June 2019 - Gymnopédie No.1
I was being a classical music nerd the other day (it's part of my day job description) and this song came on that immediately made me think of video games. Specifically memories of playing Zelda, Ocarina of Time in my younger years, and I couldn't for the life of me figure out why. I looked up the song and boy has it been used a lot, but that wasn't my answer. Why did this song make me think of my favourite games?
Turns out Gymnopédie No.1 by Erik Satie might be one of the most influential songs in video game music. It has inspired everything from Koji Kondo's opening theme for Ocarina of Time, to Kairi's theme in Kingdom Hearts, and Shoji Meguto's work in the Persona series.
It's a superbly slow and evocative piece of music, evoking feelings of sorrow, loneliness and the infinite road between a protagonist and their goal. Perfect for writing those "crying in the rain" type scenes.
Read more about Gymnopédie's influence on video game music here
Compare to the Ocarina of Time opening here