ReMix: The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 'Generations'
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If you're like me, and I know I am, you backed Jill's kickstarter for her recently-released new age album, Atlantis Awakening. If you missed it, you can grab it on OverClocked Records for $6.99 and I can virtually guarantee you'll dig it. Need proof before you shell out your hard-earned bucks? You're in luck, as we've got an excellent new age & folk vocal mix that revisits her solo debut mixpost "Prayer" from way back in 2005 & puts a completely different, lyrical spin on the same source, with assists from some familiar faces:
"Although I appreciated plenty of the music from my favorite games prior to The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, I can still recall the moment I stepped into the Forest Temple and its haunting theme echoed across the castle walls. Chills ran down my spine, and with wide eyes, I looked at my brother and said the only thing that came to mind: "Whoa..."
It is this piece of music that truly sparked my interest in video game music. Nine years ago, I attempted my first remix, "Prayer," based on the Forest Temple theme. I'm sure there are people today that still enjoy it, but I felt it was time to pay homage once again - and with a good deal of musical growth under my belt.
As I began working on my third CD of original music, Atlantis Awakening, I realized how well the new remix aligned with the album concept, namely: a woman experiencing visions of a lost world and searching for the meaning behind them. In "Generations," she stumbles upon a secret temple deep in the forest and is greeted by three women - a child, a mother, and an old crone - each with her own message to bring.
The story called for a more lyric-centric song than "Prayer's" soothing ambience, so zircon and I began with a driving percussive groove surrounded by layers upon layers of vocal chanting. We were only using sampled instruments at first, but the talented Joe "XPRTNovice" Zieja offered to help by adding a fantastic acoustic guitar rhythm and flamenco-style solo to the track. After that, the MIDI percussion seemed a bit stale, so we asked our good friend Doug "DrumUltimA" Perry to go nuts with some live hand percussion. He used an awesome array of instruments: cajon, Chinese tom, conga, djembe, and caxixi, all intertwined and grooving alongside zircon's masterfully sequenced samples.
In terms of the vocal arrangement, this is possibly the most complex track I've ever recorded. There are 18 vocal layers in total, including nine layers for the background "oohs" and another nine for the main vocals. This was very complex to record, edit, and mix, but the end result has the sort of huge, wide sound we were going for!"
We don't often post "revisited" arrangements, generally because our standards require that the two mixes be substantially different and that each stand on its own. The addition of lyrics alone would have made a strong case for this track, but there are a ton of other changes, as the entire concept has been fleshed out into a narrative, live guitar and percussion add a new dimension, and the overall environment is populated with rich accompaniment, in contrast to its predecessor's stark minimalism. I like both versions, for the record, and still see myself dividing my listening time between the two - "Generations" for more of a song/foreground experience, and "Prayer" for more of an ambient/background experience. Larry writes:
"They're few and far between, but it's always nice to get a spiritual successor mix! Jill mentioned the complexity of the vocals, as well as all of the laundry list of instrumentation; given all that, this piece is a great example of understated complexity as nothing ever seemed too densely packed. All of the elements compliment each other so well, and Doug and Joe's percussion and guitar performances were extremely polished. I also enjoyed Jill's subtle variations on the lyrics to tell the story, and I'm always impressed at her killer lyrical chops. Definitely pick up Atlantis Awakening RIGHT AWAY for more great collaborations between her and Andy, as well as a slew of guest appearences including Jeff Ball, Malukah, Tina Guo, Christopher Tin and more!"
Very cool; wonderful new version of a source that marked Jill's solo debut on the site OVER NINE YEARS AGO, which is crazy to think about. So many changes since then, including her musical & marital evolution from pixietricks to Jillian Aversa, but I'm glad to see both her & Andy getting the success they deserve and continuing to make amazing music!
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