ReMix: Marathon 'The Forerunner Mix (Beta)'

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Marathon

It's a Marathon marathon! The ReMixer writes about his mix(es) title:

"...it says something about marathon and halo's relationship- i.e. the idea of a pre-existing but extinct structure providing a framework for a new generation to adapt and build on, much like the forerunners and covenant/phfor themselves."

Mr. Singer's second Marathon/Halo mashup is more deliberate, and more ambient, but uses some of the same components, including undulating low pizzicato and synth, string runs, and arctic pads and sweeps. It's also similarly short, and in this case also just *feels* a bit shorter, probably because there's fewer changes in momentum/dynamics. It is still, however, quite the sonic journey, especially on a great set of headphones. Jimmy writes:

"Well, my loss for not taking advantage of hearing these two mixes sooner. As the case with Larry, I'm heavily impressed. For more than one reason. The production is pristine and clean. You've chosen some solid source material to work with. You're adaptation to the set genre is right on point. Typically, I tend to smirk a bit at mixes that are less than 3 minutes long, but you've done a phenomenal job at creating a progressive arrangement in a short amount of time with not only one, but two themes. I'm also really happy to finally see Halo get some love for a theme other than "Truth and Reconciliation", which has been done quite a bit already, and we'll probably hear much more of down the road, I imagine."

zyko suggests stringing the two pieces together to form a larger whole, which I think works rather well:

"the two of these tracks looped together provide a great storytelling experience, truth be told. you know what you're doing and i wish you the best of luck with your professional career!"

I don't think Nick will be needing much luck, as his skills seem rather solid, but the sentiment is certainly well-deserved, and part of breaking into any creative industry does involve a certain degree of luck in terms of building connections and pursuing opportunities (tenacious persistence will, of course, increase the likelihood of said luck occurring)... at any rate, if you liked Nick's previous MaratHalo amalgamation, you'll almost certainly dig this one as well; very immersive stuff.

djpretzel

Discussion: Latest 14 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
Rexy
on 2011-12-28 15:41:59
This would probably make more sense if you heard the Alpha track before this one, especially since they were both submitted at the same time and follow the exact way of interpreting the relationship between Marathon and Halo.
And indeed it follows the atmosphere quite like the Alpha one, with the acoustic bass providing the Marathon source melody and the sweeping strings providing the motifs from the Halo source doing really well to fit Nick's 'enhanced vision' soundscape ridiculously well. It may be seen as ridiculously brief, but for two games from the same developer to come into such an artistic vision in this way complete with very well panned sweeping strings and great atmospheric separation, I feel very understanding about the artistic integrity brought into it.
This might split some people due to the ambient nature and/or the sheer length, but if you've got the time, then one should look up the sources beforehand and then hear the mix to purely understand its complex. It may require some thought to understand it, but once you do it makes for a very pretty listen :)
WesternZypher
on 2010-08-31 13:48:33
is beautiful to listen to if you get up to the sun rise with it, get ready early, and break into a run down some deserted streets as the tempo picks up.
What? That's what I do when I listen to this, anyway ^_^
Bahamut
on 2009-11-08 20:38:43
I'm personally not a huge fan of this track - it's an ambient track that is way too short for what it is. At about 2:30 in length, this track just comes and goes.
42
on 2009-01-08 23:04:46
Nick Singer;484163 wrote: it says something about marathon and halo's relationship- i.e. the idea of a pre-existing but extinct structure providing a framework for a new generation to adapt and build on, much like the forerunners and covenant/phfor themselves."

