ReMix: Metal Gear Solid "Legend of the Snake"
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9,360,457 bytes, 6:27, 192kbps
- Game: Metal Gear Solid (Konami, 1998, PS1)
- ReMixer(s): Reuben Kee
- Composer(s): Gigi Meroni, Hiroyuki Togo, Jeon Myung Lee, Kazuki Muraoka, Rika Muranaka, Takanari Ishiyama, Tappy Iwase
- Song(s): ""Metal Gear Solid" Main Theme", "'METAL GEAR SOLID' Main Theme (METAL GEAR SOLID 3 version)", "Metal Gear Solid Main Theme"
- Posted: 2005-02-28, evaluated by the judges
- Terms (BETA): cinematic duration-long orchestral piano strings woodwinds world
With apologies in advance to Reuben Kee, who seems like an amicable bloke who won't take too much offense, I've gotta cover the Oscars a bit. Some people get behind football teams, some basketball or baseball teams. Some people get behind political candidates or newspaper columnists or the open-source movement. Actually, I fall into most of those categories myself, but I also get behind my Oscar picks. Vehemently. Film is perhaps the one artistic medium where I feel like awards shows can really work, for a confluence of reasons, and this year in particular, again for many reasons, I was behind Million Dollar Baby. Big time. Won't go into the whys, but it's one of my favorite films, period, so yesterday was like Christmas for me. Not grown-up Christmas, when no one has lists anymore and you actually LIKE getting socks because you need 'em, but Christmas back in its prime, when you're five or six. So I busted out the single barrel Jack for the occassion. Just one of those things - you probably won't get the same thing out of MDB that I do, but I still felt like mentioning it. Now that that's out of the way, let's see what Mr. Kee's got going on with his latest ReMix, which combines the main themes from Metal Gear Solids one through three, and like his last FF7 mix, expands beyond solo piano into more elaborate instrumentation, while still emphasizing the ivories. The ReMixer writes:
"This was an experiment to try and emulate roughly a mix of orchestral and digital beat arrangements as well as incorporate elements of both western new age and oriental new age together. Something new to me but what I've always admired in Harry Gregson William's arrangements. Really had fun with some of my new drums XD."
Like Larry commented in his decision, I hear more of MGS2 than Snake's other motifs, but there ain't nothing wrong with that. Things begin with piano and strings, very deliberate, specific pacing on the melody, until at 1'29" an ethnic flute comes in with a flare that is the harbinger to some emphatic taiko-style percussion stylings making a forceful entry and ushering in the familiar MGS2 theme, which is really one of the more recent classic melodies of game composition, in my book. There's a lot of varied instrumentation here but drums, piano, the flute, and strings are the principals, and there's a beautiful break from the drums - which at times can get a little overwhelming - from 4'07" to 4'36". At 6'26", this is a long mix, and Reu keeps it fresh in the latter minutes by bringing in some additional ethnic plucked Asian instrumentation. Both the bends on this Koto-like bit and the flares and vibrato on the flute are luscious; specifically with the flute, I'm interested in what was used, as it's very expressive, no doubt equally accreditable to Mr. Kee's sequencing. Daniel Baranowsky writes:
"Listen to Invertebrate Retreat once a day for fresh, clean breath and a bright smile!"
Actually, he didn't write that. But I'm sure he feels that way. More to the point, he offered:
"The first thing I notice about this track is the atmosphere. It's got mood, it's got direction. It knows what it's doing. It's got a full, developed orchestration, and constantly moves into new sonic territory. The percussion is decently arranged, although it does sound somewhat mechanical. However, this is but one nitpick among a very well done track."
Epic stuff from Reuben, who's making great strides in widening his compositional toolbox, which pays elaborate and dramatic homage to three incarnations of Solid Snake via cinematic scoring that, even when it borders on excess, is compelling, well-produced, and impressive.
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