Monster Hunter Ethnic Sounds ~Ethnic Instrument Arrange Album~

Monster Hunter Ethnic Sounds ~Ethnic Instrument Arrange Album~. Front. Click to zoom.
Monster Hunter Ethnic Sounds ~Ethnic Instrument Arrange Album~
Arranged by Derkibukaron
Published by Harmonics International
Catalog number HIMJ-0001
Release type Game Soundtrack - Official Release
Format 1 CD - 11 tracks
Release date August 24, 2011
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While the Monster Hunter scores are primarily orchestral, they have been strongly influenced by traditional music of East and West since their inception. Reflecting this, the first concert of the series featured several tracks that blended orchestral performances with ethnic instrumentalists, led by Koji Ezaki. These tracks were so well-received that Capcom asked the instrumentalists to produce their own arranged album for the series. Pre-released at the series' second orchestral concert, the album has since received a wider commercial release.


The Monster Hunter series is all about going back to the old times and living off the land. As a result, its music lends itself well to traditionally-styled arrangements presented by Derkibukaron. In fact, "Village of Deeply Blessed People" and "Village on the Sea, Moga" both sound more authentic in their renditions here than ever before. The recorder performance by Koji Ezaki brings out the beautiful shape of the melodies, while retaining their pastoral quality. The backing from acoustic guitar and Arabian drums is simple and unobtrusive, but still adds to the traditional sound. The performance is well-balanced and recorded with great clarity. It's easy to envisage a humble group of players performing something similar in a little village in olden times.

But as fitting and pleasant as this approach is, it doesn't always ensure an appealing stand-alone experience. Koji Ezaki adopted a near-identical, very straightforward formula to arranging "Awakening", "Seeking the Secret Hot Spring", "Soul Carried by Song", and even "To One with Life". There is an absolute focus on the recorder melody, which repeats ad nauseum with very few deviations. The harmonies are purely functional and, when the recorder takes a break, all that is left is subdued guitar arpeggios and the occasional drum beat. There is no dynamic, textural, or metric variety throughout. These tracks are still acceptable for background listening, thanks to the strength of the original melodies and the quality of the melodies, but they will bore more active listeners.

Although all arrangements adhere to a similar format, there are a few that exhibit more ambition. The series' main theme "Proof of a Hero" has a more bustling feel appropriate for Medieval town. Ezaki increases the tempo, thickens the accompaniment, and even includes a little interplay between the shawm lead and guitar accompaniment. It's a subtle shift, but enough to maintain some interest. The battle themes "Sparkling Blue Light" and "Tremble of the Sea and Land" have a strong percussive emphasis and wilder leads, while still being considerably softer than their originals. "Cute Felyne" also proves a pleasant, light-hearted closer. It's about as formulaic as the rest of the tracks here, but at least boasts a more free-spirited lyricism.


The concept of Monster Hunter Ethnic Sounds -Ethnic Instrument Arrange Album- is solid, but it wasn't developed enough. All the tracks suit their treatment here and have an authentic feel. However, there isn't enough variety within and between them to sustain active interest during the 40 minute playtime. The series has the potential for much more experimentation than featured here: folk improvisations centred on some town themes, traditional Japanese performances inspired by "Illusion of the Dense Forest", and wild African percussion tracks similar to "Usurper of the Deserted Island" could have all come together to create a diverse, remarkable album. What we got instead was something pleasant but bland.


Music in game


Chris Greening

Prereleased at Monster Orchestra Concert 2011.

Album was composed by and was released on August 24, 2011. Soundtrack consists of 11 tracks tracks with duration over . Album was released by Harmonics International.

CD 1

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