ReMix: Final Fantasy X "Summoner's Love"
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Well, it's Christmas eve; hopefully those of you celebrating have gotten the vast majority of your holiday shopping done and are reclining in the fire-warmed comfort of your living rooms, drinking spiked nog and listening to Bing (Christmas without Bing and Story ain't Christmas). Before I proceed with the writeup, some housekeeping items:
- BGC started a cool little initiative to review mixes that haven't been reviewed in awhile - very cool.
- www.vgmusic.com recently celebrated their 10th anniversary. The site has done an amazing amount of work over the last decade to popularize game music on the web; hats off to their staff, past, present, and future, for a fantastic accomplishment.
- Armchair Arcade recently published a pretty cool Introduction to Videogame Music that makes for an interesting read.
Right then, we've got an excellent FFX vocal mix from newcomers DragonAvenger (vocals) and EFields (arrangement) that the panel dug. Perhaps it's just an aspect of the Winter holidays that almost anything begins to sound like Christmas music, but once again this piece seems very seasonal, reminding me of some bits off the Toys soundtrack at times. DA's vocal style is a bit different; it's a sound I've heard on numerous J-pop recordings, a bit higher and wider than it is round. I can't say it would work in every context, but it works here, and that's what's important. She writes:
"I've been wanting to do a remix to Besaid Island for some time now. I finally got around to commissioning EFields (With dinner at Denny's) to arrange the piece for me, and I received a beautiful result (probably worth more than the dinner). I asked him to take the melody line twice as fast as normal, and to make it have a "pop song" feel, as well as add anything he felt like doing. The lyrics came after, based on Tidus and Yuna, the scenery of Besaid, as well as the love scene later in the game. This song has a special dedication to my parents, who just celebrated their anniversary a couple of weeks ago."
Sweet. I have to say, nobody's ever commissioned me via chain restaurant, but it's a great idea. Will ReMix for food! The beneficiary of said Denny's supping, EFields, writes:
"I wanted a remix that was significantly different from the original composition, but one that also strongly evoked the notable characteristics of the original. I mostly used a warm synth pad, a gentle synth lead (which was later deleted and replaced by voice), an unintrusive bass, and a soft tribal beat. Unfortunately, the beat is a loop, so it comes off as a little repetitive, but I tried to blend it nicely through mixing and using different loops. The occasional high-toned bells in the background are my attempt at evoking rays of sunlight coming through the clouds. At the end of the piece, the drums cut out, leaving enveloping chords and a final repetition of the main vocal theme. The music dies away peacefully."
It's a sort of wintry synth pop motif, I'd say - the intro suggests perhaps trance, but when the drums enter you know it's gonna be more of a Top 40 thing; the percussion has that distinct looped feel, ala Jagged Little Pill, etc. Pads are warm and enveloping and consume a majority of spectrum bandwidth, but there's also a tine bell patch that specifically reminded me of Hans Zimmer's Toys work. It's exciting to see new vocal mixes, new mixers, and new approaches, and while the panel pointed out some issues, this mix does meet each of those criteria. BGC particularly enjoyed the audible mouse click at the very conclusion of the vocal recording:
"rofl, dude, leave the mouseclick. that's classy. or classic, rather. whatever, either way, that's awesome.
seriously, that's trademark.
Very pretty vibe. Nice warm synths, nice cool drum groove. Very pretty vocals. Giving me chills, now."
So, an interesting mix concept that Denny's helped birth but that DragonAvenger and EFields deserve all the credit for, somewhat seasonal, with unique vocals and deceptively simple lyrics that sing better than they read. Regardless of what you think of Tidus, this is an enjoyable nugget of icy-warm pop that goes down easy; looking forward to hearing more from both of these artists.
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