Posted 2008-07-02, evaluated by djpretzel
Ladies and gentlemen, I'm proud to present OC ReMix's very first mother & son collab mix, from regular DrumUltimA and newcomer... MomUltimA! Clearly the "Ultima" runs in the family; Doug's mom is currently the assistant principal violist for the Hartford Symphony, and her playing here (on violin, not viola) is central to Doug's arrangement. Less historically but still cool, this is also our first mix from Yoko Shimomura's score to Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories; KH fans in particular should dig that, and it's also nice to see the GBA getting some more love. Some background: the original title was actually "That's What You Get (for Eating Nothing But Pizza and Cheesesteaks All Day)" but we had to truncate that a bit. It's a reference to zircon's absence from the epic DC Video Games Live meetup due to having his appendix removed, ostensibly due to very Philadelphian dietary habits, with which I commiserate. Doug confides:
"I made this remix for a contest that involved money because at the time I was very poor. I got second place. I did have fun making this at least. But I still look in the mirror and see nothing but a sellout... I'm pathetic. Oh yeah my mom plays violin in this one too. MomUltimA? Or Sharon Dennison, whichever you prefer. I'm playing snare drum, a bunch of samples I took in the Peabody percussion studio, and my voice."
Don't worry, Doug - plenty of people have done things they regret just for the money, and some of them have communicable diseases to show for it, so consider yourself lucky. Given the artist's focus on and predilection for percussion, this mix definitely delivers in that arena, with thunderous bass drum rolls introing and outroing. Acoustic rock kit enters at 0'50" with a squarish synth bass and accompanying arpeggios. SonUltimA informs me that he also employed crash and suspended cymbals, crotales, rainstick, Chinese toms, and timpani in the middle, all sampled from Peabody's percussion studio. Viva variety, and way to make excellent use of formidable percussive resources.
Ensemble strings establish an initial melodic motif, but synth lead quickly takes over. The interesting bit is that it actually duets with the violin, at least initially, which makes for a pretty fresh sound. Eventually the violin gets the spotlight all to itself, though, soaring over an undulating percussive bed. I'd criticize things for lacking low-end presence on the bass, but it's clear that Doug wanted the drums to have more space to breath in without muddying things up, and breath they do. This is a full percussive exhale, in fact, with a drum solo breakdown thrown in for good measure. The violin solo is expressive and flowing, pulling a lot of slurs and articulations that you just can't emulate with libraries. It's got a good bit of verb on it, so at times some of the detail is obscured, but that seems more stylistic than compensating: the overall arrangement has a big, almost tidal feel to it, so the liberal application of verbs to create a vast space seems appropriate. The vocalising Doug does is really rather good; it's similarly awash in FX, but adds even more to the sense of scale.
Excellent & creative arrangement of a quality source; I also must say that as lucky as Doug is to live in a musical family and have an amazingly talented mother who was willing to help out with this (and cool with the 'MomUltimA' moniker, no less!), we're just as lucky to be listening to the end result. Another first for OCR, and a great, refereshing ReMix as well!
on 2017-01-21 13:52:58
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Sources Arranged (1 Song)
- Primary Game:
Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories (Square, 2004, GBA)
Music by Yoko Shimomura
- "Graceful Assassin"
- Piano, Strings, Synth
- Origin > Collaboration
- 5,270,236 bytes
- Size: 5,270,236 bytes
- MD5 Checksum: 7fe410626967d9d169be8c374ffcdb28
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