ReMix: Chrono Trigger "To Far Away Memories" 4:54

By Neil Benjamin

Artist Links
folk rock acoustic-guitar resubmission
Arranging the music of one song...

"Outskirts of Time"

Primary Game: Chrono Trigger (Square, 1995, SNES), music by Nobuo Uematsu, Noriko Matsueda, Yasunori Mitsuda

Posted 2004-09-26, evaluated by the judges panel


Ladies and gentlemen, I give you one of the most controversial mixes we've ever posted. You definitely won't hear it just from listening, but this caused a bit of a stir on our panel, moreso than probably any mix this year. Why all the ruckus? Whence this brouhaha? Well, over the last few months there've been some changes in the behind-the-scenes process that's involved with evaluating mixes. Essentially, I've made some decisions on direct posts (which bypass the panel) that they've disagreed with, so we've moved towards me doing less direct-posting in general, which has been working fairly well. The first version of this mix that Neil submitted was a piece I liked a lot, that I might have posted directly, even, but which ended up going to the panel and being rejected. There was some heated debate, largely because I felt the panel's comments were unclear. We literally wrote paragraphs over the proper usage of the word "notation" - no joke. For my part, I feel that if I'm doing fewer direct posts, the panel has to be that much clearer in providing feedback to mixers whose submissions are borderline and who may resubmit based on that feedback. It didn't help that this was back when I was enduring life without air conditioning.

The end result was that the panel's decision stuck, but Neil ended up resubmitting and fixing some - but not all - of the items cited in their initial judgment. The new version is not wildly different from the version that was rejected, but with some clarifications on what specifically the panel felt was holding the mix back, I do think he's improved the overall feel a bit. Moreover, even though I'm sure the entire judges panel thought I was overreacting, I do think I emphasized that clear feedback is all the more important with our modified evaluation system. Hopefully, everyone ends up happy, no lives are lost, and we're all the better for it in the end, which is usually the case with these sorts of things.

If you're totally uninterested in the intestinal goings-on of OCR's guts and would like to hear a bit about the mix itself, I don't blame you, and will henceforth try to accommodate. Neil's taken To Far Away Times from CT, commonly abbreviated as TFAT, and turned it into an acoustic guitar affair, with both lead and rhythm dominating this mix that also features solid if not varied percussion and some nice harmony on strings. The arrangement is very straightforward, not altering heavily the original melody but instead adapting it to fit the guitar setting. Examples would be numerous slides, altered rhythm here and there, etc. The backing chords on the acoustic rhythm guitar are sometimes ambiguous - they have some intervals I would refer to as "nested" and which aren't always easy to make out. What makes the piece work, overall, for me is that it feels different from the original. More pared down to the essentials; more folksy, warmer. The things that Neil kept the same are the things that work, in this context, and the things he's changed and added all make the piece better. Neil confesses to playing this on a really cheap guitar he got for a pittance, and no one's saying it's a particularly intricate guitar part that it would require great mastery of the instrument to play. But if you're gonna remake TFAT into an acoustic, nuevo-folk gig, this is a pretty good way to go about doing it. Sounds better on speakers than with the microscopic scrutiny of headphones any day, so I recommend listening to it in that fashion, as well. Still not without flaws, but Neil's piece has heart and feeling and provides an interpretation of the original that's rough around the edges but has a good deal of soul in the places that count.

djpretzel

Discussion

Latest 15 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
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OA
on 2010-09-02 12:03:59

One of my all-time favorite source songs performed really warmly, and with some nice backing elements, and though it's pretty close to the original, I think the site benefits overall from this being on here, as it really takes the essence of the original and expands on it. I think maybe be source-bias shining through, but this really is a great song. The end came a little abruptly, but otherwise this was super nice.

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ZapRowsdower
on 2009-09-30 12:40:48

Listening to the preview of the song, reading review comments on it, when suddenly I hit one of those moments that was, to say the least, epic.

Sitting in my over-sized chair, eating breakfasty foods, its early October in Ca so its finally cooling down, windows open, cool breeze coming through the room, someone has there fireplace going so you get this great smoky smell that's not too powerful but just right for some reason, its 9:30 AM and I don't have anything better to do today than to play games and listen to music. For just one second everything was truly awesome.

Also...YARRRR!!! Manly things!!!

-ZR

PS-Are you still here!! Get this song already!

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Level 99
on 2009-07-16 16:00:33

I couldn't hold back any longer: this was one of the mixes that got me started coming to this site and trying to make my own in the first place. Back in my college days, this sonce was posted just as I was getting into the video-game-mixing-thing and, while playing it one day, a dorm-mate of mine stumbled in and went on one of the randomest deep-sounding nonsensical reflective monologues I've ever heard. He did this every time I played the song, even once incorporating the McDonalds "badabababa" into it. Despite the comic relief my friend added, this is one of the most down-to-earth acoustic arrangements I've heard and still love it today.

