ReMix: The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening "Symphonic Ballade"

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The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening

Blad originally submitted a version of this lovely arrangement from Link's Awakening he'd put together which had essentially the same piano part but an accompaniment that wasn't quite as polished. In all honesty, it was still an excellent mix, but it had aspects that could clearly be directly addressed and result in substantive improvements. Karl's got a great touch on the ivories, but it's made all the better when the auxiliary instrumentation doesn't diminish and only adds to his playing. And thus a collab was born, with judge GrayLightning stepping in on an assist with the backing instrumentation, polishing in some instances and elaborating in others, but leaving the heart of Bladiator's original concept intact. Things intro with chimes but stick to a clear, resonant solo piano with deep pizzicato bass until around 0'37", when upper register strings also enter and a delicate oboe solo dances around in a call-and-answer with the piano on the main melodic motif. Tremolo on the strings gives a more tense, suspenseful feel than if straight legato had been employed, and dynamics are fluid throughout; ensemble strings get fleshed out when the volume surges, and articulations change, plus there's flute and bell additions. The original countermelodies and harmonies add so much to the piece, and the whole thing rather gushes with expression; it has the feel, if not the dated production, of some of the soundtracks to dramas from the 70's, which would tend to use piano more and go for unbridled melodic outpourings, with a tad less restraint than modern scores. It certainly works well with the source material, in this instance, with Karl's piano taking center stage but Gray's accoutrements playing significant roles themselves. As noted, this was a relatively strong piece to begin with, made all the stronger via a collaboration that let each mixer contribute his particular strengths. Beautiful, and sweetly juxtaposed against the just-posted death metal mix from Dennis, showing that good things can come in decidedly contrasting packages. Looking forward to future works from either artist involved, of course, but I'd also love to see future collaborations, if this piece is any indication.

djpretzel

Discussion: Latest 15 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
OA
on 2009-11-27 17:14:29

wow, epic collab here, very emotive work, and the delicate backing track is a perfect fit with Karl's piano skills. I agree with Larry that the woodwind lead is a little too computerized, but overall, this mix gets top marks for setting a mood and drawing the listener in. A really nice new age sound that is both relaxing and inspiring.

Liontamer
on 2009-02-22 08:54:38
This was kind of BLAH...

Not to mention the sudden and only variation in the melody really annoyed the fuck out of me.

If you're going to variate, variate. But please don't fuck up the original melody just cuz you thought "it'd be cute..." Like, it was annoying to hear the melody like it does in the game and then "fwoop!" It's different in this ONE place, the rest is verbatim.

Over all a real boring arrangement.

Hahaha! Thank God we banned this douche. :lol:

Excellent, relaxing piece. The main woodwind lacks realism, but the rest of the this was put together nicely.

Pretty sweet that we followed up CV2 "Cursed Bloodline" with this. It's a fun contrast. Because, you know, "we're biased against all genres", and all that.

GreyMage
on 2007-11-17 00:15:08

personally, it was very good and calming overall. i just cannot resist the ballad of the windfish when i get the chance to hear it

how you remixed it was very creative. the windfish theme sounded like how any fan of the song would want to hear it.

the only fault is that, well, it just didn't excalty sound...together. i dont know how i can give you advice to move things around just a little bit, but its possible that you could tweak it and add/subtract to the piece so that it wouldn't just sound like the everyday remix.

it's well done, but i know it has the potential to improve

Trenthian
on 2007-01-31 22:06:26

shut up blad and contact me, I want you for T-ROOT

bladiator
on 2007-01-31 09:40:00
This was kind of BLAH...

Not to mention the sudden and only variation in the melody really annoyed the fuck out of me.

If you're going to variate, variate. But please don't fuck up the original melody just cuz you thought "it'd be cute..." Like, it was annoying to hear the melody like it does in the game and then "fwoop!" It's different in this ONE place, the rest is verbatim.

Over all a real boring arrangement.

I was going to say something, but I don't really remember now. You're right. It's pretty boring.

KogeJoe
on 2007-01-31 08:15:20

This was kind of BLAH...

Not to mention the sudden and only variation in the melody really annoyed the fuck out of me.

If you're going to variate, variate. But please don't fuck up the original melody just cuz you thought "it'd be cute..." Like, it was annoying to hear the melody like it does in the game and then "fwoop!" It's different in this ONE place, the rest is verbatim.

Over all a real boring arrangement.

SynthesizedStampede
on 2005-04-17 18:45:37

I've had the WIP version for a long time now, and have downloaded this version, the complete version, in hope of it being as good as the WIP one. This one has surpassed it in so many levels. Although the tune is close to the one I heard before, there are little things added that keeps it feeling "magical". The Ballad of the Wind Fish is my second favorite Zelda song (Tal Tal Heights is the first), and "Symphonic Ballad" does it justice. Beautiful work, 8/10.

hobo
on 2005-04-16 14:48:37

This game was my first real venture into the world of Nintendo, and remains one of my favorites to this day.

All I can say about this remix is:

Wow.

Teliskopic
on 2005-04-16 08:22:15

This is beautiful stuff, I love your piano playing and the instruments really support it well. Another song that makes me feel sad... well the game was sad too, so why not? Okay, maybe the word is sentimental. It's dream-like in itself and you could just float...

bladiator
on 2005-03-03 21:11:17
On a seperate note, just at 1:07 or so, is there a bit of the classic final fantasy world song? I want to make sure that wasn't just me...

It's not just you. ;) It just seemed to fit back when I wrote it ... almost an homage to another great game soundtrack.

Insane2757
on 2005-03-03 20:42:07

I am listening to this music right now, and I have to say - this is a very nice, relaxing mix. It combines a very eloquent piano rifts and other instruments to really get you in the mood to lay back and reflect on the day's events in peace.

If you like slow, relaxing pieces, you should give this one a listen!

chibi_d
on 2005-03-03 16:07:25

Thank you so much for this remix. I remember everytime I'd play through the game I'd stop, put on headphones. and let nothing else come in the way. This song gives me the same feeling.

On a seperate note, just at 1:07 or so, is there a bit of the classic final fantasy world song? I want to make sure that wasn't just me...

FinalTrigger85
on 2005-02-28 21:37:00

Personally I felt the piece was good but I would have preffered it be more of an epic piece rather than a bit of a lethargic piece. This Zelda has always been a personal favorite of mine. Yes I thought it was better than ocarina of time. Everyone needs to get off that games Di-...well you know. But great Job guys. It was still a great stroll through memory lane. It would be cool if you can do a more ubpeat version of it. Give it a shot maybe?

Riccardo_Margiotta
on 2005-02-27 11:09:17

Ballade of the Windfish has always been my favourite piece of music from the Zelda series (although admittedly it has a lot of close competition!), and the two of your have created a simply fantastic remix of it here. It sounds superb, thank you for sharing it!

Fridge
on 2005-02-26 21:27:20

I've had the older version for a bit now (guess it was on VGMix?), and actually really enjoyed it... but I couldn't help noting the recessed volume of the whole piece, and of the accompaniment parts especially, as well as a great disparity in quality between the two. The piece was already gorgeous, but I would always have 'sound issues' in the back of my mind while I listened. The better dynamic effects going on between the piano and backdrop (especially in the strings and the, I think, chimes) also helped a LOT to ease some of the boredom and melancholy that seemed to set in around the 2/3 mark of Blad's original. So I'll just say thanks to Bladiator for arranging/executing a beautiful bit of musical candy, and to Gray for polishing it up til it shined bright. Love the work, hope to hear more in the future...