The Soundtrack of our Life


Music, the undercurrent of our lives, hidden within the shadows, coming into light at the push of the play button. Always there. For each event in our lives, there it is, a soundtrack playing in our mind. At joyous moments the trumpets sound, elevating our mood to a heightened level. At those moments where the clouds of sorrow eclipse the sun, the violin plays, echoing our perpetual sadness. When we walk down the sidewalk, the rhythmic beat holds our steps in time.

Producers of movies and games have always known this; carefully selecting the soundtracks to further immerse the viewer into their created world. This is especially evident in Dystopian, Horror and Thriller genres. Take the sound track from the game Silent Hill, composed by Akira Yamaoka. The music haunts us, trapping the gamer into the town of Silent Hill itself, unable to break free from its hold. When its tempo increases, the grips of fearful anticipation claw at my chest, and I can feel my heart beat rising.

For each event in our lives, there it is, a soundtrack playing in our mind.

The movie Blade Runner, a classic Dystopian film, lends us its soft orchestral music: rich piano tunes mixed with unnerving electronic sounds to fill the viewer with the feeling of a vague oppression where hope exists, but only in memories – where daylight still lends its self to the cover of shadows.

…a quartet of strings striking the notes as the fear of capture builds…

With so much music in the world constantly fading in and out of our lives it is no wonder that as we read stories, the music plays. As my eyes pass over the words, slowly they fade into the background as the scene begins to play out in my mind’s eye. The gentle melody tantalizes my senses, plunging me further into the author’s world. The intense action scenes – I can hear the beating of the drums, a quartet of strings striking the notes as the fear of capture builds; the intense guitar riffs breaking through as the main character attempts to escape the grips of an in-justice government’s drones, speeding through the desolated city on their motorbike…

I am now gone, lost in my own private dystopian world…

This article is a free and open source. You have permission to republish (The Soundtrack of our Life) under a Creative Commons license with attribution to the website Dystopia and guest author Michael Huddlestone.



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