In Extremis

Soundtrack Saturday: Feb.15

Ypx here—today we’re going to be listening to “Cycling” from Cloud.

Made by the developers who founded the company (thatgamecompany) that has released previously covered games fl0w, Flower, and Journey, Cloud was released in 2005 as a puzzle game, and was scored by Vincent Diamante. Often referred to as an “experience” instead of a game by critics, Cloud was a relatively overnight success, capitulating in crashing its own website as well as the University of Southern California’s due to high demand.

There are a few main features of the track—the harp ostinato, a bell that marks phrases, and scattered piano notes. We begin with the harp ostinato and a few piano notes at a time as we slowly introduce some more sustained notes of smooth swelling strings and a flute melody. We slowly work our way by halfway through the second minute (~1:30) to the climax by way of brass before we strip the track down to its simple underpinnings and develop some more scatterings of piano. We reach another brass-driven climax around 2:30 as well, though it is not a true loop. This pattern roughly continues, making changes but keeping the same ebb and flow.

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