ReMix: The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time "Once More ~A Last TIME~"

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The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time

starlight buffalo (Colin Herrera) makes his OCR debut with a stirring orchestral arrangement of "Temple of Time" from OoT, blending in some new age aesthetics and blossoming at the end into cathartic rock:

"A friend asked me to cover a song from any Zelda game. After, he told me I should submit it here. The pieces came together and here we are. Taking a very minimal and clear melody and expanding on it is generally a fun challenge, albeit dangerous. Particularly orchestrally. Working out countermelodies and new sections that never betray the spirit of the piece, enough so that they feel organic and like they always belonged, is great. Trying to take it somewhere new, but maintain the heart of it, so it could still feel like it could be dropped right back into the story.

In truth, however, it was a slog to get through. A friend of mine died last September - a fantastic Zelda fan - and he was in the midst of a playthrough of every game at the time. So it brought up a lot of difficult emotions. Maybe that's saying too much? Eh, honesty is honesty."

Honesty is always appreciated; the arrangement stands on its own without the context, but it helps us relate to the creative process & provides some additional perspective. DragonAvenger sums things up nicely, tempering criticism with overall praise:

"I do like that you spent some time to change the emphasis of notes here, the song has a very different feel because of it. The emotions conveyed are varied here, from reminiscent to hopeful to contemplative, it's a fun journey to take :)

There's an inherent repetitiveness of the theme here, but the mixer adds a ton of backing elements and countermelodies. Each rendition is different, so the source becomes more of a foundation than the focal point. Pretty neat interpretation! Some of the samples suffer a bit from lack of realism, but nothing was screaming at me in a bad way. Nice work."

Chimpazilla adds:

"Wow, what an arrangement. Is that a bit of Midna's Lament I hear starting at 2:34? Just a hint? Nice. The electric guitar is quite a surprise when it arrives, but it sure keeps things interesting. I agree with the other judges about the lack of realism in some of the samples and articulations, but the arrangement and creativity in the writing gets the job done for me. You did quite a lot with just the simple melody, and I love how you also included a bit of the main Zelda theme. Nice track!"

What struck me on first listen was the mysterious atmosphere, the interesting approach to ensemble vs. solo instrumentation, and the progression from a more new age vibe into orchestral, and then subsequently injecting it all with some rock. Palpable mentioned Mannheim Steamroller in his decision, and I think it's a good comparison. There are moments of beauty, introspection, and elation packed into the 5'44" duration; solid, emotional debut from starlight buffalo - enjoy!


Discussion: Latest 4 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
Venom Fighter X
on 2016-02-08 22:48:37

That is a pretty decent guitar sound towards the end of the piece.

It had me convinced for a sec

starlight buffalo
on 2016-01-10 15:10:06

I'm not really sure of the protocol with comments and responses, since this is all fresh for me.

@nitrozsz First, your guess is as good as mine regarding the emotional shifts/representation in the track. Normally I'd be very conscious of those kinds of things, but I was in a bit of a fog doing this one. It's certainly clearer in retrospect for me, and I can't say you're far off in your estimations. It's all storytelling, and finding your own narrative is part of the adventure.

Second, everything you pointed out as nitpicks were all issues I had with it as well. The choir synth was my backup because the other was on the fritz for whatever reason. The mixing of the drums bothered me then, and still does. I'm just really revisiting the track now, since I hadn't thought about it for a long time, and there are a bundle of things I take issue with. But the structure and sort of emotional core/pacing of the piece hold up, so I'm pretty satisfied with that.

The Jeremy Soule comparison is interesting, and certainly flattering.

I saw that one of the judges - @Chimpazilla - ask if the piano section you also mentioned was referential to Midna's Lament. While it clearly does not utilize the piece melodically, it was certainly intended as an evocation of the way that theme breathes, to further transition the track as it builds towards a release (when the drums come in).

Finally, thank you for the criticism, as well as the praise. It's very cool, indeed, to have thoughtful considerations of something you create.

on 2016-01-08 21:42:53

First, I wanna get the nitpicks out of the way. Sometimes, the choir sounded a bit too synthesized and unnatural to me. And the instruments playing the low chords at 1:39 - 1:52 sounded a tad too hot. The drums, while okay when they were first brought in, didn't sound like it could keep up with the energy of the guitar once that was brought in (and at times, it's kind of hard to hear the drum work). Those nitpicks could be just me though, as they don't take away from how wonderful this sounds.

I saw on the YouTube upload that someone compared this to the musical style of Jeremy Soule. And I can totally hear that comparison in this arrangement as well. What really sold me on this arrangement was 2:33 - 3:09. That piano sounded so natural, beautiful, and mesmerizing. The rock ballad ending was quite interesting, like more than half of this track was building up to that finale. I can't say what emotions you went through when producing this (and feel free to correct me if I'm wrong), but it almost sounds like the rock ballad part was representation of encouragement and uplifted spirits after the more sorrowful sections that preceded it. That's what I got out of the structure at least, based on what was written in the bio.

All in all, I am amazed with what you were able to do with the Temple of Time theme, which always struck me as one of the most basic/least interesting tracks in Ocarina of Time. Definitely a great debut for you.

on 2016-01-08 13:27:48

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