ReMix: Final Fantasy VII 'Ascension to Cosmo Canyon'

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Final Fantasy VII

I love me some solo piano arrangements, don't get me wrong, but I also love it when there's a bit of additional instrumentation thrown in as accompaniment. Such pieces are still essentially solo instrumentals, they just add that little bit of sumtin' sumtin' in the form of some extra timbres that can conjure tones that, while perhaps achievable in an impressionistic sense with the solo voice alone, are more visceral and immediate with the alleyoop assist. Reuben does exactly this with his latest ReMix from FF7:

"This is a little different from my usual arrangements, due to the combination of instruments. After Nanaki (presumably asexual?) had offspring, I believe a creature of such intellect would also have a deep culture and heritage. Imagine a grand ascension taking place ontop of cosmo canyon. That was the image which I based my inspiration on while working on this piece. All comments welcome. PS: I Know he's presumably male, I just called him asexual because he was shown with offspring without any mention of a mate :p "

Androgynies aside, this is some great work from someone who has already well established himself on the ivories, adding in some extra flavors. Things intro with a delicate piano motif that very early on is joined by string pads in the distance as the detectably Celtic melody is established and developed upon. Strings build and become more prominent, then after a break, at 1'32" a men's choir enters with tribal taiko drums and a gorgeous wind lead that's just exquisitely articulated takes over on melody. Overcoming some initial hesitancy, zyko writes:

"reu is quickly making a name for himself with his eastern tones. very good stuff and while i didn't like it before (i had issues with the choir and the volume of the taiko drums), the more i listen to it the more i appreciate how soothing and well this is orchestrated. i appreciate the piece's subtleties and nuances. and they outweigh any concerns i had the first time i heard this. good stuff, man"

I'll second that. With the addition of the choral pieces especially, this felt very cinematic, somewhat reminiscent of portions of Vangelis' Alexander score. The added impact of the percussion is a good example of the type of effect nigh impossible to achieve in a straight solo arrangement, and the whole package comes together quite picturesquely as one of those emotive, epic, dramarama arrangements, with class to spare. Reuben's got a good thing going on with this, and I think people into film scores and/or FF7 (pretty large slice of the pie) will enjoy his ascension quite a bit.

