First off, let's give GrayLightning a chance to explain who did what on this multi-artist collaboration, as the roles were somewhat varied and sequential: "This concept was initially planned by DarkPrinceLuca as a new age and orchestral piece that could be worked on by DPL, Freemind and myself. DPL's role as creative director of the project entailed conceptual ideas on the flow of the mix, and the initial sound design. From there Freemind created the piano melody and base harmony (most of the new age sections). At that point, I took Freemind's midi work and orchestrated the strings throughout the piece, as well as did the initial orchestral section. I then mixed down and mastered the file. Israfel joined the project near the project's completion. His work centered around additional orchestrations to compliment my initial orchestral arrangement. I then mixed his newly added material with my previous mastered file. The result is this mix." So, that explains that. I think it's important to remember - if it's not entirely obvious - that collaborations don't tend to result in mixes that are necessarily "better" than any single one of the artists could have produced by themselves. What they do tend to be are mixes that could not have been produced at all were it not for the unique combination of talents involved - the whole certainly being more than the sum of its parts. In this case, you get a unique, divergent ambient FF7 arrangement that's quite transporting and surreal. Introing with a dark, cavernous soundscape then bringing in a melancholy piano with some BEAUTIFULLY subtle high electric synth FX and choral work, the mood established ebbs and flows from wondrous to morose, then to a more epic feel as an orchestral snare and staccato strings bring in more forward momentum. There's a bit o' brass that comes in; not too crazy about that addition. But the parts of this mix that work are very evocative of Blade Runner, and have that whole "oscillating between major and minor resolutions" thing working full-time and well. Judges were mostly positive, but I think a few shared some of my concerns, which largely center around those portions of the mix that try for a more orchestral motif (the exposed, vulnerable snare comes to mind) - regardless, the bulk of the arrangement is as mentioned quite transporting and immersive, and doesn't sound particularly like either of the artists you might already be familiar with from previous ReMixes. Good stuff, very chill, conspicuous, and those high, subtle ambient electricity fx are just perfect.
on 2010-06-03 09:21:39
I really like this one, despite the out-of-place snare. It's soothing, flowing, like a song about the Lifestream should be.
on 2009-12-03 18:02:06
I don't think the piano fits at all in the intro. At least, not until the supporting strings comes in. When it's just the piano over the ambient sound effects it felt like I was listening to 2 entirely different songs. I agree with OA on the lack of humanization that really makes the song a lot less immersive. The staccato strings and unusual drums fit within their section well enough, but it feels way different from the mood the intro set up and there really wasn't any sort of transition to help bridge that gap.
The sound effects are nicely done, though, I'll give you guys that Those still hold up to today's standards. And I guess the ending feels cohesive enough to work, too, despite the piano. I guess overall this isn't a bad piece to listen to, but it feels very aged and certain elements stick out like a sore thumb that make it hard to really get lost in the mix
on 2009-12-03 16:02:42
Some nice moments for sure here, though some of the parts are ultra mechanical. The piano is super robotic, especially, and the whole organic illusion is lost when it heavily pounds the notes. COmbined with an overly meandering arrangement, I can't bring myself to like this one, despite some great synth tones.
on 2009-01-20 18:33:28
I didn't really care for the change at 2:34 with the drums coming in and all. It's trying to add a marching tone to pretty good classical piece before hand.
Don't get me wrong, this is still a great and well done mix and worth checking out if you like orchestral/atmospheric mixes, but it just isn't for me.
on 2005-10-16 05:30:10
This reminds me of Bugenhagen´s lessons in the game, this remix would so fit in there, dudes.
It has a very lonely beginning, sounds like someone is sitting in the slums of Midgar and plays some notes on a piano that happens to stand there. When the piano then gets two-handed, the strings comes in, and then we got the feel of the Lifestream, a smooth and calm that just lets your problems melt away, a very touching remix if I might say.
Well done to all of you.
on 2005-04-20 20:56:43
This is very nice, very ethereal, very... floating. As DJP mentioned in the write-up, those subtle high-end electric synth FX are quite bea-utiful, and really make this mix something special. Seriously, a little addition like that can add so much to a piece like this, and the people who made the piece knew full well how to take advantage of that.
Like others, I too feel the drum to be a little out of place, but that's not enough to ruin the piece as a whole.
So yeah, like I said, very nice overall.
on 2004-05-11 21:06:58
at about 2:30 is when israfel's contributions are most felt - need i even say that michael dover is quite adept at writing engaging orchestral accompaniment?
Well, actually... I'm surprised that I haven't commented on this mix yet. But in the interest of full disclosure, any mention of engaging orchestral arrangement in this mix should really be aimed at Gray. My involvement in this piece was extremely minimal- in fact, the mix was already considered finished when I first heard it.
