ReMix: Final Fantasy VI "A Fistful of Nickels"
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- Game: Final Fantasy VI (Square, 1994, SNES)
- ReMixer(s): Jeff Ball, Jillian Aversa, XPRTNovice, zircon
- Composer(s): Nobuo Uematsu
- Song(s): "Shadow"
- Posted: 2013-07-01, evaluated by djpretzel
- Album: Featured on Final Fantasy VI: Balance and Ruin
- Terms (BETA): acoustic-guitar brass collab epic harmonica live-recording rock strings vocals-female whistling
From the orchestral grandeur of Will's opening we keep things going strong with a collab that zircon organized to arrange Shadow's theme in the style of an epic spaghetti western. Brilliant. I hope you're ready for a wild, adventurous ride, as this mix takes it WELL over the top, nailing the aesthetic and building to a monumental, adventurous climax as ensemble orchestral brass heightens the untamed spirit. Andy writes:
"Ennio Morricone is one of my favorite composers, and when I was thinking of ways to treat Shadow's theme, I kept coming back to a spaghetti Western style influenced by such scores as The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly and A Fistful of Dollars. I could hear the arrangement in my head, but to really capture that authentic Western vibe, I needed help. Jill, XPRTNovice, Jeff, and session player Frank Witkam truly breathed life into my MIDI arrangement and gave it the driving, rugged feel I was going for. Every performance is spot-on and I'm thrilled with how it turned out. I hope you'll agree that a character as enigmatic and awesome as Shadow deserves this kind of grand musical treatment!"
This is EXACTLY the type of ambitious vision that defines Balance and Ruin and characterizes its music; I think every single artist working on a track for the album had something specific & unique in mind, and each was able to translate that mental picture into reality without a loss of fidelity. Part of being able to accomplish that transformation was having a studio budget for session musicians and employing a lot of live instrumentation; Will's track helped set the tone in that regard, and now this audacious, raucous, & unbridled mix from zircon & co. has continued the trend. It's one thing to have that initial spark of doing Shadow's theme in a Morricone-inspired fashion; it's a fantastic concept, but it could easily have proven prohibitive for any number of reasons. Happily, the idea in Andy's brain was manifested in exquisite detail. XPRTNovice (who is ALL OVER the album - we'll get to HIM later!) & Jill both lend their respective whistling & vocal talents to give things that authentic feel, Joe also chips in with the acoustic guitar & trumpet, Jeff (also ubiquitous on B&R) lends his bow (violin), and finally Frank's axe (harmonica) completes the fellowship. In true go-big-or-go-home fashion, Andy gambled a bit by pursuing this concept, but it paid off, as these nickels are worth their weight in gold. Congrats to all five artists for contributing to one of the album's most unique and adventurous arrangements!
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