ReMix: Kirby's Dream Land 3 "Dreamin' of Them Funky Ripples!"
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We were saddened to learn of the death of Nintendo president and CEO Satoru Iwata over the weekend; as a site dedicated to video game music, we tend to focus on composers, but without VG, there would be no VGM, and individuals like Iwata cast long shadows and end up influencing the entire industry profoundly & positively. It's been very moving to witness the emotions & memories that have been pouring out on social media in the last 48 hours; it becomes clear just how emotional we are about the art form, and how painful it is when someone so integral to it leaves us. Before he became president of Nintendo, Iwata worked at & became president of HAL Laboratory, a legendary developer responsible for Super Smash Bros., EarthBound, and the Kirby series, to name a few.
For today, in honor & remembrance of Iwata-san, we've got a debut arrangement from newcomer Jorito (Jorrith Schaap), our FIRST EVAR mix of the music from Kirby's Dream Land 3. It's not sad, somber, OR melancholy - in fact, it's a funky, upbeat jam - but that's how I personally will remember Iwata-san: a true gamer's CEO, upbeat, enthusiastic, and passionate about his business & its medium. Jorrith writes:
"Well, that was a lot of fun! I was looking around for some nice music to remix when I stumbled on MnP20 with Blaine's selection of a Kirby song (a game I never played). It's pretty groovy and was pretty much begging for some funk. Creativity got out and I might have gone a bit beyond the spirit of MnP, but hey, you can't stop the music. :)
So here's a funky, groovy remix of the song "Ripple Field" from the SNES game Kirby's Dream Land 3 that I originally did for the Meat 'n Potatoes compo. Never played the game myself but the source tune was very catchy, and it turned out to be a cool and fun track to work on. I tried going for a bit of live funk band feeling. I started with the funky guitar and the horns, and the slap bass and the organs came quite naturally after that. And, of course, those nice cheesy jazz scat voices from Omnisphere just begged to be used somewhere, and this song was a very good place for them. Basically got so inspired by the source track that the song more or less created itself."
While observably stronger on arrangement than production, this jam is fun, funky, & embraces the positive vibes of the original. Brass is a little thin & the overall aesthetic has a sequenced feel to it, but the energy is there, the transformation into a funk/jam band type of track makes sense and works, and there's enough interpretation going on with the accompaniment to compensate for a relatively conservative take on the melody. DarkeSword basically agrees:
"You ain't gonna fool anyone into thinking this is live—not with that brass—but that's okay. This has a great mid-90s redbook audio PC game vibe. Something like DREAMLAND MALIBU RACING. This is great. LOVE the slap bass going all over the place. Very energetic. Overall take is a bit conservative, but not egregiously so. I like it!"
"Oh gosh, just a few seconds in and I'm already grinning, tapping my feet, and bobbing my head. This is a good sign. Let's see - fun brass stabs, DAT SLAP BASS, some organ, energetic groove...and hi yourself, Kirby! Yeah, this arrangement is just too much fun."
Well said; solid debut from Jorito that shows off some arrangement flourish & gets down with its funky self; I fully hope & expect to see more of Jorrith on OCR, if this is any indication. On a sad occasion, we choose to remember the creativity, positivity, enthusiasm, energy, and love of games that Satoru Iwata personified, and I think this arrangement conveys much of that; keep dreamin' of them funky ripples, wherever you are.
"On my business card, I am a corporate president. In my mind, I am a game developer. But in my heart, I am a gamer." — Satoru Iwata, "Heart of a Gamer" (GDC 2005)