Hi wizards and sorceresses!
Today let me introduce to you the 10th track released for Wizards of Unica’s Original Soundtrack: The Windy Canyon, realm of Garuda the Mount of Gods!
In the earlier phases of creation I planned to set the stage into Indonesian environments, and I tried hard to keep this decision because Indonesian mythology is almost unknown to most people, and provide a lot of good inspiration for creatures. It is the fourth most populated country in the world and I knew almost nothing about its history or folklore.
But in the last months I realized I was making things too complicated: traditional monsters from Java, Sumatra and Bali that I’ve been able to track are ghosts or blood suckers, with slight variations. That’s why I choose to enlarge the stage’s flavor with Hindu culture in general. Garuda is a primary entity in the whole Hindu area, and loads of colorful and bizarre creatures related to the wind’s power comes from Hindu myths.
So by now the Windy Canyon will take place into Mount Meru, which is “a sacred mountain with five peaks in Hindu, Jain and Buddhist cosmology and is considered to be the center of all the physical, metaphysical and spiritual universes”. It looked like the proper place to set Garuda’s nest and let the player climbs to reach it, crossing temple’s ruins among Leyak (heads of dead) and Apsaras (nymphs of air).
About the track I present here today, so far it has been the one I struggled more with. Usually I start a song with a riff, or chords I want to play with, but this time I had nothing but an atmosphere into my mind. I started five different tracks before I realized which one was the right path, and still that path wasn’t clear.
Indonesian music is full of percussion with a prominent role of the gamelan, an ensemble of instruments I love and that I largely used into Wizards of Unica soundtracks but I also wanted to add sitar and tabla to give the right Hindu touch. Despite their diffusion, I noticed a lack of those instruments’ loops and licks into the net, but luckily I found a nice free VST called Indian Dreamz and I started to play with it. The VST has some minor bugs, but it is a quality tool, not to write down sitar solos, but good enough for atmospheres.
So, I started to listen to a lot of Indian traditional music, and study a bit about raga (the Hindu music scales) trying to get the feeling. In the last days I was playing for the first time Assassin’s Creed, and I even won a “give away” contest and got Assassin’s Creed Chronicle: Indian as reward. So I started to listen to all its amazing music, which confirmed the goodness of the path I was already on: a mix etno, rock and techno elements, with subtle clean folk instruments and distorted deep kicks and guitars.
But still I was missing a killing riff, something that could lead together all the elements I had in my mind. Once more Mr. Nobuo Uematsu enlightened me with his majestic music: do you remember the labyrinth in FF7 Corel Prison, and that sense of emptiness converged by the perfect minimalism of Sandy Badlands track? I used the same snake rattle and percussive echos as in that intro, but my horror vacui prevents me to let all that beautiful silence… So I put a Tanpura as a background meditation sound, while flutes and gamelan are chasing each other, based on the Ungarian minor scale in D (which is very close to original Hindu scales but a bit more occidental).
Furthermore, this time I made a massive use of samples from others people around the net, especially from freesound.org (great generous community, I love you people!), but I choose only things very close to what I could play myself.
Once the first part is over, with the big crash, Garuda appears from the sky, treating you to leave. For you will face him, and then the fight begins, with this ominous fat choir, the jaw’s harp and distorted sitar solo… Until you deal to the mythical bird the fatal blow and in a burst of light, wind and teal feathers he disappears, leaving to you his wind power, able to push enemies in the next stages!
Oh, I can’t wait to play this boss encounter, and you?!
Thanks for you support guys!
Daniele Lynx Lasalandra – Art Director