ReMix: Final Fantasy IV 'Kind of Green'

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Final Fantasy IV: Echoes of Betrayal, Light of RedemptionFinal Fantasy IV

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 expression is completely different." Abadoss was the man with the plan, providing the musical seed from which this impressive tree grew, so he had a bit more to say:

"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.

djpretzel

Discussion: Latest 14 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
Jaybell
on 2009-08-29 22:43:08
This is the best track to ever close an OCR album.
Theophany
on 2009-08-21 17:35:17
This track is beyond amazing... and full of win.
OA
on 2009-08-07 09:53:04
Great stuff, and awesome performances. One of the big surprise 'WOW' moments of the album for me. I loved the performances, and the treatment of the melody is really unexpected but classy.
Highly recommended. :-)
DRMProd
on 2009-08-05 03:14:09
Every single time I listen to this track I feel both sad and happy if that's possible. I really like it. I've just registered to comment here. Definately one of my favourite songs of the site.
Emunator
on 2009-07-31 17:07:58
I don't know what it is about the song, but every time I listen to it, it makes me want to cry a little bit. I don't think it's an intentionally sad song, and it could just be the mood I was in when I first listened to it, but for whatever reason this one really connects with me on an emotional level.
It's definitely my favorite song off of the FFIV album, I'm glad this one came into fruition!
And yes, I do get the Animal Crossing vibe from this song. If there were credits in an Animal Crossing game, I could see this style of music being used.
Geoffrey Taucer
on 2009-07-31 09:06:04
Mmm.... very smooth, very pretty. I dig it.
windkirby
on 2009-07-30 16:33:33
Am I the only one who thinks of the original Animal Crossing when hearing this? I just feel like I'm playing it when listening.
Good song. Nothing that makes me go "This is amazing!!!" but well-done and peaceful.
ZealPath
on 2009-07-30 14:41:13
Though I planned to save most of my reviewing for this album's tracks for the official review thread, I just have to jump in here and say that is SUCH A GOOD OUTRO SONG!
When listening to the album all the way through the first time, when this track came on I immediately got visions of some performers kinda shrugging their shoulders, bowing, as if to say "Well that's it guys, hope you enjoyed it!"
The curtain comes up and the invisible band keeps playing this song until it ends... and what a great way to end it it was!
What a story as far as how this mix ended up shaking down too, I'm glad it did though. As minor as it may seem, I don't think the album would have been quite the same without this closing it out.
halc
on 2009-07-29 20:10:54
huge collab. craziness.
not much to say here. everything sounds really well-done (im especially loving that guitar and melodica).
JaDE ARaN HaRuNo
on 2009-07-29 15:30:41
Yay, congrats on this post! Great track. Congrats too to audio fidelity for now being an official OC Remixer. :P
HitoriJaNai
on 2009-07-29 14:11:00
Honestly, you couldn't tell at all that this was almost not going to be a full track; all I could think of was, "Wow, this sounds really, REALLY good."
Great job, guys. Keep up the awesome work!
Lucentas
on 2009-07-29 11:06:36
I love this mix--I'm totally getting "French cafe" vibes from it. Never would have guessed the "accordion" was actually a melodica--genius. Excellent job all around.
DjjD
on 2009-07-29 07:38:48
Can't believe this started out as a joke mix...it's such an amazing mix of things. Instantly an OCR classic? Indeed.
I will say though, it wouldn't be the same without that melodica...not by a long shot. :P
djpretzel
on 2009-07-29 01:47:49
What did you think? Post your opinion of this ReMix.