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Julia Henderson – Between Earth and Sky (Music From Chrono Trigger) Review

An eclectic mix of awesome

I adore Yasunori Mitsuda’s music. He has often weaved together the melodic side of game music with an innate folk flow. Julia Henderson takes one of his earlier works ‘Chrono Trigger’ and pushes each of six tracks into completely different genres. The result is a diverse, eclectic but soulful arrange collection that fans of the original will love.

Opening up ‘Memories of Green’, the track is transformed into a cross between Enya and Secret Garden. Rolling piano, strong woodwind sections and lovely strings pave the way before Julia’s operatic voice powers in. She is classical but with modern sensibilities with it. That bears out in her echoed calls in the closing section, which come to the fore in the Celtic opening of ‘Battle with Magus’. That soon tears into a crunchy metal arrangement. Julia’s voice turns into a ghost choir for the background whilst the electric guitars churn out heavy riff after riff. The thickness of the production really pays off here, even when the quieter waltzing section seeps in.

Julia Henderson

Julia Henderson returns back to the piano for ‘Corridors of Time’ which straddles a gospel/soul bop n pop genre. Julia’s voice takes centre stage as she becomes the chords of the synths from the original and then sings over the top. All the while the iconic piano rolls behind it all – it’s really impressive. ‘Schala’s Theme’ is beautifully serene and is a cross between Asian cinematic folk music and classical pop. The two tracks go hand in hand. ‘Wings That Cross Time’ then moves into smokey jazz with a brushed drum set and a saxophone that won’t sit still. It’s a technically impressive track but the big hurrah is saved for the brass orchestra and electronica pulses of ‘World Revolution’. It’s beautifully put together and produced in a way that makes it feel orchestral even though it’s not. What impressed me too is that this track was created as part of a global collaboration. It features lots of different solo instrument players all submitting their sections to be placed together – yet it feels so cohesive.

Whilst hearing the collaboration story of ‘Between Earth and Sky’ made me smile at what musicians are doing these days, the real smile is for the music. Julia Henderson has created a rich, warm and diverse selection of arrangements and any fan of Yasunori Mitsuda or game music would do well to pick this up immediately.

Recommended track: Corridors of Time

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Julia Henderson - Between Earth and Sky



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