Today officially marks our 10th Anniversary!
Happy Birthday to us! When I started this site in my parent's basement on December 11th, 1999, I thought it would be a fun diversion that could help me get better at making music, but also serve as an outlet for VGM fans everywhere to pay homage to their favorite VGM. When I was much younger, I remember tape-recording the output from my SMS and making mixtapes filled with Alex Kidd, Shinobi, and Space Harrier. I've always loved VGM, especially for its strong original melodies, and this site seemed like a good way to express that. While I didn't have any idea it would become what it is today, I did have a certain faith - faith that there were others like me, faith that the Internet was full of a lot of talented people who would contribute their music and their time and their energy freely, and faith that we could show the world that video game music is an art form.
I never looked back.
I turned thirty this year. Yeah, yeah - stow your old man jokes, I've heard 'em all... Point being, I've been running this site for a third of my life. As we turn ten, I think of how different I was in 1999, how different the site was, what's changed, and what's stayed the same. Through this site, I met Larry, his girlfriend Paige, her friend Cara, and HER friend Anna... who blessed me with her acceptance of my marriage proposal. Jordan met Jade, Andy met Jill, and who knows what lies ahead... but besides all the OCR matchmaking, hundreds if not thousands of musicians and VGM fans met each other, and shared a common experience that I feel is rather unique, even today. One thing that happens when you get older (besides the incontinence, of course) is that you get more sentimental and start speaking in clichés that sound like bad Hallmark cards. Well, sue me: You've made these the best ten years of my life, I'm here to stay, and I can't wait to see what 2010 and the next decade of OC ReMix has in store!
To celebrate, I'll be posting ten mixes, and talking briefly about each year of the site's history before getting into the music. Apologies to the mixers if I ramble a bit; hopefully being part of our super-legendary-decennial-mixflood compensates to some extent. I've already covered 1999, so next up will be 2000... but before we do that, we've got some actual MUSIC to talk about. We're starting things off with a newcomer - after all, the site would be nothing without new music, new artists, and new ideas. Khemael, aka Colin Brigato, writes:
"Hi. Be Aware I'm French, so please excuse any english mistake I might do here. It's been a long long time I was wondering "How could be something new in remixing Final Fantasy VI ?". The challenge there was to not obtain another "Oh no, another Vanilla FFVI Remix", and I think, after feedbacks and feedbacks of OC-Remix members around there, I finally got something.
The Decisive Battle score is simple. Repetitive. The difficulty was to not obtain another "This World of decision was over just when it started", which was what was said at the very beginning of my work. Creating a new Piano Piece of Decisive Battle, with a real taste of novelty was something which took hours and hours of editing, re-editing, refinement and real...decisions. Because the score of Decisive Battle is so simple that it was a real challenge not to over-work the score with too much weird chords and harmonics. Anyway, I'm quite happy with the actual 4-Part style of the overall piece. It start smooth, become fast, staccato, and ends as smooth as it started. There really are Four Worlds here, four Worlds Of Decisions."
A beautiful, flowing solo piano arrangement... at first. Then we get some staccato, almost Latin chords at 0'40", and it becomes clear that Colin's gonna switch things up a bit and keep us on our toes. The arrangement gets pretty liberal, involving some other sources (Prelude cameo of sorts, for instance), and the judges struggled with identifying everything and coming to a consensus. Andy writes:
"2:17 to 2:39 could be called prelude but once again he IS referencing the beginning of Decisive Battle. 3:07 is a drawn out version of :39 in the source. 3:45 is the beginning of the source, same as the other times it was used in the remix. Clearly more than 50% usage here - the arrangement is very creative and well-done, interpretation is certainly there in spades, production/performance is fine."
For a debut mix, Khemael certainly did give the judges panel a workout - a "World of Decisions" indeed. I think the artist says it best himself - FF6 is very popular source material, so doing something new and different, especially with solo piano, is tricky. Colin succeeds, though; I've never heard this source handled this way, and the performance and production both serve to enhance the creativity of the arrangement. Creative, interpretive debut from Khemael!
on 2012-04-23 12:43:12
I say this a lot, but it's true. Solo piano, when done right, can be great for almost any source. This is excellent playing and a wonderful performance. Not knowing the source helped me focus a little more on the production and arrangement of this ReMix, and this was a great song for sure. Great job.
on 2010-05-31 07:25:22
This is certainly a very different take on the source. I like it a lot, the piano work is exquisite.
on 2009-12-19 13:30:06
What really stands out about this track is the performance. I don't know the source, so I cannot comment on how well it was arranged, but the performance sounds really good; probably because of the changes between loud and quiet parts (as was noted by other reviewers) and the lack of smashing-your-forearm-on-the-piano-for-dramatic-effect, which is something I really dislike.
on 2009-12-17 13:02:14
Enjoyable remix! I love hearing a juicy piano rendition of a classic theme. I especially appreciate the level of detail you put into this remix. There's a lot of both subtle variation and major variation, which really brings this track home for me
on 2009-12-14 16:46:13
The decision thread is fun, esp. for me. I missed the boat, you say?
