Posted 2016-08-31, evaluated by djpretzel
"Here is my soothing take on the Pure Land music from Secret of Mana, simply entitled "Pure Heart." I tried to make it soft and calm, while at the same time adding some interesting material to it.
To me, Secret of Mana *is* childhood. There was always a sense of mystery, discovery and wonder about it, and the Pure Land - where the Mana Tree resides - is the most mysterious and wondrous of them all. The thought of turning the soft, gentle "Still of the Night" into a waltz for Esther immediately came to me, and from there I let the track resolve itself into what it eventually turned into. I felt that the inclusion of a forest ambiance (recorded in one of Sweden's many deep pine forests) was necessary at the beginning and the end to set the mood, and the rest of my process was to make the song as gentle and flowing as possible. I hope this will put the thought of calm exploration into Esther's mind and that she will feel that gentle pull of the quest that I felt when I first wandered through the Pure Land on my own. Esther, remember that we are never far away from adventure, and that it is something to be embraced!"
Awesome :) Very cool that we get regional, bespoke/artisanal forest ambiance and not canned, stock forest ambiance, too. This is super calming, enveloping, and conveys a sense of peace but also space. Nice mixture of synthetic and traditional instruments, with an especially lovely harp & strings. At just under three minutes, this is on the briefer side, but it absolutely nails the atmosphere it's shooting for, with dynamics & panning playing a big part. Larry writes:
"While Fredrik contributed alto sax in sschafi1's recently-posted FF7 "Judgement-Funkadelic," this is actually Fredrik's first solo mixpost in 7 years, so it's great to have him back again with a solo effort. This one's also a nice contrast with the first SoM track on Esther's Dreams, Meteo Xavier's energetic "Psalm of the Summer Sky."
The piece beautifully opens with ambient padding, plucked strings and forest SFX. Respect to Fredrik for sampling sounds from the forest; even without context, it works wonderfully here, but it also gives this arrangement that added touch of nature invoking the Pure Land's imagery from Secret of Mana. I loved the chromatic lead handling the source melody arriving at 1:04. While the higher string articulations were too exposed from 1:24-1:35, it didn't last long, and the writing itself was excellent. The build here was very subtle and placid, and by the time you hit the chorus at 2:02, it's hard not to be eveloped in the beauty and warmth of the arrangement & soundscape.
So many of the tracks on this album hit a new daughter dad like me right in the feels, but not many in the same way as this. It's a true honor to have such a soothing piece as part of Esther's Dreams. "Pure Heart" not only titles this arrangement, but really speaks to the Fredrik's consideration & thoughtfulness from in crafting a worthy tribute for little Esther!"
Well said! "Little Esther" is of course now "Big Girl Esther" (her words) and is rarely this serene - those were the days! - but it's great naptime/bedtime music regardless, and her sister Sarah has been enjoying it quite a bit. Many thanks to Fredrik for a cool, transporting, & serene ReMix, and an excellent addition to Esther's Dreams!
Sources Arranged (1 Song)
- Ambient, New Age, Waltz
- Bells, Harp, Piano, Strings
- Time > 3/4 Time Signature
- 4,643,091 bytes
- Size: 4,643,091 bytes
- MD5 Checksum: 65bbebf2a2e2e9e99d3a3cb86c973e11
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