Posted 2017-01-31, evaluated by Liontamer
Now we transition from high-energy enthusiasm to starry-eyed dreaming, as Doc Nano (Alex Johnson-Buck) takes us on a gorgeous, piano-driven tour of the night sky, with deliberate, developing accompaniment that lends a moment of delicate introspection to Super Mario RPG: Window to the Stars. Alex writes:
"Ah, Star Hill. One of my very favorite settings from any game, ever. In exploring its reaches, you stumble across the unfulfilled wishes of friend and foe alike, all stymied by the evil forces gripping the world. It was moments like these, full of subtlety and heart, that set Super Mario RPG apart from most games of that generation, and certainly signified a huge departure from the minimalist storytelling of the Mario series proper.
The setting of Star Hill was hugely augmented by a wonderful little musical theme, comprising a simple arpeggio motif supported by a pipe organ, chimes, and string pizzicati. As the source material is rather scant and amelodic, I opted for a short piano piece reminiscent of a Chopin prelude with a ternary ABA form. The A section is built on a faster version of the aforementioned bell arpeggios. The B section contains an original counterpoint to the main theme, and is backed by a simple orchestral accompaniment that crescendos to a climax with the reprisal of the main theme towards the end. The second A section is differentiated from the first by countermelodies on the oboe, French horn, and clarinet."
The end result reminds me of Super Mario Galaxy more than a bit, which is only EVER a good thing. WttS do-director DaMonz writes:
"When I stepped up to help with the direction of this project, one of the very first things I wanted to do was to get in touch with Alex because of a beautiful piano arrangement of his for Star Hill that I had heard a while back on his YouTube channel. When he came back to me with a completely upgraded arrangement that included various orchestral elements and a further-elaborated structure, I was completely thrilled! I could not have asked for anything more. Alex's arrangement is an absolutely stunning take on the source material that tells an engaging story, and adds a lot of emotional depth to the album."
Basically: What he said. In a little over three minutes, Doc N. takes an already-sublime piano arrangement and builds around it with countermelody & harmony, constructing a musical ascension to the stars that rises up both literally & figuratively, with the piano's upper register put to good use. Absolutely beautiful.
Sources Arranged (1 Song)
- Primary Game:
Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars (Nintendo, 1996, SNES)
Music by Koji Kondo, Nobuo Uematsu, Yoko Shimomura
- "The Starlight's Flower Shines on Star Hill"
- Mellow, Romantic
- Clarinet, French Horn, Oboe, Piano, Strings, Woodwinds
- 4,959,361 bytes
- Size: 4,959,361 bytes
- MD5 Checksum: 87192bdbd1aa83b3010c54a62dade0c8
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