ReMix: Alex Kidd in Miracle World "A Kingdom Under the Sea"
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5,583,665 bytes, 3:49, 192kbps
Today's my birthday, I grew up on Alex Kidd in Miracle World, and we haven't posted anything from the franchise in FOURTEEN YEARS, so I'm happy to be featuring our second mix from Bluelighter (Guillaume Saumande), who shares the same nostalgia I do for this game, and has put together a fun symphonic "cafe" march of sorts - with accordion! - that reminds me of some of Joe Hisaishi's work for Studio Ghibli:
"Here is an orchestra arrangement from Alex Kidd. It was my first game on console in my childhood, so I was a bit nostalgic when I made this mix. :) More than the orchestra, an accordion can be heard on the whole mix. This instrument contributes to give the mix its peaceful and sunny atmosphere. There is also trumpet solo at some parts to play the melody.
This mix follows a kind of progression: peaceful at the beginning; majestic in a second time (with a brass band instrumentation); to come to a more heroic section. The mix finishes like at the beginning, with a peaceful instrumentation. Plan:
- 0-0'26: Intro, peaceful. Based on rhythm of "Swimming." This part announces also march band rhythm that arrives after.
- 0'26-1'08: "Swimming," 1st melodic line. Dialogue between cello and accordion for the melody.
- 1'08-1'28: "Swimming," 2nd melodic line. Rhythm of brass band. Melody by trumpet solo.
- 1'28-2'10: "Swimming," 1st melodic line. Rhythm of brass band. Melody by brass, reinforced by accordion.
- 2'05-2'10: Transition with first notes of "main theme."
- 2'10-2'32: "Swimming," 1st melodic line. Adapted in a minor harmony. Melody by trumpet solo, rhythm speedier. -> Sounds more heroic. In accompaniment, you can hear the first notes of "Main theme," in order to introduce next part
- 2'32-3'03: "Main Theme," 1st melodic line. Adapted in a minor harmony and tempo a lot reduced. Culminant point of the mix. Sounds like a boss theme.
- 3'03-3'20: "Main Theme," 2nd melodic line. Peaceful this time, contrasting with the precedent part (like if the precedent boss was defeated :D). Melody in accordion; still in a slow tempo; light instrumentation.
- 3'20-3'50: Outro, similar to the intro in the instrumentation. Peaceful and light…
The original songs were really funny to work on! I hope you'll enjoy this arrangement. :)"
Transitioning some portions to a minor key was critical in making this whole thing work so well; very smart arranging just to get this to the point of being functional! Guillaume goes far beyond that with a playful mix of heroic symphonic elements and pluckier, folksier bits, and handles most of those tricky transitions quite admirably. I love the harp runs - this has the feel of fanciful 1950's film depictions of underwater worlds, Atlantis, etc., while simultaneously striking a Parisian cafe vibe with the accordion. Gario digs it, too:
"Oh, I like this. It certainly has a very Mediterranean feel to it - that accordion and light percussion does some real good keeping the listener in that space. While the source is there quite consistently, I have to say you frame the structure in such a way that keeps things changing just enough to keep the listener on his or her toes. I listened to this before listening to the source, and it just all comes together well enough on its own, without losing me or making me feel it's lingering. That speaks volumes about its arrangement - I love it."
These are catchy themes, but a little tricky to arrange in my opinion, and especially to integrate as the artist has done. I love this game and its soundtrack, and it was a formative, early exposure to VGM for me as well - I remember liking these specific themes so much that I held a tape recorder up to the TV and recorded the output, just so I could play it back. KIDS THESE DAYS DON'T KNOW! ;) Great stuff from Bluelighter, his first solo ReMix and a very creative one at that, which ended up as a completely unintended but quite appreciated birthday present for me, and hopefully something you'll dig, too!