ReMix: Chrono Cross "To Times Once Forgotten"
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- Game: Chrono Cross (Square, 1999, PS1)
- ReMixer(s): Vampire Hunter Dan
- Composer(s): Yasunori Mitsuda
- Song(s): "Between Life and Death", "Schala's Theme", "The Dragoons", "The Girl Who Stole the Stars", "Yearnings of the Wind"
- Posted: 2005-08-07, evaluated by the judges
- Terms (BETA): classical duration-long orchestral
Distant relative of the tenacious Vampire Hunter D (of hand-talking fame and infamous legacy) and blood-brother to Donovan from the Capcom fighter of the same name, Vampire Hunter Dan writes:
"Hello. It's been quite a while since my first/last submission to OCR. I'm writing now to submit an arrangement/remix of mine called "To Times Once Forgotten." This orchestral arrangement borrows a bit from my contributions to the first edition of a certain Yasunori Mitsuda Tribute album, and consists of pieces from Chrono Trigger for the SNES, and Chrono Cross for the PSX, including 'Star-Stealing Girl','Dragonrider', and 'The Brink of Death.'"
I actually just got back from driving home from Delaware through some serious thunderstorms while listening to Zimmer's Gladiator score, and the beginning of this mix resembles some of the more bombastic parts of The Battle, especially the transition at 0'47" - VHD has a knack for cinematic orchestration, without going overboard, and both dynamics/articulations and samples/production are high quality. Mr. Lightning says:
"Arrangement of the several themes are interwoven extremely well. Impressive in that aspect. My favorite part of this though is the interplay between all the different instrumentation. This is textbook orchestratal, and done very well at that. Great sequencing of chromatic percussion. I love all the little subtle performances that really breathe live into this.
Production is amazing, but what impresses me is, I don't think I've ever heard an orchestral mix in this community that use reverb to create such a great soundstage as this mix does. The front to back placement in the stage is amazing. Very authentic."
At 7'22", this is one large mutha', a bonafide humdinger of symphonic stuffs, if you will, and the ReMixer does a good job of packing multiple themes in without things seeming schizophrenic. I think an excellent analogy when talking about medleys is Disney's Epcot - when walking around its waterous, fountained epicenter, you abruptly change from one localized pavillion to the next, moving from a Japanese themed area to German, Canadian, etc. ones - the shift can often be unnerving and frightening to those with heart conditions. But in all seriousness, that's NOT what you wanna shoot for with a medley - better that things be seamless and natural, which have never been respective fortes in the theme park business in general. VHD makes it so, slowly introing with deep ensemble strings and building to a suspenseful melodic phrase at 0'21", as percussion, deep low brass, harp, winds, and strings all converge as integral elements of the same whole. Transition at 1'00" reminds me of a Williams Star Wars segue, and then you even get a bassoon solo to complete that effect, before switching into harpsichord-led coverage of one of CT's more familiar melodies. And that's just the first two minutes, really. Boom-boom Timpanis at 2'42" remind one of Also Sprach Zarathustra or that brief scene in Spaceballs, take your pick - very Roman/imperial, and effective as a transition back into more melodic material covered by strings, before harping into Schala a bit. Brandon didn't quite dig the first harpsichord usage, which I'd tend to agree with, but expresses appreciation for the mix's concluding moments:
"I don’t think that the harpsichord at 1:31-1:45 is strong enough to stand on its own. The sample feels too flat and buzzy for such a great instrument. However, its return as a supporting instrument at 5:56 through the end is delicate and delightful; easily my favorite section of this mix. What a great way to close the mix out."
3'46" is the only transition - out of quite a few - where it felt like the piece just stopped and restarted, and it alone I feel does break up the overall cohesion, and from an arrangement perspective, though quite small per capita, it might be my biggest beef; that probably speaks more to the overall strength of the whole piece. Fans of CT orchestral can't afford to pass this up - it's essentially an overture of some of the more famous themes from a very "overturable" OST, and does an great job at interpreting, resetting, and integrating them as such. Excellent.
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