ReMix: Destiny "Hope Rising"
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- Game: Destiny (Activision, 2014, PS4)
- ReMixer(s): Jillian Aversa, zircon
- Composer(s): C Paul Johnson, Marty O'Donnell, Michael Salvatori, Paul McCartney, Skye Lewin, Stan LePard
- Song(s): "Hope"
- Posted: 2014-10-16, evaluated by djpretzel
- Terms (BETA): collab electronic lyrics-existing pop singing synth vocals-female
How weird is it to be posting a ReMix of video game music written by Sir Paul McCartney?? As someone who does NOT think The Beatles are overrated (i.e. huge fan), it's a sign of the times that he'd experiment with the medium, and Bungie's Destiny is certainly a larger-than-life title to make a splash with. We'll return to regular chronological posting of the queue ASAP, but we wanted to kick off the 3XXX series with one more out-of-cycle mixpost - a pop/EDM vocal mix of Destiny's end credits theme from Jillian & Andrew Aversa! The source expresses an uplifting, optimistic version of futurism that's rather refreshing, thematically, since soooooooooooo much sci-fi is thoroughly & unquestioningly dystopian. Jill writes:
"I'm a huge fan of both Marty O'Donnell and Paul McCartney's work, so when they put their heads together, my ears wept for joy. As for the video, I made all three cosplays in record time - less than a week - so I probably looked like a madwoman covered in fabric scraps and strings of hot glue. It all came together once the makeup was on though, and we had a blast shooting until 6AM (at Larry's house, of course!)"
"For the music, we wanted to do something different by bringing in more atmospheric and electronic elements, without losing the epic & uplifting vibe from the original. Since Jill wasn't able to represent the robotic Exo race in her cosplays, we used vocoded harmonies throughout for a robotic effect. Very proud of how it all came out!"
Stylistically, this reminds me of "Deliverance of the Heart" off of VotL - another excellent Aversa collab with Jill on vocals. If you picture McCartney's theme done in that style, you're not far off, although there are some more assertive touches like the kick drum rolls that modernize this track a bit more by comparison. Larry rambles on at length:
"It was a thorough 11-hour shoot at our crib, but three sets of makeup and costumes TAKE TIME, SON! But good times were had in Atlanta, including some much-needed culinary support from Slice & Pint. I've gotta give major props to the video's director Landon Donoho. I've now seen him direct two of Jill's music videos in Atlanta, and he's an amazing creator. It's fun and impressive to watch him work and for anyone in the NYC, LA, or ATL areas who need a director, he's your man. Much love also to Stephanie Anderson & Joseph Titus Davis of Neon Armour BodyPainting, who both ensured Jill's Destiny looks were on point, Paige & I loved talking shop with them, and we all had a great time even while wrapping up in the wee hours of the morning!
Before discussing Jill & Andy's arrangement, I first have to say that I love the original. It's not inherently important that Paul McCartney was involved with Destiny; what mattered was that his contributions were substantial and GOOD. Some people think "Hope" is too cheesy/uplifting or (wrongly) non sequitur for the game. But when first I heard the song, the hook was sweet, the treatment of McCartney's voice was excellent, and I felt the full emotion and gravitas of a "OSHI-, it's a f*ckin' BEATLE" behind it. It's cool that McCartney's ideas were on multiple tracks with O'Donnell and Salvatori, and I'm looking forward to checking out the complete soundtrack. But make no mistake, Sir Paul came to bring it.
I enjoyed the Aversas' take with its ambient and ethereal touches, with Jill's vocals handling most of the source usage, allowing the instrumental to explore lots of original ideas. The whole package is pro, but just hitting the ear candy I love to discover, the countermelodic synth accompanying the verse & chorus vocals (first used at :16) was a very subtle element, so take care to isolate it and enjoy it. I also loved Jill's chorused vocals in the background starting at 2:08, which come across wonderfully in the music video. Neblix felt Jill & Andy's version fit more of the mood of Destiny's world, so I'm interested in others' reactions. Make sure you also check out DAT VIDEO to get the full effect. :-)"
I can see where the scope & positive outlook of this song might not jive with the gameplay experience, but not having played more than 15 minutes of Destiny, I can't say one way or another. What I do know is that it stands very nicely on its own, has a good verse, a GREAT bridge, and a chorus that DOES stretch into Contemporary Christian territory a bit for my tastes (i.e. too earnest), but doesn't break the deal and is thus not a dealbreaker. Regarding the bridge:
[13:54] <@djpretzel> I just realized
[13:55] <@djpretzel> that the bridge for this Destiny track
[13:55] <@djpretzel> which imo is the best part
[13:55] <@djpretzel> TALKS about building bridges
[13:55] <@djpretzel> it's a bridge about bridges...
[13:57] <@djpretzel> Jeff Bridges should sing it, and then the music video could just be footage from Bridges of Madison County
[14:00] <@Larry|Work> this is going into the writeup
[14:00] <@djpretzel> ok
Ahem. I also like the idea of a more positive outlook with regards to the application of science and technology towards building a better future; we too often get "mad scientist" plots or "they tampered in nature/god's domain!!" cautionary tales, or aliens that were advanced enough to build a spacefaring culture coming to steal our water and shoot PEWPEW guns at us, or eat us. This has a more pan-human techno-optimism to it; thank you, Sir Paul! And thanks to the Aversas for yet another beautiful collaboration; they were JUST the folks to arrange this tune, the end result is spot-on, and the music video is a great additional part of the experience!
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