In a little over two weeks, players will soon be able to get their hands on the next big PlayStation exclusive, Ghost of Tsushima. As exciting as that is, those who are major fans of the music in games, you’ll be happy to know that PlayStation is also launching the official Ghost of Tsushima soundtrack that very same day.
From the PSBlog, the score of Ghost of Tsushima is being done by two composers, Ilan Eshkeri and Shigeru “Ume” Umebayashi. The reason why Sucker Punch decided to go with two rather than one is due to the sheer size of the game, which they are describing to be “big” with lots of content. They wanted to fill the game with enough music as help tell the story of Jin’s evolution throughout the game. Both composers supplied their own thoughts on the game along with how they’re approaching the music.
Ilan Eshkeri: From the first moment of the first meeting, I realised that Ghost was about a very powerful emotional journey. The team at Sucker Punch and PlayStation were inspiring and generous with their creativity so I immediately knew that I was going to love working on the game.
Jin’s theme, “The Way of the Ghost,” was one of the very first pieces I wrote. Usually productions are ready for music after everyone else has been working on the game. As much as you might understand the story, it always takes time to really get under the skin and appreciate the depth of well written characters and story. While some of my first sketches evolved, this theme really stuck. It’s all about how the people of Tsushima see him. He is their hero: strong, infallible, inspiring and full of hope, but what really fascinated me about Jin is the contrast of what is going on inside him. In order to save his home and the people he loves he must go against everything he was taught to believe in and break the code of the Samurai. Throughout the game, Jin is a character in deep emotional conflict and this, above all else, is what drew me to Ghost.
The historical setting is fascinating. I began to study ancient Japanese music, folk songs, court music, sacred music and taiko, as well as the different pentatonic scales used in Japanese music. It is a very rich world full of a lifetime’s worth of exploration. In the game’s score I used Shakuhachi, Koto, Shamisen, Taiko Drums and Chants, and my favourite discovery, Biwa. The Biwa is an instrument that Samurai used to play and the art of it was almost lost — there are now only a few players in the world! Luckily, I was able to find one of them to play on Ghost. It’s a really special sound and you can hear it on “The Heart of the Jito.”
I wanted to create an emotional world that would not only support the narrative and action beats of the game, but I hope it also completely draws the player into the heart and soul of Jin’s emotional journey.
Shigeru “Ume” Umebayashi:
I was born in Kita-Kyushu city, which is physically close to the island of Tsushima. However, I have never been there personally, and I was not very familiar with the history of Tsushima before working on this game. Having joined this project, I think it would be a great opportunity to visit.
When I was composing music for the game, I was inspired by Japan’s nature, climate, traditional lifestyle, and classical Japanese music. My compositions feature various Japanese instruments, including shakuhachi, koto, and Japanese taiko. But the instruments are nothing without the players. For me, I view musicians as crucial avatars of myself. They materialize the music that I envision and want to tell, delivering it to the listeners. Without this collaboration, I would merely be a street musician who nobody listens to.
When listeners hear the music for the game, I hope that they feel the hearts of the people of Tsushima – those who love the land, living and plowing with the natural bounties it offers, and those of the warriors who take their katanas and follow the way of the samurai.
Along with this, the blog post has also shared small previews of the two of the songs featured in Ghost of Tsushima.
Ghost of Tsushima Soundtrack Preview
As mentioned earlier, the Ghost of Tsushima soundtrack will be available digitally when the game launches and can be purchased from here: Ghost of Tsushima OST. As for physical buyers will get a two-set disc with the option to buy a vinyl edition coming later. Ghost of Tsushima is launching July 17, exclusively for the PlayStation 4. Be sure to check back here for our full review!