ReMix: Final Fantasy IV "Step into the Light"
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Justin's take on 'Into the Darkness' was actually one of the first tracks from Final Fantasy IV: Echoes of Betrayal, Light of Redemption that was finished and submitted, back in 2007. The panel approved it, but it was then held pending the release of the album, which took quite a bit longer. When Echoes did debut, 'Fighting for Tomorrow' was the first mix posted, and Justin's had 'Full of Hope' posted since then, but it's time to come back to this excellent FF4 orchestral arrangement and give it some overdue love. Nutritious writes:
"I've always enjoyed the Final Fantasy IV soundtrack; as a matter of fact, it's basically what got me into music in the first place. I'd never heard songs like this in a game before (or anywhere, really), and they've stuck with me for years. This song specifically was one of my favorites from the game. It plays during the first "dungeon" level and really sets a mysterious tone for the area. I had that same idea in mind as I was rearranging this. You may notice the extra reverb applied in the first 30 seconds or so - I was trying to get a wide open sound like it was played in the mist cave that the OST pertains to. Hopefully, I achieved the epic, sweeping feel I was going for with this song.
As with all of my orchestral and strings stuff up until this point, this was made using freely available samples and soundfonts. I hope that it shows how much can be done on a tight remixing budget."
... makes me feel all dirty and guilty with my EWQL and Vienna stuff. Samples don't make the arrangement, though, the arrangement makes the samples, and Justin knows arranging well enough to make a Casio VL-1 sound like the Warsaw Philharmonic. Hyperbole, but still... there's a grand, epic scale to this piece, with its big alternating timpani and its swaying, 3/4 time signature. For me, this was paired up perfectly in José's trailer with a panning shot of a huge tower; for ALL of the tracks that were included in that trailer, I can't listen to them without conjuring the footage/artwork used in my head, which speaks to Mr. Bronx Rican's astute and impeccable work. He had some great music to work with, though, and this track definitely added a needed dose of "epic, spiraling orchestral" - Vinnie writes:
"This song showcases some excellent writing. Wonderful interplay of instruments, good variety between sections, a few pleasantly unexpected moments, and lots of quotes from the original. It treads the line of being too liberal after the first 1:40, but those quotes hold that connection and I never lost the sense that this is a remix of Into the Darkness. All in all, very impressive. You did one of my favorite songs from that soundtrack justice."
Project director OA finishes out the writeup with his own comments:
"One of the very first songs completed for the project, this piece helped begin to shape the feel of several tracks on the album. The expansion on the theme, and the subtle changes to it as it progressed were really interesting, as it evolved from a majestic and dark piece, to something with a lighter overtones. This piece was really well-named, and the conviction to stick through the theme through modulation was really cool. It starts out lush and wide open, and stays grandiose for the duration, but it really breathes well. A live orchestra performing this would floor me, I'm certain. This track was actually the first introduction I had to Justin, who has since become a very good friend. I love how music can bring people together. :-)"
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