This one was difficult to write and I think it was due to overthinking.
Four listens, but a lot of restarts early on in the first due to having a bit of trouble finding my footing.
I stuck mostly to describing the song here. There wasn’t any plan, but I feel this would have worked better if I went for either imagery or something else.
As a side note, I feel as though “Colony 9” is similar to Pat Metheny and Lyle Mays’ “It’s For You” (of which I wrote about here).
Yoko Shimomura’s (下村 陽子) “Colony 9” (“コロニー9“) is from Xenoblade Chronicles Special Soundtrack and Xenoblade Original Soundtrack, both soundtracks for Xenoblade Chronicles. The former is a selection of tracks released outside of Japan, whereas the latter is the entire soundtrack.
I hope you enjoy.
Simple, rhythmic guitar strumming soon followed by percussion emphasising the rhythm, and what could be either piano keys or some form of bass underscoring the melody. Violin comes in once the sounds firmly establish themselves; it glides and flows along and above the open plains as the sounds move forward. For a brief moment other strings provide a slight shape, almost as though some sort of updraft or additional feature in the landscape, and the violin keeps moving, with a slight boost from the strings.
Suddenly woodwind flickers in, moving almost as a counterpoint, also flowing, before violin once more comes back. The strings also provide a brief moment once more, higher this time, and then once more they provide a slight boost before a brief pause in some of the instrumentation.
It almost feels like a rest. A brief pause for reflection, or recollection. It could be for many reasons. The percussion is stripped back, the woodwind flickers in once more, though with brief strikes, and a melodic sound, low remains as such. The guitar comes back, now with accordion in tow, filling out the song whilst adding a little more to the melody.
The violin returns, rising up over a lush, moving landscape. Piano plays around it, careful, precise. The instrumentation grows in its vibrancy, richness and expansiveness. It’s a climax, dramatic and wide, but remains lean and driven; it does not overtake what came before. It then all returns to the opening guitar strumming, the percussion and the low note underscoring, though the piano remains, punctuation, enunciating, and perhaps shining there as a location reached before the journey continues and the song ends.