“Time’s Scar,” the opening track of Square-Enix’ (then just Squaresoft) masterpiece, Chrono Cross (1999), is among the most meaningful pieces of music in my life. The game itself was particularly important for me–appearing near the end of my freshman year in college, the game’s bildungsroman narrative, its metaphysical questioning, and its quintessential delving into the meaning of time and its passing not only met me at a critical point in my life, it left an indelible mark upon me.
The Crono Cross soundtrack was one of the first video game albums I ever purchased. It’s a three-disc set and it is glorious. There are many gems in this small package, but among them all, “Time’s Scar” stands out. It has been performed and recorded by, among others, the Czech Philharmonic Chamber Orcestra (they do it justice, even if the drums feel a tad sluggish at the mid point). From the haunting violin and keys that bookend the piece, to the Celtic frenzy of its climax, the song embodies a sonic scar between subtle beauty and a crushing, pulsing crescendo. If my life had a soundtrack, this song would belong to my early adult years.
But I’m curious about the song’s affect on those not coloured by nostalgia or guided by the aesthetic and narrative experience that accompanied my first listens. So please, give it a listen and let me know what you think. Does Yasunori Mitsuda’s “Time’s Scar” stand up as excellent* music?
* In keeping with my past view on music, I define excellent music as that which has the ability to work affectively on the listener and engage or touch his or her imagination.