ReMix: Final Fantasy V "A Healer's Touch"
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While halc & Nutritious are excellent new judges, it's also really worth pointing out that Stevo has taken on considerable & unique responsibilities helping out the site staff, kicking asses, coordinating meetings & events, etc.; as the staff roster changes over the years, there are always new faces & roles, but I feel like lately we've been a lot more organized and productive in moving the site forward, and he's been a big part of that, so kudos. Times two, because he & Avaris put together a warm, emotive acoustic-guitar centered instrumental for Wind that lends some of the same intimacy that the Humans half of the Xenogears album enjoyed:
"I wanted to have a sad, depressing take of the Prelude at the beginning. The healer is in the party for a reason, and no one likes to get hurt. I was aiming to get out the fears that someone who would need to go to a healer would have: what if I can't be fixed? After about a minute of a minor-focused rendition of the Dear Friends progression A with the Prelude theme incorporated on top with acoustic guitar and a variety of orchestral instruments, the healer's theme of Dear Friends is switched to major with acoustic guitars carrying the song. The healer evokes a warm, caring aura, the kind that only family or close-friends can give off. When in the healer's pressence, it seems that everything will end up all-right. The warm acoustic is backed by some subtle instruments meant to reinforce the Dear Friends melody with some small counterplay (I'm not sure if I'm using the right terminology here). As it switches to progression B, the guitars strum a bit more and the theme is carried on with a hopeful trumpet laying on top of the melody, low strings still holding the basic chords. At the end of progression B, a last resonating guitar note echoes as the pain is now completely gone and the healer's job is done, the fear and doubt all but a memory. This person truly has the healer's touch: to cure ailments and allay fears.
I took care of nearly all the arrangement, playing off of DarkeSword's feedback whenever it was given, and approached Avaris for mastering and production. It would not have had either any of the warm sound and feeling without his touching-up the work I had written. Working with him is always a great pleasure, and one I've been lucky to have taken part in more often recently, such as the Xenogears track "Quickening". I hope the healer's touch warms your hearts."
Yes, he actually wrote that last sentence. Because deep down, BENEATH the beard, he is a glorious manchild, wreathed in the sun-drenched emotionality of the brotherhood... of cheese. Seriously, though, the Stevo/Shaun alley-oop is a proven formula, and this arrangement brings the same closeness & heartwarming sense of peace that their Xeno track did, with some really intelligent, creative blending & modification of themes. Judges had some mixed comments on the production, but really dug the arrangement - Palpable writes:
"Excellent take here, not a huge stretch from the original, but more fleshed out and humanized. The bittersweet emotion of the original is more pronounced. The arrangement is pretty much perfect - there's nothing I would change, it says what it intends to."
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