ReMix: Baldur's Gate 'Child of the Murder God'

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Baldur's Gate

Well, 'round here we just got ten or so inches of snow, and with the roads as they are currently, I don't think my 'Stang would be particularly safe to drive. So I'm essentially snowed in this morning, and as everyone knows, the best way to kill time when snowed in is with a nice cup of warm, hot cocoa, preferably w/ marshmallows. Which is why I'm sitting here nursing... a martini. Ahh well... buck the trend, says I. Shaken, not stirred, as a matter of fact. Once upon a time, Mr. Pacaud wrote:

"Something NOT from a Square game, for a change. This was my submission for RPGamer's Splendid Performance contest's 1st round."

Clearly this contest has been inspiring quite a few gems, and we've been remiss in not posting Christian's piece sooner. Our first arrangement from Baldur's Gate, one of Bioware's earlier hits before they went on to Neverwinter Nights and KOTOR acclaim, is a solo piano work with equal parts Romanticism and Impressionism. You might need to pump the volume up a tad, as levels are fairly low, but the performance is dramatic and emotive; I'm usually not into the double fortissimo portions of most piano mixes, but here I think they're the highlight, and include some of the more interesting voicings in the arrangement, particularly at 2'15" and following. TO writes:

"The sustain pedal's certainly been well used here. It has a clear concert sound to it, never really leaping into any fast and amazingly complex piano structures. Instead it keeps this atmospheric and deep, dark sound to it most of the way through. The buildup to the loudest section at 2:15 was very nice, if not a little overbearing. But the chord progression choices there are very pleasing to the ear."

Overall, the panel didn't feel this to be representative of the ReMixer's strongest work to date, and Gray mentioned some of the complexity and interest in the original being lost in the migration to solo ivories, but it's still a competent and evocative work. At three and a half minutes, I think it's the appropriate length for the ideas conveyed, and if you're looking for something dark, brooding and gothic to listen to (for which red wine would be far more appropriate than a martini, FYI), it definitely fits the bill.

djpretzel

Discussion: Latest 15 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
Marmiduke
on 2009-09-20 08:20:20
It took me a few listens to focus on the melodic elements of it. And I don't think that's necessarily a bad thing. I always enjoy excavating a piece of music and finding and uncovering new things on every passthrough. It's mainly to do with the more-complex-than-usual arrangement of a theme I've never heard before.
I don't think there's any doubt of the fact this is a very strong mix. While I can't say it sounds like an authentic piano performance at all times, I can say that it more than filled in any gaps with some truly great sequencing.
A different and very intimate piano piece that I hope can keep revealing new experiences for me further down the track. Well done.
OA
on 2008-02-14 12:25:59
Agreed on the first few notes making me think of ad600. :-)
Some sections sound performed, and others sequenced, but overall its pretty nice, I need to figure out how to use that there sustain pedal for my own stuff.
Nice arrangement that is a decent change from the original.
evktalo
on 2007-12-11 06:31:03
Heh, it's funny how the beginning could lead into Chrono Trigger's 600AD theme quite easily..
Anyway.. impressive, evocative! I'm totally unfamiliar with the original, yet I'm sure this one does it great justice. I'm not a big fan of piano arrangements, but this is a track that might just open that door for me and show me how to appreciate solo piano some more.
--Eino
ph0sphorousgobu
on 2006-12-25 12:12:22
Yeah, it is nice. You can hear the sadness and agonony behind it. You know, being a child of a deity dedicated to killing stuff? That's sad. The climax around 2:15 is goosebump inspiring. I like this a lot. BG is a great game as well.
dgoss
on 2006-03-29 18:16:14
The source material is quite good and it is a shame that the Baldur's Gate series's music has not received the attention it deserves (though it is hard to remix something near perfection). Still though, this is a good take an such a wonderful theme.
meccaneer
on 2006-03-22 12:52:12
This sounds real purty. I be hoe-in' down to that pee-an-ah thangy.
Reminds of FF9 for some reason... why would that be? I'm also curious what kinda quips were used on this guy.
The Orichalcon
on 2006-02-14 18:48:14
OmegaDonut wrote:
Liontamer wrote:
OmegaDonut wrote:
CPacaud wrote: And, for clarification, I can barely play a C scale on time, so NO, I DON'T play piano. Piano roll for the win.

