ReMix: Super Mario 64 "Through the Flames"
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LADIES & GENTLEMEN, I'm proud to announce the release of our 48th (!!) FREE community arrangement album, Super Mario 64: Portrait of a Plumber!! Download, tweet, like, & seed the torrent @ http://plumber.ocremix.org!!
Our first album covering music from Nintendo's iconic & legendary Mario series focuses on the plumber's 64-bit outing, a game that redefined 3D platforming just as the original SMB basically defined the entire platformer genre. I remember the advance hype & vaunted Silicon Graphics pedigree of codename "Project Reality" before the system came out, and I remember the excitement of firing up Super Mario 64 for the first time...it was a milestone moment for gaming, and an amazing personal memory, and while a lot of that was the smooth 3D universe & free-roaming environments, there (as ever) was Koji Kondo with another amazing score, making the experience transcend the merely impressive and enter firmly into the legendary. Would "Dire, Dire Docks" have been the same without the music? Not by a longshot... this was the perfect score to usher in a new era of Nintendo & Mario, and I'm VERY glad to have both the franchise and this particular game represented on the site by what I hope you'll agree is a superb album. Director Justin "Nutritious" Medford writes:
"I'm incredibly proud to have the opportunity to direct this effort. This album has been a long time coming as we experienced ebbs and flows in progress and times where we questioned whether it would ever come to completion at all.
Though I joined soon after the project's inception as a remixer, I eventually would become the 4th director to take on the project. I'd like to take the time to recognize the previous directors who, without their hard work laying the foundation, this project never would've come to fruition: First, POCKETMAN, who was the project founder and original director. Also, thanks to Fishy & assistant director Sole Signal, who took over after POCKETMAN's departure.
Musically, this album showcases OverClocked ReMix's reputation as a community proficient in a diverse set of genres. Portrait of a Plumber features rock, electronic, orchestral, and more. There's really something here for everyone. I sincerely hope that this will serve to highlight both Kondo's fantastic work as well as the work of the many many talented artists who came together to make this possible."
We open with one of Justin's own contributions, a stirring & epic orchestral arrangement that sets the stage nicely for what's to follow:
"This track is really special to me as a musician, because it was a song that I felt proved to myself that I could do my own music arrangement and succeed. Disclaimer: incoming TL;DR back-story.
This album project started way back in early 2007, which is around the time I started attempting music creation & composition as a serious hobby. I've always loved the music from Mario 64. I took an interest in joining the project later that year, but the only available song at the time was "Lethal Lava Land." While this definitely wasn't my favorite track from the game and wouldn't normally be my first choice to remix, I saw that the track was open on the project and had some sudden inspiration that pushed me forward. It's not the most accessible source by any means, but I came up with an idea for an orchestral take on the theme and was able to claim the track. The fact that I now had a project commitment and that my music was recognized as being a high-enough quality for an album pushed me to go ahead and invest in purchasing music software to really commit to the hobby.
Once completed, I submitted the track to OC ReMix and it passed the judges panel, making it my first accepted remix. Ironically, due to the fact of it being on this project, which was delayed for so long, up until now it has remained unreleased despite my having many other songs released through the website.
Due to the original song having a progressive, almost aimless style arrangement, I chose to focus on specific melody parts and expand upon them. The original track doesn't seem to have any normal time signature or natural progression to the song, but instead sounds like a collection of instruments playing (seemingly) random notes around a general theme. An Indian coworker of mine pointed out that it's a type of classical Indian music (though I forget the name of the genre). Anyway, because of this, it was a very difficult song to remix and the themes used might not be readily apparent. Here's the breakdown:
- :00-:08 uses the riff that the sitar plays at the very beginning and throughout the original
- :08-:32 consists of variations of that same riff with backing chords and countermelodies
- :48-1:51 is from the melody played by the flute-ish instrument that starts around :37 in the original
- 1:52-2:20 is a combination of both the sitar and flute melodies used together with different instruments
I aimed for a movie score feel for my song, putting out my best effort though utilizing free sample sets at the time. While the song certainly shows its age and doesn't reflect my currently ability level, I remain quite proud of it as my first real music arrangement achievement."
So Justin's had PLENTY of mixes posted since, but this is actually his FIRST mix that the panel passed, way back in December of 2007. Been a loooooong road, gettin' from there to here, and little did Justin know at the time that he'd end up directing the project and seeing it through to completion. OC ReMix is a labor of love not only for myself and for staff, but for everyone who chooses to commit copious quantities of their personal time & energy towards making something awesome that honors VGM. Whether an album takes one year or seven, what matters is dedication and perseverance, and Justin's shown that both in his leadership & in his development as an artist. While he's branched out from his orchestral roots and incorporated a more electronic palate with his more recent work, it's cool to hear a great reminder of how we originally were introduced to his music. zircon was actively judging back then, and sums things up nicely:
"OK all you aspiring orchestral OC-ReMixers out there... listen to this before you complain about us rejecting your mixes due to production! Nutritious isn't a pro film or triple A game composer, and he doesn't have big expensive commercial samples. As a matter of fact I think these are free samples. No, they're not knock-your-socks-off amazing, but the combination of good writing, orchestration, mixing, and processing masks the weaker elements and the end result is quite enjoyable. It conveys emotion and does a great job of interpreting the source tune... The arrangement as a whole is very effective."
Ditto that; oldie-but-a-goodie from Nutritious and a fine warm-up to the rest of Portrait of a Plumber!!
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