ReMix: Myst 'Unraveling the Mystery'
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Niels van der Leest, alias DarkMessenger, is also new to OCR in '08, although he's been around the game mixing scene for awhile prior. He sends us this Myst mega-mix that intertwines themes from Myst I, IV, and V. If you've been to any of the Video Games Live shows, you'll remember the cool segment they do on music from Myst, all the more appropriate since VGL co-founder Jack Wall contributed to the series' soundtracks himself. Niels writes:
"I never played the games but through studying the music I learned to enjoy it very much."
I never played the games either, but I can remember when the first title was all the rage... it seemed to attract a lot of older gamers (40s-50s), perhaps because it was less about reflexes and more about subtle puzzle-solving and new age storytelling, or perhaps because CD-ROMs seemed fairly new at the time and anything that had CG seemed shiny. Who knows, but the music was consistently high quality throughout, and Mr. van der Leest does it noble tribute here. This was our current longest-wait-time submission on the panel, so from a lets-get-this-queue-a-rollin' perspective, it's good that it's seeing the light of day. Our current judges panel has been making inroads towards getting us back on top of things, and I think we'll be more solid in '08, generally, on the submission workflow front. Optimism? Perhaps... but I feel like we've got New Years mojo working in our favor, and hopefully we can keep that aura into Summer and beyond. Speaking of focusing, Malcos writes:
"The arrangement here is very well done, using the Myst 1 theme as the intro and the others as the main section; this approach means that the transitions work well. While not melody intensive, a lot of original elements have been added here and gives the same film-like atmosphere as the sources. Even though it is a 'medley' in that it uses several sources, it works as a piece in itself rather than a mishmash of songs, and does it extremely well."
Most of the panel beef concerned production issues, focusing on samples and levels primarily, but the consensus was that smart arranging and making the best of the elements employed overcame these concerns. Quoth Oji:
"Cool premise to go for a series-wide mix. The sophistication of the arrangement carries this a ways. I'd love to see some of the production (string realism) and balance (string and bassline audibility) issues worked on a bit, as well as a slightly higher bitrate, but I'm rooting for substance. Smart, sophisticated arranging, Niels."
Agreed - good stuff, solid integration of sources across the series, and just an overall strong piece from DarkMessenger.
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