ReMix: Xenogears "My Child" 2:53

By Abadoss, DragonAvenger, Nutritious

Artist Links
Arranging the music of one song...

"In a Dark Sleep....."

Primary Game: Xenogears (Square, 1998, PS1), music by Yasunori Mitsuda

Posted 2010-01-14, evaluated by djpretzel


So, we were out of commission for a bit, but it was for a good cause: we've migrated to a shiny new server with much better specs (all the better to serve you with, my dear), that will pave the way for additional content & features planned for the rest of the year. It might not seem like a big deal right now - slightly faster page loads, hopefully - but it was completely necessary, long overdue, and I'm psyched about the doors it will open down the road. I met Kenneth briefly at M8 but really didn't get to talk much; same deal with Sebastian and ktriton a bunch of other people. I blame Hilton, since our room sort of evaporated. At any rate, Mr. Edward Keyn had more than one badass arrangement on Echoes last year, and also showed up big for Humans + Gears. This musical ménage à trois with DA and Nutritious combines Kenneth's arrangement, Deia's vocals, and Justin's production into a sweet lullaby. Abadoss writes:

"I approached the writing of this piece in a way that reflects the dark, bittersweet feel of the original. I imagined a mother singing to soothe her child, whom she knows will not survive the night. All she wants is for her child to pass away free of fear. The arrangement became that bittersweet lulluby that she might have sung.

On the technical side, 'In Dark Sleep' is a very short source. It comes in at about 0:30, with half of that being the fade out. In order to make a working piece out of it, I had to take a retrograde version and tack it onto the end of the original part of the source in order to make a complete phrase that I later built the rest of the piece off of. So, while it may not all sound like the source, I guarantee it is in one form or another. There's also a modulation to a major later on in the piece that is still the source material. Only the little bit at the end is not directly source related.

Once I finished arranging the piece, I asked Nutritious to help me out with the samples and the production, as I'm somewhat ill-equipped on that end. I then asked DragonAvenger to provide the vocals. I couldn't be more grateful for and satisfied with the work that they have put into this piece."

Deia adds:

"There aren't many songs that I've written that have been this depressing, so it was interesting to try to get the right feel for the song. I spent a lot of time experimenting with my voice, trying to get a fuller sound and a bigger vibrato."

And, last but not least, Justin:

"It wasn't difficult to translate this into my orchestral samples either as he did a great job with phrasing and dynamics as well. When incorporating DA's vocals, I tried to give it a bit of a soft, airy quality to fit the lullaby theme. Hopefully I succeeded."

I definitely think he did; Deia sounds downright angelic, and because the delivery is continuous and there are a lot of intervals, it reminds me of the type of singing you'd hear in a quasi-religious setting. Kenneth really kicked ass in 2009, when you think about it - the arrangement here is great, but oh-so-different from 'Kind of Green' - scary versatility! I think his musical powers have been unlocked through the power of collaboration; artists like Nutritious can provide the overall production that do his ideas justice. Great work from all three artists, resulting in a track that really enhanced the heartfelt, emotional Humans half of the album!

djpretzel

Discussion

Latest 15 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
avatar
Crulex
on 2012-07-18 11:31:18

First things first, the vocals sounded heavenly. The vibrato kind of makes it hard to hear at some points, that's minor to me. This has an easy, haunting and "elegance in darkness" kind of feels to it, and it really did the trick. Nice work.

avatar
evktalo
on 2011-12-12 06:26:21

First I'll repost what I wrote for the album thread:

My Child has probably the best DragonAvenger vocals yet, and the piece is quite gorgeous as a result. The lyrics are hard to hear for me too, but I don't mind that with this sound and melody. To nitpick, I hear some slight weak points with some beginnings of phrases and some intervals, but overall it's a powerful performance. The rest of the arrangement is good, but when the vocal is so strong, I wish the arrangement would have concentrated more on supporting it. Towards the end, it even seems to compete with it for attention. I believe a stronger overall piece could have resulted, although what is here is very good and enjoyable.

