In realms born of imagination and fueled by creative ventures, it’s a wonder that such compositions continue to shift, and change. To come unto the world, nurture, grow, thrive, whither and die. In such a cycle, comes the brilliance and magic of rebirth and as such, the cycle continues.
Since the early 2000’s, Swiss composer Adrian Von Ziegler has been consistently shifting and reimagining not only our image of a Fantasy world but, the very sounds of nature, atmosphere, and aura that bring it all into being. Inspired by a variety of sources like Celtic and Norse lore, Ziegler has continued to create works similar to that of composer Hans Zimmer and worthy of being staples in everything from DnD campaigns to (hopefully) an inspiring film. Not only has he composed epic Fantasy tunes reminiscent of realms like Lord of the Rings, The Witcher, and other popular fantasy favourites, he has created his own language “Inra” (Inra Language found here) and thus, with it, its very own soundtrack.
Popular tracks like “Prophecy” have garnered more than 5,000,000 listens on streaming services like Spotify. All while popular playlists, and lengthy musical immersions like “2 hours of Celtic Music” have amassed more than 46 million views on YouTube. I, myself, discovered Von Ziegler when spending hours upon hours creating Fantasy playlists on YouTube to aid in my creative writing processes. Tracks like “Into the Shadow Realm” helped me with creating doom-filled sections of storyline, while other songs like “Breath of the Forest” and “Mists of Avalon” aided in my inspiration of world-building and exploration. Even today, I still find myself adding more and more of Ziegler’s tracks to my various writing playlists, and easily falling back on those that first introduced me to this composer for repeated sources of inspiration and drive.
The first from the Inra OST is a song titled “The Curtain Rises”, or ‘Viarean Kuella’ as it is known in Inra, which debuted on YouTube on January 9th, 2022. This is our introduction into the “Inra” world as a whole and has already gained more than 29k views. This track takes us on a what feels like a bird’s eye view of the Inra world. There’s ecliptic highs, devastating lows, and remarkable midway points brimming with vivid imagery and emotion.
You awake to spread your wings at the break of dawn, to fly over a clear lake. A calm and quiet melody carries us in like the wind where we bare witness to Fawn, Stag, Wolf, and Elven coming together, joined as one to partake of the refreshing waters to drink, to bathe, and to play. It’s a joyous morning, with a cloudless sky, and a glittering sun on the horizon. However, as you continue your flight, not all is as peaceful as it is in the thick of trees.
The light-hearted notes begin to fade, and we are escorted into the shadows of mountain and despair. Drums are on the rise, low and slow bringing foreboding. A crimson sun emits its glow amongst ashen clouds, and we feel that we are not alone in our flight. This is quickly pushed aside as the fated call of despair overtakes us. Gentle keys bring a parade of sorrow on ever stricken note while flutes come into procession. A mourning; a feeling of loss, or perhaps the acknowledgement of a new beginning; as what ends with one life begins another.
At 4 minutes in, we feel the beat of the drums once more strengthened by a feeling of vengeance, and an overwhelming sense of dread. Revenge, bloodlust, envy seeps into our sightlines and we cannot help but feel uneasy with its presence. The piano keys grow heavy, as with the hand that creates them. What lurks in the darkness here is far greater than any terror ever known.
The flight brings us to a small branch, in a wintery field at the base of a mountain. Once more the music is gentle, offering us a sense of home that comes with familiar sights and sounds as we close our eyes. To be drifted off on those hopes is to hear laughter, feel the warmth of the hearth, and the smell of freshly baked bread.
This track is but a taste of what’s to come, and with how clear the imagery is painted in every precise shift in mood, it is surely an OST to be thoroughly enjoyed.
For more of Adrian Von Ziegler’s music you can find his bandcamp link here: Adrian Von Ziegler or stream his music via Spotify, and other services.