ReMix: New Super Mario Bros. 'Plains, Capes and Turnips'
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Streaming preview on YouTube
- Game: New Super Mario Bros. (Nintendo, 2006, NDS)
- ReMixer(s): Chris Lundberg, David Lindskog, Jackson Stevens, Kevin Matthews, Rose Martin
- Composer(s): Asuka Ohta, Hajime Wakai, Koji Kondo
- Song(s): 'Aboveground BGM', 'Overworld BGM', 'Swimming BGM', 'Swimming BGM', 'Yoshi's Island'
- Posted: 2012-10-17, evaluated by the judges
It's a-me, a CHROMATIC PERCUSSION MARIO JAM! Newcomer & mallet ringleader David Lindskog writes:
"I've had this idea for a few years to arrange a bunch of super mario music into a xylophone rag and perform it. I finally decided to make it happen this year during my senior year of my undergrad at the Lamont School of Music at University of Denver. So this arrangement is for 5 players: 4 marimba players and 1 xylophone soloist. The players in this recording are as follows:
Xylophone: David Lindskog
Marimba 1: Jackson Stevens
Marimba 2: Kevin Matthews
Marimba 3: Rose Martin
Marimba 4: Chris Lundberg"
That's a lot of marimbists!! Always great when to see artists realize arrangements they've had kicking around in their brains for a long while - cathartic, and the results are usually distinct & memorable. In this case you've got themes from SMW, SMBs 1-3, NSMB, & SSB all covered by a live recording of a chromatic percussion quintet, which makes for a fun romp through a lot of familiar melodies. Love that opening intro cartridge sound + two-note SNES/coin riff! Larry writes:
"The SMW Overworld section had me worried a bit, as the arrangement was obviously cool, just very cover-ish, even for a pure mallet percussion adaptation. Luckily after the transition to the SMB3/SMB Water combination, the arrangement had some more interpretation. It's conservative, but the arrangement was definitely personalized and expressive. The transitions were a little jumpy, but nothing was awkward, and the overall flow was fine. Big props to David and crew for an extremely fun mix!"
Definitely on the conservative side AND there are some medleyitis symptoms at times, but whenever adapting themes for a quintet like this, there's BOUND to be a certain level of interpretation just for sheer logistics, and the Mario melodies employed are all upbeat & happily play nicely with one another. Palpable sums it up:
"Hard not to like this one. Mario songs are very well-suited to chromatic percussion as it turns out, and this offered some cool new ideas for songs that have been done to death. It played out a little like a medley, but the flow between songs was good and the piece had a clear direction. Like the others, I thought it veered pretty close to being too conservative, but every now and then a new countermelody or chord would surprise me. Great performance."
Classy rendition of classic tunes that has all the excitement & dynamics of talented musicians playing similar instruments in ensemble - there's a video of the same guys & gal performing the piece that you should definitely check out as well. Great energy, great musicianship, and great mix title, too!
- Kadosho on October 24, 2012
- Crulex on October 19, 2012
There are a bunch of comments below me being nitpicky about missed notes and whatnot--I think for a recital performance, this was just fine. A recital is a super nerve-racking experience, and the one thing that ruins is note accuracy. Sure, a full out recording session would have been nice, but when you're in music school, you don't have a lot of time to do that sort of thing!
That being said, I do have two points of critique--one for the arrangement, and one for the performance. As for the arrangement: when you're the xylophone soloist in a ragtime group, you kind of have to be the "flashy" one. The xylophone part had the melodies played pretty much verbatim--it would have been a good opportunity to add some traditional ragtime ornaments! This would have helped with the "conservative" nature of your arrangement which the judges commented on. Think George Hamilton Green or Bob Becker. You don't need to write super-difficult virtuoso runs to add a little more flair that will make the arrangement a little more interesting.
As far as the performance, one tricky thing about xylophone vs marimba is that the xylophone will always speak much faster than the marimbas in a concert hall like the one you recorded in. There were a few times in your recording that it sounded as if the xylophone was rushing, perhaps even a full eighth note in front of the marimba ensemble. The truth is, the marimba sound just moves "slower" than the xylophone--especially in the lower register. Next performance in a hall like this, the marimba players should consider making a conscious effort to play just on top of the beat. This is something we have to do in the back of an orchestra ALL the time.
Anyway, that's all I got! Nice work guys, great arrangement and great performance! Good luck with school!
- DrumUltimA on October 18, 2012
- metaphist on October 18, 2012
C'mon, why the heck should I be nitpicky on things here? I can't!
I mean, it's impossible!
- Guifrog on October 17, 2012
I realize you only get one shot at an undergrad recital, but perhaps a recording of a rehearsal run-through or something might have produced better results. It was an enjoyable performance, especially for what it was, but if I were to record one of my own performances, I would be recording DOZENS of takes just to get the one that sounds just right. Maybe I'd even break up the piece and do a little light editing to string them together into a full track or something.
Not a bad performance by any means, but there's definitely potential for a better recording of it. :)
- ebuch on October 17, 2012
I especially enjoyed the NSMB part of the mix. Really good playing there. Although I don't see myself listening to this track often in the near future as it's not my cup of tea, I was impressed.
- SwordBreaker on October 17, 2012
- Magellanic on October 17, 2012
This is some really sexy Xylophone work. I commend you guys for a job well done - I'm glad this wasn't shut down for medley-itis purposes.
- Gario on October 17, 2012
I have a couple of nitpicks; firstly, the fact that the melody doesn't stray from the xylophone except for maybe 4 bars near the end. There also seems like some times where the unison parts get off a little bit.
HOWEVER, those nitpicks aside, this is a wonderfully peppy and well crafted piece. It oozes Mario, and I definitely enjoyed it.
- therex on October 17, 2012
- djpretzel on October 17, 2012