ReMix: The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening 'Dreams of Home'
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We've got a special collab for you today from Chris ~ Amaterasu & waltzforluma, aka Aivi Tran, who's debuting on OC ReMix with this mix but already has a substantial fanbase on her YouTube & Twitter accounts. She's ALSO the composer for CRYAMORE, an action RPG that's looks awesome and has 10 days left on its very successful Kickstarter - check it out, and scroll down to the "Music" section for some examples! Speaking of kickstarters, we should have a backer update soon on our OWN FF6 project which is nearing completion - stay tuned!
Of this solo piano & violin duet, Chris writes:
"Here is 'Ballad of the Wind Fish' from The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening, played by Aivi Tran/waltzforluma and myself whilst I was holidaying in SF. It is one of my favourite tracks from the game, and possibly out of all the Zelda games I've played. I've always wondered why there had not been a more classical approach to this tune, since it's style and structure really lends itself well to acoustic instruments.
But anyway...this song uses intimate answer/call sections between the violin and piano with an emphasis on phrasing. It is also one of those songs that remind me when my music teachers always said that you had to 'play' a rest. But anyway, other elements I used for my part included harmonics/flautando. These techniques were used to convey more of a airy/dreamy quality to the song. In regards to Aivi's part, I really enjoyed the harmonies which she brought out, and her elegant legato phrasing really set the tone at the beginning of the piece.
Even though we could have had a more technically sound recording (since decided to learn,play,record in about an hour) I think this recording captured a lot of the emotions I get when I listen to the original. Aivi thought of the name 'Dreams of Home', and we chose it because it is relevant to the game's storyline and she said that she thinks of home when she listens to this song."
I LOVE this source tune, and it's one of my favorite Zelda themes as well; the fully-orchestrated version that's performed as part of Symphony of the Goddesses blew me away, but I also think it lends itself to a more intimate, personal setting that a duet like this can explore. Aivi adds:
"This is my favorite duet of ours, the sweet and haunting "Ballad of the Wind Fish" from Link's Awakening. We jammed it out by ear to figure out our arrangement before recording it. I got really emotional while I was playing this - it all just felt very genuine."
At 2'33" this arrangement is short-but-sweet and very focused on the interplay between the two instruments - as arguably any good duet should be. The melody is kept more or less intact, and most of the interpretation comes from Chris's accompaniment, with some interesting voicings that caught my attention and had me trying to anticipate where things were headed. The dynamic range & development are excellent, and when Aivi glisses up to that peak note @ 1'58" it's a truly breathtaking moment. Larry sums it up well:
"Great interplay between the piano and violin, with Chris's piano adding a lot of new writing ideas to really compliment Aivi's rendition of the source and add that much needed interpretive dimension to it. It's relatively straightforward, but beautiful and expressive. It's short, it's sweet, it definitely gets the job done. Nice collab."
Agreed, 100%. Chris has participated in some amazing collabs with various artists, this is no exception, I'm glad to have some aspect of Aivi's work represented on OCR, and check out & support CRYAMORE if you're looking forward to an action RPG with great music!