SNOW TUNES

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If I Am Setsuna is more ro­bust than re­mark­able, it does have one ex­tra­or­di­nary fea­ture. The sound­track from wun­derkind com­poser Tomoki Miyoshi is played ex­clu­sively on the pi­ano. That on its own wouldn’t be note­wor­thy, but for the qual­ity of the com­po­si­tions and the per­for­mance from veteran pi­anist Randy Ker­ber. It’s rare to en­counter mu­sic that is so cru­cial to a game’s am­bi­ence: it sets the tenor with an un­der­stated el­e­gance, shift­ing to ac­com­mo­date the nar­ra­tive’s highs and lows and burst­ing into glee­ful life with an en­er­getic bat­tle theme – and a post-en­counter jin­gle – that never seems to get old. And in the story’s most af­fect­ing mo­ments it strikes a fit­tingly mourn­ful chord with­out slip­ping into syrupy mawk­ish­ness.

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