Nainita Desai Achieves Immortality--In a Great VG Score
Immortality is a new interactive movie trilogy. In this horror genre, players explore “unearthed” footage from three different found movies. A magic mechanic then allows them to navigate the cinematic language to discover more secrets and move the gameplay forward. Composer Nainita Desai (The Reason I Jump; Untamed Romania; For Sama) displays here her excellent capacity for creating engaging thematic material and her ability to also transform that material in some rather interesting ways. The album is a sort of orchestral “suite” of sorts that presents the primary ideas and their subsequent experimental alterations.
One striking sound is a delicious thematic thread presented by saxophone (“Immortality-Opening”) which helps invite the listener into the soundworld. It casts a sensual, noir-ish feel across the rich orchestral backdrops Desai creates. This is blended with some additional interesting orchestral colors. It bookends the other components of the score presentation as well. The thematic ideas here connect to aspects of game play and are revealed as the story pushes forward. The result is that the ideas have this tendency to bend back over themselves or invert and twist as Desai manipulates their shape. In a way then, they tend to have a life of their own. Throughout there is this somewhat melancholy, Gothic quality to the music often crafter in warm orchestration with that sultry sax sneaking in as a connective tissue.
The album has been sequenced to easily hear how Desai accomplishes these shifts in tone and manipulation. It is organized in three primary sets of tracks focusing on “Life”, “Religion” (a beautiful cello theme and vocalizations at its core), and “Art” (designed around a rapid arpeggiated idea in a gorgeous cue). Each has a thematic thread followed by subsequent tracks that present the idea then in three “variations”: supernatural; subverted; and subverted supernatural. The “Closing” brings us into a dark, mysterious Gothic style that sums things quite well. The last track is a song featuring Tori Beaumont (“Two Of Everything”). Immortality is one of Desai’s finest scores (in a heady collection of excellent work the past few years) and is not to be missed. The album is available on streaming services.