ReMix: The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past 'Dark World Ballad'

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The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past

Newcomer effinjerk, aka Brian Effinger, currently works at Neversoft as a guitar notetracker... pretty awesome, eh? He's also got a degree from the Conservatory of Recording Arts and Sciences, where this mix (co-arranged with Cliff Hooper on piano) was recorded. It's a straight piano and acoustic guitar duet, quite lovely, and you can definitely tell (in a good way) that these are live performances. It's interesting, though... the piano feels like it's in a much larger space, while the acoustic guitar feels very intimate & proximate. This contrast really reminded me of the beginning of 'Wish You Were Here', with David Gilmour's playing to radio accompaniment... I'm not sure if the effect was purely intentional, but it certainly doesn't bother me and in fact I think it makes the piece stronger. This is a very interpretive, bluesy arrangement of the 'Dark World' theme that, even if the instruments were completely balanced and shared the same space perfectly, would still remind me of Pink Floyd based solely on the composition. If there are any doubts, I consider that a pretty damn great compliment. The initial cut Brian sent in had a small guitar flub and some minor mixing issues, both of which have been addressed. Those changes effectively moot most of the judges' critique, so I'll quote the good stuff - Vinnie writes:

"The arrangement is very solid, the instruments playing off each other well. The bluesy additions to the Dark World theme were unexpected, but in a good way. It felt all of one piece."

OA adds:

"The concept of this is awesome, and the arrangement is really nice as well... The arrangement is classy with both subtle changes to the original and several cool original sections."

It's definitely not straight classical, which is probably the dominant genre for solo/duet performances, but it's not straight blues/jazz, either. It really does feel pretty Floydian to me, with more of a classic/prog rock approach, but however it strikes you, here's hoping you dig it as much as we did - great, memorable debut piece from Brian & Cliff!

djpretzel

Discussion: Latest 15 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
Bahamut
on 2011-12-27 21:01:57
This has a really somber/blues feel to it, and the combination is quite interesting. The piano really sets the somber stage, but the acoustic shows some blues styled playing and you wait for the song to possibly break open from that. The slowdown at the end of the song really is a nice way to end the song with its unexpectedness.
It's a well-crafted song and I found it surprisingly enjoyable. I'd love to hear more!
Emunator
on 2009-12-03 01:31:43
I love this so much. The delicate interplay of instruments has brought a lot of inspiration to me as an aspiring pianist... I'd love to write music like this with friends when I get a better grasp on how to make instruments compliment each other better, but you'd better believe that I'll be coming back to this mix whenever I need a shot of inspiration! So beautiful :-)
Ramikadyc
on 2009-11-02 10:07:39
I've been enjoying OC Remix for five years now and have come across numerous masterpieces, but this one just spoke to me. I finally bit the bullet and registered an account just to compliment on what an amazing piece of music this is. The positions and distances of the guitar in relation to the piano automatically and instinctively creates a picture in my mind's eye of watching an ambient music video shot by a single, still camera, where the guitarist is sitting on a stool very close to the lens offset to the right, only visible from the neck down due to his proximity, and in the background on the left some meters away in the back of the dark oak floored room is a female pianist with her solid black device just visible from the side, details obscured by the distance, never looking up from the keys. Marvelous.
Moguta
on 2009-10-26 22:45:45
Wow. When this music came up in the background, I thought to myself: "Did it just switch to the Genso Suikoden Piano Collections? I thought I was playing OCR music?"
Lo and behold, my Winamp had not spazzed. And this music, which was smooth and tempered enough to fool my ears into thinking it was from an official album, was an OC ReMix. I absolutely adore the chill, laid-back vibe, the slow, deliberate pacing, the light touch of expressiveness, and the heavy dose of interpretation. The skill and emotion is plainly evident from both players.
Excellent job! :-D
Martin Penwald
on 2009-10-08 15:10:20
Personally, I thought that the source was quite obvious, though I wish there would have been more of in it; at times, this arrangement feels a little too liberal, IMO.
Also, seconding what the write-up/judges said; the piano and the guitar don't sound as if they were in the same place; the guitar is much more up front.
Nevertheless, this is an enjoyable piece of music.
ZealPath
on 2009-09-30 22:20:27
Become a pretty big fan of this one since it was posted. I definitely had a harder time than normal picking out the source, and may still be looking for parts of it, but this is really just a beautiful song any way you slice it. Almost feels wrong to call it a "mix" when you know it was recorded live, which, incidentally, is very cool as well!
This almost has that kind of "piano collections" feel to it at times, very peaceful, though the guitars ensure that it becomes more than that. Overall a very interesting and creative take on a theme that usually sees more mixes that portray it more like a march.
cyb0rgjeff
on 2009-09-29 08:21:57
peace and wonderfull works !
jintoreedwine
on 2009-09-28 19:42:51
This mix is incredible! Both the guitar and piano work were top notch. What I enjoy about this piece the most is the emotion.
Sweet collab. guys! I'll be listening to this mix for a quite a while ^_^.
SwordBreaker
on 2009-09-27 09:20:11
Nice, nice. Very chill. Great playing, recording, and improvisation on the original track...the guitar and piano compliment each other well throughout most of the track.
metalsnakejuice
on 2009-09-27 06:22:58
I love what i am hearing very much. Great piano and guitar work.
Love it.
Nintenke
on 2009-09-26 03:40:47
Thank you for this, it was absolutely amazing! I loved it all through! You are fantastic!
-Henrik
halc
on 2009-09-25 22:42:32
effinbeautiful
DragonAvenger
on 2009-09-23 21:53:24
Great collab on this. The feel of knowing it was recorded live really makes a difference in the emotions you feel from it. Much more intimate and lonely feeling (oxymoron?). Great work on this.
OA
on 2009-09-23 17:23:16
i'm so happy that Brian and Cliff redid this one. It was good initially, but fixing the small bits made it great.
Highly recommended.
CarnCarby
on 2009-09-20 10:31:52
I love the martial character of the original so much that I never would have thought to recast it like this, but it works really well! Nice arrangement.