If you can’t play it on an acoustic guitar or a grand piano then it’s not a song.
We’ve got another TWRM Radio entry up and this is one that I’ve wanted to do for a long time now. It turned out well and it’s something I’m proud of. Special thanks goes out to the ABXY Mage (ABXY Reviews) and the Hyperactive Coffee Mage (Games with Coffee) for contributing songs to this mix!
Acoustic guitar is a sound that’s so familiar to me. It reminds me of home. It’s soft and has such a powerful, capable range in the hands of a true master. As it turns out, there’s a lot of acoustic guitar songs in video game soundtracks but we quickly realized we overestimated how frequently pure acoustic guitar songs appear in gaming. It’s not that frequent at all. Several of us who have played games almost constantly for decades had a hard time coming up with songs driven by pure, solo acoustic guitar. We ended up having to capitulate and open up this particular mix to songs that prominently feature acoustic guitar but which include other instruments as well.
Plus the sheer number of acoustic guitar covers of video game music made hunting down the purest tracks almost impossible…
“Cithara” is a word describing an ancient Greco-Roman progenitor of the guitar, a stringed instrument similar to a lute. In modern Greek, the word is “kithara”. I chose this name because I wanted to convey the sense of history and heritage, the feeling of connecting with the past that I personally have when I hear the acoustic guitar played. So I started this mix with that in mind, playing some comforting sounds with that rustic feel to them (complete with that tangible sound of human fingers sliding across the frets).
The mix evolves in the middle toward something that’s more energetic, taking rougher and more experimental songs into consideration before diving headfirst into that distinct Spanish sound that many people associate with acoustic guitars. It isn’t until the energy calms down again that the music reveals one of the secrets of its nature. Music has this capacity to break down someone’s inhibitions and the social walls they would normally have up under other circumstances. Music makes us want to dance, tap our toes, sing aloud, or irresistibly it can transport us back in time. That’s been my experience during prolonged jam sessions (which makes me sound old): things start off as entertainment, then they turn energetic, then they get chill.
I wanted to capture that sense of musical nostalgia and wistfulness in “Cithara”. After the softness of the music returns, this imaginary musician begins to ruminate about the past. The music becomes sentimental toward the end of the mix, memories of times long gone come flooding in. For me, this is intensely personal, as good music should be. I even included a song about the beach because to me that screams of childhood. The mix eventually ends on a sad note, though. The music always ends eventually.
Anyway, I hope you enjoy this mix. I didn’t write the songs that compose “Cithara” but I made them my own. Isn’t that just what we do?
Thanks for reading. Sorry I get over emotional about this stuff. Music is powerful.
Next time we’ll be tackling… you know what? We haven’t quite decided on a theme yet. Can you believe it?! So let’s hear some suggestions. We’ll play it like that: What are some good ideas for themes we could base our next TWRM Radio entry on? We’ve done Lost Woods, Sky, Racing, and Piano just to name a few. Put on those thinking caps!
Play it with feeling,
-The Well-Red Mage
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