ReMix: Final Fantasy VI 'Battle Theme (Ivory Metal Mix)'
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Streaming preview on YouTube
Challenging. This is an adjective that might not be entirely obvious when applied to game mixes, but the long and short of my particular usage is that it essentially means a piece isn't going to follow the rules, is going to have something like dissonance, unusual meter or structure, etc. that makes it perhaps harder to get into for some - that sort of thing. It's not an insult but not necessarily a compliment either - while it's great to see people taking risks, it can also be challenging to work within more accessible constraints and still have mixes that sound fresh and interesting. But I digress: newcomer Noir (like the somewhat formulaic anime with a great OST) alias Eric Barker has come up with an ornate, "challenging" solo piano arrangement from FF6 that is very worth your time. Beginning with an energetic chromatic build on the fantasy arpeggio, you quickly get a sense the arrangement is going to be riskier, flamboyant, and very creative. Great attention to LARGE dynamics changes, keeping things tense and taut. Judges were very split on some of the dissonance, with half feeling that even if it was intentional it didn't work, and the other feeling that it clearly was and that it did work. Listening now, in the context of the entire piece, I'd say it makes sense. Mr. Baranowsky writes:
"The bass notes in the beginning work for me. It's dissonant, but dissonance is not always bad. Like the D^2 said, it resolves. I like how a lot of it is similar to the original, but a lot of it is totally different as well. It keeps it fresh, while at the same time familiar. Performance skill is top-tier, no qualms there. Recording works for me, could use a dash more reverb, I say. It's a new take on the ff6 battle theme that I never thought possible. Good Stuff. "
In general, the intonation takes some twists and turns that keep you guessing and, for me at least, raised the interest level. Israfel had some more technical comments about the performance - timing, tempo, and recording issues - most of which I agreed with, but the human factor works to the advantage more than not in this case, and adds a degree of kinetic energy and verve that makes things click. I agree with Dan; this transforms the battle theme in a way that's not at all obvious but does work, enjoyably and admirably so.
OA;669446 wrote: I also love the massive dynamic shifts. Go big or go home, IMO.
Most definitely this ^
The dynamics here are what make this mix fun to listen to; you can literally feel the urgency underlying this. It makes sense why this is called Ivory Metal. :)
This is definitely a piece no one should miss.
- 42 on December 14, 2010
Overall it's really nice stuff; not flawless, but damn good.
- OA on April 22, 2010
Besides the ending being a little more choppy than I prefer it was wonderful song, keep up the good work!
- AmazinJason on March 10, 2009
Arrangement wise, I can see where the controversy lies, but I also see it as a bit of a moot point. OverClocked Remix, to me, is that flash moment where the familiar meets the unexpected and unimagined. I agree with the critics that say this mix is too divided between old arrangement and original arrangement, but there are some great moments where the two converge. It does lose tightness because this only occurs in a few isolated incidents, but without outside knowledge, noone would really care. As a standalone song, this is perfect. Freaking awesome playing with some truly special portions of music (2:28 - 2:42 is brilliant stuff.) Piano pieces are generally awesome, but this raises the bar. Recommended.
- Marmiduke on March 10, 2009
- Lucentas on December 6, 2008
- aeon89 on April 2, 2008
- SakakiAzu on January 1, 2006
Anyhow, very good piano rush, draws out a little more power from this instrument that many of us love.
Nice work black.
- Bummerdude on October 5, 2005
- maestermatt on July 22, 2005
- polar- on May 7, 2005
I like it, very much so!
- Keiseth on December 8, 2004
- Kantir on December 1, 2004
- Geoffrey Taucer on September 6, 2004
About doing a remix of the victory fanfare, I DO actually have a version I've been working on now for a while. It's a flashy, running 16th note thing in 5/8 time. Although, it's just the original melodic line, and I usually just improvise a B section (the thing is SO short, it would need a lot of extra material to make it a stand alone piece). When I get around to actually writing some solid material for a B section, I may do a release of it.
- Noir on June 12, 2004
- Krendall on April 13, 2004