Haha, that's what I thought. It's just that the judges kept talking like this was a live performance.

No, I wouldn't say that. :lol: Certainly not for me.

Okay, so not you, Larry. But TO talking about the sustain pedal and analoq referring to it as a performance did give that impression.

"The sustain pedal's certainly been well used here" shouldn't necessarily be taken literally, it's just a way of saying that the notes are well-drawn out. Whether it's played live or not.
Either way, it's a nice piece, I still enjoy listening to it.
GrayLightning
on 2006-02-12 18:13:30
OmegaDonut wrote:
Liontamer wrote:
OmegaDonut wrote:
CPacaud wrote: And, for clarification, I can barely play a C scale on time, so NO, I DON'T play piano. Piano roll for the win.

Haha, that's what I thought. It's just that the judges kept talking like this was a live performance.

No, I wouldn't say that. :lol: Certainly not for me.

Okay, so not you, Larry. But TO talking about the sustain pedal and analoq referring to it as a performance did give that impression.

These aspects are available and controllable via midi data in any sequencer/piano roll in most music software packages.
More information: http://www.digifreq.com/digifreq/article.asp?ID=45
But that's just the beginning. Many of the most important aspects of MIDI are handled by Control Change (CC) messages. One common CC is used for sustain pedal information (also known as Damper Pedal or Hold Pedal). When you press the pedal, MIDI sends an On message for CC 64 (the Control Change number dedicated for sustain pedal information). When you release the pedal, an Off message is sent. The sustain pedal is an example of a switched CC message. It's either On or Off, with no gradients in between.

Does this explain our votes better?
Snooper_1989
on 2006-02-12 16:38:13
This piece is awesome Christian, and now i'm inspired to go and make some piano pieces of my own, somehow they don't always turn out as good as I want them to know...
OmegaDonut
on 2006-02-12 15:06:01
Liontamer wrote:
OmegaDonut wrote:
CPacaud wrote: And, for clarification, I can barely play a C scale on time, so NO, I DON'T play piano. Piano roll for the win.

Haha, that's what I thought. It's just that the judges kept talking like this was a live performance.

No, I wouldn't say that. :lol: Certainly not for me.

Okay, so not you, Larry. But TO talking about the sustain pedal and analoq referring to it as a performance did give that impression.
Liontamer
on 2006-02-12 15:01:19
OmegaDonut wrote:
CPacaud wrote: And, for clarification, I can barely play a C scale on time, so NO, I DON'T play piano. Piano roll for the win.

Haha, that's what I thought. It's just that the judges kept talking like this was a live performance.

No, I wouldn't say that. :lol: Certainly not for me.
OmegaDonut
on 2006-02-12 14:44:02
CPacaud wrote: And, for clarification, I can barely play a C scale on time, so NO, I DON'T play piano. Piano roll for the win.

Haha, that's what I thought. It's just that the judges kept talking like this was a live performance.
CPacaud
on 2006-02-12 14:23:30
Ahhh. Finally.
Yeah. I hate mixing/mastering my piano pieces. I just CAN'T find the sweet spot, and I can't remember exactly what I did with Wind Scene. Ah well, we're all still learning this, eh?
And, for clarification, I can barely play a C scale on time, so NO, I DON'T play piano. Piano roll for the win.
ktriton
on 2006-02-12 12:38:10
OmegaDonut wrote: if Christian is a piano player...

LOL
Christian, you're my favoritest piano player.
Seriously though, this is epic stuff. I feel like it was a bit underappreciated in the panel. I've been listening to this arrangement for a looong time now. Contrary to the panel, I definitely feel that the ideas in this are trademark Cpac and that it's definitely innovative. I agree that it's not his strongest, but to call it "trite" is, I think, underappreciating the creativity of this mix immensely--especially when you compare it to most of the mixes on this site.
Anyway, I'm done ranting. Great job, C!
OmegaDonut
on 2006-02-12 11:23:51
I listened to Christian's original submission a while back, and I remember it being quite a bit of orchestral, too. Guess he's changed it since.
EDIT: I take that back. The "orchestral" part I heard was the song getting cut off in the middle and instead moving on the the next song on my playlist, which was a song from FFTactics (all of which are orchestral).
On another note... if Christian is a piano player, then how come he sequenced "Memories from the Wind Scene" instead of playing it live?