ReMix: Lufia & The Fortress of Doom "Flowers, Life and Memory"
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- Game: Lufia & The Fortress of Doom (Taito, 1993, SNES)
- ReMixer(s): Vampire Hunter Dan
- Composer(s): Yasunori Shiono
- Song(s): "Purifia Flowers", "The Earth", "The Final Battle", "The War Dead of the Island of the Void"
- Posted: 2009-02-21, evaluated by djpretzel
- Terms (BETA): classical duration-long orchestral
Vampire Hunter Dan succinctly writes:
"Hello. I'm writing to submit an arrangement/remix of mine called "Flowers, Life and Memory." This is an orchestral arrangement of pieces from Lufia and the Fortress of Doom: "Priphea," "Fortress of Doom," and the Overworld Theme."
'Bout time we saw some Lufia in these 'ere parts; 'bout time we saw some VHD, as well. While Mr. Barnaba seems to stick to RPGs, his selections have drifted outside the comfortable realm of Squaresoft with an excellen PSIV arrangement, and - while it WAS Square - he was also the first to cover Threads of Fate early last year. Now he broadens his RPG horizons further with his first coverage from the Lufia franchise, bringing his A-game along for the ride.
I had JUST watched this before listening to this mix, so instantly the opening timpani hit DID make me think "This Octopus... Let's Give Him Boots!" for a split second. Lots of interesting things going on here... this arrangement is definitely divided up into segments, but it avoids medleyitis by employing consistent instrumentation and referential construction. What's perhaps most conspicuous is the space - Dan is definitely firmly eschewing hall reverb and going with something much smaller here, and, especially given the number of exposed solo or duet passages, this has a significant effect on the overall execution. For one, nothing gets buried in long, extended reverb trails, which is both a blessing and a curse - it puts the excellent trumpets Dan's using front and center and highlights some cool Asian-infused string bends, but it also makes elements like the colonial-style drum roll seem less emphatic. But perhaps that was the intent... avoid going too grandiose, and keep the emphasis on the individual parts at all times.
It's hard to know one way or the other, but one way to put it is that this is NOT "John Williams-esque", a makeshift (and complimentary) adjective we often toss the way of pieces with more ensemble passages and epic grand hall verb applied. Which isn't a bad thing, and in this case actually makes it a little more interesting - there are lots of counterpoint and layered bits here that have their own thing going on, a lot of tonal subtlety and variety, and if every last orchestral mix tried its damnedest to be epic all the time, that'd be problematic. This does have swells, mind you, and the intro itself is a good example, but the meat of this mix is handled in smaller, articulate, more intimate instrumental passages that unravel to tell a story. I also think it's an arrangement that makes excellent use of the compositional equivalent of negative space, letting silence (and what's NOT there) convey quite a bit. It might be a bit more "challenging," but I think it shows how Dan's challenging *himself* and growing as an arranger/orchestrator, and I particularly dig what he's done here with high brass.
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