There is no place like home.
-L. Frank Baum, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
Back when this red mage was still clambering with his tentacled appendages from the early swamp of our primordial months, we featured a series of loosely defined articles stylized as Top 20 musical countdowns. These were the A-Side/B-Side countdowns and we did such things as Top 20 forest themes, beach themes, and spooky themes. It was fun but also time-consuming.
What also quickly became clear to me was just how little I had experienced of the totality of music in gaming. I mean, I love the classics but I didn’t want “top” lists that turned into songs vying for space. Toward that interest I invited other bloggers and readers to participate by sharing some of their favorite songs for each theme. We received a ton of suggested tracks in a few instances!
It’s nice then to bring back that spirit of musical appreciation without phrasing these as lists of “better and best”. TWRM Radio, which I’ve already announced and detailed in the past, is one of our newer YouTube series and I’m determined to have a new mix based around a central theme available each Friday. I’ll create a post for them here because then I get to talk music! I also get to talk about some of the mentality that went into crafting each mix, why I chose some songs over others, and what the general air of each mix was intended to be.
So this mix is called “Hearth”, taken from the symbolic phrase for one’s dwelling place: “hearth and home”. For many people, “home” is a word with a lot of meaning. It can mean nostalgia, warmth, solace, refuge, regret, isolation, loneliness, community, family, happiness. For me, the word “home” means peace and joy and relaxation, comfort, rest, and being with my wife and children. There’s no place I’d rather be. My home is my castle, my keep, my haven, where my Queen and my Heirs reside. We also have a cat. My dragon?
I enjoy staycations over vacations so I wanted to try to capture that feeling of comfort, of being around people you love. With the help of some of the mages (who by all accounts are wonderful people), we selected the tracks which appear in “Hearth”. The song list is available in the YouTube video description. I aimed for songs from villages, hometowns, and cities that sounded welcoming. Not all of them are strictly town-themed songs (such as “Tifa’s theme”) but it was nice to try to pinpoint that specific sound across the wealth of music that gaming possesses.
What surprised me most though was how many songs we accumulated, well over 2 hours worth! So while your fave town-song may not have made it into “Hearth”, you can rest assured that I’ll be returning to this theme from a new angle at some point. There are, after all, a lot of Fridays.
Hang on! Before you go…
Next week Friday’s mix has been suggested by Games with Coffee so we’re going to attempt a traveling/journeying theme! Tell us about your favorite songs for this adventurous flavor of quest music and maybe, just maybe, they’ll make an appearance in TWRM Radio.
-The Well-Red Mage
Did you enjoy this post? Consider becoming a Warrior of Light and join us in restoring integrity and quality to games writing. We specialize in long-form, analytical reviews and we aim to expand into a community of authors with paid contributors, a fairer and happier alternative to mainstream games writing! See our Patreon page for more info!