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Lovely Peach
on 2009-01-12 11:43:29

I like this remix a lot. It's not the most technical piece, and it doesn't have a lot in the way of instruments and crazy orchestrations, but the song has a lovely simplicity to it. Very enjoyable to listen to, very acoustic new-age feel to it. I could put this in a playlist with Yanni tracks and it would fit in perfectly.

A very pleasant listen, and it stands out from a lot of the heavy mixes on the site.

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Marmiduke
on 2008-12-16 21:34:19

Joyous is probably the most fitting word in my vocabulary for this mix. It's pretty damn joyous. The source tune is one of the infamous greats of gaming tunes, so it would have been a shame to mess it up with unnecessary technical padding.

I think this is a terrific, varied piece that offers the source melody in spades, while also presenting new ideas and branching sub-melodies without being too intrusive. I absolutely love the interpretation that begins at 2:30, and then another at 4:30. Great moments of musical exploration, heightened even further by the guitar. Also of note is that despite a lot of variation, the mix has some great pacing and momentum.

Nevertheless, it's not the sort of mix that is going to standout or top any of my favourite lists. It isn't the shiniest diamond in the rough, but I still find it valuable, and I have a great time listening to it. Hopefully, that's exactly what the remixer intended.

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Lucentas
on 2008-12-06 19:55:07

I think I had listened to this some time previously and passed it by for whatever reason, but a went back a while later and gave it another listen, and I love it. Great job.

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siven7
on 2007-04-27 23:53:23

Really strong arrangement! Production is really strong and I think that you picked the perfect song to do with acoustic guitars. There are parts that sound a little bit tentative in the solo but all of your melodic stuff that plays off of the game is really nice!

Are there more ways that you could've interpretted it? Maybe in the form? Range? Now that you can do it, push further - how much further can you go?

Great work, I really enjoyed it!

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DragonFireKai
on 2007-02-28 02:06:31

This is by far my favorite song on the CT soundtrack, and Neil really does it justice. The nature of the song makes it good for a simple, clean remix such as this. The guitar is excellent, and the concept of the song is very solid. Good Job.

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weirdboy997
on 2006-10-23 03:04:00

This song was very well done. . . though I have not yet made any remixes of my own. . . I'll wager I've listened to almost all of the remixes on this site. (I've downloaded songs from here for probably 10, since I was 6 that is) and I have to say, I really love what you did with this tune. If there was some way you could teach me this song on guitar, that would be a dream come true :]

good job.

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ragnarqk
on 2006-04-09 17:31:19

I love it, I really do. Yes, the drums are a bit bright, but saying it makes the mix bad is like saying you won't drive a car unless it has leather seats. It's important to remember that mixes aren't a competition to see who's the best, it's about the expression of a person's musical taste and abilities. But I'm preaching to the choir. :)

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Zero_
on 2006-02-17 04:57:42

... Wow. How could I have missed this one? I think this remix is really beautiful, it's a fresh change from all the rock and techno on this site, and I love it. I hope you do more remixes with the beautiful acoustic guitar.

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GregCaldwell
on 2006-01-30 16:55:18

I can't even find the right words to describe this piece of music. It has this memorizing sense of peacfulness and calmarity about it. This remix doesn't change its sound or pace much. But for that, im very glad. It doesn't make perfect sense that something rather simple and mildly repetitive is SO amazing. This remix is on a level of its own.

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ThePieEater
on 2006-01-15 21:50:12

wow, this song is wonderful. i joined the forums for the sole purpose of to reply to this song. its wonderful.

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Bummer
on 2005-09-25 14:17:42

This is sooooooooooo beautiful. I never thought that anyone would make a version that actually is exactly as good as the original, but now someone did, and he did with acoustic guitar! This is marvelous! I´m so happy I could faint! But before that, I just wanna say that Neil rocks and that I lov...

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Deathaven
on 2005-06-16 09:22:38

One of the best oc remix's ive heard. Its up there in my top 5 of oc remix tunes. Dude you should feel happy with this coz its one of those wonderfull songs you not to often.

Sources Arranged (1 Song)


Primary Game:
Chrono Trigger (Square, 1995, SNES)
Music by Nobuo Uematsu, Noriko Matsueda, Yasunori Mitsuda
Songs:
"Outskirts of Time"

Tags (4)


Genre:
Folk, Rock
Mood:
Instrumentation:
Acoustic Guitar
Additional:
Origin > Resubmission

File Information


Name:
Chrono_Trigger_To_Far_Away_Memories_OC_ReMix.mp3
Size:
4,822,275 bytes
MD5:
6b900aa603c660da0751a4470d77d4b5
Bitrate:
128Kbps
Duration:
4:54

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