As a film music collector, I never would have thought that I would be attracted to music from video games or any sort of game to be fair. But in the last decade or so music for games of any sort has certainly come a long way. I sometimes think this is better than some of the film music that is being written today. A recent video game GENSHIN IMPACT CITY OF WINDS AND IDYLLS contains a truly wonderful soundtrack, the composer credited is YU PENG CHEN and straight away I have to say that this is just a brilliant score, it is nearly two hours in duration and contains so many beautiful and affecting themes it is very difficult to come to terms with all of this emotive and quality music coming from just one video game.
It’s a soundtrack that has absolutely everything, intricate and subtle tone poems, female wordless voice and dramatic and driving passages that are inspiring and stirring. The composer utilises a wide range of instrumentation as in strings, brass, guitar, harp, woods and a scattering of percussion. The score which is spread over three discs is a delight to listen to and one that I returned to after my initial listen, but I also found myself going back to the start of certain tracks after I had heard them, it is honestly one of the best video game scores I have heard, in fact its one of the best scores from 2020 so far, I was thinking only the other day about the best of 2020 thus far, and I singled out four scores, I wont say what these are, but I hope that one of them will be in an awards list somewhere when the season for giving out awards begins. I now have to re-think that list and add this to it, along with another Yu Peng Chen, score for another game in the same series entitled GENSHIN IMPACT-THE WIND AND THE STAR TRAVELLER which has music that is equally alluring and totally mesmerising.
Both soundtracks are MUST have items, the second score is shorter lasting just under half an hour but is just as affecting and haunting. There is a light and delicate sound within both works, the fragile and poignant themes wash over the listener and have about them a calming and attractive sound. These are two soundtracks that you have to at least investigate, both are on digital platforms, will say if you are already a fan of the likes of Ryuichi Sakamoto and Joe Hisaishi, then these two scores are for you. Lilting romantic sounds are showcased throughout, alongside proud and dramatically adventurous anthem like material. These are scores of immense diversity, vibrancy, and quality, highly recommended. Yu-Peng Chen, is known as Zhiyi Chen, a film music composer, music producer and musical director based in Shanghai, China.
He is regarded as one of the most talented and versatile composers working in the film and music industry. His career has spanned some fifteen years thus far, and during this decade and a half he has scored not only a wide range of films, TV shows and video games, but has also written many popular songs influenced by traditional Chinese culture. Chen graduated with honours from the Shanghai Conservatory of music. During his studies the young composer received professional training in both music production and composition from renowned musicians like An Dong. Chen has worked with numerous artists from different cultural backgrounds, which assisted the composer in becoming more fluent in various genres of music and he was able to add more variety and cultural influences to his music, giving him more of a musical pallete from which he is able to add colour and texture to both film, television and video game projects. He has also collaborated with many famous directors and musicians including Jing Wang, Weiqiang Liu, Weimin Ye, An Dong, and Guangrong Chen. He has also recorded with many world-class orchestras such as The Asian Philharmonic Orchestra, The China Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Budapest Film Symphony Orchestra. Chen has won several Chinese Academy Award nominations for his music from films such as LI BAOGUO and DA SHANGHAI. His music for THE FOUNDING OF AN ARMY, won him the best music in the Golden Deer Awards. His other films like ON FALLEN WINGS and PHANTOM OF THE THEATRE also received countless positive reviews and comments from critics and fans alike.
(Genshin Impact is a free-to-play action role-playing game developed and published by miHoYo. The game features a fantasy-based open world environment and action-based battle system, using elemental magic, character switching and uses gacha game monetization for players to obtain rare characters, weapons, and other resources. A multiplayer mode allows up to four players to play together in the world and also tackle certain dungeons within the game. It was released for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Android and iOS on September 28, 2020. The game is also planned for the Nintendo Switch and PlayStation 5).