ReMix: Final Fantasy IV "Full of Courage"
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Justin's been waiting a long while for this orchestral ReMix, from Echoes of Betrayal, Light of Redemption, to be posted, but he's had plenty of other great pieces posted in the meantime. Way back when, he wrote:
"This is actually the first song that I created using my new Orchestral setup (EWQLSO). It originally started out with my free samples/soundfont setup, but I upgraded halfway through and ended up starting this from scratch. It wasn't my original intent to move from Red Wings to the FFIV Main Theme, but it seemed to be a nice progression during the quieter sections of the piece (there's a bit of me playing the flute for the first round of the Main Theme). I also touch on FF7 Anxious Heart on the intro a bit to create some tension, with a couple other really small allusions to other songs as well.
This song has been a blast to create since the FF4 soundtrack is one of my favorites and played a big role in getting me into music in general. The Red Wings theme at the beginning of the game has stuck with me in particular, so I'm glad to have a chance to remix it. Enjoy."
It's taken a good long while, but this was definitely a highlight of the album, and I'm glad I'm finally getting to post it. Justin's been constantly improving his craft, and he's almost certainly improved since this initial mix using his new configuration, but it's still great stuff. It's worth noting - again - that it was well employed very effectively in the excellent album trailer. Vinnie writes:
"I'd have liked to see a little more variation melodically, but structurally and harmonically, there was a lot going on here. I thought you gave these songs the sense of grandeur Uematsu was probably shooting for in the first place. I love the triplet strings entering at 3:55, closing out the piece with energy. The ending is a little strange - sounds as if it needs one more chord. It's an interesting touch."
For my mileage, the ending didn't strike me as odd (seems like it resolved logically...), but I would have liked more variety in the orchestral percussion department; I have a hard time with this myself, but sometimes exposed snare patterns sound dwarfed by the might of a full ensemble, and need some backup. From the opening chords to the epic, chromatic descending unison buildup that transitions into the trumpet lead, which is then restated with embellished brass counter-melody, though, this arrangement gives the source material a scope & grandeur appropriate to Uematsu's original and the narrative context as well. Great work from Justin, whose consistent presence on the last four group OC ReMix albums has added great, orchestral flavors to each.
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