ReMix: The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker 'Hyrulian Highlands'
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Streaming preview on YouTube
The Gamer Symphony Orchestra returns to OC ReMix! While this orchestral take on Wind Waker lacks the vocal component that made their Portal debut a lot of fun, the creative arrangement and live ensemble performance components are very much... still alive <groan/>. I regret not being able to attend their Spring show this year, due to the whole "getting married" thing, but I'm sure the GSO rocked the house and continues to carry the campus-grown orchestral VGM concert torch to new heights. You can catch up on ALL their recordings at umd.gamersymphony.org, but we're happy to shine a spotlight on this specific piece they submitted:
"This arrangement attempts to elaborate on some of the Celtic themes in the "Wind Waker" soundtrack. The low brass section often imitates the drone of bagpipes, while strings and woodwinds mimic the lilt of the chanter throughout the piece. Especially attentive listeners might detect very brief nods to the overture of Disney's "Bedknobs and Broomsticks," by the Sherman Brothers, and Lerner and Loewe's musical "Brigadoon." The song was recorded live at the Gamer Symphony Orchestra's Spring 2010 concert on May 8 at the University of Maryland's Clarice Smith Center. The mandolin solo was performed by Katie Noble.
GSO President and flugelhornist Rob Garner started this arrangement early in 2009, shortly after Katie joined the ensemble as a violinist. When it became apparent that Katie also played mandolin -- and actually owned one -- he began working on the piece.
As for its title, should it be "Hyrulian" or "Hylian"? According to the Internet, either could be correct, though "Hylian" seems to refer more commonly to a race, with "Hyrulian" referring to a nationality. Rob went with "Hyrulian" to give the title a more brogue-ish and alliterative feel.
Inspiration for the style of this arrangement came from English composer Gustav Holst's "Second Suite in F" (Op. 28, No. 2), specifically the first and fourth movements. Holst wrote the suite in 1911 and based it on English folk songs."
The mandolin intro really adds some folk flavor to the arrangement, and I love to see the GSO incorporating extra-symphonic instrumentation as appropriate. The provided description of the track really does an excellent job of explaining the influence & context - sometimes this type of explication can feel tenuous or artificial, but in this case you can plainly hear the Celtic influence and the "emulated bagpipe" components, as described. There might be a few nitpicks, sure, but I think this performance also sounds more polished and defined than GSO circa 2009, so something's working right & moving in the right direction. All in all, I love the vision of the arrangement, the instrumentation & orchestration of that vision, and of course the performance breathes life & animates the whole shebang into a lovely, coherent homage to Wind Waker - bravo!
- Crulex on September 11, 2012
The arrangement here works and is a pretty enjoyable listen that's easy to get caught up in. Performances are pretty nice as well. Perhaps your arrangements could stand to be more ambitious but given that you guys are mainly non-music majors and doing this just out of pure love for VGM, I can't be too critical. It's great hearing the improvement over time as you guys submit new songs, you can only go up from here! :-D
Hopefully you'll be able to find a way to get better-quality recordings in the future though. At least a volume boost would be nice here... Again though, nothing that really stops it from being a good listen, but some advice for the future.
- Emunator on December 11, 2010
- ProjectSpam on September 18, 2010
Also, we're composed mostly of non-music majors, don't audition players, and rehearse once a week in a chapel, so I imagine our playing will be just a little bit sketchy :lol:
- Skyline Drop on September 16, 2010
- Sarad_Thamia on September 4, 2010
- McEuph on September 2, 2010
Other than this technical issue, this is a mightily fine remix.
Oh, and I'm not bothered by the guy coughing at all. It's live; stuff like that happens.
- Martin Penwald on September 1, 2010
- DragonAvenger on August 26, 2010
- OA on August 25, 2010
I wish there were a better recording, but it was kind of an improvised thing, from what I could tell at the time...
- Skyline Drop on August 24, 2010
Oh, right. I totally dig this. Guys need to work on your recording though! It all sounds so distant and I don't get the feeling that I am listening to an orchestra as much as listening to a recording of a recording of an orchestra. An orchestra dishing out some awesome music, but still, there is that separation.
But hey, this is the second track you guys have released to OCR, and this was a live performance, so it's nothing to feel too faulted on. Maybe try hitting up Tommy Talarico or someone connected to VGL to see how they do their recordings - those always sound really sharp and amazing on CD.
And don't flame me! I love the track for once! Wholly and nigh unconditionally.
- Master_Yoshi on August 24, 2010
- LuigiFan on August 22, 2010
Ha ha, in any event, this is pretty great, and I really love the Wind Waker soundtrack. Especially when played by live instruments.
- Emperor Charlemagne on August 22, 2010
Congratulations to all the people involved except the guy coughing at the beginning !
- fil_razorback on August 22, 2010
- djpretzel on August 22, 2010