ReMix: Final Fantasy Tactics "Finding Somebody to Love in This Meager World"
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- Game: Final Fantasy Tactics (Sony, 1998, PS1)
- ReMixer(s): Level 99
- Composer(s): Hitoshi Sakimoto, Masaharu Iwata, Yukiko Mitsui, Yuko Miura
- Song(s): "Delita's Theme", "Main Character's Theme", "World Map"
- Posted: 2015-06-24, evaluated by the judges
- Terms (BETA): acoustic acoustic-guitar classical folk live-instruments medley mellow
2015 has gone on far too long without a ReMix from Stevo "Level 99" Bortz, who remedies the situation with a gorgeous instrumental arrangement of Final Fantasy Tactics on 12-string acoustic guitar. Addressing a personified email account, he writes:
"Well, it's been nearly 2 years since I last sent you an email, submissions inbox. I'm sorry I'm so bad at keeping up my end of the relationship. It's not you, it's me. I know I've treated you like you don't exist, and I'm going to try to make up for it now. Please take me back, baby. I miss your automated responses.
Last summer, I went on a quest to get a 12-string acoustic guitar. I found the one I wanted, but was a bit short on the funding to get it at that time. For the first time ever, I turned to my fans for help. In return for a small monetary contribution towards getting the guitar, I would make them a song of their choice using it. One fan in particular, Daniel Kaelin, donated and requested that I do an arrangement of Final Fantasy Tactics. He didn't care which song I did, just do something from Final Fantasy Tactics.
Here's the thing with Final Fantasy Tactics: I am scared to death of arranging it. The music is so complex, and layered, and perfect basically as it is. It is source material that I am afraid to touch, simply because I feel like I will most likely not do it the justice it deserves. The first arrangement I ever made, back in 2004 for VGMix 2, was an arrangement of FFT. I didn't even know what I was doing back then, and once I started learning about what I was doing, I just didn't want to do FFT again until I felt competent. With this remix request from Dan, I no longer had a choice about it.
This is nothing but guitars. I recorded my-my-my-my Mitchell 12-string into an MXL 990 powered by Focusrite Saffire 6 USB preamps. There's a total of 6 guitars playing at one time max. The main chunk of the song is "Delita's Theme," with the bridge being "World Map" partially incorporating the hero's theme motif. The ending is "Delita's Theme" with the hero motif modified on top of it. Should be plenty of source usage by OCR standards.
I am absolutely in love with this guitar's sound. I try to utilize all aspects of acoustic guitar sounds, and now with this new axe, I can really make the high-end harmony shine while exploring the additional percussive aspects the additional strings provide. Anyways, hope you enjoy the remix, and I'll hopefully send more again soon. Stay well, inbox!"
Really beautiful stuff; the harmonies & texture afforded by the 12-string are on full display, & Stevo utilizes them to their utmost with his arrangement. zykO agrees:
"oh my, this is so good. first of all, nice guitar! huge fan of 12 stringers (though i've never made the plunge for one, i do fancy my 12 string oud very much) and this one has a very sweet, clear voice. secondly, your chops are on full display here, brotha; the performance is clean, confident and emotive... check, check, check. reallynice stuff.
the arrangement is on point, too: the really impressive bit here is that when combining the three sources, it is never in doubt that delita's theme is the most fitting to take the lead... because then world map feels like a natural fit as the bridge. that balance is usually where multi-source arrangements tend to be uninspiring as even experienced remixers don't optimize how different sources fit together. you did."
Agreed on all counts; this is a beautiful, intelligent, & emotional arrangement that's custom-tailored to the specific strengths of both the instrument & the performer, and whenever that happens, it's a special sort of magic. Happy to see Stevo back & excited for what's to come, but in the meantime, our first FFT mix in a long while is from an artist whose respect for its OST is clearly evident & who has done a superlative job in paying homage to several sources. Highly recommended!
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