Jeremy Robson & Derek Oren have certainly become a familiar duo; while Robson was always great by himself, their teamwork has produced some epic, unforgettable moments. Now they set their sights on FFVIII, with a dualistic arrangement of 'Blue Fields' (with some 'Liberi Fatali') that juxtaposes two different takes on the theme as devotion and deception, respectively... hence the title. Gotta take the time to send some props out to Siamey, who kept the FF8 love alive in 2008 - if orchestral ain't your thing but you love yourself some 8, check that action out. This is a bit of a change-up for J&D, as it does involve some Asian instrumentation that blends in with traditional symphonic components nicely. Jeremy lays it all out:
"After completing the second part of the Cantata for Dancing, Derek and I decided we should take a break from the serious Final Fantasy 6 nonsense and do something different. Derek suggested Final Fantasy 8, so I quickly jotted down a Kaoru Wada-inspired arrangement of Blue Fields and Liberi Fatali with intent on using traditional Japanese instruments combined with orchestra. This was back before Christmas 2007. We worked on it on and off over the months perfecting the instrumentation, listening to soundtracks like Okami, Inuyasha, and Samurai 7 for inspiration.
In the end there were two ideas: a gentle reworking of Blue Fields for small orchestra accompanied by Japanese instruments, and a fast-paced version of the theme punctuated by the well-known "Fithos" chant. In the first half the Blue Fields theme is first stated in its original form with some harmonic and contrapuntal modifications and then the strings take over to do some variations. After the choir comes in and the music reaches its peak, an ambiguous ending slowly fades out telling us that it's not over yet. We've been deceived! Suddenly things have taken a turn for the exciting as the orchestra takes us through another variation of the Blue Fields theme in a more heroic setting.
Overall this piece represents both Derek's and my devotion to game music and we thank OC ReMix for giving everyone the opportunity to express similar kinds of devotion in the form of remixing/arranging game music. Nowhere else do you see the same level of fan involvement without blatant commercialism and exploitation, so doing this is entirely our pleasure."
Truly classy. Derek added:
"Final Fantasy VIII is the most underrated game of the franchise. Lots of people ask me why I love the game so much and here's why: The storyline is very unique and full of twists and turns. The CG cutscenes were unbelievable for the time period. And last but not least the music that went along with the game is the most beautiful soundtrack of a Final Fantasy to date. And in tribute to this fantastic game and this beautiful soundtrack we needed to raise the bar and release something just as beautiful. Jeremy and I hope you enjoy this piece."
I haven't heard too many folks hail FF8 as the series' finest hour, musically, but it's definitely true that it's underrated. I think what killed it for me was the extensive, nested menu system... I spend enough time doing software development and administration as a job that when I play games, I don't want to experience the pain of navigation that is as complex, or moreso (Coming Soon: Eclipse the Video Game!!). Never had any issues with the overall aesthetic and more dramatic, interpersonal approach it took... FF7 was a damn hard act to follow. But I digress; you won't have a hard time hearing where the devotion leaves off and the deception picks up... it's not medleyitis, but rather an intentional bifurcating of the arrangement into two thematically different sections. Okay, you caught me, I just wanted to say "bifurcating," there... but it IS true, nonetheless. Also, dichotomy and chiaroscuro. There, done. Kaoru Wada is some excellent inspiration.... I caught the first few episodes of Samurai 7 (best part), but I'm a huge, huge fan of Gilgamesh in particular; the "deception" half of this arrangement reminds me of some of its OST. Fantastic anime I wholeheartedly recommend to anyone looking for something VERY different from the norm. This was actually a resub because, initially, the first half wasn't as good as the second. Andy writes:
"Great mix. I didn't get the chance to vote on the first sub but I was basically in agreement with everyone else about the first half being weaker compared to the second (mainly some of the strings sounding choppy and not legato.) This iteration, however, is definitely stronger in that department. I'm glad Derek went back to it."
One highlight for me was the chromatic descending string pattern at 5'01" as counterpoint to the choral chant - fantastic stuff, right there. There are plenty of other moments - sweet ascension into the upper register beyond where I was expecting at 2'48", for instance - and (as expected based on precedent) Jeremy & Derek generally make excellent use of their extended runtime to pack in a serious musical wallop. These guys don't do anything halfway; each new submission represents a lot of carefully refined, calculated, and meaty arrangement. They've delivered another opus with this mix; great stuff.
on 2012-07-10 02:37:04
on 2010-09-06 23:01:08
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Sources Arranged (2 Songs)
- Primary Game:
Final Fantasy VIII (Square, 1999, PS1)
Music by Nobuo Uematsu
- "Blue Fields"
- Orchestral, Strings, Vocals: Male, Woodwinds
- Lyrics > Lyrics: Existing
Origin > Collaboration
Origin > Resubmission
Time > Duration: Long
- 6,270,070 bytes
Excitate vos e somno, liberi mei
Cunae sunt non
Fithos Lusec Wecos Vinosec
Wake up from your sleep, my children
Your childhood years are gone
Fithos Lusec Wecos Vinosec
- Size: 6,270,070 bytes
- MD5 Checksum: 7b84927c5fb280efc0389513cf0a4238
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