Wednesday, December 3, 2014

MIDI Week Singles: "Downstream" - Braid (PC/XBLA/PS3)

Hokay, take a listen to this little diddy.

"Downstream" from Braid on PC
Record Label: Megatunes
Composer: Shira Kammen
Developer: Number None, Inc.

You know, it's not too often that I have this kind of a reaction the first time I hear a track from a video game soundtrack.  By now I'm sure that most people know of my love of video game music both in and out of the game environment, but I will be the first to freely admit that there is some music that I enjoy because of the nostalgic effect it has on me.  When you hear a track from The Legend of Zelda, you know that it's music from a video game because it's being performed with MIDI instruments.  We are currently at a moment in time when that is no longer the case, depending on what the game is trying to achieve with the sound and music in the game.

I had a very strong reaction to "Downstream" while listening to it the first time.  I had it on in the background while typing up another article and at first thought that it was a softer interlude from Eluveitie or some other folk rock/metal band.  But no, it was from the Braid soundtrack.  I admit that I was not immediately impressed.  I have heard tracks from the soundtrack, but I've never honestly listened intently.  But this song, once that drum (frame drum?) kicked in, my ears perked up and I had to check with what I was listening to.

Had I the capacity to dance, I most definitely would have been dancing.  

It is interesting that the composer of this track, Shira Kammen primarily plays and composes traditional medieval era music and that she has found her way into Braid, as this music might be something more akin to The Elder Scrolls series, the just released A Game of Thrones: A Tell Tale Games Series, or some other game with a high fantasy setting.  Regardless of why it is in Braid, I am very happy that the song exists.

I guess this also points out that I've barely played the Braid to not have reached this song, or perhaps I had, but was too intent on figuring out how to play the game and fully understand the jumping and time manipulation mechanic.

Anyway, THIS, is a beautiful song that I am sorry that I came around to six years late.



  1. Hurray! I think it's great that you became familiar with this song outside the game. Braid has so much going for it. This level of production and quality is all throughout the game.

    It's also really tough. I tag-teamed with Zor the Red when I played Braid, and it was really nice having someone to hand the controller off to when my brain had turned to mush.

  2. Oh wow, I can honestly say I never listened to this track all the way through before.