Octopath Traveler composer on creating “The Frostlands” background music
Octopath Traveler composer Yasunori Nishiki has returned with another written piece about the creation of his music. This week, we have details about the process of making “The Frostlands” background music.
Here’s the post in full:
“This is the overworld theme for the beautiful, snow-swept Frostlands, which also happens to be the starting region for Ophilia’s journey. The music for Octopath Traveler features primarily acoustic sounds, but the Frostlands theme begins with a synth arpeggio.
The reference video of the Frostlands I received for inspiration was simply beautiful, and I felt that a synthesizer—rather than acoustic instruments—would be best to evoke this sort of snow-sparkling feel. (Looking back, I feel like even at that point, the quality of the visuals was approaching the level we see now in the final game.)
I was constantly looking at these reference videos while composing the overworld themes, so I think the structure of the songs really follows after the visuals. To keep with our goal of creating songs with catchy melodies and gorgeous instrumentation that matches with the graphics, I took quite a bit of care in creating the soundscape here. I feel like listeners might feel that something’s missing if they listen to this song alone. But the visuals and the ambient sound effects work perfectly to fill in those gaps, in the end creating the perfect balance, and in that sense, I feel like I created a song that players won’t get tired of listening to.
The eight overworld themes reappear as a medley in the ending theme, this time as a fully orchestral arrangement with no synthetic sounds. This arrangement is designed to be enjoyed purely in a musical sense without the accompanying visuals – I hope you’ll be able to notice and appreciate the difference.”