James George (known as Maestrodeclure back when he had his first mix posted) writes:
"The orchestration is deliberately minimalistic, except for the mid-section. Creating it was mostly a learning experience for me with my new hardware and software. I hope to create more complex mixes in the future. I think one WIP member used the word "intimate", which I think is the best description so far. Again, thank you for your consideration. "
Harp arpeggios that channel Uematsu's (in?)famous FF prelude intro the piece with a flowing string part and some oboe on melody, but things slow down around 0'50" as a harp cadenza of sorts leads into an arpeggiated piano pattern with tasteful, minimal percussion. When James alluded to more "complex" mixes above, I'd say that's a fair enough assessment - this isn't too rhythmically or compositionally intricate - but by the same token, simplicity can be beautiful, and this mix has moments, particularly when the ensemble strings come in with their slow attacks to flesh out the melody, that I'd say qualify. To me at least, the whole thing has a rather timely Christmas feel to it, with echoes of Silent Night and other tonally nocturnal, melodic pieces; I think you could put it on an orchestral xmas mix CD without incident. In fact, I just might. Larry says:
"Short and sweet, it seemed liked it wasn't gonna be too interpretive at first, but once James changed the rhythm up substantially at :52, I saw he was indeed planning on putting his own unique spin on the source.
Loved the small orchestra setting. You definitely achieved the intimate sound you were going for, with a nice full soundscape despite the small amount of instrumentation going on. Fairly organic-minded presentation overall; even when some of the samples weren't overly realistic sounding, they're sequenced and produced for a very natural result from the performance side.
Great job on this one James; good to see you back with another release here after so long. Beautiful atmosphere, sophisticated dynamics, and a very creative arrangement of Naruke's original material. Some people thought this sounded aimless. Some people also just don't get it. :-)"
Despite the terribly emasculating effect of the punctuating emoticon, I'd tend to agree with Mr. Oji's assessment. I wouldn't call the piece aimless; while it doesn't have razor-sharp focus and juggernaut momentum, it perambulates meaningfully, and sounds good doing it. James rejoins us after a 3+ years hiatus, just like NoppZ, and just like NoppZ, he returns in style.
on 2009-12-20 18:14:45
Everything here feels so mellow and relaxing, telling the listener to slow down for the world will still be there tomorrow, which owes a lot to do with the minimalist approach. This feels like it was composed with the meticulous precision of a painter. Each measure feels like a carefully chosen stroke of color, each having their own meaning and purpose. Nothing has gone to waste here.
'Tis a really nice mix.
on 2009-10-02 04:36:40
So never having played any Wild Arms games back as a kid, and only just have finished with Wild Arms: Alter Code F, I actually have some familiarity with the source!
With that said, I had a hard time recognizing it, but it could be that I've only been recently acquainted with the music. I'm impressed with the delicate approach the mix takes though - it's quite moving, so it accomplishes that goal excellently.
on 2008-11-17 20:01:44
Quite a beautiful melody. Don't know the source, but as I hear it here I'm really drawn into it. Orchestral setting is perfect for the mood of the piece, and everything moves nicely together. Very pretty.
on 2007-12-17 12:45:39
I remember listening to this in the WIP forums awhile back and really enjoying it. I randomly got the opening of the song in my head today. It's a very beautiful piece.
on 2007-06-21 10:54:49
Very nicely done; I agree that it really does feel like you are having a conversation with the music. It's been over a decade since i've played this, so I don't remember the original well enough to talk arrangement, but there are enough mood changes throughout to suggest that this isn't just some PS1 town music.
Some of the samples fall a little flat, most notably the solo cello , but ensemblewise, things are nicely blended. Once the soundfield gets full near the middle it sounds very good.
The best for last is the final 12 seconds or so. The piano and harp phrase itself is worth the price of admission, and is strong evidence that harp, piano, and heavy rubato have some secret seratonin-boosting effect on me. Absolutely phenomenal. I could seriously listen to the last phrase on loop all day, and an entire mix in this style would be amazing.
on 2006-12-28 15:17:21
I agree, this piece does sound very personal... it almost sounds as if it was written for you and me,on a personal level as the main intent... the music "talks" to you... like you could have a conversation with it...
I actually felt an illusion of a presence within that piece...
or am I just schizophrenic?
on 2006-12-25 15:01:11
Very soothing piece of work. I especially dig the piano in this one.
The whole atmosphere makes me think of a deep forest, a place where no human being has ever been before. Very laid back.
on 2006-12-06 17:55:44
Shame on people, didn't everyone used to be an orchestral whore at some point?
Contrary on what others think, this gave me a great sensation of my own experience in the game. The way the instruments are handled in the production is what warmed me, very soft and gentle tone. Samples blend with great effect. Around 2:45, the brass was suddenly very dry sounding, I felt this broke from the mood a bit giving a sort of, cheesy TV effect if you know what I mean. That's my only down side to this song.
The arrangement is certainly endeering, very cinematically brought forward, good enough for a quality anime if I might say. Nicely brought together, emotion and atmosphere is definately limelighted.
on 2006-12-04 16:53:49
I like it. 0-0.50 reminds me of something out of heroes of might and magic 3
on 2006-12-03 20:11:38
Sweetness been waiting for this to get posted. It was beautiful sounding when it was in the WIP section, and still friggin beautiful now. I def think the pieces strong point is it's emotion. The feel of the melody reminds a bit of the ending song to the last episode of Full Metal Alchemist, which is an absolutely killer song.
Besides all that jazz I got a one sentence review prepared for this:
It is tasteful, exsquisite, and flows like a fine wine.
on 2006-12-03 18:55:46
It's a very beautiful, flowing song. No one portion or instrument has been overused/overdone.
on 2006-12-03 18:47:20
What did you think? Post your opinion of this ReMix.
Sources Arranged (1 Song)
- Primary Game:
Wild Arms (Sony, 1997, PS1)
Music by Michiko Naruke
- "The Shaman Princess's Feelings"
- Orchestral, Piano
- 4,599,182 bytes
- Size: 4,599,182 bytes
- MD5 Checksum: b0912c291d741bf73c26122bdf8037dc
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