There have been some comments that the last "my child" line should have more stuff going on in it. I feel quite the reverse, the power of the vocal is in that it is so understated and is not overselling itself at any point. The emotion comes across the best that way, I think.

I still feel that the arrangement is overpowering the vocals towards the end, around 1:30-1:55 or so. It sounds a bit busy perhaps, though I find it hard to be more precise than that. It might be a mixing issue with the levels or frequencies or stereo separation too. The vocals have some timing issues here and there too, which contributes to the slightly cluttered feeling.

Overall though, this is a wonderfully serene, and really, really sad song. I enjoy it very much. The vocals are powerful and clear and emotive, the writing is overall good, the piece sounds good and everything overall comes together in a really nice way, and also in a way unique to OCR ReMixes so far, as far as I can tell.

--Eino

avatar
42
on 2010-12-04 19:31:30

The word that comes to my mind on this one is "Gothic". It has these very dark, haunting overtones that really cause one to pause and just dwell on life for a while. Everything is executed just so perfectly here.

Abadoss described this as a lullaby that a mother might knowingly sing to her child who might not survive the night, and its the fact that even if he hadn't told that, it still would have been clear that would have been the vibe that they were going for. The fact that this is so rooted in those notions that it accomplishes what it sets out to do is what makes this so awe worthy in my opinion.

If what I just said made any sense ._.

Everything here though just works together so well, especially DA's vocals and the slow methodological orchestration.

Definitely an amazing song.

avatar
Gasaraki
on 2010-02-10 02:15:28

I can really feel the sadness in this, it's almost making me tear up. So much so that it's kind of hard to say I like it.

Incredibly emotional to say the least.

avatar
yosefu
on 2010-02-07 04:34:31

I love this mix and the vocals are just awesome.

avatar
Emunator
on 2010-01-22 11:51:00

Hey, really killer work on all fronts :-D I've loved Abadoss's collabs ever since I heard him on FFIV, and this just shows how much potential he has to branch out and do something completely new and different with every song. The orchestration and vocals have their flaws, but in the end it's nothing that makes a serious dent in my overall enjoyment. The lyrics are incredibly touching once you know the story they are trying to portray.

This was a surprise for me when I heard it on Xenogears, you guys all really rose to the challenge on this one! :-D

avatar
Bahamut
on 2010-01-22 01:12:28

So reading the writeup, this song makes a lot more sense.

I agree with what others have said about the last note, but that has been addressed so I won't go there. One thing I felt though is that the backing to DA's vocals is a bit too loud and drowns out the vocals a bit.

The second half of the song is excellent in contrasting a touch of sadness to the first half, and I feel that's where this song really shines (that being the second half), as the main part with the source is used in a more uplifting manner than the original.

Great job trio!

avatar
Hale-Bopp
on 2010-01-21 22:15:10

DA's vocals are solid in this. :) It's such a sweet and sensitive remix. Great for letting your mind drift off into dreamland.

avatar
avaris
on 2010-01-19 10:09:21

This was an awesome surprise near the end of the project. Def DA's best vocal performance. Despite being extremely short I think the song has a lot to offer. After listening to it for the first time I thought it was ~4mins. Says something about the writing and production on this mix. ;)

avatar
Abadoss
on 2010-01-16 02:58:24

In regards to that last note, I actually felt the same thing and add an ornamentation to it every time I sing through it on my own. By the time I realized it though, the song had already been recorded and submitted to Avaris.

avatar
Liontamer
on 2010-01-16 01:43:00

Agreed with Dave/Andrew/DA on that last held vocal note having some unexploited potential. That and the way the string decayed at the finish were probably the only two crits even worth making. As I told Kenneth at MAGFest, I absolutely loved this track, hence the DP. I liked the deliberate pacing and mood in this one. If you read the lyrics, they definitely gets the eyes CLOSE to tearing up. (I held my composure, I'm gonna cry. But I could see how someone else would. :lol: )

I really liked listening to it when I first heard it when tagging Humans + Gears, but it wasn't until reading Kenneth backstory on the imagery that the gravity of the arrangement really hit me. Very powerful lyrics, nothing but enhanced by Deia's vocal performance, which was both sad and stunning. Justin really polished this up nicely.

