ReMix: Final Fantasy X "Zanarkand String Quartet"

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Final Fantasy X

Newcomer GrayFox1217 (Spencer Bambrick) brings us a simple, direct, and stunning string quartet arrangement of "Zanarkand" that's understated and quietly gorgeous:

"This is a very simple string quartet recorded in a studio in Dobbs Ferry. I think it's a pretty unique approach to one of my all-time favorite pieces of music ever written. Hope you enjoy it!"

The purity & strength of Uematsu's original composition really come through when stripped away to (relatively) bare essentials like this, and - while relatively straightforward and consistently legato - both the musicianship and recording let every note shine. Liontamer writes:

"Arrangement-wise, this was structurally close, but the excellent live performance dynamics and new part-writing to accommodate the full quartet were a thing of beauty. It's short and sweet; count me in. Keep 'em coming, Spencer!"

In the interest of expediency, I actually closed this unanimous vote out myself, so I'm now going to quote me:

"Certainly a classical but NOT contemporary classical approach to the arrangement - no real curveballs, just a very competent and heartfelt arrangement/performance of one of Nobuo's sweeter melodies. All very legato; it might have been nice to have some more mixed articulations, as that's one way string quartet pieces can get a lot of timbral mileage, but this opts for an overall smooth delivery, from beginning to end. Them closing high notes is sweet like sugar; very purdy."

Well said, me. As an example of the timbral flexibility & variety a string quartet can muster, this probably wouldn't be your first pick, but not every arrangement needs to DO that - it's about what's right for the piece. I think the almost Zen simplicity and gliding, evolving sustains of this ReMix work quite well, and I'm pretty damn certain folks are gonna love it. Great debut; like Larry says, would love to hear more!

djpretzel

Discussion: Latest 6 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
CausticBleach
on 2014-09-11 18:43:13

Although I've never played any of the Final Fantasy games, thanks to my friends and OCRemix I've at least heard a lot of tracks, and this is one of my favorite. Like Emblem180, it really moved me, gave me chills and goosebumps; but as Brandon also mentions, the cello's missed notes really hurt the lower voice of this mix when the lower end was already weak enough. But overall, I freaking love this mix. I love quartet performances, and this one was pretty well done.

OverClocked PodCast
on 2014-09-10 21:46:03

My ear is not so well-trained as Brandon's, so most of the sloppiness was lost amid a wave of raw, emotional simplicity that stirred the soul. The arrangement is gorgeous.

DimeTower
on 2014-09-10 00:51:56

There is something to be said for purity, and this is it and more. If you've played the game - or even if you haven't - do yourself a favor, turn the lights off and listen for three minutes. You'll be transported back to another time. Ah.

Crulex
on 2014-09-09 12:47:47

I've always thought Zanarkand was a beautiful source, and this is just plain gorgeous. I'm not the biggest connoisseur of classical music or the like, but I do enjoy string instruments, especially quartets, so hearing Zanarkand with those instruments were something I could get behind. Close to the original in it's melody, but still different enough in arrangement to be it's own piece, truly a wonderful ReMix.

Brandon Strader
on 2014-09-08 14:43:27

The cello part is extremely problematic. There is a large number of wrong notes and sloppiness in the cello performance -- it's actually rather surprising nobody mentioned that. The low end is such an important frequency and so prominent. For a debut mix, though, not too bad at all. Just needs a LOT of refinement and production improvement which you could hopefully address with future mixes.

Liontamer
on 2014-09-08 02:44:58

What did you think? Post your opinion of this ReMix.