Soundtrack Review: Eden (2021)

Milan Records has released EDEN (Music From the Netflix Original Anime Series) by composer Kevin Penkin (Tower of GodMade in AbyssFlorence). Available for preorder now, the album features music written by Penkin for Netflix’s latest original anime series, which follows the last remaining human girl as she navigates an unfamiliar robot-inhabited world. Created by Justin Leach (Ghost in the Shell 2) and directed by legendary Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood director Yasuhiro Irie, Eden debuted on Netflix on Thursday, May 27.

Kevin Penkin, based in Melbourne, is a BAFTA-nominated composer for Japanese animation and video games. He is best known for composing the award-winning score to Made in Abyss, and the music to the BAFTA award-winning game Florence. Kevin moved to London in 2013 to complete a Masters degree in Composition for Screen at the Royal College of Music. During this time, Kevin collaborated with legendary video game composer Nobuo Uematsu on a number of Japanese video game titles, which eventually led him to break into the Anime industry. After releasing his breakthrough score for Made in Abyss, Penkin continued to compose music for Japanese animation, with scores for both The Rising of the Shield Hero and Tower of God.

Thousands of years in the future, a city known as “Eden 3” is inhabited solely by robots whose former masters vanished a long time ago. On a routine assignment, two farming robots accidentally awaken a human baby girl from stasis questioning all they were taught to believe — that humans were nothing more than a forbidden ancient myth. Together, the two robots secretly raise the child in a safe haven outside Eden.

Of the soundtrack for EDEN, composer Kevin Penkin had the following to say:

“Eden is one of those projects that I will cherish forever. The love put into this project not only from the team, but also the musicians, is humbling. Being able to work with people who gave so much trust in the direction of the music is something I will forever cherish. Please enjoy the unique world of Eden, as we combine the unique worlds of a 3D-printed 6-string violin, female voices and electro-acoustic sound-sources. We have tried to put our best foot forward to honor the amazing work of this team.”

The music for Eden is intensely beautiful and not at all what I imagined it would sound like. Though that may be my fault as I saw the story’s premise of two robots caring for a human child and immediately imagined that the music would focus on all of the robots and be more mechanical in nature. However, judging by what I’ve heard, Kevin Penkin went in the opposite direction entirely. The music for Eden is highly reminiscent of the countryside and nature, which makes sense since a) the name of the series references the Garden of Eden and b) the robots in question are programmed to do farm work so they would be out among nature anyway.

Another detail I noticed, and I really need to start asking composers about this is, a lot of these tracks are really short, like 30-45 seconds. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, a track that is less than a minute long doesn’t give you a whole lot of time to get into it. By the time the music really gets going…it’s over. I really need to start asking why some tracks are so short, as these can contain some of my favorite musical ideas, but they stop short when it feels like they could go on much longer.

I also love how the strings come together in this soundtrack. The strings I’m hearing sound so beautiful and unique, this has to be the 3-D printed six-string violin that the composer references. The music this instrument creates is unbelievable: it sounds like a perfect fusion of East and West in that the strings sound like a traditional Western instrument but the music itself is in an Eastern mode. The blending of musical styles creates such a treat for the ears that I literally can’t stop listening to this music.

I highly recommend checking out the music for Eden and I hope you enjoy it.

EDEN (MUSIC FROM THE NETFLIX ORIGINAL ANIME SERIES)

TRACKLISTING –

  1. The Garden of EDEN
  2. Genesis
  3. The Capsule Under the Tree
  4. Recharge
  5. Ocean Way
  6. Reprogram
  7. Sunrise Over the Cube
  8. Uncle John
  9. Sara
  10. VR
  11. Valhalla
  12. EDEN 3
  13. Dreams
  14. Chasey
  15. Return to Base
  16. EDEN.Waltz
  17. Sunset
  18. Liz Projections
  19. ZERO
  20. Appledrop
  21. Penrose Steps, A.I. Bloom
  22. Password:
  23. Truth Is
  24. EDEN ZERO
  25. Archive
  26. Mama & Papa
  27. Detonation
  28. Removal
  29. 4
  30. Dr. Fields
  31. Memory Fields
  32. The Place Where Everyone Laughs
  33. SARA GRACE
  34. Rain
  35. Demolition
  36. Red vs Blue
  37. Strawberry Blonde
  38. The Girl in the Field
  39. The Robotic Code of Ethics

Let me know what you think about Eden and its soundtrack in the comments below and have a great day!

See also:

TV Soundtracks

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