"The Beginning" from Kholat on the PC (2015)
Composer: Arkaduisz Reikowski
Album: Kholat Original Soundtrack
Label: Self Published / Bandcamp
[To date, I have only played the demo for Kholat, but once I finish up with SOMA, I have a feeling that Kholat will be close behind. But now onto the music.]
It should be noted, that while the music is written by Polish composer Arkaduisz Reikowski, the vocals were sung by Penelopa Willmann-Szynalik, whom I cannot find out much information apart from the soundtracks she has sung on and her personal youtube page.
For me, what first comes to mind with this song, is Javier Navarrete's soundtrack from Pan's Labyrinth, specifically the opening track, "Long, Long Time Ago / Hace mucho, mucho tiempo" which contains the lullaby often heard throughout the film, although less fantastical feeling here in Kholat, but still melancholy. And what you may not be able to decipher from just the song, without any context, is that this music is from a survival horror game that takes place around the Dyatlov Pass area of Russia. I love that, for myself at least, the song works very well on its own without context from the game, although I am very excited to find out how this theme is worked into or around the narative of the game.
One of the things that I love about Penelopa Willmann-Szynalik's voice here, are the different tones she uses. There is the humming tone, the "nuh" tone, the "huh" tone, and then at the end (2:26.83) where it almost sounds like she is screaming or yelling in the most subdued and musical way possible. It is sad, beautiful and haunting all at the same time all without any words, which for someone who doesn't sing (aside from death metal growling) is quite impressive.
I thought this song would be a fitting end to our month long selections of "scary" music, in part because of its sad tone, which I somewhat interpret as in remembrance to the nine students who lost their lives in the Dyatlov Pass, but more than likely, because of the events that take place in-game, of which I know nothing.