Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Soundtrack Suggestion: Joan Of Arc The Messenger by Eric Serra

Joan of Arc The Messenger 
Composed by Eric Serra

The soundtrack to the movie Joan of Arc (titled The Messenger in other releases) has a beautiful range of tracks that explore the blood-rich battlegrounds of war as well as the ephemeral strings of a supernatural influence.  Composed by Eric Serra, whose work on the soundtracks for The Fifth Element and Leon: The Professional I loved so much, this soundtrack is definitely a worthy purchase to add to your collection.

The soundtrack has twenty-seven songs in total, with the last song being a lyrical one called "My Heart Calling"with vocals provided by Noa (who also worked with Eric Serra on the soundtrack to James Bond flick, GoldenEye) . Get a glimpse of the soundtrack here.

Perfectly composed to accompany any games set in the medieval age with grand battles against overwhelming odds, the soundtrack invokes the foreboding presence of a towering powerful force with the use of great drums, horns and chanting voices.    While there are moments when the music returns to the familiar theme that is meant to resonate Joan's presence in the battlefield, each individual track is consistent in portraying a feeling or mood, and this makes it easier to use in a game since you are free to keep a particular track on loop for as long as you need it to repeat.

The music also capitalizes on the presence of great swelling moments to draw out an emotional response from the listeners.  These moments make the soundtrack a veritable godsend when running games that have epic fight sequences or moments when the divine touches humanity.  

Special consideration must also be given to the final and only lyric track, "My Heart Calling" because for a song with lyrics, the song still manages to remain light enough to play even during a game sequence.  Typically, lyrical songs are frowned upon because it is easy for players to get distracted by the words in the song.  In this song, however, the words are nicely applicable to any hero that is still in the search for him or herself.  And such a message can easily be used to highlight a wide range of games.

Joan of Arc The Messenger track suggestions
WTF moment: A Sword In A Field and Joan and the Wolves (track 02-03), At One With You (track 06), the Miracle of  Orleans (track 20)
Introspective/calm moment: Talk to Him (track 01), La Hire's Lucky Charm (track 17)
Tense/mystery moment: Burying Our Children (track 04), The Messenger of God (track 09),Trial (track 22)
Combat music: Recrossing The River (track 15), The Tourelles (track 16), To Arms (track 18), Armatarum Dei (track 19), Angelus In Medio Ignis (track 26)
Hopeful moment: No Amen (track 05), To the King of England (track 12), Rex Coronatur (track 21)
Drama/sad moment: Chinon (track 07), Find Him (track 10) Procession to Orleans (track 14), Anger and Confession (track 23), Answer Me (track 24),

Best Used In: Many of the tracks are best suited for major battle sequences set during the medieval age.  However, the orchestral scores used for battle can actually be used for even fight sequences or engagements set during the modern or futuristic age.  Many of the tracks can also be used for any game sequences where a divine or infernal presence makes itself known.  There is a supernatural quality added to the atmosphere by many of the lighter sounding tracks.

I highly recommend the last track, "My Heart Calling" be used as a closing credit song after a particularly intense game session where the heroes question their actions/beliefs.   The lyrics should nicely resonate with them as you all pack up and prep to head home.

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