ReMix: NiGHTS into dreams... 'Dies, Nox et Omnia'

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NiGHTS: Lucid DreamingNiGHTS into dreams...

I've already mentioned the breadth & depth of Lucid Dreaming, but just in case you needed further corroboration, Mr. Whelchel has provided us with our first operatic duet! Stevo writes:

"Many genres are represented on this album, but this song represents one that is uncommon in the video game arrangement community. An operatic duet, composed by Josh and performed beautifully by Danielle and Ryan, which is built on lyrics from the Carmina Burana. This arrangement gives a whole new level of depth and meaning to the game’s final boss music. I cried the first time I heard the final version with vocals."

Mantears made of pure liquid testosterone, no doubt. The static intro with deliberate bell motif reminds me of a certain piece off the legendary Akira OST - specifically, when Tetsuo be wakin' up in dat weird room wit dose funky blue kids' toys that go all whack and he's like WUT? and they're like GTFO! and he steps on glass and they're like WTF? You know it... or you don't, and should. Paths diverge and similarities reduce as what sounds like duduk (where's my car?) and some tremolo strings build up to hats & synth bass groove circa 1'32". Really nice ensemble brass work @ 2'04" with crescendo flares and staccato stabs making the way for Danielle's entrance, and... wow. Yeah, this is opera, people... the real deal. Obviously the setting is less traditional, w/ synths and ethnic instrumentation, but Danielle and Ryan bring a formal, regal, lyrical vocal that conveys confidence, power, and raw emotion. Their voices overlapping and interleaved with Josh's intricate, twisting, absolutely dynamic arrangement is really something to behold, and - as with 'New Jack Mantle' - is quite unique on OCR. Unique is good. Different is good. Opera has got to be all sorts of challenging to pull off, and Josh does one better by blending in myriad influences into a piece that's pretty damn visionary. I feel like certain mixes fully express the thoughts of their creators during their creation, whether that be anger, fun, sadness, etc. What I get here is conviction, focus, force, and craftsmanship; this doesn't sound like a happy accident or a mix that "just kinda happened," it sounds like the specific, masterful chemistry of a very talented alchemist, made flesh through his able vocalists.

I can see some naysayers saying that we (OCR) or Josh are "taking video game music too seriously" with this type of mix, but I've never thought that was even possible - I've always given VGM the weight & respect that could put it in the loftiest of concert halls, or down on the streets, or anywhere in between. Great music is great music, great melodies are great melodies, and hopefully we've got some opera afficionados AND open-minded folk who will appreciate what Josh, Danielle, & Ryan have accomplished. Count me in; bravo!

djpretzel

Discussion: Latest 15 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
Drachefly
on 2014-06-30 13:20:54
dotaino;795990 wrote: And for someone who asked, the source:
http://www.tylatin.org/extras/cb16.html
I do love the Carmina Burana and opera, so I hope something like this gets attempted again. But this needed work, in my opinion.

