#302: The OST

black cassette tape on top of red and yellow surface

Photo by Stas Knop on Pexels.com

I love listening to soundtracks, or OSTs. I have a deep fascination in the different songs that games and movies have, and I love listening to them when I can to bring back the memories of those experiences. When I listen to a song from a particular level, for example, it brings me into the situation, and it’s like I’m experiencing it all over again. Nothing will top that initial, first experience, but there’s value in re-experiencing the world and its wonderful moments when you can. I think that’s one of the key rewards of being into soundtracks. Though, it limits the amount of music I can discuss with other people because my recommendations are mostly built on personal novelty and nostalgia, which vary by the person.

As I write, I’m listening to “Chasing Daybreak,” a new song from the Fire Emblem: Three Houses video game. It’s no secret how much I love that game, but I don’t think I’ve talked about its soundtrack at length before.

There’s also “The Apex of the World,” which plays during the final map for each campaign and features a remixed “F√≥dlan Winds.” It’s intense, and the stakes couldn’t be higher during this encounter. I love when music matches the emotional beats of the level it’s a part of. Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze did that really well with its soundtrack; it seems to be a Nintendo staple to have great music.

Then there’s “Between Heaven and Earth,” another track that plays near the end of each campaign during the battle at Gronder Field. It’s particularly memorable because it plays during a tense, consequential battle, and it features some character deaths on the opposing side of whichever house you are playing as. It’s always uncomfortable to have to see deaths on either side, especially after you got to know these characters.

Advertisements

Silence

adult analogue break focus

Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

Sometimes, being silent is virtuous. It’s easy, especially when you’ve been wronged. Ignoring rather than engaging, casting aside rather than letting it infect you. Sometimes, it’s better to wait. Waiting for people to realize exactly what went wrong, when it went wrong, why it went wrong. To engage directly with their faults and misbehaviors. To think things over, to reflect and make right. A conscious choice to let go and ignore and wait. Empty platitudes and niceties have never been enough to convince you in the past; why should they change your mind now?

Here’s the thing: no one is permanent. And unless things change, soon, I’m fine with how things have been. The ball’s not in my court.

#133: The White Noise

grayscale photography of road

Photo by Mark Neal on Pexels.com

White noise. Do you know what it is? It’s considered to be noise that drowns out all other sound, filling the room with static electricity or ambient sounds that distract your brain from thinking of anything else. It’s designed specifically to keep you from paying attention to other sounds, so my expensive white noise machine, which of course produces white noise from its boxy exterior, fulfills that design requirement well. It has tons of different sounds: one section is for white noise, while the other section of sounds is for fan sounds. Alex and I generally prefer the static because it’s a bit more pleasant at low volume settings, and more easily blends with the ambient sound of Stamford at night. It fits in and makes it all invisible and imperceptible. When music is playing from down the street, when dogs are barking outside late in the evening, when fire trucks roam through the streets, the white noise machine is there to save the day and rescue us into its welcoming, pleasantly sounding arms. It’s such a fantastic investment.

Let me explain what caused us to get this machine in the first place. Over the summer, when Alex and I were first moving into Stamford for the first time, we decided to spend the first week or so living in the apartment without going back to work. It gave us the chance to actually explore Stamford while also acclimating to our new apartment. In the afternoon, though, and throughout the night and mornings, the restaurant from across the street played loud, loud music that you could hear even with the windows and doors closed. You could make out the lyrics, which made it a hundred times worse. That’s why we bought the machine, and ever since it’s worked beautifully.

#109: Heavyweight

audio-mixer-buttons-close-up-159206

(Sorry to break the naming convention of having a definite article before a general word as my blog title; it had to be done!)

On the way to work, I’ll sometimes put on a podcast instead of music. I prefer music nowadays because my commute is shorter than it used to be (17 minutes versus 40 minutes is a noticeable difference) and music tends to get me more consistently in the mood I’m looking for within that short amount of time. But when I do think about listening to a podcast, it’s usually MBMBaM or TAZ, or a third option, which I’m going to discuss in this blog.

The podcast is called Heavyweight, and while it’s not syndicated weekly or biweekly like the other podcasts are, it still provides consistently thought-provoking and intriguing media. It’s one of those pieces of art where, after listening to it, you can’t help but think about it constantly afterwards; it consumes you, just as you consume it. It envelops your mind and forces you to reckon with the ideas its creator is positing throughout the episode. In one episode, the creator and his friend try to get an old record back from multi-platinum recording artist Moby, and fail in the process. But they still meet with him, talk with him, and discuss life together in one of the most beautiful episodes of a podcast I’ve ever listened to. They discuss the futility of holding onto the past so intensely, like holding onto a lost record. The creator’s friend, however, attaches a lot of sentiment and symbolism to this record, as it represents the friendship they no longer have. It’s a miraculous story, and I would highly recommend checking it out. I believe it’s episode two.

It also introduced me to a song, “Sun in an Empty Room” by The Weakerthans, which I was listening to in the car before writing this post. It’s amazing sometimes how art helps you discover more art.

Loud

What are you thinking?
Make an observation,
“the classroom is quiet”
and so are we
Life is naturally loud

What might scientists
look for?
Predators, prey
The silent cries
underneath green

What happens to
their food?
Herbivores, carnivores,
eaters and feeders and
readers and writers

Food source declining,
pollution and pesticides
and
Human Interaction,
natural disasters,
weather and climate change,
icebergs thinning,
Freud in crisis as
ego drowns beneath
the sixth grade waves
the waves, the waves

above or below

they’re sitting in the basement rooftops

of sky-high-scrapers built ten times taller than

the Empire State and then some, I haven’t measured

fifty-three million tons of concrete under their

asses and fifty-three million more above them

somewhere soaring rapid in waves of sound,

rays of light below the sun, moon, and gloomy stars,

everything below something else, everything

above or beneath each other, except the

Empire State.