ReMix: Final Fantasy IV 'Kind of Green'
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This was going to be part of the original flood of mixes from Final Fantasy IV: Echoes of Betrayal, Light of Redemption, but there were some last minute issues with size/encoding and we delayed it. I fell in love with this track almost BEFORE I heard it, just from the clever and presumably Miles Davis-inspired title, but thankfully the music lived up to and exceeded the wordplay. There's a lot of context on this one, so let's dig in - project director OA says:
"The track that almost didn't even happen- Kenneth had tossed together a MIDI on a whim, and while the arrangement was cool, it wasn't really something that would have really been considered for the project. A month or two later, there's a finished jazzy track that not only gives the arrangement a whole new direction, but features some amazing performances as well. This is fantastic work, and I gotta say that I'm extremely glad that this one came together as well as it did. Fantastic work to all the artists involved, this is going to be an OCR classic."
He also provided a breakdown of the who-did-whats:
- Kenneth Keyn (Abadoss) - Original and primary arrangement
- Jay Yaskin (audio fidelity) - Production, additional arrangement, upright bass
- Wilbert Roget, II (bustatunez) - "Accordion"/Melodica, piano
- Aaron C. W. Harmon (theultravisitor) - Guitar
bustatunez busted out his melodica at Andy & Jill's wedding reception, after initiating the crowd with much-needed explanation: "Uh, it's like a keyboard... you blow into. It sounds like an accordian." Paraphrased from memory for effect - that's actually a pretty damn good description, though. Regarding this piece, he writes: "It was an interesting challenge trying to play a melodica to sound like an accordion, the ex
"This piece began as a way of geting my mind off of "Edward's Dream Quartet" - a more academically minded ReMix which I'd worked on continuously for a few weeks. Basically, I took Rydia's theme and arranged it for an accordion as a gag. I liked it, but I mostly thought that it would just end up as an Easter egg on the project website. However, I was playing around with some of the auto-arrangement features in Finale 2009 and figured out how to add jazz accompaniment. I tried it out and then posted it on the project forum. It attracted the attention of audio fidelity, who took what I'd written and took it to a whole new level that I wasn't expecting. He ran the piece through better samples and then proceeded to round up as many musicians as he could to do live recordings of all the parts."
Jay took this mix from point A to point C, filling out Ken's idea and bringing others on board to fully realize the acoustic feel, in addition to contributing some excellent upright bass work of his own. He explains:
"I originally joined in on this mix to simply help Ken bring more life to his MIDI track in Finale. The song was started as a joke track, and I was just gonna update the MIDI instrument to have it be used as a bonus track. But I strangely started really liking the track and got this crazy idea to take the album out with this little ditty. Real instruments became needed to realize it's potential. So I laid down the upright bass; brought Wilbert on, for initially just piano, and got my good friend Aaron to do some jazz guitar. When it became more apparent that finding an accordion player wasn't gonna happen, the answer was right in front of my face and I don't know why I didn't ask Will to supply his melodica talent for the song earlier. A big thanks to bustatunez for making this song really something. I'm so glad we hit it off at MAG or this song wouldn't be here. The drums are actually a free brush kit I found online."
I love it: A joke mix that gets co-opted into a serious mix which turns into a multi-instrumental collab due to connections made at MAGFest, with drum samples found for free online. Truly a community effort, made possible by the interwebs + RL working together. Of course, all the anecdotes in the world wouldn't compensate if the track weren't well-executed, but thankfully all the anecdotes in the world COULDN'T begin to fully capture the end result, which is a unique, fun, mellow jazz arrangement that has a lot of depth. I think it was a fantastic addition to the album and a great way to close things out, and I'm glad it's also found a home here on the site. Beautiful.
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