ReMix: IronSword: Wizards & Warriors II 'Rise of Kuros'
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Streaming preview on YouTube
We had a tough time judging this mix of W&W2 from Mr. Strader, his first orchestral arrangement; specifically, Larry got caught up on the intentional resemblance to Prokofiev's 'Montagues & Capulets' from Romeo & Juliet, but ultimately the concerns were resolved. Brandon's had a lot of stuff posted in the interim, but for an initial foray into orchestral, this is good stuff; you'll definitely hear the rhythmic & instrumentation similarities to the Prokofiev, but some of those are also present in Wise's source tune, and Brandon's rather astutely brought them out into the open:
"I was inspired by the music and the memories from my childhood of playing this game, and that memorable Fabio poster (which I still have!) I created this orchestration, and in a fit of rage, sent it to David Wise along with some random nerd-ish praise. He received my message, and replied, saying succinctly, "I like this remix." Here's a link to an orchestration that inspired the creation of the theme: "Prokofiev - Romeo & Juliet"
When I heard the intro theme, I immediately felt that it should be an orchestration. It's ironic that 'Rise of Kuros' is an orchestration of a chiptune inspired by an orchestration. In hindsight, I wish I had the skill or talent to make something as epic as "Romeo & Juliet", but in general I'm reasonably content with my meager progression as an artist.
I love the shifts in mood in 'Rise of Kuros', including the vast changes in tempo that go on. It begins to gallop and a sweet trumpet starts tooting. Then it smolders and dies, like so many defeated Kuros-corpses in the clouds. I can definitely see this type of escalation followed by a slow death becoming a staple of future orchestrations. This was my first orchestral remix and I am very happy with it."
There's some timing & panning awkwardness in the separated string parts that close the mix out, and some earlier ensemble string runs would have sounded better more legato, but I like the bravery to intro with chromatic percussion, the use of brass AND low brass, and the incorporation of exposed solo passages against ensemble playing - this isn't tentative or meek orchestral, which is sometimes the temptation on initial attempts. Wise's work on the Wizards & Warriors series definitely has a studied, classical feel to it, and taking this particular source tune even further in the direction of the same type of music that inspired it is interesting. Brandon could definitely study Vampire Hunter Dan a bit more for general mixing & part-writing but also specifically articulations & timing, but most of the areas for improvement are relatively subtle, and I know I'd personally be quite happy with this as my first orchestral submission to OCR.
We don't get enough arrangements in this genre, the source tune was a perfect fit, and I'm very interested to see whether Brandon sticks with it and improves this area of his talents - he's certainly proven himself in rock & metal, but this might be coloring a little further outside the lines for him. I think it could ultimately really enhance his repertoire, especially if he applies what he learns to any hybrid mixes that incorporate orchestral elements. Either way, it's always good to see more Dave Wise, more orchestral, more exploration & experimentation from Mr. Strader, and more FABIO. Except the last one.
This is not a bad first foray into orchestration and it has some enjoyability to it.
- Bahamut on July 4, 2012
- meboeck on July 3, 2012
- djpretzel on July 1, 2012