Top Score: Best Video Game Soundtracks of 2013, Number 3

by Emily Reese, Minnesota Public Radio
December 19, 2013

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Number three in the countdown: Lorne Balfe's score for Beyond: Two Souls.

The level of restraint Balfe shows in this soundtrack is indicative of a seasoned composer. Balfe patiently unfolds his melodies and harmonies, underscoring the tenuous circumstances of the story.

When I interviewed Balfe about this score back in September, the game hadn't come out yet. We were forbidden to discuss plot, as is common in the video game industry. As a result, it was impossible to grasp how the plot influenced him.

You can hear the restraint in "Jodie's Story".

And the cello. The cello! Balfe's cello writing captures the humanity of the instrument. It's gorgeous in "Dawkins' Suite":

The cello returns in "Homeless Life". This track might remind you initially of the British pastoral sound — composers like Vaughan Williams — even Elgar. It unfolds into another lovely cello solo.

Next week, Number 2 on Top Score's countdown to the best video game soundtracks of 2013.

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