In a Snow-Bound Land «
Morsels of my life and things I really care about.

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So long to summer days. Welcome, autumn evenings. 

"Growing Under Moonlight" by Grant Kirkhope.

"Boo’s Going Home" by Randy Newman.

Aquatic Ambiance — original piece by David Wise.

Arranged by ShimaPiano.

3 notes


"Young at heart"!
2 notes

"Young at heart"!

This isn’t the first time that I’ve posted this song…

I have a tendency to parade it around anywhere I can. On this blog, specifically, I addressed its importance to me in one of my earliest posts. Looking back at it though, I feel an enormous sense of guilt — the song and its meaning to me, deserves more than a mediocre introduction. So I will try my best to describe why this track in particular, and more broadly — platform games starring cute jungle animals — are an important feature of my life. 

"In a Snow Bound-Land" was first introduced to me when I was about 6 or 7, while playing Donkey Kong Country 2. Having reached the third world of the game and having had accumulated sufficient Kremkoins (the reward for completing bonus stages in the game), I purchased my entrance into the game’s “Lost World”. Here, I had the opportunity to play a level type that would only reappear at the end of the game — the ice stages. Though they were few in number, it was in these beautiful crystal caverns that I enjoyed my favorite tune. 

In the crystal caves with Enguarde the Swordfish.

As a child, the original Donkey Kong Country had already influenced me. The game’s predecessor was in many ways a marking experience — growing up, we didn’t have much money, and the availability of Donkey Kong Country in itself was a miracle of sorts. Adding to that, the game’s quality and atmosphere left a deep impression in me: this was not just another bad attempt at a mushroom-induced romp. I enjoy Mario and the like, and mean no offense to people who would rather spend their time saving Princesses than banana hoards, but the personality of DKC always felt more elegant to me. The fact that it was just a game routinely slipped my mind. 

Largely, this was due to the music. The soundtrack earned its place in my iPod and my life with good reason. The composers —- Robin Beanland, Eveline Fischer, and David Wise — captured nature with an incredible attention to all of its subtleties. Somehow, they managed to fit the oil-painted sunsets, minty smelling trees, and even the loneliness of an arctic blizzard, in a small grey cartridge. The musicians at Rare Ltd. (the series’ developer) are all talents that anyone, gamer or not, should listen to. But it was Mr. Wise who composed most of the sequel’s soundtrack, including the track that inspired the name of this blog.

A Kremling hottie flexes and makes a porcupine faint to his death.

We are taken to a snow-bound land in humility: the song begins slowly and softly, with a reverence to the silence it is about to disturb. A diamond humming, as if the crystals of the level were wind chimes swayed by the water, rises to its highest pitch for only a second…dropping its ambition to be heard, thereafter. Falling crystals shatter and create a rhythmic and oddly soothing accompaniment to the sweetness of the hum. The pulsating unites it all and moves it forward, cautiously, almost nervously.

Distinctly melancholic, the tune loops after just a minute and thirty seconds. The tone of lament and the sadness it inspires lasts for far longer.

Yet rarely do I find myself “In a Snow-Bound Land” without feeling hopeful or comforted. In the choir of wind chimes I hear the voices of my parents, my few friends, and of the passing time. What they say isn’t always pleasant, however, but I listen to it with the same eagerness, knowing that what I’m hearing is nonetheless authentic and deserves my attention. The nostalgia of the song is what makes it special to me, because it does not act against the present or discourage me from living it … but overwhelms me with what is real by giving me a perspective on everything that I’ve experienced.

A sultry seal beckons the Kongs.

It is no mistake then, that the night I decided to come out, I played this song non-stop as I waited for my parents to get home. Nor is it surprising that I open up my Music folder, look in Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy’s Kong Quest, and press play on track 60 when I feel the sting of unrequited emotions. Whenever I feel that the occasion demands more from me, I turn to the same tune to help me expand my range of considerations … my tools to understand.

But it isn’t all gloomy – I’m “In a Snow-Bound Land” when I’m happy, too. Unlike in the game, it doesn’t just play in the ice…but at school, in a park, or wherever else I manage to be when I’m with the people and things I care about. These days though, I tend to hear the song mostly at night, as I fall asleep. It’s the lullaby that gets me to rest, and the song to which I rise to in the morning (or afternoon…).

Most importantly though, this is the music to my life – the whole of my person expressed in song. A minute and thirty doesn’t seem like a lot, but the song’s still not finished. I’m still waiting to hear the end to it myself. 

I feel dandy. 

I feel dandy. 


Laissez-moi dormir. 

Emily Loizeau — Je Ne Sais Pas Choisir