To me, the really intimidating part of Solas’ theme song is that the game introduces it so slowly – first you only hear these thrumming, oppressive war drums (and you didn’t know why – why are there drums? Why??). When you fight the Saarebas, strings come in to lead the drums.
Only when you start fighting the last boss of the game, do you finally hear Solas’ real, complete theme song. Something like a metaphor for hunting down the pieces to the mystery behind the character himself.
I put the three versions of the song together to make a version where one builds up into the next, the way it does in the game. 6-minute panic attack.
it’s also a pretty good representation for that the Inqusitor is experiencing the entire time– they’re dying. They’re running out of time and the clock keeps ticking (the war drums), just as they keep putting together more and more of the pieces and figuring out what the fuck is really going on. By the time the song reaches its most intense point, the Inquisitor is doing their utmost best to keep from literally exploding into green chunks, and by the time they get there, that’s it, the timer’s over, this is the end of the line, which is partially why the song is so goddamn sad.
(The meat of Solas’s theme also mirrors the main Inquisition theme to a terrifying degree, which points to the fact that they’re both pretty much the heroes of their own stories. The Dark Solas theme is a heroic song; it’s daring and romantic and beautiful, just as it’s also desperate and borderline frantic and has those Reaper-like bwoongs to up the stress factor.)
Top that off with the entire thing being written in B-flat harmonic minor, which is a traditionally dark, dramatic, and sad, key signature (Sunday, Bloody Sunday, anyone? or Tschaikovsky’s Symphony No 4 2nd mvmt for the classical geeks).
No happy natural G in there to perk the whole thing up and illicit some feeling of hope by making it melodic minor. Nope this is just a beautiful mess of flat notes that you have been subconsciously trained over your life of listening to western music to associate with serious drama.
Trevor Morris you compositional genius, you 😉
Reblogging because I wish I could just drop music theory like that. It’s so much like close reading and close reading gets me pretty hot.