ReMix: Sonic the Hedgehog 2 "Forbidden Memory (of a Forgotten Dream)"
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"If anyone is familiar with the rumours/stories that have been going around the internet concerning the one of the mysterious unfinished level in Sonic 2 known as "Hidden Palace", then they have probably heard about the story line in which Tails was originally supposed be a some sort of guardian stationed at this place. In this song I wanted to convey the loneliness that might have been felt by Tails as he spent all that time, alone, performing his solemn duty. The boy's choir was used to hopefully represent Tails' seemingly young, innocent nature.
Compared to my other songs, especially the two which can be found at OCRemix, this one is a very sad, emotional piece (it almost made TWO of my friends cry). I have been working on it off and on since 2005. It has changed dramatically since then, and now is probably the song with the most original material of all my work to date.
The song finally started to take shape earlier last fall. It was 60% complete when, on November 12, 2007, my grand father passed away due to a massive heart attack. This may have coloured the last part of the development and might be the reason for it sounding as sad as it does. If this song does make it onto the site, I would like to dedicate this song to my grand father, Klaus Staeben. He was a man who loved music of all types, no matter the source or what other people may have thought about it, a lot like myself."
This posted version is actually a resub, fixing some issues with samples/instrumentation, so I'll also throw in RH's follow-up:
"The biggest thing I did was transposed the whole song down 3 semitones, allowing the violins to play their parts without straining too much and also opened up the top registers of other instruments that can better handle the high notes. I also reworked a few areas, added some humanization, added some harmonies, added another instrument (a very sparingly used flute) and used a much better Harp sample then before (no it wasn’t pizz strings, it was a clean, unprocessed harp sample hahahaha). I think it sounds much better now. Hope you guys think so too!"
You don't hear too many orchestral arrangements of material from the Sonic franchise; so much of it is funk/electronica oriented that I think folks tend to hone in on that and amplify rather than subdue it, but Ryan's done an excellent job turning this source into a very emotive and expressive piece. Understanding the dedication and the back story regarding the mix's creation only increases this response, but it's a wonderful piece of music that easily stands on its own merits, especially after the revisions, which I think helped achieve the original vision. Shariq writes:
"This is great. Very emotive; I love the piano and harp. Voices are appropriately used; nothing over the top. I've always wanted to try this song in this style and now I don't have to, because you did it so well for me. Nice work. Dynamics are great, progression is great. I wish there was a little more brass, but that's just me. xD"
What I like about this mix is that it has very clear moments... there's connective "tissue" that takes the arrangement from point A to B that's less engaging, perhaps, but there are more than a few points where the dynamics are constructed to really leave an impact with the listener. Without knowing the specific circumstances, I think you can still tell that this was a special piece for Ryan, something that he poured a lot of himself into, and I think it'll resonate. A unique arrangement in the densely populated world of Sonic ReMixes, and an effective conduit of the artist's expression.
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