ReMix: Castlevania: Circle of the Moon "Time's Anxiety" 6:14

By GrayLightning, Rexy

Artist Links
collab duration-long electric-piano strings woodwinds
Arranging the music of one song...

"Clockwork"

Primary Game: Castlevania: Circle of the Moon (Konami, 2001, GBA), music by Hiroshi Mitsuoka, Sotaro Tojima

Posted 2006-03-15, evaluated by djpretzel


March would seem to be the month of birthdays, as right after Liontamer and Sephfire comes Sir GrayLightning (honorary knighthood), with a Rexy collab hook-up on Castlevania: CotM. I heard an initial version of this and had some advice on the processing that I'm glad was taken to heart, as initially some of the winds were a little dry. The overall arrangement is delicate, composed largely of same-tempo interweaved melodies over quantized arpeggios that do convey a strong sense of time, an intricate clockwork of composition. That is not to say the whole thing feels like it's "on tracks" - although I do think a bit more variation in tempo and less quantization would have helped, as things are, the piece has enough emotion in its arrangement and dynamics to counterpoint whatever humanization of note timing and length might be lacking. Flute, oboe, electric piano, mixed bells (it's GrayLightning, man, what did you expect?), assorted percussion, solo and ensemble strings, harp, some patented 'epic brass' french horns (same patch used here for those playing along at home), and some other goodies I'm sure I missed round out a very broad timbral palette. Rexy did the initial arrangement first and then GL rebuilt it from the ground up; I think you can hear her particular arranging style and his predilection for mixed instrumentation (which is usually drinkin' heavy from the keg of chromatic percussions)... whether or not the collaboration resulted in a piece that resonates more than a solo effort from either artist would have is arguable, but this juxtaposition did produce unique offspring that probably wouldn't have come about any other way, and in over six minutes, develops and explores thoughtfully and with variation. There's a certain elegance to the very steady pacing, call-and-answer melodic line, and discrete space afforded each element that gives the piece focus and clarity. It's not the most elaborate arrangement compositionally, but the diverse throng of instrumentation that's been applied balances that out. I'd like to hear either live, unquantized recordings of solo parts or mouse-editing to achieve a comparable effect in the future, as I really think it'd more effectively contrast flowing lead parts against more metrical accompaniment. That being said, this is an enjoyable and deep ReMix, one that both mixers can be proud of and which gracefully adapts the Castlevanian source material. I'm running low on happy b-day shoutouts lately, but I can always spare one for Gray, so while he's enjoying his newfound 24-dom, check out and enjoy his and Rexy's latest mix.

djpretzel

Discussion: Latest 15 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
Nathan Allen Pinard
on 2016-06-23 10:08:35

Love that DX7 style patch. Definitely a lot of variety to this piece as well.

Darksymphony777
on 2016-06-22 22:56:18
On 6/17/2016 at 0:26 AM, Liontamer said:

Based on YouTube (and the videos matching the length of the official soundtrack), you don't appear to be accurate. :-) "Clockwork Mansion" is an arrangement of Super Castlevania IV's "Rotating Room," which makes sense given the similar meaning of those song titles.

wow always thought differently then again i always spammed awake so wow me a castlevania fan boy out maneuvered and proven wrong

Liontamer
on 2016-06-17 00:26:05
37 minutes ago, Darksymphony777 said:

i like this song sorry i'm not musically gifted so i can't go into detail with all the music terms but i can say the song is "clockwork mansion" not "clockwork" it was a remix of a previous games song (except for awake, circle of the moon had a completely remixed soundtrack)

Based on YouTube (and the videos matching the length of the official soundtrack), you don't appear to be accurate. :-) "Clockwork Mansion" is an arrangement of Super Castlevania IV's "Rotating Room," which makes sense given the similar meaning of those song titles.

Darksymphony777
on 2016-06-16 23:45:18

i like this song sorry i'm not musically gifted so i can't go into detail with all the music terms but i can say the song is "clockwork mansion" not "clockwork" it was a remix of a previous games song (except for awake, circle of the moon had a completely remixed soundtrack)

TillyFun
on 2013-04-29 19:51:21

Just lovely. ^_^ So peaceful and... and not something I normally associate with Castlevania. But it does fit. :)

Tuberz McGee
on 2011-12-25 19:19:08

The opening is somber and always draws me in.

The slight percussion in the back is what makes the mood without you realising it.

The imitation section makes me happy every time I hear it.

That, and the remix has always reminded me of James Bond. Not a bad thing. ;-)

3:07, when the horn comes in... things get awesome!

The percussion picks up shortly after which is perfect.

5:00 onwards always gives the perfect outro to the piece. Slowing it down accordingly.

This piece could easily be a film score. It's lush and beautiful.

Brandon Strader
on 2011-12-15 16:41:22

I'm loving the ePiano early on, definitely sets up a mood, almost like a 90s soap opera. Like I would expect to hear this while something heavy was happening on "Days of our Lives". It quickly transforms into a more game-music vibe at 0:53. The multiple instruments playing the lead was a very nice touch. The variation between the volumes of each lead makes it a detail that you are subconsciously drawn to. The dark atmosphere is fantastic, even reminding me of The 7th Guest at a couple points. Some of the instruments are pretty raw, some of them piercing as well -- like that accordion sample. It may just be my headphones or the volume I'm playing this at, but those those notes are pretty shrill. The wider-panned string ensembles are a bit too dry, and too loud considering they are more of a background element. I really liked the subtle choir section at 4:48. As a whole, this is a really enjoyable mix with a strong arrangement.

