ReMix: Final Fantasy IX "The Journey Home"
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- Game: Final Fantasy IX (Square, 2000, PS1)
- ReMixer(s): Averruncus
- Composer(s): Nobuo Uematsu
- Song(s): "Bittersweet Romance", "Melodies of Life ~ FINAL FANTASY", "Terra", "Unforgettable Sorrow"
- Posted: 2016-05-23, evaluated by the judges
- Terms (BETA): brass celtic clarinet epic flute harp medley mellow orchestral piano symphonic woodwinds
Epic! A gorgeous, grand, & soaring symphonic debut arrangement of several FF9 pieces from newcomer Averruncus (Avery Shen):
"The overarching theme for the track is one of belonging and home, which are the central themes of FF9. I choose to start with "Endless Sorrow" since it, to me, has one of the strongest themes of belonging, as it plays in the Black Mage Village after the Gnomes join. Both groups in a sense share the lack of belonging (Black Mages created for war while the Gnomes are from an entire different planet) and share a home since they have nowhere else to go. I kind of just went with whatever came to mind after that, but to me, the song is about the story of Zidane's journey to find the place he belonged, ending with him ending up with his beloved. Not a great explanation, but I can't express properly what I was looking to achieve, sorry!
The track is by far the largest/most complex I've ever attempted and has been an important learning experience for me in terms of arrangement and mixing. I'm not sure I'm entirely happy with how it sounds, but I've hit a wall (from listening to it hundreds of times) and can't really make any more meaningful changes anymore. I tried to go for a more realistic recorded orchestral feel in my mix, but my arrangement doesn't quite hold up. Despite that, I'm still proud of the outcome and am looking forward applying the experience I've gained in improving my next work.
I hope you enjoy it, thank you for your time!"
Introing with more of a Celtic/folk approach, clarinet takes over from flute as whistle and bassoon join in the fun, for a nice woodwind interplay before things get a bit more epic/sweeping. Transitions between sources are perceptible, but never seem unnatural or inconsistent with the overall arrangement. On top of production being solid and the samples employed being of a generally high quality, attention is paid to dynamics, placement, articulations (esp. on the winds!), and pacing, to create a very complete & satisfying sound. Palpable writes:
"Despite not being overly familiar with the themes, I could tell when a new one was starting. Still, this had the cohesiveness needed to stand alone as a single piece and not a medley. The transitions are well done, and to echo everyone else, the dynamics of the piece are excellent. It's not live-orchestra level quality, but extremely listenable, and the execution is absolutely selling your great ideas."
Ditto that; Avery seems quite humble about this mix, but it's a pretty damn strong way to debut on OCR, and I think people will like it QUITE a bit! Judges were unanimous, and EIGHT judges voted... that certainly says something. Gario adds:
"Mmm, this is such a rich orchestration of some great Final Fantasy IX music. Sounds like you really nailed the Celtic vibe of the sources with the arrangement here - lots of wood flute, and some real nice 'big' moments to follow, giving this one some depth. The sources are well incorporated throughout the track, so it checks out on that front, as well...The instruments are well orchestrated, humanized properly, and fill the space beautifully."
It's true, they do. Emotionally embellished, passionately constructed, and with an excellent sense of dynamics & flow, this should make FF9 fans (and fans of amazing symphonic arrangements in general!) quite happy - definitely hoping we see & hear a lot more from Averruncus!
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