One of the several aspects that make Celeste a superb game is the soundtrack. Its catchy, rhythmic mix of piano and chiptune-style synths masterfully complement the game’s tone, story, and intense platforming at just the right moments. The Celeste soundtrack is also wonderful to simply listen to as a standalone album, and the remixed Piano Collections just as much. But you don’t have to take my word for it. It’s been nominated for multiple awards including Best Music at the upcoming BAFTA Game Awards, and it took home Best Audio at the 2019 GDC Awards. That’s because of the work of composer Lena Raine, and today she released her debut solo album titled Oneknowing.
Oneknowing is available on multiple music streaming platforms such as Bandcamp, Apple Music, Spotify, Google Play, and much more. While you may recognize a few parallels between that of Celeste’s soundtrack and Raine’s new record, Oneknowing hits a more relaxing, ethereal vibe especially in the songs “Breath” and “Momodani.” Raine also sings in an artificial language with her voice modified via vocaloid software for tracks like “Tsukuyomi” and “Light Rail.”
I caught up with Raine following the win for Best Audio at the GDC Awards this year and asked her about the approach in creating Celeste’s soundtrack. She said, “In a lot of ways, Celeste was sort of me finally claiming my own voice. I had been writing music for other franchises, like Guild Wars 2, that already had an established voice. And so Celeste was finally my chance to actually just go super into the kind of music that excited me. And in a lot of ways, everything that has come since then, that’s where I now need to diversify my sound and keep coming up with new things to challenge myself.”
You may have seen her performing at The Game Awards 2018 alongside renowned composers Hans Zimmer and Lorne Balfe. Celeste was one of GameSpot’s favorite games last year and we awarded it a spot in our 5 Best Nintendo Switch Games of 2018. In regard to the soundtrack, writer and editor Oscar Dayus said in his Celeste review, “The piano and chiptune-heavy soundtrack adapts in a similar fashion [as the art style and environments], moving from the serene to the spooky at the perfect moment, all while remaining forever catchy.”