It's been a hell of a week. I've been sick and out of commission, then forced to catch up in writing a paper and trying to prepare (hopelessly) for a final as well as make up missed meetings/decisions at work. It's weeks like these, however, that make weekends all the sweeter. After my last class/final Thursday night, as I sat down with a Heineken and watched the cinematic glory that is Big Trouble in Little China, I recollected on how hectic, stressful, and in general unpleasant this semester has been, and was simply glad that it was finally, for all practical purposes, over. Moving on, in more ways than one: newcomers Kevin Stephens and trickwaters (alias Patrick Waters) give us this lovely piano arrangement, our first from the first installment in the Fire Emblem series of RPGs. The ReMixers write:
"Kevin: I was flipping through the NSF to the original Fire Emblem game looking for something to arrange, and the melody to this song stuck out. I immediately started working on an arrangement, and less than a week later this turned out. My thanks to trickwaters for assisting me by resequencing the piece, giving it a believable performance.
Patrick: Having seen the popularity of and listened to Kevin's original arrangement of this piece, I wanted to make my own interpretation of his 'etude.' I'm glad he gave me the chance to do this, as this has opened the doors for other collaborations between us."
We've seen a couple solo piano arrangements that were actually collaborations, and it would seem they tend to produce solid results, this mix being no exception. Things are VERY dramatic, with the flowing, fluctuating introduction setting into a swaying pace that varies in intensity as it jumps from octave to octave, dynamic to dynamic - half the arrangement can simply be found in the dynamic shifts alone, they are so integral and oft-utilized. Zircon echoed my thoughts both in his praise for the mix and in responding to comments that the mix had some minor EQ/reverb issues:
"The whole mix actually sounds like a typical piano recording in, say, an empty cathedral would using one or two nice stage mics. Less reverb wouldn't have hurt, but the amount it has now simply doesn't strike me as detrimental to the piece in the least. I know some of the left hand chords *sound* cluttered, but plenty of classical piano pieces tend to sound like that, if not worse. In regards to the high end, again, this is really what piano recordings (and hell, actual pianos) generally sound like, and I think that's all that is important. It's not a mastering issue. In fact, if it was EQed more highly or intentionally made more bright, I'd go so far as to say that would be worse for the mix, if anything."
What I admire here is the amount of variations on the same theme that the ReMixers achieve - this isn't the type of piano arrangement that adds a lot of original material to fill in the gaps (which also often works well), but rather the kind which takes the core melody and does a series of variations, almost like a classical exercise, on it. Anyone familiar with Andrew Lloyd Weber's Variations 1-4 will know what I'm talking about, though in that instance (re)instrumentation for each variation played a big part. The push at 2'55", with increasing tempo and velocity, transitioning into a calm, arpeggio-backed sea of tranquility, only to cloud over with storms seconds later, is a good example of arrangement and technique coming together to form an ideal union, where one makes sense and is all the better because of the other. Really excellent, emotive first mix from Kevin and Patrick, and a great introduction for Fire Emblem, in full, 88-key, Ivory glory.
on 2013-05-20 10:50:21
Downloaded this awhile ago and never fully listened to it. Decided to strap on my headphones to try and can fully appreciate this piece. It's powerful - and well paced.
on 2010-08-31 01:44:00
Wow. Amazing piano arrangement.
Kudos to you sir.
on 2009-12-07 21:26:33
crazy dramatic sequencing- awesome work guys, a true collab effort, though it is somewhat strange to consider that for a piano solo mix.
I love the rises and falls, and the expression is really nice. I enjoyed the arrangement of the theme, and the source itself was well chosen to boot.
All around a great mix.
on 2009-05-21 15:34:48
Great music, i love it, but can you pass me the musik sheet's ? Please sir, it is very important to me and thank you for writting this great piece of music.
on 2009-03-20 20:53:47
I like this one; very classical, expressive, and fluid.
Piano, plain and simple. This is something I'd like to hear live.
on 2007-02-06 15:55:02
Definitely well-arranged; great job! I've been enjoying this remix as a part of my work playlist (nice and calm). While I wish there were more Fire Emblem remixes, this is a great first one for OCR.
on 2007-02-05 23:12:29
That was amazing!! I love fire emblem, and I absolutely love F# minor, I don't know why, I just love the sound of it. Thank you for posting the sheet music, I'll look into learning this peice. Very nice job!
on 2006-11-12 15:52:04
Hey everyone, this is Kevin Stephens.
I've been receiving a lot of e-mails and regretfully lost almost all of them before responding (yes, I've been lazy on responding.) I went ahead and uploaded the sheets for everyone so that no one will ever have to e-mail for the sheets again and can just grab them online.
There are two things to note, first. They are in a weird file format (.TIF), but Adobe Acrobat should be able to read them. Also, the end of the piece has a C# higher than is playable on a piano. Unless you have perfect pitch, just change that to a C natural. If you do have perfect pitch, you probably have enough theory knowledge to make an adjustment to the piece yourself. =) If not, bitch at me and I'll post a solution to the forums. I believe Patrick made an adjustment for the recording on OCR, so I'll just figure out what that was.
on 2005-12-23 21:58:59
if anybody has the time, willingness, and great generousity to upload the midi/sheet music, that would be greatly appreciated.
on 2005-08-16 18:54:31
Thanks, IC. I'll try e-mailing Kevin for the sheet music.
It's probably too hard for me too, but hey, for a song this cool I'll either play it or break my neck trying. w00t!
on 2005-08-16 16:37:52
Azureye--I contacted Kevin a while back and got sheet music and a midi of the song. I can't read sheet music all that well, so I can't remember if I kept it or not (computer out of comission right now), but I have the midi on my keyboard. I can upload it for ya soon or you can just contact Kevin and get the sheet music--he's a nice enough guy!
I still haven't learned the whole song either. It's crazy hard to play (for me).
on 2005-08-08 20:15:51
Is there any sheet music for this song?
I'd love to play it myself...
on 2005-08-05 20:56:31
I find this very catching. The first time I listened to it, I kept hearing it over and over, doing 'air piano'. Now it sometimes plays alone in my head!
on 2005-02-15 01:20:03
I'm tired, so I'll make this short: I like.
Sources Arranged (1 Song)
- Primary Game:
Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light (Nintendo, 1990, NES)
Music by Hirokazu Tanaka, Yuka Tsujiyoko
- "Story 3 - Conversation"
- Arrangement > Solo
Origin > Collaboration
- 5,977,014 bytes
- Size: 5,977,014 bytes
- MD5 Checksum: 3ab537b845739aa4124ec99ee12d92d4
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