The seven track instrumental album is available for download via the ECMusic bandcamp page.

H.A. Sedda pays tribute to Koji Kondo & Motoi Sakuraba in new album 'Chosen Giants'

Guitarist's original album influenced by the Legend of Zelda and Tales of series.

Sedda has quickly returned to the studio for a follow up to his impressive VG tribute EP Vignettes from Millennia. In his latest, he continues his fusion of influences. This time, not just in tribute to two particular games, but two incredible pantheons of games, the niche RPG series Tales of, which began with one of my personal favorite games, Tales of Phantasia for the SNES. The second title is about as far from niche as a game could get, of course I'm talking about the wildly acclaimed and beloved Legend of Zelda.

Motoi Sakuraba and Koji Kondo have been the foremost composers for their respective series, and it's clear that H.A. Sedda has worked hard to provide music worthy of these influences.

Chosen Giants starts softly with "Melomakarono" (which Wikipedia tells me, is a type of Greek dessert). The song quickly spirals into a fusion of genres, including glitch, jazz, rock, and more. Once the song kicks into the closing half, the gentle tones give way to a foreboding shift in mood. The guitars cackle out riffs as the drums and deep bash push forward unrelentingly. This track goes from 'resting at an inn' to 'boss battle' in under four minutes, like a medley of songs from a game that never existed.

At this point I can't help but think of a few of my favorite scenes from Tales of Phantasia, such as the snow falling as Mint and Cless have a conversation outside an inn, or dropping to the depths of the ocean to find a now destroyed ancient civilization (as many RPGs do).

'Klutz Nicolette' follows. This theme takes on a much more positive tone, though no less adventurous. That's not to say that Sedda doesn't fill the song with his brand of eclectic instrumentation and mood. The songs finale builds, as if a great strength is enveloping the hero as the track comes to a close.

Title theme, Chosen Giants, brings the EP to a close. The guitar work on this track is vibrant, and ever flowing. It's easy to get drawn in, making this my favorite track of the clearly too short album. The final track evokes some of that deep dark dungeon exploring that is at the heart of so many classic adventure games and RPGs. It's easy to imagine descending deeper and deeper into the depths of the earth as the song pushed forward. This, of course, includes the requisite dungeon boss battle. The struggle builds and builds, with a single final note deciding the fate of the album. and possibly some grand mission by a group of ragtag adventurers.

The constant shifts of mood in each song create a varied and emotional trek through his music, surprisingly reminiscent of the games S.A. Sedda is influenced by. Thanks to this, he has quickly rose through the ranks of my favorite VG inspired guitarists. Now, I hope Sedda can find the time to nail down a full album. I can't imagine how many influences he could muster in a full 45 minutes.

No matter what musical endeavor H.A. Sedda takes on next, at least he can rest assured that Zelda fans are a patient breed thanks to Nintendo and game delays.

Download the album by naming your own price on the Chosen Giants bandcamp album page, or stream the full EP below.