Farlands Original Soundtrack
Farlands Original Soundtrack
July 28, 2016
Download at Bandcamp
Jason Graves has made a big name for himself in recent years with his dark orchestral scores to the Dead Space trilogy, The Order: 1886, Until Dawn, and Far Cry: Primal. His latest soundtrack is quite a change of pace. Peaceful, organic, and magical, Farlands is something entirely different from the composer. Reflecting his faith in the music, he personally published the soundtrack through digital channels such as Bandcamp in July 2016.
Farlands is the soundtrack to a recent virtual reality game that gives you the freedom to explore a planet and learn of its alien flora and fauna. This aspect of exploration and freedom, which are the cruxes of the game, are also very present in the soundtrack. Graves masterfully blends electronic sounds and acoustic instruments to create a relaxing, atmospheric sound ideal for exploration. Right from the introductory soundscapes of “Luminocity” all the way to the mystical tones of “Lunar Eclipse”, listeners can expect minimally intrusive themes embedded within soft evolving soundscapes.
The entire album is one that is incredibly fluid from start to end. You will not find a piece that breaks the world that this soundtrack creates, though that’s not to say that the album is without charm. For example, many of the tracks weave in the simple, elegant main theme. The theme will almost disappear in songs such as “Celestial Sphere”, only to return much later in the track for a welcome familiar surprise. The rhythm sections of the soundtrack are very much the same, shifting from foreground to background, to create a wonderful ambience. More detailed listen can reveal all sorts of intricacies that might be missed if distracted: instruments, tones and melodies that appear only brief and you might not have heard before.
Two great examples of his compositions here are “Leo Minor” and “Heliocentric”. These two tracks break the mould in a few ways while still maintaining the overall flow of the atmosphere. “Leo Minor” evolves from a slow and somber bass introduction into something more richer as rhythm sections and eventually guitar are introduced. Throughout the track, Graves applies various amounts of distortion and feedback to create a deep mood in the track. “Heliocentric” starts out much with the atmosphere that is “leftover” from “Leo Minor”, with a few notes starting to form a melody. But the melody this time is quite a contrast, because of its happy and uplifting tones. The track continues creating a slow crescendo that drops off back into the main theme. You can hear in both tracks the atmosphere that is slowly built and sustained by use of the drums and feedback on many of the inputs. These fluid soundscapes are among the soundtrack’s greatest strengths.
While many may overlook Farlands because it’s unlike Graves’ other works, they would be doing themselves a disservice. While it’s not as striking as his large-scale major scores, he captures our feelings and attention nonetheless through his use of softer tones and melodies. These lend well to listening to while working and studying, but can also be satisfying to explore in more detail. This is an album you can listen to in many situations and that is guaranteed to transport you to a foreign place.
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Posted on January 7, 2017 by Colby Bell. Last modified on January 7, 2017.