George R. Powell follows up his 2014 debut with another orchestral arrangement of Majora's Mask, this time striking a darker, somewhat spookier & more suspenseful tone, and clocking in under three minutes for a shorter, "cue" feel:
"Just thought I'd send another submission to go with the "Then the Healing Came" remix I did for OC ReMix. After hearing the music to Majora's Mask, I could not help but note how haunting "Last Day" was. It was the one piece out of the entire game that left me with chills running down my spine. Not only did I have to compose a rendition of this piece, but I really wanted to see if I could use it to capture the moment of Child Link standing on the precipice of destruction to face his foe, only to find his foe rising in intimidation, the danger becoming more and more real, followed by the battle that our hero has now been thrust into."
George is making good use of the samples he has, but there are certainly elements that are more noticeably artificial than others - some of the edge/rasp on the ensemble brass, for instance, or the solo cello. Some judges also felt like the piece could have been longer, with the buildup culminating in something more prolonged & pronounced, but the current shorter form keeps it "filmier" which Brent picked up on:
"Orchestral samples are well used but pretty obvious. @ 1:25 things get better. Percussion hits mesh and the fast string part is cool. Kind of a 1-2 punch approach to source arrangement. There are lengthy sections without source but I’m pretty sure it’s a decisive 50%+ with source thx to the long intro featuring Final Hours. I get a film score vibe. Imagining a brief but critical confrontation..."
Ditto; Palpable adds:
"This piece goes through a lot of variations and almost everything is executed well and flows naturally. A couple points that I think could have been stronger: at 0:31, piano could be louder; transition at 1:41 is slightly abrupt and the solo string that follows is not sequenced that well; at 2:29, add some instruments playing at a higher octave to really sell the ending of the song and get the full orchestra. These are things to be improved, but I thought this was solid enough to be a pass."
The arrangement definitely uses its 2'43" effectively & develops nicely, so kudos there. Also enjoyed those anvils, for a hard-hitting transition, literally & figuratively. I think George could up his game a bit with some better samples (nothing luxurious, just a bit more realistic) but also by analyzing some of the judges' feedback on dynamics & structure and potentially even by stretching things out a bit & developing ideas/motifs a bit more. That being said, this has a narrative, cinematic vibe to it that evokes the imagery he describes in his submission email, and also provides a nice companion piece to his previous Majora's Mask ReMix while being rather distinct - good stuff!
Sources Arranged (2 Songs)
- Primary Game:
The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask (Nintendo, 2000, N64)
Music by Koji Kondo, Toru Minegishi
- "Last Day"
"Majora’s Incarnate Battle"
- Cinematic, Symphonic
- Spooky, Suspenseful
- Brass, Chromatic Percussion, Piano, Strings
- 4,005,431 bytes
- Size: 4,005,431 bytes
- MD5 Checksum: ba3b2c9a22719168989e615d1b79cbf5
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