I like heavy stuff and dramatic music, but I am also a sucker for nice melodic lines. Generally I try to stay as open-minded as possible when looking for inspirational music on a project. I don't want to exempt things because simply because they are a modern style or belong to a genre not always associated with the theme of the game I am working on. My main purpose is to help keep my ideas fresh, lift my mood while I think and to get ideas. So while a Dio Song like Don't Talk to Strangers might inspire interesting ideas like the Starlit Inkstone, a song like Opening the Vastness, which I don't understand the lyrics to, just helped me visualize the setting and characters.
Take some of these artist and title names with a grain of salt. Some of these are songs from shows I like and while it was easy to find the songs, I was not always 100% certain of the artist or writer (or even the song title itself).
A.R. Rahman: Warriors of Heaven and Earth Soundtrack (album)
Arkona: Ot Serdtsa k Nebu (Album)
Arkona: Goi, Rode, Goi! (Album)
Bella Yao/Yao Beina: Bodhisattva (Theme Song from Empresses in the Palace/The Legend of Zhen Huan)
Unfortunately Bella Yao died of breast cancer earlier this year, but this song is one of the most haunting vocal melodies I've ever heard. Very evocative. You can listen to it HERE.
Carabao: Drunken Uncle (Song)
This is a Thai Rock band. This is well outside what one might expect for the mood of wuxia, but the twin guitar melody on this one really works for me picturing aspects of the setting. It has a certain emotional weight to it. You can listen to the song HERE.
Da Endorphine: Night Blooming Jasmine (Song)
Da Endorphine is another Thai artist. She has a powerful voice and can manage a wide range of styles. This song is a sort of minor ballad that fits the mood in the same was as Tianxia Wushang (see Return of Condor Heroes Soundtrack below). You can listen HERE.
Da Endorphine: The Last Request (Song)
This is my favorite Da Endorphine song. Lots of energy and power. Great voice on display here. This song sold me on her as an artist. You can listen HERE.
Dio: Holy Diver (Album)
Dio: Last in Line(Album)
Ennio Morricone: The Ecstacy of Gold
To me this song perfectly captures the spirit of wuxia even though it was made for a western.
Frankie Chan and Roel Garcia: Ashes of Time Soundtrack (Album, redux version with Yo-Yo Ma)
|Gao Sheng Mei|
Gao Sheng Mei: Double Album
I do not know the name of this album, I picked it up ages ago in China Town and the title isn't in English. No internet search has been able to help me find the name. But a great album.
Iced Earth: Burnt Offerings (Album)
I like Iced Earth's range. They are not afraid to be melodic or heavy. They do ballads, but don't phone them in. The rhythm guitar is always awesome. Burnt Offerings is really dark and proved inspiring for a lot of the more sorcerous elements of Wandering Heroes of Ogre Gate.
Immortals and Mortals in Love (Seven of the Sky Soundtrack)
Iron Maiden: Seventh Son of a Seventh Son (Album)
Iron Maiden: The Final Frontier
Iron Maiden: A Matter of Life and Death
Jan Zhang: Painted Heart (Song)
Tan Dun: Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon Soundtrack (Album)
I really like Tan Dun. For me he is up there with Ennio Morricone. This album works well for any setting.
Tan Dun: Hero (Soundtrack Album)
Tengger Cavalry: Ancient Call (Album)
This is a Mongolian Folk Metal Band and I find their rhythms and melodies really helped inspire me for the Kushen Basin region. It is a nice blend of traditional and heavy.
Tengger Cavalry: The Expedition (Album)
This was the Tengger Cavalry Album I listened to most while working on Ogre Gate. It just hit the right mood for me. The song "Khan" is especially good and reminiscent of Ecstasy go Gold.
Last Hurrah for Chivalry (opening theme song)
No idea what the name of this song is or who wrote it, but it works for me for wuxia. You can listen to the song HERE.
Mozart: Requiem in D Minor
Peng Qing: I Can Only Love You (Song)
This is a bit of a love song, but that is a common theme in Wuxia. I quite like this one. It wasn't the main theme, but they played it a lot in the 2008 Legend of Condor Heroes. You can listen to the song HERE.
Raymond Lam and Eva Huang: Promise (Song)
Ronald Cheng: Lonesome Hero (Song)
Sa Dingding: Harmony (Album)
Sa Dingding is an interesting musician. Her songs are traditional in sound but also experimental with electronic and synth. They can also be a bit unusual at times. This album is a bit difficult to describe, but it is definitely atmospheric.
Stephanie Sun: Hua Mulan (Song)
Taro Iwashiro: Red Cliff Soundtrack (Album)
Xiaochong and other artists: Return of Condors Heroes Soundtrack
A very good soundtrack in my opinion. In particular the song, Tianxia Wushang performed by Jane Zhang, is highly recommended here. You can listen HERE.
Zhang Jie: Opening the Vastness (Song)
You can listen HERE.