To be precise, the source is the Goliard poetry from 800 years ago or so. But Orff does 'own' this, by which I mean he did a pretty definitive treatment and if you're going to use it otherwise you have a steep hill to climb.
The lyrics don't even seem to fit. Especially at 5:00 the guy's basically saying "The girls are making fun of me!" but the music is trying to make it epic... utter mismatch between music and words. This ain't 'Circa mea pectora'.
Also, it's mihi, not michi
Ego-mei-mihi-me-me. If you have some super-authentic 13th century French/German latin pronounciation guide, please show it to me so this will stop sounding all derped up.
The male soloist sounds strained, like he has inadequate breath support, or maybe it's a pop-ish style thing that bled over.
Aside from that, I like the music.
Crulex
on 2012-11-03 12:48:47
I'll be honest, opera was never my cup of tea, but I have to admit that this is not a bad ReMix at all and I think I like this song more than the usual overblown opera songs. The intro was slow in build, but once it got the ball rolling, this was a great listen. The music was real cool in the way that it fit with the voices, especially around the climax, and for a song like this, all I can say is that I appreciate the skill and talent behind this piece.
Bahamut
on 2011-12-15 11:14:52
I'm surprised this mix doesn't have more reviews - it's easily one of the best mixes to have come out this year so far (although Wild ARMS comes out in 5 days so perhaps there might be some serious competition there). I absolutely love operatic vocals, and they're used to good effect in this neoclassical blend of electronic & more traditional orchestration. The arrangement is done in a tasteful fashion that really shows off Josh's classical flair & understanding.
This is an absolutely gorgeous song and easily a crowning moment for the community! I don't think there is anything done by the community that is anything like this in scope & grandness so far.
Karth
on 2011-07-29 13:02:06
I was enamored by this piece from the get-go. I enjoyed it thoroughly despite unfamiliarity with the source, and that's when I know I'm not just being biased and sentimental. Beautiful vocal work from both of you, chemistry and finesse in each line of text.
To Josh I have to give my highest congratulations, because this arrangement floored me. Careful and diverse orchestration, power and subtlety, it's all there in this mix. In my book this was a fantastic, successful realization of a great concept, and I tip my hat to you, Danielle and Ryan for a gorgeous work of art. I'll be giving it many listens. :)
Simplicity
on 2011-07-25 21:19:49
I loved this piece, and I'm ecstatic to see the challenging art of opera get some attention on OCR. The voices were stunning; the background was dynamic. My only real criticism is that the melody was really choppy throughout, and while that can be great for background boss music, it doesn't mesh very well with the operatic style. Wonderful execution, though.
Yera
on 2011-07-25 03:46:52
Holy low brass @ 2:05, Batman! As a bass trombone player, that really got my blood pumping! Also, loving the vocal work here. Would be nice if I understood the words. :tomatoface:
Thin Crust
on 2011-07-20 20:56:43
Simply incredible. I was finally getting a chance to listen to this album in my car today and this is the first time in a long, long time that I was blown away by the talent of this community.
Chernabogue
on 2011-07-16 11:53:01
Not a fan of the intro, but the song was really great and unexpected. Nice work. :nicework:
dotaino
on 2011-07-16 05:39:30
Maybe it's just me, but I didn't like this so much. The melody was all the much sameish, the instruments not really moving the piece forward so much as sounding pretty, but boring, and the voices don't really grip me either. The work just fell flat on me, and think this could have turned out better. More emotion, maybe.
ETA: And for someone who asked, the source:
http://www.tylatin.org/extras/cb16.html
I do love the Carmina Burana and opera, so I hope something like this gets attempted again. But this needed work, in my opinion.
ETA 2: To be slightly nitpicky, the topic and OCR page have Omnia mispelled. FYI =P
Kuolema
on 2011-07-13 16:16:48
Amazing. I was a little confused when this came up on the NiGHTS album, because I had no idea a song like this would be on it, but man is it good! Both singers do an amazing job, and it is very well written, although I don't know the source.
MechaFone
on 2011-07-11 13:14:35
Truly breathtaking. I don't mind opera at all, not if it's interesting. And this, well...The blending of genres and instruments with the vocals was flawless. More like this, please.
Inferno232
on 2011-07-11 00:25:50
... Far, far too short. I hope there's more pieces like this on the album, only longer. I wasn't going to check it out before, but after this I think I will, even though I never played the source.
Still, good work, JW!
Josh Whelchel
on 2011-07-10 16:38:01
Thanks everyone! I'm thrilled you guys enjoy it :D
My BLOG has some sheet music and a practice recording session! Be sure to check it out :D!
If you're just strolling by make sure to let me know what you think, love or hate!
DiGi Valentine
on 2011-07-10 05:51:31
I still listen to this and wonder just how on Earth we actually ended up with such an epic version of D'Force Masters. I could have never imagined such a tune being the climatic point to this little OCR album that we have here.
But i remember hearing the WIP for the first time and thinking this was going to be a ground-breaker. You don't need to be in to opera or classical music to appreciate just how awesome this has turned out.
Brandon Strader
on 2011-07-10 03:09:45
Finally, a ReMix that isn't techno. :tomatoface:
This blew me away. I wasn't expecting something like this at all on a ReMix album. MOAR. Oh yeah.. Skills to pay the bills!