The Wheel of Time TV show released the first single from the its soundtrack composed by Grammy-award winning composer, Lorne Balfe. As soon as the official social media accounts for the show announced the track, fans flocked to music services to listen to the song. Excitement built as fans discovered that the song’s lyrics were in the Old Tongue.
Named “Al’Naito”, which translates to “The Flame” in the Old Tongue, the song’s sound leans on Asian and multi-cultural influences. It starts slow with enigmatic vocals but then picks up at the chorus with jovial and celebratory chant. Twitter user @SeieraSedai did a great job breaking it down in this Twitter thread.
Everything We Know About The Song
Is This The Title Track?
No. Lorne Balfe clarified this in a tweet.
— Lorne Balfe (@Lornebalfe) October 8, 2021
The track was made immediately available across all music streaming platforms, including Apple Music, Spotify, Amazon Music and Youtube Music, among others.
Who Are the Singers?
Through social media posts, we know of two singers who revealed they performed on this track: music producer and singer/songwriter Aisyah and singer/songwriter Abby Lyons.
Aisyah (full name Aisyah Zulkarnain) first started working in the music industry through Hans Zimmer’s Remote Control Productions. Now based out of Los Angeles, she was the first person from Brunei to work in the American film industry. In addition to working as a composer and producer, she has released her own music, starting with her debut single “Memories,” written for the short film “Walls.”
Abby Lyons is an independent pop/folk singer-songwriter also based out of Los Angeles. She posts original songs, covers, and ukulele tutorials on YouTube, and also releases her music through Spotify. She released her debut album in 2017 and released another album, “I’m Not Famous,” in August 2021. Abby’s voice is one of the many we hear singing alongside Aisyah in Al’Naito.
Who Are the Instrumentalists?
Also through social media posts, we also know two of the talented musicians playing instruments in the track: drummer Cherisse Osei and guitarist Will Greig.
Cherisse Osei is a professional drummer with 16 years of experience touring and playing internationally. She has been the drummer for the band Simple Minds since 2016, and has worked with other musicians like MIKA, Bryan Ferry, and Kelly Jones. Cherisse revealed previously through social media that she had worked on The Wheel of Time soundtrack. She’s no stranger to playing for Lorne Balfe, as she previously played drums for his Black Widow score.
Will Grieg is a professional guitarist who has been recording for film scores since 2013. His most recent credits are for movies Ice Road, Song Bird, and Driven. On Al’Naito, he plays not only electric guitar and acoustic guitar, but also banjo.
Are the Lyrics Available?
The fact that the composer promised the lyrics to be forthcoming did not stop some fans from poring over their Wheel of Time Companion to decipher the words of the song. Rob from The Weekly Wheel News made a valiant effort here, but we didn’t have to wait long until Balfe delivered on his promise:
You ask …… we provide …. #WheelOfTime pic.twitter.com/jPn5A2op3l
— Lorne Balfe (@Lornebalfe) October 10, 2021
This is Great. What Does it Mean?
Attempts at translating the words directly against the available Old Tongue dictionary revealed that the show developed the language beyond its known form. Writer and fan Joan Albright managed to put together a very good translation:
Got it! The lyrics to Al’Naito (For the Flame) translated!#TwitterOfTime #TheWheelOfTime #WoTOnPrime pic.twitter.com/sMBKPoarmc
— Joan Albright (@AlbrightWrites) October 11, 2021
The Way of the Fan
Twitter user A Thread in the Pattern converted the lyrics into Old Tongue script for the proverbial icing on the honeycake:
So, I did a thing…#TwitterOfTime #TheWheelofTime pic.twitter.com/8JNYPN8sPe
— A Thread In The Pattern (@ThreadPattern) October 11, 2021
We can’t wait to hear more from Lorne Balfe’s score for The Wheel of Time. What do you think of our first listen, and when do you think we’ll hear Al’Naito in the show? Let us know in the comments!
Thanks for the shout out! It was a blast even though I was way off
I thought it sounded pretty generic to be honest. Definitely not on the level as the original Conan the Barbarian, Star Wars or Clint Eastwood’s spaghetti westerns, those tunes really stick in your head like superglue. Hopefully they will be able to create better ones in the future.