djpretzel

Discussion: Latest 15 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
TillyFun
on 2014-09-19 20:50:29
Powerful. Yet sad. -_-
Perfect build-up and emotional stages.
Melbu Frahma
on 2011-12-14 01:52:20
Wow, I can't believe I haven't done a review for this track already. Time to fix that.
While Reuben's solo piano pieces are definitely excellent in and of themselves, I am eternally grateful that he chose to depart from that route for this piece; while the piano intro is hauntingly beautiful, the track doesn't really take off until that deep "hoom" around the 1:30 mark... at which point it goes from being a great track to an exceptional one. The gradual addition and blending of percussion, woodwinds, and other sounds builds perfectly toward the "cliff" overlooking Cosmo Canyon, and I always get a chill at 2:26 and then, again, at 3:13 when that final "step" up occurs. An almost perfect handling of the gradual build; the only thing I would've suggested would be to maybe build one more step even beyond that, or at least lengthen the end section, because I'm left wanting more, more, more of all of the sounds playing together at the end - it ends too soon.
Easily in my top ten of all time OCRemixes. To quote WannaPolkaLlama,
WannaPollkaLlama;720016 wrote: Thank you Reuben Kee :) You've created something truly beautiful to share with the world. :) Thank you
hrvstmn31
on 2010-10-13 05:15:44
I'm not entirelly new to this site i've known of it's existence for a while and haven't really had the need to register and post until now all in all this is a great song that had a wonderful beat and tune almost made me forget i was laid off lol. Anyways i want to thank you five years later for such a kickass song.
reesiiv
on 2010-10-10 13:56:47
Hi, I am new to posting but I am not new to OcRemix.
This song is great and it is the first song that has compelled me to post.
I would like a lot more songs like these in my playlist, they do not necessarily have to be from video games.
Orchestrated, with piano or flute solos. Native American theme. I do not really know how to describe it, nor search for similar music.
I've tried for the past two days to find music like this, with almost no results.
Does anyone know music similar to the themes in this song?
Thanks in advance.
WannaPollkaLlama
on 2010-10-06 12:36:25
Quite literally my only wish is that it was longer, so that I wouldn't have to keep hitting replay :) This is one of the 3 songs out of all of oc remix (yes I've nearly listend to them all) That can bring out emotions so perfectly and clearly. One of three that can make me cry because of the beauty created.
Thank you Reuben Kee :) You've created something truly beautiful to share with the world. :) Thank you
OA
on 2010-08-27 11:20:28
Excellent piano sound, And a great soundscape with subtle strings and some nice percussion. The choir wasn't amazing, but the flute sounded great.
Super recommended, it's both beautiful and dramatic.
jordash11
on 2009-05-10 15:54:02
Personally whenever I hear this piece I think of a native American vibe which is what Nobou was going for when he first wrote this song. Still one of my favorite pieces
Ascendancy
on 2009-03-17 18:52:11
this is incredibly well arranged, i love the drums being used and the hymns just give it that tribal feel if you get what i'm saying, i think my only problem with this piece is the flute but then again it does fit into the concept. i guess its just me, maybe i'm just not feeling the flute that much maybe some chinese string instruments would've worked better. but that aside great mix 9.5/10 =]
Lucentas
on 2008-12-06 21:22:58
Reuben Kee didn't just create arrangements. He created worlds.
I actually started actively watching this site just weeks before his passing, and by then I had already heard and downloaded this song, so to me it's the piece that's the closest testament to his genius.
It's just beautiful and powerful in so many ways...I only wish he was around so I could tell him personally what an amazing job he did with this and all of his work.
twitch2021
on 2008-01-14 03:38:12
My apologies to anyone I offend with this statement but this remix is hands down the best remix I've heard to date. It just builds on itself so well. And the chanting at the end (which I would have liked to hear more of personally) just put the emotion of the piece over the top. This one will be on my MP3 player for as long as it works I guarantee it.
Trapical
on 2007-11-29 04:22:02
This is without a doubt my favorite mixes on OCR, The song just carries so much emotion with it.. and now with Reuben gone...
It's, it's just beyond words really.
Kizyr
on 2007-11-27 10:09:42
Everything about this song is amazing. The Cosmo Canyon theme was always my favorite track from FF7, and Ascension just puts such a majestic feeling to it. In particular, the instrumentation, and the way the crescendos/decrescendos are handled are incredible, and really lend to the overall emotion that's conveyed by this song.
On a more personal note... This was the song I referred to in the memorial thread as one that I associate with certain events in my life. This was the first song I heard when I moved out of my home in Nashville (after college) to find a new place in DC. It captured what I was feeling perfectly, and I'll always associate Ascension to Cosmo Canyon with that sense of uncertainty and optimism that I felt when moving out after college.
It does seem a bit late for me to review this, since this is perhaps the second or third remix I heard from this site, and it's what encouraged me to join the community and listen to everything else here... KF
Fishy
on 2007-11-25 12:44:32
I suppose today is the best day to do this...
Truth be told, this remix was the reason I found OCR. A friend of mine was listening to it and telling me how awesome it was and I wondered where he got it from and pointed me towards here. This is a perfect tribute to a favourite scene from my favourite game, and listening to it really makes me feel happy.
I'm listening to it right now and thinking about the tragedy and I just shed a tear, which I haven't done in years, so if thats evidence enough of what a emotive and sincere remixer Reu was then I don't know what is. RIP man.
Jaybell
on 2007-11-25 11:31:23
This is beautiful. Why haven't I listened to this before?
I'm almost in tears from this.
anosou
on 2007-11-25 08:44:13
It's truly a great loss that we won't see more of Reuben Kee's excellent work. Cherish what's already here. Like this amazing, beautiful arrangement.