Polo
on 2011-06-19 06:44:20

There's nothing like a mix that can sing, hum, float, and glisten the whole way through. Blessed instruments with angel polish create a fresh atmosphere I can set my spirit adrift in.

Right away I noticed how the bouncy chorus (0:53 - 1:15, 3:50 - 4:12) follows the notational progression of the CV3 version of Clockwork rather than the Circle of the Moon one. A deliberate return to the source tune's roots? If so, +1 nostalgia for that. I also like how, after the quiet half-pauses following the mini-climaxes, the mix snaps back to "let's hurry along now" mode, particularly with the addition of the subdued percussion (0:30 and 3:28 ) and the drum-like quadruplet (2:16). When things start to wind down, there's some unique shades of anticipation for the end: 4:35 seems to gear up for another climax, 4:46 feels lost in ethereal space, and 4:57 wants to linger while being tugged by a decisive hand. The last half minute or so sounds like a mother gently putting her child to bed: "I'll bet you'd want to gaze out the window all night... It IS a very lovely view with the stars twinkling... Well, it's time to tuck you in, little one... Sweet dreams."

Love it. A+

DarkX
on 2010-07-17 19:56:01

...I have no advice to offer, nor criticisms to make. Just gratitude that I deeply owe you for composing such a beautiful reinterpretation of an already wonderful song. The image this portrays in my mind's eye is a frozen City, with a giant Crystal clock tower. The falling snow never loses rhythm, nor does the pace of it's inhabitants. It is a silent and lonely place...

Sorry if that was a bit deep, but I had to say something. To pass up such musical splendor and not write about how it makes me feel would be a crime against it's very existance. And I won't have that! The instrumentation all moved gracefully, as do the tides of time as they march on...

I'm a particular fan of the ending and can bask in it's awe and the sound that promises a new beginning. Your works are wonderful and I hope you continue to grace the world with your genius.

Thanks from the bottom of my heart,

DarkX.

PS: I apologize if I come off as flattering, but I really do love this piece. :)

OA
on 2009-09-28 15:34:03

Though some sections drag, there are some pretty nice parts too. It didn't really grab me as a whole, but it was pleasant listening while I worked for a few times through.

Rexy
on 2009-03-28 05:44:53

3 months late in response, but I'll reply anyway :)

Concerning the ending, a darker ending would have been something that I almost did, but prior to writing it out I personally felt the subdue nature of the rest of the mix meant that something like that could be overkill. And even if I did, the mix's title would have been entirely different (its original name was "Betrayal of Time" when writing it, fact fans).

The lighter ending ended up coming from a personal experence that I faced with family relationships (hah, same source of inspiration as "Tomorrow's Wake"; go figure). Things started to become somewhat brighter in spite of facing a personal struggle, so I needed to try and reflect that mood as a source of inspiration. (Hah... I am a complete sucker for stuff like this.)

And there we have it, the direction for the ending in a nutshell. :)

windkirby
on 2008-12-24 21:29:41

A very great piece - it sounds a little dark but has wonderful emotion. I don't mind the "lack of humanity" because of said emotion, and also because it makes it seem a little more nostalgic somehow.

I'm afraid I wasn't a big fan of the big sunshiny happy ending - I would've much prefered something that went with the rest of the piece's minor mood, or at least something that didn't sound so outright happy, at least not when the rest of the piece is somewhat dark. Still, the rest of the song is so good that it's just forgiveable. That may sound pessimistic, but it's not a bad listen by any means - goin' on the player.

Subz1987
on 2007-02-27 23:15:42

After listening to both versions, I prefer the collab version. It works better with the additional instruments and it moves smoothly throughout. Excellent

When I was listening to this song for the first time, I was reading I, Robot. And now, for some reason, everytime I think about this song I think about robots, the Three Laws, Trantor and the might of the Galactic Empire as well as the genius of Psychohistory.

kingcomrade1
on 2006-12-13 01:08:06
don't assume that it's a "collab gone wrong" as falsely accoused (sorry to say that).

My mistake. I still like the original much better.

Rexy
on 2006-12-11 20:14:01

You're currently lucky because the original VGMix edit was hosted here among other entries in the third round of RPGamer.com's "Splendid Performance" competition from last year. Gray did the sound render on that version too (I couldn't do anything production-wise with a cheap general midi interface at the time) so don't assume that it's a "collab gone wrong" as falsely accoused (sorry to say that).

I thought I was more proud of this version to be honest, especially with the additional production embellishments and the abandomnent of an odd choice of using a low flute instead of a timpani roll in a few sections. In an essence, the arrangement in both versions is still at least 85% all me, yet in both versions Gray was there to help out in making the track come to life, no matter how long it took.

While the comparisons are being made (or lack thereof?), can someone tow Liontamer in here? I remember he played this on one of his VG Frequency "best of" shows, so he might know a little more of what's being talked about.

Sources Arranged (1 Song)


Primary Game:
Castlevania: Circle of the Moon (Konami, 2001, GBA)
Music by Hiroshi Mitsuoka, Sotaro Tojima
Songs:
"Clockwork"

Tags (5)


Genre:
Mood:
Instrumentation:
Electric Piano, Strings, Woodwinds
Additional:
Origin > Collaboration
Time > Duration: Long

File Information


Name:
Castlevania_Circle_of_the_Moon_Time's_Anxiety_OC_ReMix.mp3
Size:
6,060,032 bytes
MD5:
a0af92d9ac8abd810fdc6b1f486512c2
Bitrate:
128Kbps
Duration:
6:14

Promotion

Latest Albums

Latest ReMixes