ReMix: The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past "Dancing Leaves" 2:39

By Doc Nano

Artist Links
Arranging the music of 2 songs...

"Forest", "Opening Demo"

Primary Game: The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past (Nintendo, 1991, SNES), music by Koji Kondo

Posted 2011-10-19, evaluated by the judges panel


We don't normally post two solo piano ReMixes back to back, just because we prefer to switch up genres, etc., but in this case newcomer Doc Nano (Alex Johnson-Buck) happened to have this lovely LoZ:LttP arrangement lined up right after Doug's superb Chrono Cross mix, so we figured what the hey... it's a good week for the ivories. Alex writes:

"This is an impressionist piano piece, heavily influenced by works of Debussy and Ravel (especially Jeux d'Eau), some of my favorite piano music of all time. There are some playing mistakes, but this is the best I can do at present. The mix is meant to conjure up images of being lost in an eerie, enchanted forest. Around every turn there are leaves fluttering in the distance, constantly moving behind a pall of bluish mist, playing tricks on your eyes and ears. If you listen carefully, they almost seem to be laughing at you..."

It's one thing to claim something is Impressionist, or Romantic, or Baroque, or what have you, but it's another thing for that to be self-evident & obvious in the music itself. In this case Doc Nano definitely delivers - anyone who's familiar with the composers in question, or even just heard Impressionist posterchild 'Clair de lune' once or twice, should be able to recognize the "ism." It makes me happy when a ReMixer's stated influence, form, or style so harmoniously matches how I personally perceive their mix, but ultimately execution & musicality are more important. No worries, there, either - while this is Alex's OCR debut, his performance & arrangement skills are excellent. The only major issue judges struggled with a bit is the liberal source usage: at times, it might be a little TOO "impressionistic," and while certain passages are overt, the bulk of the arrangement "dances" around the progression & structure of the source; halc writes:

"ah, I remember breaking this one down in a mod review.. it pushes the boundaries in terms of source use, hovering around that 50% mark but I'm totally down with this. sophisticated arrangement, excellent playing, and a nice clean, warm sound, although I agree that it is slightly on the quiet side overall, but it's no biggie. I'll happily pass this."

Larry was the sole dissenting opinion; he felt the piece was ultimately too liberal:

"Arrangement-wise, I basically heard everything Alex was going for when he timestamped his own work. That said, the way the source material was treated was so heavily based on chord progressions and subtractive usage of the theme that I couldn't get behind it as not being too liberal. The resemblances were there with this interpretation, but I felt the the source usage wasn't overtly identifiable enough."

Obviously, your mileage may vary - it bears mentioning that Impressionism focuses on, as Wiki puts it, "...a suggestion and an atmosphere rather than on a strong emotion or the depiction of a story." Might it be that any truly Impressionist VGM arrangement would almost by necessity be on the liberal side of things? Possibly, but ultimately most judges still felt there was enough Zelda in them there hills to recommend postage, and I'm glad. Stylish, stylized debut from Doc Nano - hope to hear more!

djpretzel

Discussion

Latest 15 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
avatar
Crulex
on 2012-11-15 09:27:38

From a beautiful piano piece to an absurdly impressive debut piano piece, wow! The production of this particular piano ReMix is higher than most I've heard, and the melody is close to that line of being liberal and yet identifiable at the same time, which makes this a classic for me. I'm not a fan of the fading ending, which normally doesn't bother me, but this one I had to note. I heard what was intended, it just wasn't my favorite part of the mix. Other than that, great stuff indeed!

avatar
Atomicfog
on 2012-01-22 18:25:07

Wow, my third remix review post ever as I don't do it often, but this piece is is just wow. It has a timeless sound to it, and it is so warm and quaint. I think you'll go places...

avatar
Martin Penwald
on 2012-01-10 15:19:58

For what it's worth, I never had much of a problem picking out the source in this one.

Very interesting and enjoyable arrangement, though I do agree with the posters who mentioned that the ending is a little too abrupt.

avatar
Tuberz McGee
on 2011-12-25 21:10:49

I love the expression. The big fast arpeggios are really fun to listen to!

I love the dynamics and their variety throughout the piece. It makes me think of Romantic Era music.

The performance isn't 100% perfect, but that adds to the realism in my opinion.

Everything just works to make this piece come alive.

My only complaint. Too short! I want more! :razz:

avatar
Bahamut
on 2011-12-02 01:09:44

This is pretty unique as far as piano pieces go on OCR. I really like the recording quality a lot compared to a lot of others I hear for the piano. The arrangement also stands out for remaining in the higher octaves for the most part. It has a sense of mystery to it that I like. The performance isn't without flaws, but this is a pretty good job.

avatar
WillRock
on 2011-10-26 18:36:07

I'm really loving the creative way the sources are utilized here, and the harmonies are just so lush and beautiful... a fantastic piece of work here, like everything else you do.

