Tune Highlight: “Outroduction of Legend” from Red Cliff
(Another experimental post, not on mecha or anime for a change, as I try to practise writing blabber purporting to make sense of wordless instrumental music.)
Prior to watching the Chinese epic two-parter movie Red Cliff , I’ve only heard of Iwashiro Tarou once, when checking out the first Tokimeki Memorial Piano Collection which he was in charge of arranging. (He’s got one helluva CV though.) I found the tunes in that album pleasantly above average, with many nice highlights, but nothing terribly outstanding. After that, I’ve never bothered to find any works done by him, that is, until the Red Cliff soundtracks sprung into my field of view. Here’s the track I think to be the most outstanding, the last BGM track of the movie – “Outroduction of Legend”:
The melody starts on the forlorn, desolate side of things, signaling a much needed respite from the adrenalin of battle. A feeling of loss then makes its entry as the heroes regard their fallen comrades and finally become cognizant of the victory that which is merely Pyrrhic. The brass kicks and the volume of the strings come up to the maximum, as though in mourning, but quickly turns slightly uplifting, which gave me the impression that nonetheless, a win’s a win.
Notable is the flute solo that comes after, which is a callback to an earlier track and the cause that the heroes are fighting for – the general populace. It is right after this part that Iwashiro gives a timely dose of light despair in my opinion, in that the battles don’t end here and there is much hardship lying ahead for everyone in this tumultuous infighting period of Chinese history.
My final, random thoughts? I can’t help but contrast a piece like this one to Sengoku Basara‘s score. Both essentially historical fanservice, but on two sides on the line with “fun” on one end and “gravity” on the other.
“大家都输了。” (Nobody won here.), versus “PUT YA GUNZ ON!”, lol.