ReMix: Cardinal Quest 'The World After Asterion'
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Well I guess it's just "orchestral day" today here on OCR, as following up Archangel's playful Wild Arms track we've got a more serious, epic castle-on-the-horizon classical arrangement from Jeff Ball, aka some1namedjeff:
"The original composer of the soundtrack, Whitaker Trebella, approached me to do a remix for the soundtrack album. After listening to all the tracks, I ended up picking the fanfare theme, which is also one of the shortest tracks on the album. Even though it was short, the melody was very powerful, and I knew I could do something orchestral with it. When I was working on the track, the notes just kept coming out until I had a nearly 6 minute track based off of an original that is only 13 seconds long. It was a lot of fun to work on, and gave me a great opportunity to flex my orchestration muscles."
Consider them flexed; this piece builds and builds, starting with a more distant feel but culminating in some major-league triumphant, RING-THAT-TRIANGLE-DAMMIT climax action. Jeff really stretched the source to the limits, and some judges had issues identifying enough usage, but Larry provided a helpful breakdown:
"The arrangement was 5:48-long, so it needed at least 174 seconds of overt source usage for me to pass it on that level:
:33.75-1:06, 1:17.5-1:40, 1:52.75-2:50, 2:52-3:04, 3:36.5-4:07, 4:31.5-5:05.5, 5:10-5:17 - 195.5 seconds or 56.18%
My timestamping was actually conservative, I just picked out the most recognizable parts of the theme, but I'm pretty sure I wasn't giving some of the usage the proper credit, even if it was just for brief times."
With a more obscure game like this, due diligence is all the more important to ensure that actual VGM is actually being arranged. We can be sticklers for that sort of thing, and while we may happen to know that Jeff is good people and wouldn't try to pass an original off as a mix, we try not to take things for granted. Please, please don't let any lack of familiarity with this game or its music be a barrier to giving this mix a listen, as - while the judges focused mainly on source usage - it's an epic, beautiful, and complex creation that shows what the artist is really capable of. It's certainly the type of mix that makes me want to play the game, and while it does operate very close to the limits of source recognizability at times, I'm glad the panel decided to pass it since it's clearly inspired by the source, it pulls some interesting compositional tricks to keep things developing, and the overall vision delivers quite a journey, with an uber-satisfying conclusion.