I really like how Nick phrases this, and it seems appropriate.
The mix really reminds me of like the music of a presentation at a planetarium i.e. something that represent the majesty, mystery, and awe of outer space.
Like Alpha, I've listened to Beta versus Under Cover of Night.
One can tell that Under Cover of Night was meant to be ambient background music, but it didn't quite make it. Beta astoundingly perfects what Under Cover of Night should have been.
In my opinion, Alpha and Beta are better than the Halo soundtrack . As in, Alpha and Beta are what should have been in the Halo soundtrack.
Rozovian
on 2008-12-10 07:47:56
They're both amazing. I like how Beta starts with a drum and then there's just pads for the next 30 seconds. How can a track be pad-driven? This somehow succeeds in having drive without having Drums relentlessly pounding the beat.
Astonishing atmosphere, lots and lots of bass, great concept. Pwnsome.
DrumUltimA
on 2008-01-11 12:24:35
i suppose a lot of my sentiments on the alpha mix would be echoed in here, but I also want to add that I like your percussion writing. Once again, very lacking in the clear melodic content department but that's not a bad thing. You say you want to break into the video game industry, and this is a great style to be writing in nowadays. Excellent, can't wait to hear more.
OA
on 2008-01-08 17:03:24
It's not often I notice well programmed velocities on pizzicato strings, but the first thing that came to mind on this mix was just that. :-)
The pads are a lot more present in Beat as opposed to Alpha, and it's feeling is a lot more synthetic as a result, and there's a very cool progression when both are listened to back to back. Of the two mixes, I think I prefer Alpha, but both are very strong and set excellent moods.
Palpable
on 2008-01-07 11:58:58
Strangely, I never listened to this mix until today, though I've probably played through the Alpha mix about a dozen times since I first heard it. Both of these tracks are so lush and well-crafted. Nick's sense of sound design is astonishing; you get the feeling that every detail sounds exactly as he intended it to sound. Wonderful stuff, and I really hope to see more from Nick.
DragonAvenger
on 2007-12-26 21:20:19
Mmm, this is nice. I definately like this one better than the Alpha mix, but both are still great. Halo's theme is a bit more noticable in this one, and to be honest, not knowing Marathon's music, I can't hear where another theme would be, but that's probably just my ears leaning towards what I know.
Great job with this.
windkirby
on 2007-12-22 19:50:51
Another Soundscape;358235 wrote: Part two of The Forerunner Mix takes a more laid back approach. Still keeping that distinct cinematic nature of the first piece (and sharing some of the sounds) it focuses on some very lush pads. Pizzicato strings nicely complements the electronic soundscape and adds to the sparse but enjoyable groove. As with the first part, the production is really ace. Especially when played on a hi-fi system or a home stereo with over-hyped bass to really appreciate all that harmonic material in the pads.

I must admit, I have the same issue with this mix as the first part. While it is terrific when you look at it as a soundtrack or background music it might not be the most interesting piece when played by itself. Very atmospheric and ambient but missing a 'hook' or some kind of climax.

Very good mix though, I'm certain Nick Singer will be scoring video games in no time. :)


Couldn't have said it better. Good mix, but a little more "MMPH!" would have made it great. :) I did enjoy it, nonetheless. Excellent quality.
Apollyon
on 2007-12-22 05:51:59
Wow, most impressive. I enjoyed "Alpha" greatly, but this one is actually the better of the two, in my opinion. I have always felt that ambient music in videogames is greatly underrated (Riven being the ultimate example, of course), and this mix manages to capture the feel of the original songs while still giving off that strong atmospheric vibe - almost an Oxygene feeling to the first thirty seconds, actually. While I am only slightly familiar with Marathon's music (what little there is of it, anyway), your interpretation of "Under Cover of Night" (my all-time favorite Halo theme) is truly flawless, something that will undoubtedly find its way onto a number of my regular playlists.

If I had to choose a highlight, I would say the best part of the song is the brief section from 2:01 to the end, when the strings come in over the "Under Cover of Night" theme. Truly priceless; that part alone boosts it above "Forerunner Mix (Alpha)", although only by a slight margin. Excellent job; this one rates up there with any of the "official" remixes of the song ("Dream Again" being the best thus far, in my opinion). Please keep making these; we need more material like this!
Infinity's End
on 2007-12-21 19:12:06
These are both incredible. Being a huge Marathon fan back in my Powermac 6500/250 days, he has done incredible service to the OST.
Nick, if you're reading this: PLEASE DO A DURANDAL TITLE SCREEN REMIX!!!!! OH GOD, PLEASE!
anosou
on 2007-12-21 17:51:31
Part two of The Forerunner Mix takes a more laid back approach. Still keeping that distinct cinematic nature of the first piece (and sharing some of the sounds) it focuses on some very lush pads. Pizzicato strings nicely complements the electronic soundscape and adds to the sparse but enjoyable groove. As with the first part, the production is really ace. Especially when played on a hi-fi system or a home stereo with over-hyped bass to really appreciate all that harmonic material in the pads.
I must admit, I have the same issue with this mix as the first part. While it is terrific when you look at it as a soundtrack or background music it might not be the most interesting piece when played by itself. Very atmospheric and ambient but missing a 'hook' or some kind of climax.
Very good mix though, I'm certain Nick Singer will be scoring video games in no time. :)
djpretzel
on 2007-12-21 17:49:15
What did you think? Post your opinion of this ReMix.