Yes its rather liberal but I have no trouble making the connections to the sources here. My biggest gripe here is the cut off ending. It just stops dead, sounds very unnatural. Thats the nitpick of nitpicks tho.

I'd love to collab with you sometime :D

avatar
C7
on 2011-10-25 18:04:37

This is really great work! I think the source is present enough. Even parts that don't have it specifically, allude to it just fine. The development was a little more in-depth than a lot of remixes, but that's a good thing as far as I'm concerned. You did a great job! Excellent playing, too! Please, please keep it up.

avatar
SwordBreaker
on 2011-10-21 21:14:10

My first casual listen cast a negative impression on me because I couldn't detect the source tunes at all. Then, I reprogrammed my mind to look out for it the 2nd time around...and that's when I realized the brilliance of this piano mix. This is definitely not one of those tunes which flashes the source in your face. Not only is the playing fluid, but it's such a creative way to present the Lost Woods track. It's like when someone states something, but you didn't get it. So then he/she starts explaining it to you.

Great stuff. Looking forward to more.

avatar
Darren Schwinghamer
on 2011-10-20 23:49:34

Absolutely stunning! Magnificent, so Debussy!

I'm not familiar with the source track, but I can tell this is an impressive piece on the compositional and technical side.

Congradulations!

avatar
SubNormal J3
on 2011-10-20 20:55:33

So, volume-wise, I think my mix falls safely within the norm for even professional piano recordings, even though other aspects of the production are sub-professional.

Haha. Don't sweat too much about it. A little tweaking can change the perceived loudness, and keep the amplitude histograms looking the same :D

avatar
PROTO·DOME
on 2011-10-20 20:40:14
LOVE bebop jazz in particular. I tinker (and fail) from time to time. It's the whole improv thing. But we still need to find something to collab on.
Oh man, yes.

You lay a sick harmonic pattern and I'll splat some crazy sax lines over the top.

Imma PM you about this.

avatar
docnano
on 2011-10-20 10:52:57

Ever considered jazz?

Rather, you best consider jazz.

LOVE bebop jazz in particular. I tinker (and fail) from time to time. It's the whole improv thing. But we still need to find something to collab on.

Also, just for kicks, here's a comparison of volume levels across three piano recordings I have, two of them being professional recordings:

https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=vpid=explorerchrome=truesrcid=0ByCPbTAe4OkKNjk2MWM0MjMtMGM3Ny00OTAwLTk0ZTEtNjlmNDFiOTcwMjRihl=en_US

So, volume-wise, I think my mix falls safely within the norm for even professional piano recordings, even though other aspects of the production are sub-professional.

avatar
Guifrog
on 2011-10-20 10:43:34

Holy gecko! Impressionistic and impressive, such a Debussy's debut.

The mix is meant to conjure up images of being lost in an eerie, enchanted forest. Around every turn there are leaves fluttering in the distance, constantly moving behind a pall of bluish mist, playing tricks on your eyes and ears. If you listen carefully, they almost seem to be laughing at you...

I love this type of art in music, with stories behind the melodies. May I say, in this song they're pretty much disturbing somehow, coz they don't just pass through the ears. It's such an intimidating, eerie mood, I'd most probably compare it to something like its backstory.

I love 3 it, dude! Even though it scares me sometimes :P

avatar
evory
on 2011-10-20 10:34:39

I'm still as blown away by this as I was the first time. And I stand by what I said, that I like this more than a lot of "actual" impressionistic music I've heard. Amazing work, doc, congrats on making it onto the site! :) (though it was a "when" more so than an "if" haha)

avatar
PROTO·DOME
on 2011-10-20 10:21:28

Have had this on my iPod ever since the WIP forums.

Ever considered jazz?

Rather, you best consider jazz.

Sources Arranged (2 Songs)


Primary Game:
The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past (Nintendo, 1991, SNES)
Music by Koji Kondo
Songs:
"Forest"
"Opening Demo"

Tags (4)


Genre:
Impressionist
Mood:
Mellow
Instrumentation:
Piano
Additional:
Arrangement > Solo

File Information


Name:
Legend_of_Zelda_A_Link_to_the_Past_Dancing_Leaves_OC_ReMix.mp3
Size:
3,915,651 bytes
MD5:
e429b4a0a66a30fa8de232e040fd0c57
Bitrate:
192Kbps
Duration:
2:39

Promotion

Kirby’s Liberation Service
View All

Latest Albums

View All

Latest ReMixes