TOTD: Akira Yamaoka & Mary Elizabeth McGlynn – “You’re Not Here”
It’s been nearly a year since Konami cancelled Silent Hills and my heart is still breaking over the loss of how much potential the game could have had. While I find solace in watching YouTubers play various installments, there’s also the music to rejoice in. Akira Yamaoka composed a majority of the music for this survival horror series, crafting some of the best soundtracks in video game history. Though I can’t personally favor one installment over another (they’re all equally amazing, and I will defend Downpour until I die), it was always the music that left an impression on me, bar the fact that fictional monsters that were based on a person’s psyche kept me awake at night.
I could easily pinpoint my favorite songs Akira composed, but none leave me more in awe than a particular song from Silent Hill 3. “You’re Not Here” features incredible vocals from Mary Elizabeth McGlynn (under the pseudonym Melissa Williamson). Overall, this song is reaching lyrically — it speaks of losing a loved one and the feeling of dealing with it. More specifically, the song details how the heroine of Silent Hill 3, Heather, is coping with her father’s death. If you haven’t caught up to the lore of this mystical and fog-ridden town — or haven’t bothered with its wiki — the mythos surrounding this iconic series is massive.
Harry Mason survived the events of the first game where he battled a demonic god brought out by Silent Hill’s resident cult. Upon leaving the town, he was given a child (Heather) to look after. For the next seventeen years, Harry took it upon himself on protecting his daughter from the deranged cult until one day — SPOILER ALERT — he was killed while Heather was on an otherworldly trip to the mall. After discovering his death, Heather is thrust into the world her father tried escaping.
While I could go on and on about my love for this series, I’ll save that for another day. Who knows, maybe the film and/or its sequel may make an appearance on our Moonlight Frights series.