Newcomer Justin Medford, alias Nutritious, sends in another entry from SquareSound's Uematsu competition:
"Knowing there would be a lot of entries, I wanted to try a more unique approach with my arrangement. I arrived at the idea of an alto saxophone concerto as I play the saxophone and enjoy writing epic orchestral pieces. The main theme of FFV lends itself well to the big, sweeping style I like to try and emulate in my music. This was created with FL Studio 7, Soundforge, EWQLSO Silver Edition, and live saxophone recording. Thanks for listening."
Definitely an interesting spin on orchestral mixes, using sax so prominently and - better yet - playing it live. The downside is unfortunately that the sax doesn't always blend perfectly: getting live instruments to match with sampled instruments is hard enough, all the harder when it's a solo/ensemble orchestral setting, and harder still when it's sax (I'd imagine), so Justin had his work cut out for him. While production is nothing to sneeze at it in terms of sample quality and recording, ultimately the sometimes iffy blending means the arrangement had something to compensate for. Which, obviously, it did - Nutritious takes the concept and rolls with it, providing a unique arrangement that works in some creative ideas in a relatively short (for the genre) 3'22". Shariq writes:
"Sax feels out of place initially. Not sure about it, but it's not really detracting from the piece. Great part-writing; I'm glad you didn't ignore brass like a lot of people (i.e. me) tend to do when sequencing an orchestral arrangement. Nice development, I love the triplet feel at 1:28 and then the switch around 2:00 back to an eighth note feel. It's fairly seamless, which is always a plus."
Since Larry moonlighted (moonlit?) as a judge on this competition, we'll include his gratuitous remarks as well:
"At the end of the day... this gets the nod. The arrangement was definitely handled nicely, and this deserved its high placing in SquareSound's Uematsu compo in a pretty packed field of entries."
There you have it - a unique debut from Mr. Medford that blends live sax and sampled orchestral backing for something a bit different, exhibiting some production issues but firing on all cylinders arrangement-wise. I'll definitely be on the lookout for more!
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Sources Arranged (1 Song)
- Primary Game:
Final Fantasy V (Square, 1992, SNES)
Music by Nobuo Uematsu
- "Main Theme of FINAL FANTASY V"
- Origin > Competition
- 4,098,048 bytes
- Size: 4,098,048 bytes
- MD5 Checksum: 0ce230d87722e01952938b7e103897c1
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