All I really did was add the horn melody at 2:40, as well as little background stuff like the harp chords at that same section.
But all the same, I enjoyed working on the mix, and hope that I can do more collaborations in the future. Preferably one that I'm more involved with.
on 2003-09-27 14:15:38
Wow! I really enjoyed this....its very beautiful and it has a very real orchestra sound to it. It also convoys alot of emotion and spirit. If I saw any room for change I would say made a little more dynamtics would of helped. But otherwise a great piece ^^
on 2003-09-07 17:12:02
Damn! DJP's blurb sounded promising, and I was especially enthused to hear something Israfel participated in (love your other stuff), but...I have to agree with the other negative reviews on this one. I second everything Gwilym said except the "amateurish" bit...the original orchestration keeps sounding like it has the potential to really take off, but then just ambles about idly. Drums were better left out entirely. A case of too many cooks spoiling the broth, perhaps? It does sound like an overly long intro that never gets off the ground. *sigh* It was such a great choice of an uncommon FFVII track.
I'm sorry. Really wanted to like it, but can't.
on 2003-09-04 03:10:15
i can't get into this track. obviously it's made a lot of people happy, but to me it seems amateurish, aimless, meandering and, frankly, boring... sorry.
there are some nice little modifications to the original theme, and a choir sound that i like, but aside from that nothing holds my interest. it's not really bad, but i feel nothing when listening to it, aside from faint boredom. two major nitpicks though:
-the piano is too mechanical. every note seems to have the same velocity*; it needs humanising.
-the 2:32 section is too human. every note seems to be syncopated; it needs quantising.
*despite the fact that the volume of the notes varies
on 2003-08-24 13:28:52
Oh I love Collabs they are always great to listen to in my mind because they add the style of more than one artist. But anyways about the song which has always been one of my favorites. The ambient water sounds are a very nice touch reminds me of wingless's SOM Water Palace theme he did way back. I think Gray, DarkPrinceLuca, Israfel and freemind did a great job on this and definately would like to see them get together and produce another fine mix.
on 2003-08-19 17:00:57
the rolled chord at the end. I think the only time you should roll chords like that is when your hand isn't big enough to play all a chord's notes at once.
Hm....Sorry for being late at my reply but I have some jobs to do..I like very much the rolls at the end...They give a smooth ending, which I love...My opinion is that the specific sample of the piano was a bit "hard"...It had good dynamics but it didn't have the sense of a real piano.....
on 2003-08-18 19:49:26
I liked this ReMix. The beginning was cool. The waterdrops were a cool effect. The piano was REALLY good; I liked that a lot. I liked the "orchestral" part okay. I actually liked the drums, but after reading the comments here and listening to it again, maybe they're a LITTLE off (to my untrained ear). It still gave it a great epic sound though, so I support them being there, just maybe improved. I was confused by the ending though. Like other people, I thought it was over, but the beginning part came in again. Great remix overall though!
on 2003-08-14 07:00:26
at first listen, i was unsure whether i was hearing an experimental venture into new places for this community or the confident workmanship of refined art. from the very first drop, my mind expanded to match the intensity of the ambience. this is a well conceptualized, arranged and executed work of art by DPL and crew. Fluss der Liebe has the tone of an introspective monologue... i would be curious to know what the piece means to its creators
i was surprised that when the piano came in, i was not caught off gaurd. freemind's contribution rings loud n clear in perhaps what is the best fitting piano ive heard in an ambient new age vg arrangement in a very long time. excellent match to the much more synthetic and overpowering pads in its background... which incidentally had a very intoxicating progression - i love the tonal structuring you guys did with the synth chords and the piano lead. you can sense graylightning's style of orchestration and chord voicings throughout the song and the tone is reminiscent of tears of a swordsman. amazing stuff, man. 1:55-2:00 is GOLD. at about 2:30 is when israfel's contributions are most felt - need i even say that michael dover is quite adept at writing engaging orchestral accompaniment? the deep strings and well written orchestral drums of that section drive the whole section to what is truly an epic climax at 3:50.
you can pick out each part of the piece per contributor very well which is one of the aspects of it that attracts me the most; its almost as if you are able to visualize each individual's contribution simultaneously... not very common in collabs.
excellent work, gentlemen.
on 2003-08-13 19:42:31
Good piece. I dig the ambient effects. Interesting result from an unlikely collaboration.
My advice: Unless you have a good internal rhythm, I suggest you sequence the notes one by one, as opposed to doing a live performance. This resulted in a very disjointed segment where the snare drum made an appearance. The drum should hold the rhythm together, but these drums seemed to do the opposite.
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