ReMix: Cave Story 'Moon Rhapsody'
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Streaming preview on YouTube
Besides being photogenically goofy from birth, Doug's been a consistent force on our forums, goes to the same school as the panel's own pixietricks (Peabody), and is a talented multi-instrumentalist with an emphasis on percussion. For this charming ReMix, our second from Cave Story, he played live flute, and even got his MomUltimA to help out on violin and viola. It's great to have a musical family - both of my older sisters are musical, but it seemed to skip a generation, as my parents are somewhat rhythmically and melodically challenged. Mr. Perry writes:
"This remix was my first project in sonar (or any digital music program) ever. I'm gonna try to refrain from saying too much about it to keep this from turning into an interview piece (i.e. a piece that sounds better while the composer/arranger is talking about it). When I got to the part of the game where Moonsong was playing, I was totally blown away by the level of atmosphere I was faced with. I suppose this would happen when every aspect of the game is coming from the same mind. So I really wanted to make something with it. The synth sounds were chosen really to keep rooted in the original, while the rest of the arrangement is what the themes presented in the original meant to me. Balcony came into play kind of as a fluke, but I kept the idea because in Cave Story, Balcony and Moonsong are the only two songs that play when you are outside. The arrangement is based really on what the melodic and harmonic themes mean to me."
The very first couple of seconds here, with wind and chimes, remind me of the intro to Bucks Fizz' "Land of Make Believe" - truly one of the most overlooked 80's cheesefests in existence, and one of my favorite go-to songs for the musical equivalent of high-grade Paxil. It's interesting, because as a percussionist, you'd think Doug would have mixed the drums here a bit louder - they're great, but in general the bass, which sits off to the left, tends to eat up more than its fair share of the frequency spectrum. Barring that EQ gripe, this is a lovely, expressive arrangement that marries distant, pure, celestial synth textures with living, breathing flute and solo strings, pushing everything along with a dynamic percussion track. It's got the same expansive, unreal atmosphere that Doug alludes to above, and then some. Jesse corroborates:
"This track is rock. The arrangement is sophisticated and emotive. The leads, bass, and drums are all sequenced beautifully. The live performances are fantastic. The composition and partwriting are the high point. Leads and counterharmonies weave in and out like dancing. The appropriate instrumentation and dynamic arrangement build a vibrant atmosphere."
I couldn't agree more, on all counts; for an initial result out of Sonar, it shows amazing potential and an already formidable handle on melding electronic composition with acoustic elements. Mastering is the only Achilles Heel here, and it's a small heel at that. Really rather teensy. Demure, even. And well-guarded by an armament of skillful arrangement and rich performance.
- GravitySuitCollector on February 15, 2011
- tweex on August 12, 2010
- MechaFone on May 29, 2010
It's a little muddy because Doug LOVES those lows so much, but the composition is amazing, and even moreso than that, full of soul and love for the source material. You can really tell.
- Monobrow on April 6, 2010
- Felizbingo on April 6, 2010
I personally think this is Doug's best-written and best-executed song, I'm glad the judges hassled him about certain aspects to get this one as good as it is today. One of my favorites and it pains me to see this one only have a few pages of reviews.
- Emunator on December 3, 2009
- Pachi Risu on November 10, 2009
- yosefu on May 27, 2009
Ending was ever so slightly abrupt, but throughout, this is a very classy arrangement.
- OA on March 23, 2009
- Nutritious on September 25, 2007
- Indrik on April 2, 2007
So yeah, nice song, but more POWER next time, plz. And more violin.
- Martin Penwald on December 12, 2006
- Yamato2299 on December 7, 2006
- Fray on December 2, 2006
Congratulations Doug, looking foward for more!
- Mr. Fox on November 17, 2006