Trauma Traum ~Suigan no Ningyou~ Soundtrack
Trauma Traum ~Suigan no Ningyou~ Soundtrack
November 17, 2017
Buy at CDJapan
The Trauma Traum ~Suigan no Ningyou~ Soundtrack, composed by Nanashi no Chiyo and featuring a vocal theme by Haruka Shimotsuki, accompanies a PC adventure game. The release also includes a drama CD that tells the story over additional music. How does this indie game’s soundtrack turn out?
The album opens with a small ditty, “Tin-plated Clock,” that gives a hint of what is to come on the soundtrack, featuring strings and some chimes. It isn’t very substantial, but does set a bit of a tone. Following that is “Traumenburg,” the town theme of the game. It’s a light hearted cello, woodwinds, and piano theme with a vibrant, atmospheric sound with a decent melody. Its counterpoint, “Dark Traumenburg,” on the other hand, is certainly more horror-esque in approach with piercing sound effects, its creepy atmosphere, but comes off as a bit of a generic horror tune. “Dream” is a beautiful strings and woodwind piece that gives off a classical vibe to it, thanks to the harp. The end result is peaceful and ethereal. Its counterpoint is “Dream (Nightmare),” a mysterious piano tune with a sense of chaos in how the strings are incorporated, but it ends up being rather forgettable in the end.
There are plenty of piano tunes on the album as well. “Unique Treasure” is one such piece. It’s dreamy in sound and simplistic in approach, but falls a bit short of being memorable. “Trauma” is another piano piece with a darker tone that certain conjures up images of pain, but fails to truly stand out. More successful, although not perfect, is “Final Trauma,” with its classical air and a sense of determination, but the end result is still a bit flat. “The Capricious Bartender” is another tune that falls into this category. Fortunately, “What the Stained Glass Reflects,” is, as the name implies, a reflective piano piece with a romantic quality to it. “Looming Terror” is another successful piano theme with an ominous, atmospheric sound, but combines a classical approach, giving a tense mood and one of the better piano melodies on the soundtrack. Likewise, “LilliWalzer,” with its classical piano approach, also features a wonderful melody.
On the more atmospheric side of things are tunes like “Indelible Memories” with its mysterious approach utilizing mallet percussion to move the melody but using strings in a sparse way that helps to add some musical texture to the piece. “What Lies Beyond Turning Around and Continuing to Go in Circles” is a piano tune with electronic elements that features a frenetic and mysterious atmosphere. Ominous in atmosphere is “Thorny Path,” an organ driven piece that features a decent melody and is quite dark while “At the End of the Discolored World” is an atmospheric synth and piano driven piece that gives off a desolate air. Having a somewhat creepy carnival-esque sound is “Let’s Meet Again in a Dream” that utilizes glockenspiel and a waltz like approach to create a fantastic atmosphere.
Of course, there is more to the soundtrack than just atmospheric and piano tunes. Some of the better tunes on the album use a variety of instruments to convey a variety of moods. “First Trial” incorporates piano and acoustic guitar to create a playful and bright mood with hints of tension, beauty, and dream-like qualities. On the other end of the spectrum is “The Deprived Prince,” with its waltz-y, mallet percussion, and harpsichord to create a regal tone. Jovial in nature is “Let’s Toast With Wine!,” an upbeat woodwind tune that has a tavern-like quality to it and a great atmosphere. “Checkmate,” on the other hand, is more Renaissance inspired, featuring accordion and string, to create an upbeat and jovial sound. In fact, a couple other tunes also carry with it a Renaissance flavor. “The Court’s Cynic” is an acoustic guitar driven piece that is mournful at times that incorporates woodwinds to help build on this sound while “The Green-eyed Doll,” uses harp and strings to create a beautiful atmosphere with a bit of a marching sound in the percussion.
Of course, there is also the vocal theme sung by Haruka Shimotsuki, “Flower of Memories.” Coming in two varieties, the game size version and the full version, each offers a similar sound. The shorter “Game Size ver.” also incorporates this Renaissance sound, utilizing accordion, strings, and woodwinds alongside marching percussion, to craft the backbone of the piece. These elements are present, but not as prominently featured, allowing for the vocals to take center stage. The full size of the song features additional solo sections and verses in addition to some extra instrumentation. It’s a very beautiful tune in the end.
While not perfect, the Trauma Traum ~Suigan no Ningyou~ Soundtrack, composed by Nanashi no Chiyo, certainly provided a few surprises. While the single instrument tunes generally failed to live up to the more fleshed out tunes, they were important in establishing atmosphere. Likewise, the classical/Renaissance feel of the other tracks helped to elevate the music. In the end, the soundtrack is worth a listen, but it isn’t going to bring any revelations or a wow factor to the mix.
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Posted on March 27, 2018 by Don Kotowski. Last modified on March 27, 2018.