Album: Kaleidoscope Original Soundtrack

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    Disc 1

    1. Home (Main Theme of Kaleidoscope) 1:48
    2. Pretty Pleasantries (Greenwood Breach) 2:32
    3. Troublesome Travels (Windyridge Harvest) 2:36
    4. Malevolent Mysteries (Murkwood Creep) 2:23
    5. Old Oddities (Nostalgic Heights) 2:53
    6. Variations on Navigation (Map) 2:43
    7. Looking Glass (End Credits) 1:21
    Discussion: Latest 15 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
    anosou
    on 2010-06-15 17:22:22
    'halc' wrote: ive submitted my kaleidoscope remix :grin:


    Oh my, thats AWESOME! Love you long time halc, LONG TIME 3
    halc
    on 2010-06-15 16:06:26
    ive submitted my kaleidoscope remix :grin:
    ambinate
    on 2010-05-30 22:51:47
    I havent played Kaleidoscope but I absolutely love this soundtrack. I really admire the work that was put into keeping each song unique while maintaining a cohesive aesthetic, and I think it pays off in a huge way. Admittedly, Im also a big fan of "bells and mallets," but I find the style used here to be really vibrant and charming while still allowing for a diverse emotive palette ("Malevolent Mysteries" gives me chills). Maybe Im a sucker for minimalism and ambient music (just kidding, theres no "maybe"), but I think this is excellent work. Ill be listening to this for a while.
    anosou
    on 2010-05-18 14:45:57
    Thanks a lot for the kind comments!
    Dj Mokram
    on 2010-05-17 20:09:27
    Ive been meaning to comment on this for some time, and finally got around to it.

    Definitely something unique here, but not so much of a ufo for anyone who have been listening to japanese VGM for the last 20 years or so.
    Havent seen the game in action, but even without the context, the minimalist approach clearly has its charms.

    I think the harsher comments may have come from the fact that most people are used to the canon of saturated soundscapes,
    complex melodies and full range of instruments fighting to conquer the listeners attention.

    From my point of view, this is a breath of air. Maybe not the freshiest, but at least one that let you take a break from all the generic orchestral-choirs combo,
    symphonic rock and other industrial electro/pop driven soundtracks.

    Favorites tracks are the groove-based, delightfully nostalgic and joyful Old Oddities, and the evocative Looking Glass with its enthralling synth and bouncy percussions.
    Most pieces though resonate with memories of classic gaming music, but have a personality of their own, with this distinct chill and lighthearted sound direction.

    The Kaleidoscope soundtrack manages to efficiently bring together entertainement and nostalgia in a very candid way, and with such simplicity that makes it beautiful.

    Thanks to AnSo and djp for the ride. ;)
    Shaqfish
    on 2010-05-13 00:08:21
    [LEFT] It is my personal view that this album is very unique in its own right. The sound it gives is one of a kind, and the vivid pictures that this album can paint in ones mind are unreal. I greatly enjoy the progressing feel that the album emits from its music. By this I mean that it feels like Im on a journey from one destination to another, and Im only getting closer to the end.
    This is a really, really cool album. My personal favorite song on the Kaleidoscope Original Soundtrack is Troublesome Travels (Windyridge Harvest), but they all unique in their own claims. Keep it up, and great work to AnotherSoundscape, and djpretzel.
    [/LEFT]
    anosou
    on 2010-03-08 14:06:43
    'djpretzel' wrote: Id describe it as "American Beauty OST meets Synths + Chiptunes"...


    With my love for minimalism this especially warms my heart.

    Just wanted to thank you guys for your support but right now it seems like I "called you over" to get some backup and I just want to make sure everyone realizes thats not the case :P

    Anyway, thanks for the kind words guys and I encourage the discussion!
    djpretzel
    on 2010-03-08 14:01:18
    This all seems like good, healthy conversation to me, so no need to label it "drama" :-o

    For a shorter game, personally, I thought AnSos approach made complete sense - develop an overall aesthetic and stick with it, with enough variation between levels so that each world is distinct, but maintaining the overall "Kaleidoscope" sound. Whether that sound is exciting to you or not (I mean, it IS mellow...) is certainly subjective, but personally I dont think it bears a resemblance to any platformer soundtracks I can think of, and I dig platformers. Platformers usually have chirpier, bumpier soundtracks, and this seemed a little more zen to me, so in my mind its both original and distinct. I cant say its "hum-in-the-shower" catchy, but when someone asks me what the soundtrack to the game is like, I can recreate in my mind and describe it accurately, which means its memorable on some level.

