ReMix: Dark Cloud "'Round the Bonfire"
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We hope you enjoyed our latest album, Be Aggressive!: A Gunstar Heroes Tribute Album, & also the re-release of the torrent for Super Metroid: Relics of the Chozo to celebrate the ten-year anniversary of our very first album! Although the site's been around for even longer, it's still crazy to think that we've released 42 arrangement albums over the course of the last decade; the numbers don't even tell half the story, and it's the music I'm proud of, but it's still a neat stat to ponder. We're hard at work on fulfilling our FF6 kickstarter rewards and have thus been a little quiet lately; there's no doubt that this kickstarter has slowed us down for the last year, but it's motivating to start catching glimpses of the light at the end of the tunnel, so to speak. In the interest of getting back on track & continuing to post amazing fan VGM arrangements, though, the show must go on... a belated happy birthday to Kate Covington, aka katethegreat19, who brings us a gorgeous folk/Celtic arrangement of Dark Cloud, with lovely singing of non-lexical vocables:
"Here's my little vocal arrangement of Dark Cloud's The Village Festival. All instruments (hammered dulcimer, lute, sopranino/alto recorders, various hand percussion, and harp) and vocals are performed by myself in my closet studio! I've kept the general feeling of the original and because of this it may be too close to source material to be considered, but hopefully the little changes and newly composed bridge will help squeeze this one through ^.^ Thank you for considering my submission!"
That's a pretty awesome closet - the recording quality of each individual instrument is noticeably cleaner here than in some of Kate's (also excellent) earlier mixes, and the overall balance has excellent clarity & space. The absence of lyrics helps Kate's voice, like the Trololo guy's before her, become another instrument & seamlessly blend with the ensemble. It could certainly also have been cool for her to have penned original & narrative lyrics, but this way the arrangement takes on a more carefree & untethered vibe. While the arrangement itself is structurally conservative, Larry chimed in with comments as to the direct post & aspects that compensated:
"I think it's just another good example where we're cool with arrangements that retain the structure of the original, it's just up to the ReMixer to make the arrangement stand apart from the original through their approach. The different live instrumentation and vocal performances definitely demonstrate that unique approach we're looking for."
Development & intensity are accomplished mostly through additive & subtractive means; a solitary harp opens the piece and more components are gradually introduced, with vocal layering adding emphasis towards the conclusion. The title conveys the mood & setting well, feeling like a group of talented musicians sitting around a fire and just playing what they feel, with a relaxed, processional pacing. Excellent, more reserved but still highly emotive music from katethegreat19, whose new studio lends her already expressive, multi-instrumental folk sound enhanced presence & definition!
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