ReMix: Final Fantasy "Vivo Revenis"
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Jordi Francis debuted back in 2013 with a memorable, unique vocal arrangement of FFX, and thankfully returns with another emotive, personal performance, this time collaborating with pianist Shadow Dreamer (Alexander Nyman) for an intimate folk & vocal (in Esperanto!) arrangement of FF1 (PSX edition) that's also quite perfect for a holiday playlist; Jordi writes:
"Hey, guys! It's good to be back. I feel like I say that every time and then disappear for ages again... hopefully that won't be the case this time. In this track, myself and Shadow Dreamer arranged "Church" for the piano (Shadow Dreamer kindly performed it). I asked Alex to work with me on this aptly named track from the original Final Fantasy game.
The original song (you guessed it) is the track that plays whenever you visit a church. I remember my party seemed to get KO'd a whole lot and, back in the days before Phoenix Downs were a thing, you had to go to a church and pay a fee to have your characters revived. I didn't really mind though because I enjoyed listening to this song so much.
I always loved to listen to the original song in the churches in the early Final Fantasy games, and I always envisioned a choral version with some lyrics in Latin or something. I wanted to make this my own though, almost sang like a prayer or a spell to revive your character, and wrote the lyrics with the vision of a "revival prayer" or something similar in mind. I thought the language of Esperanto suited this the best instead and this is the result.
I decided to record harp and ukulele alongside my vocals to add another layer to this beautiful melody. I should also mention that this is my first ukulele and I've owned it for less then a week... however, Alex is an incredible pianist and I managed to persuade him to start uploading content for YouTube, so he could do with an audience. I recommend his channel to every single one of you! ^_^"
Well right off the bat, it's pretty damn cool to have a vocal mix with lyrics in Esperanto; I honestly don't think I've heard the language sung before, or if I have I don't recall, but it's quite beautiful. A far cry from Captain Kirk's performance in Incubus ;) Lots of humming/vocalizing, and there's a certain vulnerability to Jordi's voice that really works well as layers come in. Harp and ukulele make for delicate, plucked accompaniment, and the whole thing has a winter/fireside feel. Alex adds:
"To begin with, I have to say I'm incredibly pleased with my involvement in this project. Jordi invited me on, as he wanted someone to arrange and play the piano part for this cover, and I was happy to oblige. I'm quite proud of the results we produced, both in terms of sound and visuals. This is quite a meaningful piece too, so we both wanted to get it just right. I hope that you'll be able to find enjoyment in our efforts. Thank you for listening!
We're also releasing this on YouTube with a video, so if you want to see us performing, check it out here."
Nice. Larry adds:
"Nice work on this to both of you, Jordi. Great collab! Much like "Mountain Prayer," this is a beautifully expanded cover. :-)"
Refreshing, comforting, & warm work from Jordi and Alex - perfect for the winter holidays, and another distinct and original VGM arrangement in a style (and in this case, language) we don't see often. Great stuff!