    If someone can name a platformer with a similar soundtrack, Id love to check it out, but otherwise I specifically feel like - whether you think it works or not - AnSo did come up with a pretty distinct sound. Thats the numero uno thing I like about his score - it doesnt really remind me of anything else. At least, in the VGM world... overall, Id describe it as "American Beauty OST meets Synths + Chiptunes"...
    big giant circles
    on 2010-03-08 11:45:01
    Generally fair opinions that youve shared, Dave, and I think I speak for everyone when we say that were certainly glad you appreciate OCRs content and hold it to such a high standard--that means were succeeding in our efforts to bring people quality music :-)

    Its definitely fine that you feel that Mattiass music is nothing new, groundbreaking, or particularly noteworthy, thats probably the feeling that most people have of at least 75% of all the music out there, so theres definitely nothing wrong with saying you thought as much. The only thing I feel compelled to address is that while you do have such high expectations for any OCR music release, the Kaleidoscope soundtrack was a soundtrack for a game, not a stand-alone album. The musical direction was probably largely subjective to what the guy who signed Matts paycheck wanted. Ive not played the game, but I have seen footage of it and honestly, Id say that the simplistic, quirky music fits the context really well. That is, Im not certain that the game was really screaming out for a large heaping of, well, whatever would be necessary to turn the tracks into remarkably innovative, stand-alone masterpieces on any number of levels.

    I realize that reusing the same textures/instruments may seem lazy or uninspiring, but it was done for years with 8-bit and people never really had a problem with it--obviously were not limited to chip these days, but you get my point. ;-)

    Last of all, let me just reiterate that the music was written to fit the context of a game. There have been countless times where I heard music in a game/movie/etc and thought to myself "Oh man, that music is sooo good, I must have it!" so Id go out and buy it, but found that the experience was different (and often a little disappointing) than when I was hearing it behind the visuals and sound fx. Thats possibly the case here (that is, saying that the music isnt quite as effective on its own as it might be in game).

    At any rate, as you yourself have said, I hope you do not take offense to my suggestions, theyre just another perspective and by no means am I trying to tell you why your opinion is "wrong" or anything. Again, comments and feedback are always welcome, and I think its great that you took the time to listen to and formally appraise both Mattiass music, and your expectations of OCR as a whole, it really is appreciated :-)

    Thanks for that, and we hope you continue to do it!
    halc
    on 2010-03-08 06:28:54
    'Dave_SEMO' wrote: I think youre seeing yourself as someone youre not. The track’s catchy, but I don’t see what it accomplishes. Regards not referring to you as being ‘professional’ or ‘trained’ … I hate to burst your bubble, but until I hear some groundbreaking tunes from you (which I’d love to!), I don’t really see you as either of these.


    i know its not my place.. but as a fan, even i feel insulted after reading that :/
    Dave_SEMO
    on 2010-03-07 16:02:05
    Here is my response (I’m fine keeping this public

    Does "superficial sound effects" mean the instruments? And if so, is that bad because theyre re-used? I can only think of, say, orchestral soundtracks and many other indie game soundtracks that re-use instruments and I dont understand how its a bad thing. Same thing about "laid back atmosphere", dont see how its a bad thing.


    I thought this was just plain wrong


    I dont really understand this. The instrumentations, melodies and rhythm are all different in the tracks. The only thing is I used a similar overall "sound" to create a cohesive soundtrack that didnt sound like it was from 5 different games


    What this refers to, is the fact that the album has the same feel throughout – there’s nothing gripping, there’s nothing exciting, there’s no mix in the instrumentation. It’s not a bad thing, but it’s good to have some diversity. If you wanted each level to sound different… then go and explore some other musical styles, that’s the best way to achieve this.

    This is four different variations on the map theme, re-using the instruments specific to each world when youre in that part of the map. The re-using of instruments in this track is intentional to provide more context on the world map.


    I appreciate your intentions, and see mostly how this works. Intended or not though, it’s one of your weaker themes.
    Thats just harsh :D You didnt say why it was inferior and make it sound like Im not trained nor professional.


    I find it hard to reply to this one, I think youre seeing yourself as someone youre not. The track’s catchy, but I don’t see what it accomplishes. Regards not referring to you as being ‘professional’ or ‘trained’ … I hate to burst your bubble, but until I hear some groundbreaking tunes from you (which I’d love to!), I don’t really see you as either of these. I appreciate you probably have a good background in music, but there’s a fair few people out there who do too who wouldn’t describe themselves as either of these. Hell, I’ve been playing piano since I was 5, have released an EP, have took various courses in music (including A Levels in England), and I don’t even consider myself professional or trained.