Also, props to Kenneth for incorporating the source theme on some level at practically every point of the song. When I realized it was going on in the background during several portions of the arrangement, I was definitely impressed at how thorough and sophisticated the overall treatment of the theme was. Great job, guys!

avatar
DragonAvenger
on 2010-01-15 11:48:48
I was actually gonna say the same thing in my writeup, then just figured it wasn't worth it; most of the vocal has some good vibrato on it, but that line - repeated at the end, in particular - seems to sit hold when it should probably flutter a bit more... then again, who am I to nitpick vocals? :wink:

That was probably my one regret in singing this that I couldn't get a good tone quality, intonation, and vibrato out of those long (and one VERY long) held notes. Vibrato's always been a weakspot for me, since I tend to be very tense...all the time actually, but it's been improving slowly.

I have to say that I was very impressed with how Kenneth worked the original into a 3 minute piece. It certainly takes quite a bit of skill to expand so much on the source while still staying interesting.

I also have to say that Nutritious really brought this track to life. Listening to the original finale version and the finished version, the sounds and emotion are so different that it really brings out the emotion.

It was great working with these guys, and I hope I can again soon!

avatar
djpretzel
on 2010-01-14 09:34:22
Great stuff, A very good arrangement, by Kennith, though near the end, I don't think the repeated phrasing of the "my child" line was as elegant as it could have been. Otherwise, great work turning a shorter source into a cohesive track.

I was actually gonna say the same thing in my writeup, then just figured it wasn't worth it; most of the vocal has some good vibrato on it, but that line - repeated at the end, in particular - seems to sit hold when it should probably flutter a bit more... then again, who am I to nitpick vocals? :wink:

avatar
OA
on 2010-01-14 09:05:27

Great stuff, A very good arrangement, by Kennith, though near the end, I don't think the repeated phrasing of the "my child" line was as elegant as it could have been. Otherwise, great work turning a shorter source into a cohesive track.

Justin does his thing here, and everything sounds nice. The only thing holding this guy back from some hugely epic emotive sequencing are his samples. They get the job done nicely, but I think that's what's holding him back now- his chops are certainly up to the task.

Deia is really the star of this track, and no offense to some or her earlier work, but it's like 2 different singers. I honestly didn't know she had it in her, and this is easily her best vocal performance yet, though it definitely won't be her best ever.

Keep on pwning, shawty. :

avatar
djpretzel
on 2010-01-14 03:15:16

What did you think? Post your opinion of this ReMix.

Sources Arranged (1 Song)


Primary Game:
Xenogears (Square, 1998, PS1)
Music by Yasunori Mitsuda
Songs:
"In a Dark Sleep....."

Tags (5)


Genre:
Mood:
Instrumentation:
Orchestral, Singing, Vocals: Female
Additional:
Lyrics > Lyrics: Original
Origin > Collaboration

File Information


Name:
Xenogears_My_Child_OC_ReMix.mp3
Size:
4,704,155 bytes
MD5:
e315653779dc3e0a0f4c6b13ef0cf42e
Bitrate:
212Kbps
Duration:
2:53

In dark sleep my little one
Be still and find your rest.
Mother will always be here
Guiding you home.

"In dark sleep, child, look for me
Soon I will come to join you.
Tell me of all the wonders
You will find there.

My child, do not fear.
Do not fear a thing.
Do not fear anything.
Do not fear.
No fear, my child.

Do not fear, my child
My child, my child, my child,
My child...

Featured on album...

Humans + Gears: Xenogears ReMixed


album cover
Published 2009-10-19
By OverClocked ReMix
Arrangement

Promotion

Kirby’s Liberation Service
View All

Latest Albums

View All

Latest ReMixes