ReMix: Final Fantasy XII "The Winds of Inishmore"
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New blood! Looking at the homepage, we've been posting up a lot of regulars lately (great stuff, to be sure, though), so it's refreshing to post a newcomer. Avaris has been active on our forums for awhile, and is on the Radical Dreamers: Thieves of Fate album, so "newcomer" might be a bit of a stretch, but this IS his first posted mix, and also our first from FFXII. Shaun actually resubmitted this arrangement of the 'Game Over' theme based on panel feedback, and got some valuable input on the original WIP as well, so he's certainly making good use of the community for feedback, and it's paid off. He writes:
"Inishmore is a little island off on Ireland. While I have never been there the pictures seemed peaceful and serene place. It felt like a place that was a little detached from the world. When I first heard the song I obviously had just kicked the bucket in the game... I thought I could win without paying attention to the gambit system. I heard this tune and instantly fell in love with it. The mix started out as an experiment to write something in 6/4 and sequence some early 90's alt rock ballad drums. (Candlebox, Gin Blossoms, Goo Goo Dolls etc.) As the song progressed over time I started getting creative with audio, FX, and tons of automation on send amounts and synths. I kept working on it and it grew into what it is today.
Big thanks go out to Tensai-San, OA, Malcos, and Jewbei for critiquing the song as it was nearing completion."
Nice. My girlfriend's been to Ireland, and so's my dad and one of my two sisters; I'm feeling a little left out. I guess this mix can be my own vacation to Ireland, until time and finances allow for a real one. Even with the resub, there's some roughness around the edge on production, with some subtle static that was apparently intentional... it does have a very immediate, acoustic sound to it. Things intro with harp, which remains dominant (and quite purdy) throughout, as a thick bass joins in underneath and the aforementioned 90's rock ballad drums kick in. Synths figure into the picture as well, with a gliding lead that doesn't ruin the mostly acoustic ambience with overly synthetic timbres - it too has an organic quality to it. It wouldn't be Celtic without a wind/pipe of some kind, so there's also a lovely, articulate flute lead. Drums are joined by some pretty non-90's rock ballad synthetic FX at 1'55" - very cool, dirty sound.
I have to admit, I haven't really heard acoustic instruments paired up with these types of textures, specifically with such a close verb applied - usually you'd expect something larger, a hall, on the harps and flute, but everything's in a more immediate room/plate sort of DSP that makes things... different. It sounds a little uncertain at times, but largely works, and furthermore gives the whole thing a really unique flavor. zyko says:
"i'm a big fan of new age musiks and that said, i'm hearing a little arkenstone mixed in with some dean evanson. the evanson evocation is in the seemingly aimless wandering nature of the track. it may be stylistically incompatible with some but i'm all for it. the track remains calming throughout.
the syncopated, delayed synths are badass .... as is the rest of the instrumentation. excellent choices of instruments. there is a real edginess to the harp but i am a fan of it."
I guess one upside here is that, since this is new age, if the production were absolutely orthodox, the whole thing might simply not be as interesting, although the arrangement itself would still be just as chill and mellow. It's a peculiar blend, but it's pretty cool. Anyone who's been waiting for some FF12 should be happy, and anyone into new age in general should definitely check this out, as it resembles some of the better examples of the genre that I've been exposed to.
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