    Id like to at least know why the other tracks werent "original". Original compared to what? Why?


    By “original,” I mean something that hasn’t been heard before… something that isn’t the same as any old stuff that you can hear on a game music soundtrack.

    In reference to your final self-boasting quote, I’m comparing this album to what else the OCR community has to offer. There are some fantastic pieces on here from particularly talented individuals, and as far as I’m concerned, the depth of musical style, cleverness, and uniqueness are in no way represented by this album. This album isn’t just an exhibition of your sound, it’s an exhibition of what the OCR community has to offer. The sooner you realise that, and compare yourself to others around you, you’ll see what I mean! OK?

    Feel free to reply, but bear in mind that I don’t visit the forums often, so I apologise if it takes me a while to get back to you.

    Take care, and please don’t take any offence by this. I gave the album an honest critical review from what I expect to hear on a soundtrack, I’m sure others feel differently (and can see elsewhere in this thread that they have particularly enjoyed it!), and maybe you should focus on their opinions if mine is a little too harsh for you. I’m sure you’re a talented individual, and I do look forward to your next works.
    anosou
    on 2010-03-07 14:40:13
    'Dave_SEMO' wrote: Its not meant in a harsh way!

    EDIT: Merely just some constructive criticism. I enjoyed your themes on the most part, and can see that youve got some great potential. Better than what I can write anyway. ;)


    Yeah, I didnt take offense or anything but I just wondered about a few things you wrote so Ill go ahead and ask them here. If you prefer to answer them in private just send me a PM or an e-mail to [email]mattias@anosou.com[/email] and Ill edit this post.

    "The same superficial sound effects are used in each, the developments in each track are mostly unimpressive, and overall, each theme emanates a laid back atmosphere."


    Does "superficial sound effects" mean the instruments? And if so, is that bad because theyre re-used? I can only think of, say, orchestral soundtracks and many other indie game soundtracks that re-use instruments and I dont understand how its a bad thing. Same thing about "laid back atmosphere", dont see how its a bad thing.

    "Although Häggström Gerdt wished to give each theme a unique feel, each theme is mostly the same."


    I thought this was just plain wrong :tomatoface:

    "As well as this, much of the same devices in this theme are used in "Variations on Navigation (Map)" which is also a bit quirky, yet ultimately pretty droll."


    This is four different variations on the map theme, re-using the instruments specific to each world when youre in that part of the map. The re-using of instruments in this track is intentional to provide more context on the world map.

    "though still inferior to what most trained or professional artists would create."


    Thats just harsh :D You didnt say why it was inferior and make it sound like Im not trained nor professional.

    "The most original contribution"


    Id like to at least know why the other tracks werent "original". Original compared to what? Why?

    "Its nice to hear something a little different after hearing the hearing the same sound six times in a row."


    I dont really understand this. The instrumentations, melodies and rhythm are all different in the tracks. The only thing is I used a similar overall "sound" to create a cohesive soundtrack that didnt sound like it was from 5 different games.

    "With such a good background, one would assume that OCRs first original game music release would be a decent album with solid, unique themes. The Kaleidoscope Original Soundtrack, though, falls short of the mark in this regard, being quite short and mostly repetitive."


    To me, this seems selling it a bit short by comparing it to much bigger productions/titles. It especially nags me about "solid, unique themes" since it seems taken out of thin air without any explanation or reference to why its not "unique" or "solid". I agree that its short and while its not strange for a small indie production to have a short soundtrack, I do wish it was longer. However I need to defend the "mostly repetitive" part. First because I dont understand how you think all songs sound the same and secondly because Kaleidoscope uses an interactive score that adds different layers to the track. All tracks are one minute long but consist of 5 layers, the soundtrack pieces artificially fades in these layers to create an "album edit". While I understand that might not have been clear I thought it was worth mentioning anyway, much as like the map theme.
    Dave_SEMO
    on 2010-03-07 14:07:56
    Its not meant in a harsh way!

    EDIT: Merely just some constructive criticism. I enjoyed your themes on the most part, and can see that youve got some great potential. Better than what I can write anyway. ;)
    anosou
    on 2010-03-07 10:56:09
    'Dave_SEMO' wrote: Hey, just posted my opinions here. http://www.squareenixmusic.com/reviews/dave/kaleidoscope.shtml


    Well that wasnt a pretty sight. :-(
    Dave_SEMO
    on 2010-03-07 09:57:00