This is a great performance and a great arrangement. Both playful and with a serious tone to it. Sounds like there's a lot of irregular bar lengths in there, which only adds to how impressive it is. Even when parts feels like they're a note or two too long or too short the mix just casually flows on as if it's perfectly normal.
Towards the end, it takes on a more melancholic and beautiful vibe, mirroring its intro. Good way to end the mix.
Reading the wip thread, it feels like I had a hand in this, which considering the performance and my lack of piano skill feels awesome. Congrats on getting it posted dude.
on 2009-12-14 04:46:17
Curious take on The Decisive Battle, but I must be honest - I found it pretty tough to recognize the original source here. Otherwise, I have to tip my hat, this is pretty well done.
on 2009-12-14 00:13:01
All I'll say is: thank you very, very much for the pleasure of listening to such a stunning rendition of "Decisive Battle" from the fantastic Final Fantasy 6. If I'm to hear more from you again, then I'll count myself doubly lucky. Awesome arrangement and performance.
on 2009-12-13 22:32:28
This is some impressive work to a oft-remixed source. I'm glad that Khemael took the time to really get things the way he wanted, because all of the detail put into the arrangement and playing of this really adds up to a great piece. Great work.
on 2009-12-12 14:26:27
Maybe I'm going nuts, but I swear I'm hearing influence from some FF3 (NES) tracks in this. One of the caves, I think?
on 2009-12-12 06:12:55
You must have magical hands Khemael. Love it.
on 2009-12-12 01:59:24
While I recognize the FFVI in here, this has a Zelda feel to it, but that is in no way a bad thing. This arrangement is crazy and beautiful nice job =).
on 2009-12-11 23:39:39
It's while since this site's seen a solo piano mix (At least, I think so), and this delivers in spades.
The arrangement is, if not anything, bold, and the transitions between both the frantic and calmer moments and smooth and seamless.
2009 has been a good year for OCR, and this piece is like the icing on the cake.
on 2009-12-11 21:49:20
I see I'm not the only one sensing Zelda in this mix, too.
But I have to admit that I kinda like it. I keep thinking about how the Beatles in Strawberry Fields Forever keeps stating how nothing is real, and I feel this exemplifies that notion and how everything blurs together.... eh...
As for the mix itself, its amazing, stunning, and gorgeous; the sheer simplicity of a piano solo brings out the melody so profoundly.
I think what is key in the performance of this piano piece turning out so well is that the volume of the piano is not constant. Sometimes it is loud, sometimes it is very quiet, which gives our ears and mind a rest before the next "musical push" as it were.
I think that's very important for any song, but especially for solos where you only hear the one instrument.
Very, very well said, and I couldn't agree more.
on 2009-12-11 19:38:04
Unfortunately, I'm quite ashamed to say that I've never once played any Final Fantasy game... yeahhhh... Hence, I am not at all familiar with the source. But I figured i should probably pick this one up, as it's quite a milestone for OCR!
And I'm impressed. I love solo piano stuff, and this is definitely no exception! Really an awesome sounding piece. Exceptional playing, great expression; again, it's awesome. Looking forward to more from Khemael!
P.S. Congratulations OCR, 10 years wooo! Huge thank you to djpretzel for creating this incredible community, and to all artists, judges, project managers, etc for keeping it going for 10 years!
Here's to 10 more!
on 2009-12-11 19:06:33
It's been a while since a good solo piano arrangement like this has been posted, I think! Nice to hear someone tickle the old ivories again! Beautiful job, I love the source tune and this definitely does it justice in a more unconventional way than what I usually think of when I imagine arrangements of Final Fantasy battle music.
Oh, and happy 10th birthday, OCR!
Sources Arranged (1 Song)
- Primary Game:
Final Fantasy VI (Square, 1994, SNES)
Music by Nobuo Uematsu
- "The Decisive Battle"
- Arrangement > Solo
Origin > Resubmission
- 6,210,949 bytes
- Size: 6,210,949 bytes
- MD5 Checksum: a6954c1c507b7bd2633b4bc6a9c4b155
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