This was written over one listen, but I had to restart the song a few times due to issues with getting my footing. Oh well.
Not sure what I went for and this really is brief for what the song is. I could’ve drawn out imagery more, but that didn’t happen.
Masami Ueda’s (上田雅美) “Shinshu Plains” (“神州平原 其の“) is from Ōkami Original Soundtrack, the soundtrack for Ōkami. It’s also technically two songs: “Shinshu Plains I” & “Shinshu Plains II”, with the second adding in more Japanese instrumentation whilst keeping the same melodic patterns.
I hope you enjoy.
Strings stir and beckon in a sense of liveliness. There’s an energy, but it still remains peaceful. Percussion rolls, opening the way for woodwind to float upon a breeze and build on the rhythm. Brass and more strings create a sensation of rolling hills and open space as all seems to flow effortlessly. It builds into something grand and warm, and almost celebratory.
A shift and the instruments draw out and start rising. The beat has paused in a way, but it soon resumes as instruments punctuate and emphasise before returning to the main rhythm with a sense of triumph. Fuller still, though now with another shift into something with more splendour. The instruments draw out, but then the song returns to its first main section.
Here the journey is reinforced and the wonder of discovery remains. Once more the instrumentation rises and once more the song builds on itself, dramatic and triumphant. However, now more percussion comes in, pounding and driving away and almost taking over the other instrumentation. However, it is not aggressive. New strings find themselves playing along what already was there, adding context and reshaping the music whilst keeping it as it was. There’s more of a sense of joy, more discovery, and all seems emphasised as it seems to coalesce into something singular and expressive.
The instruments journey over the rolling hills and through the open space, moving forward with an easy flow whilst creating shapes and forms. It finds the space it needs and never becomes too dramatic. It is always fitting and it keeps its warranted liveliness all the way to the song’s end.