Inspiration Through Music: Akira Yamaoka

When it comes to the world of soundtracks for horror video games, there are very few at are as well-known and prolific as Akira Yamaoka, the composer for the Silent Hill franchise as well as other games. Silent Hill evokes an energy charged, haunting aura that always makes one uncomfortable and looking over ones shoulder. With a blend of rock, trip-hop, and ambient that is unlike most anyone’s music out there, he has effectively created a world that we can lose ourselves in when we listen to some of his breath-taking and chilling scores. My personal favorite soundtrack of his comes from Silent Hill 4: The Room, a playthrough that my favorite LPer, HarshlyCritical just finished up. The story line and the twisted antagonist for this title really engaged me as did the various themes heard throughout the various worlds of the game.

I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I’ve listened to Yamaoka while working on writing projects. I was introduced to his music by a friend in highschool who burned me a couple of the soundtracks to listen to. I knew very little about Silent Hill then, but was still amazed by the music and knew it would be an excellent inspiration for not only my horror titles, but also a historical fiction I was working on and an incredibly secret project which has been in development for several years. Today, I’m going to pick five songs to share with you and tell you what I see when I listen to them. Enjoy! [Just so you know, I had the WORST time trying to pick just five. I had thirteen listed here before…]

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Inspiration Through Music: Daniel Licht

About two weeks ago, I found the best writing tool ever. I don’t know how I went without it for so long because it literally contains one of the most comprehensive libraries of music out there. That is Spotify, ladies and gentlemen. I can create playlists using dozens of tracks that I can listen to whenever I want for inspiration. Granted, there are a few soundtracks here and there that are missing (A Beautiful Mind!!) but the majority of music is there. There are even soundtracks on there that I wouldn’t have expected to see such as Limbo and Cry of Fear. However, the one that I re-discovered while listening to music on Spotify has been the spectacularly dark Blood Theme from the television show, Dexter, composed by Daniel Licht.

Daniel Licht is an American film composer, who is known for composing dark, thought-provoking pieces, commonly for horror-related television shows, movies, and video games. Dexter is probably one of his most well-known projects and is pretty amazing to listen to. There are a variety of soft sad pieces mixed in with more quirky fun ones, all strung together with the omnipresent dark atmosphere that lingers in the show. Today, I’ve selected 7 pieces of Licht’s to share with you (ranging from his work on Dexter to his work on the best-selling Silent Hill video game series) and what it is that I see when I listen to them.

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