In a recent interview with gameinformer, they share some behind the scenes from the developer FromSofware in the making of the upcoming action game Sekiro: Shadow’s Die Twice. In an interview with the composer Yuka Kitmura, we get to understand the influences and inspirations behind the composer’s music.
Composer Yuka Kitamura Explores Inspiration Behind Sekiro Soundtrack
Known for her pieces that are featured in previous FromSoftware titles such as Dark Souls and Bloodborne, Yuka Kitamura also composed the soundtrack for the upcoming title Sekiro. In the interview she explores why this IP differs from compositions that she has worked on in the past, including the use of traditional Japanese instruments that were recorded live to truly create the mood that the game portrays.
My initial reaction was seeing as this is a game set in Japan… it was very exciting but it also was very challenging compared to our older titles that used a lot of kind of regal fantasy. Very grandiose, orchestral or choral elements.
Due to the difference in nature of the title, set in historical Japan, Kitmura explains how developing “wildness” was an important factor when composing music for boss battles. She also goes through the process of her creativity, how tracks are formed from a single sound to begin with.
With this new IP, Kitmura talks about how it was important to include traditional Japanese instruments such as a drum and flute. The drums are representative of war and conflict that was taking place in the Sengoku period. The interview really helped to delve more deeply into how music is composed for such a title which strongly follows the inspiration of the Japanese setting, as well as how it not only fits into battles but more stealth-like scenes.
…instruments we have used in the past such as violins, cello, vocals…those also became elements of the composition.
While Kitmura has even played her own instruments and used her own voice in parts of the compositions, her team has also works with external composers to help shape the soundtrack, which was the same with previous FromSoft titles.
The composer also talks about how even though Sekiro gives quite a strong theme to follow in terms of music, it was at times “quite restricting” due to having to create a “more emotive score or something that is just Japanese flavoured without too much of that western influence from our previous titles”. However, Kitmura was able to work with the set tone, moving forward to create compositions became a part of Sekiro.
You can definitely hear the inspiration and tone in the soundtrack if you listen to the battle music especially in the Sekiro trailer:
Probably the most striking descriptions she uses to summarise Sekiro’s soundtrack is that it’s set in a time where conflict takes place on a “gritty” battle field, “in time of ruin and despair” but juxtaposed with “Japanese beauty”. I think the inspiration and process is really reflected in the pieces that are heard in the video, and I look forward to hearing more when Sekiro releases on March 22nd 2019.
If you enjoyed reading about Sekiro be sure to read next 10 Things I Want From Sekiro Shadows Die Twice, After Dark Souls. You can also read about the Dilapidated Temple hub as well as Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice Interview Talks About Balance, New IP And More.