Yesterday I finally made it out to the cinema in order to watch The Secret World of Arrietty. It was really just…breathtaking. Something about that film completely captured my heart. I wrote about it in great detail over on Otaku Haiku, where I couldn’t stop myself from gushing about the beautiful soundtrack, which caught my attention as soon as the film opened. To quote myself:
…the music is stunning. The entire soundtrack is by Celtic musician Cecile Corbel, and while a Japanese film with a Celtic soundtrack doesn’t seem like it would necessarily be a good fit, it’s actually incredible. The vocals are lovely and lilting, and the harp makes the natural setting come alive, especially in the rain scenes where every pluck of the strings mimics a drop of water on the leaves. As a longtime lover of Celtic music, I know that the genre can get a little heavy at times, hearkening back to those 90s Pure Moods compilation CDs. However, the soundtrack to Arrietty is as far from the Celtic clichés as night and day. It would be a gorgeous album on its own, but paired with the film it perfectly enhances this Western tale in an Eastern setting.
I bought the album as soon as I left the cinema, and I’ve been listening to it non-stop ever since. The delicate harp and gentle vocals are the most prevalent, but the dancing flute that recalls wind and the soft beating of the bodhrán as footsteps all play a part in making the woodland setting of Arrietty come alive in a really astonishing way. I’m of the opinion that you don’t have to already be a lover of Celtic music to enjoy this album, but take a listen* to the opening song, “The Neglected Garden,” and decide what you think. Music this lovely that plucks at the heartstrings speaks for itself.
*SPOILER ALERT: This fan-made video, while excellent, shows many scenes from the film The Secret of Arrietty, including almost the entire end of the movie. Watch at your own risk.