ReMix: Final Fantasy IX "Crystalline Tempest"
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- Game: Final Fantasy IX (Square, 2000, PS1)
- ReMixer(s): Archangel
- Composer(s): Nobuo Uematsu
- Song(s): "Crystal World"
- Posted: 2015-09-09, evaluated by djpretzel
- Album: Featured on Final Fantasy IX: Worlds Apart
- Terms (BETA): choir cinematic classical dark harp middle-eastern orchestral solemn strings woodwinds
Final Fantasy IX: Worlds Apart is a diverse album that represents the compositional variety of the game's soundtrack; that's something we pride ourselves on doing often & unapologetically, rather than always sticking to a single genre or strictly more "popular" genres for (perhaps...) more widespread appeal. Testify. At any rate, our flood now moves into haunting, cinematic territory with a gorgeous orchestral, choral, & vaguely Middle Eastern lament from Archangel, who exercises brilliant restraint & sublime detail; Jaka writes:
"The twin track of "Prelude to Fantasy," another of my arrangements on this album. While "Prelude to Fantasy" conveys balance, order, and purity, "Crystalline Tempest" is the soundtrack to distortion, deception, and chaos. The arrangement follows the heroes' journey through the Crystal World as they gaze in wonder at the twisted crystal passageways, battle Kuja's minions, and finally come to the end of the road, where Kuja greets them in front of the Crystal of Memory: "Nice of you to come.""
When I think of musical distortion & chaos, I might think more of dubstep or heavy metal, but to me this conveys the tragedy of ACTUAL chaos, the sadness of deception & distortion on a profound scale. There's evoking the concept itself, and then there's evoking how someone might feel ABOUT the concept, in other words. Archangel does the latter here with a piece that very much deserves your attention; album director Cain McCormack writes:
"Archangel contributed several orchestral arrangements but I particularly enjoyed this one. It sits just before the two rock epics of the final battles and really gets the sense of dread and impending doom going. It's a really sinister re-imagining of the "Prelude.""
The word "evocative" hardly does this arrangement justice; Jaka has taken the prelude/source and created a desolate landscape that paints itself before your very eyes; thunderous, comparatively loud percussion echoes in clouds of rising & falling harpeggios, restrained choral beds, a passionate wind lead (sounds like a duduk?), and tons of subtle details. The artist incorporates modern/electronic components & FX sparingly - they never dominate, only accentuate, maintaining a more organic, old school brand of apocalypse. Superb, utterly atmospheric work.