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The Top 5 Most Soothing Music of Neo-Tomb Raider December 19, 2008

Posted by tombraiderfanboy in 5 Things, Fan Pulse, Hollywood, Music, Underworld.
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While the bulk of Lara’s adventures have mostly taken her to dangerous and foreboding places, her tomb-raiding sprees are not without the occassional relaxing and meditative atmosphere of lush rainforests, snowy mountain tops, and bouldered ruins. It isn’t enough, however, that these places are such stunning sights to behold. What makes them distinctly calming (in an awe-inspiring way) is the music that comes with them, and that’s what this fanboy list will be treating you to: The Top 5 Most Soothing Music of Neo-Tomb Raider.

5. Croft Manor Theme – Tomb Raider: Anniversary (Composed by Troels Folmann): When your butler’s gone missing, leaving you a list of chores to do in your own mansion, you know there’s something wrong. But that doesn’t stop Lara from accomplishing Winston’s to-do list anyway, which meant running back and forth, up and down just to fix the drainage. Oh, but going about Croft Manor is far from being a chore, especially if the starry night sky is set to Troels Fomann’s theme for Lara’s not so humble abode.

It’s actually a modern take at the original four-note melody predominantly characterized by playful percussions. Although it’s a bit repetitive, the variation of soft and loud beats (starting from 2:04) makes you want to listen to the piece through its six-minute run.

4. Nepal Theme – Tomb Raider: Legend (Composed by Troels Folmann): When Lara was still holding hope that her mother might still be alive after her mysterious disappearance, she ventured atop the Nepalese mountains in search of the brooch her father had given her mother. This brooch was said to be the Ghalali key; the stone that puts the pieces of Excalibur back together. Getting the key back wasn’t the prize though, but the journey to get to it.

The vocals of the piece sets the mood for a lonely trek through thick snow, but at the same, it emits a sense of peace in being the lone wolf Lara is. Setting the vocals to the tribal beats in the background hints that the Nepalese terrain has long been uncharted, which makes raiding it all the more atmospheric.

3. Poseidon’s Theme – Tomb Raider: Anniversary (Composed by Troels Folmann): Anniversary‘s version of St. Francis Folly is arguably the level of the remake that is right up there with the original in terms of scope, atmosphere and level design. But what truly stands out as the real gem in Crystal Dynamic’s rendition of the famous vertical level is the puzzle room of Poseidon.

Characterized by an abundant use of chimes, Poseidon’s Theme gives a sense of awe at the sight of the azure puzzle room. The rendition of the Tomb Raider melody at 00:31 that overpowers the background is the main source of relaxation, together with the whispering choir the accompanies it.

2. Underwater Caverns – Tomb Raider: Underworld (Composed by Colin O’Malley): One would think that Lara was on a tropical vacation rather than a dark quest into ancient underworlds at the sight of coastal Thailand. Hell, she has a yacht with her. Winston’s tea tray-serving abilities could have seriously done a good job at making it the perfect getaway.

In contrast to the Nepalese mountains of Legend, this piece indulges Lara in the wonders of (current-gen) nature, as if to say, “Skinny-dip now, raid later”. Set to the stunning water graphics of Underworld and the massive stone structures and lush fauna, Underwater Caverns sets the mood for a leisurely pacing of Southeast Asian tomb-raiding. And hear the ethereal vocals at the 1:12 mark? Should’ve been there right from the very beginning.

1. Arrival in China – Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life (Composed by Alan Silvestri): That’s right. The movies — not the games — get the top spot. You must be scratching your head trying to remember the scene where the music plays; much less, what the entire film is all about. Well, here’s a refresher: Performed by the London Symphony Orchestra and conducted by Alan Silvestri himself, this piece heralds Lara’s arrival in a rural area in China where she meets an old acquaintance for help. This time, she’s in pursuit of an orb that tells the exact location of the mythical Pandora’s box. Remember now?

Chinese influence is noticeably reflected in the musical arrangement and the instrumentation. The original four-note melody can be loosely heard at the 00:40 mark and becomes more readily recognizable at 1:08 (despite missing a note). Although there’s arguably a hint of sadness to the composition, the idyllic location shown in the film makes the piece more about indulging in transient tranquility. For after all, Lara really doesn’t have the luxury of time to trade in her pistols for meditative silence.

So there you have it: The Top 5 Most Soothing Music of Neo-Tomb Raider. Be sure to have ’em on your own personalized playlist, so the next time you feel the urge to throw your mouse/controller because of Underworld’s camera, chilling is just a Play button away. In the meantime, here’s a bonus video of Alan Silvestri conducting the London Symphony Orchestra for Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life. Just so you know the amount of work put into scoring Lara Croft films, and games.

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