Atlantis: The Lost Tales Soundtrack, Pierre Estève / Stéphane Picq, 1997
In both Pierre Estève and Stéphane Picq’s work before the Atlantis: The Lost Tales soundtrack, ambient stylings and world music instruments had played a role – but Atlantis takes these inclinations one step further and turns into a meditative work of sometimes spiritual intensity and focus. There are few Western game soundtracks sparser than Atlantis – many of its not exactly short compositions consist of nothing more than a single instrument playing long-winded, soothing melodies, set against a sometime near imperceptible synth background. In the wrong hands, this would be a recipe for monotony, but Estève and Picq show supreme confidence and skill, as their peaceful melodies not only hold listeners’ attention, but even manage to entrance. Meanwhile, the live instruments’ organic timbres imbue the music with the necessary warmth and grit so it doesn’t escape into the ether. Using instruments from around the globe and jolted into excitement every once in a while by warrior chants and tribal singing, Atlantis: The Lost Tales evokes the wonder and gravitas of an ancient civilisation gone by with rare authority.
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