ReMix: Xenogears 'Hymn of Aveh'

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Xenogears

Ever since we posted Kate's addictive and memorable debut FF9 vocal arrangement, 'The Rose General,' I've been looking forward to the follow-up. Production may not have been pristine on that mix, but damn if the vocals, lyrics, and overall arrangement weren't drop-dead gorgeous - I find myself revisiting it quite often. Only time will tell if I do the same for this lovely Xenogears ReMix of 'Bonds of Sea and Fire,' but all signs point to a resounding "YES"; Ms. Covington writes:

"I recorded this acoustic/vocal cover of Bonds of Sea and Fire about a year and a half ago and posted it up on my youtube site. From frequent requests I've decided to finally submit it to ocremix. All acoustic instruments (violin, recorder, djembe, harp, tambourine) are performed by me. There is a small amount of synthesized bell-harp as well in the chorus played on keyboard. The "lyrics" are supposed to be in the language of Aveh, (harsh consanants and vowel endings just like a desert language should be) I wrote the music for the small bridge to flesh this song out.

I'm not sure this meets the standards of ocremix production wise, it's an older cover of mine and has very inexperienced mixing. However, I'm proud of the ideas behind the arrangement and the recording itself, and hope it might be an enjoyable listen for you guys in any case. Let me know if there's anything that can be done for it."

Don't worry Kate - it sounds fantastic. Recording vocals & live instrumentation is simply downright HARDER than doing the type of sample-accurate sequencing most of us take for granted, where the level of control is ridiculously fine-grained and everything can be infinitely tweaked w/ unlimited undo. Sibilance in particular must have been challenging on this track, but the day a mix that sounds like this gets rejected is the day we'll need to seriously recalibrate our process. The same pared-down, raw emotionality that worked for 'The Rose General' again works here, with each instrument playing an important, distinct role. Everything's separated, clear, articulate, and tailored to Kate's arrangement, but the most beautiful instrument is again her voice. I guess naysayers might criticize her made-up Aveh language, but I for one think it's pretty damn creative and - more importantly - she sings it with authority, authenticity, and emotion. We might not know what she's saying, but we can tell she feels it, and means it, and that's ultimately half of what a great vocal is all about. Of course, simply having the talent to execute is the other half of that formula, but I don't think there are any doubts, there.

With new-age folk and Loreena McKennitt-style, Celtic arrangements there can be a tendency to stick too closely to expectations and form, but the transition interval at 1'46" was anything but expected, and I want to emphasize that even if Kate couldn't sing a lick to save her life, her arrangements would stand on their own as quite sturdy instrumentals. It sounds cheesy to say "HEY LOOK FOLKS, SHE'S DONE IT AGAIN!!," but you know what? She has - awesome.

djpretzel

Discussion: Latest 15 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
Esperado
on 2013-04-06 11:18:42
whatever did happen to Kate? seems like its been a while. definitely improves on the original , which is a great quality in a ReMix.
Cash
on 2013-04-05 21:45:59
Kate, there is a quality to your voice that I can't describe. Just...wow, so gorgeous. The violin work is excellent as well. Definitely one of my favorite remixes from you. Can't wait to wait to hear more!
XPRTNovice
on 2013-02-20 06:53:03
I was in the gym a few days ago letting my OCR playlist roll, which has the torrents in them at random. For the first time, I heard Hymn of Aveh, and I literally stopped in the middle of the gym and just stood there, listening. Fantastic, fantastic work. I
Crulex
on 2012-08-31 11:24:38
My freaking mouth fell open listening to this. Not joking at all. You have an incredible voice and it reminded me of Celtic Women or something like that. Making an entire ReMix like this must have taken a boat load of work, and this is extremely impressive. Beautiful ReMix, and of course I absolutely love the Celtic sound to this. That violin was excellent and....damn. That's really all I can say about this, damn this ReMix is awesome.
Asterai
on 2012-03-25 20:17:55
I recently discovered OCRemix, and this was the first mix I heard that compelled me to immediately go look up all the author's other works.
Other mixes have since surpassed this in my mind, but damn did it make an impression. Listen to it, love it.
a_d;691747 wrote: "So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him." Revelation 12:9
"For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light." 2 Corinthians 11:14
"Old dragon, old dragon Aveh
No brighter star leads us
Give us light" -Hymn of Aveh
"How you are fallen from heaven,
O Lucifer [Satan], son of the morning!
For you have said in your heart:
‘I will ascend into heaven,
I will exalt my throne above the stars of God' "
Isaiah 14:12,13
Interesting...
(I do think the song sounds beautiful)

Methinks you're interpreting this through a lens it was not meant to be viewed with. As in, completely different (not to mention, entirely invented) mythology is involved.
Asterai
on 2012-03-25 20:08:38
I recently discovered OCRemix, and this was the first mix I heard that compelled me to immediately go look up all the author's other works.
Other mixes have since surpassed this in my mind, but damn did it make an impression. Listen to it, love it.
mjwes
on 2011-02-13 20:40:16
Absolutely a great vocal performance. I love the slightly Asian feel to the music I picked up. I am not familiar with the Aveh language, but it sounds like a mix of Japanese and Latin... very cool.
Martin Penwald
on 2010-07-14 15:33:49
Dunno why anyone would be bothered by the made-up language; it's not any different from listening to a song in an existing langauge you don't understand.
Anyway, about the remix in hand...it's bloody amazing. Voice work and instrument playing are very good (especially the violin), as is the arrangement. It really makes me want to listen to the OST again (I paid outta my ass when I bought it a decade ago, but I never regretted it).
Waiting for her next submission.
Catharsis
on 2010-07-08 11:20:26
She just now submitted this? Oh man, this has been one my favorites for a while.
Karth
on 2010-07-06 21:24:54
Kate, I have not yet played Xenogears (though I want to someday), and I had no familiarity with this track until looking it up after hearing your mix.
And in spite of not knowing the source tune, after listening to this twice it's easily become one of my favorite OCRemixes of all time. I love this every bit as much as Star Salzman's "Pillar of Salt" - and as remixes go, that one ranks very high on my scale! :)
This is at once a relaxing, breathtaking, and mystifying arrangement. And I'm sincerely impressed at your great talent, to have played all of those instruments so expertly. From here on out, I'll be patiently waiting for your next mix to arrive here - and of course I'll be browsing YouTube for the ones that aren't here yet.
Best of luck in your future endeavors!
-Dave
delbuster
on 2010-07-02 12:49:19
the only reason i knew the source tune was because of the Of Sea and Fire mix by Ziwtra, when I heard it here I was like ohmygoodness I know that lol
awesome stuff
Velocifero
on 2010-06-28 18:38:08
Another great one by Kate. What a wonderful voice she has. She's cute too.
Theophany
on 2010-06-28 14:59:45
katethegreat lives up to her name :)
halc
on 2010-06-28 11:38:52
loved it! incredible vocal performance (as expected, of course). i just wish I could play so many cool instruments :nicework:
a_d
on 2010-06-27 22:34:21
"So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him." Revelation 12:9
"For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light." 2 Corinthians 11:14
"Old dragon, old dragon Aveh
No brighter star leads us
Give us light" -Hymn of Aveh
"How you are fallen from heaven,
O Lucifer [Satan], son of the morning!
For you have said in your heart:
‘I will ascend into heaven,
I will exalt my throne above the stars of God' "
Isaiah 14:12,13
Interesting...
(I do think the song sounds beautiful)