Posted 2017-12-04, evaluated by Liontamer
We are proud to announce the release of our 65th FREE community arrangement album, Secret of Mana: Resonance of the Pure Land!!
A legendary adventure with an iconic soundtrack by Hiroki Kikuta, Secret of Mana is a game many of us grew up on & which inspired many of us musically as well. Directors Jorrith Schaap (Jorito) & Mike Postans (The Nikanoru) have put together an amazing tribute filled with ethereal new age, epic cinematic, face-melting metal, toe-tapping jazz, and everything in between! Check it out at http://mana.ocremix.org and please help us spread the word! Jorito writes:
"Welcome to the Secret of Mana album, a project that was started way back in 2011. Kicking life back into a project that has lain dormant for so long normally isn't easy, but when you're talking about a game that is as beloved as Secret of Mana, magic definitely can happen!...Big kudos to the artists who really stepped up their game and created these very diverse and creative but still very recognizable interpretations of the world and sounds of the Secret of Mana, and also to Tabby, who really caught the essence of Mana in her beautiful artwork. I'm sure you'll enjoy listening to it just as much as we enjoyed creating it!"
"...To me, each track conveys an aspect of this world of Mana and since the center of nature in this world is the Mana Tree, it only made sense that the theme of our album would revolve around the sounds you might hear in the forest surrounding this world-supporting tree - the Resonance of the Pure Land.
All the remixers have brought their own resonance to this project, often taking their remixes in completely different directions than I expected - I think this gives the album a distinctly unique flavor that still reflects the themes and values in the game itself. It has been an amazing experience to have worked with such talented and diverse musicians and with Jorrith on directing. I learned a heck of a lot from everyone, enjoyed watching this project grow, and I'm happy I was able to be part of it. I hope you will enjoy this album and hope it becomes as much as classic for you, the listener, as the Secret of Mana itself."
We begin our traditional mixflood with a gorgeous take on the haunting & classic title theme from Kylok (Kyle Okaly), collaborating with Bree & Trev Wignall for a classical/folk piece that blends sax, violin, and vocalizing into something truly inspired & inspirational:
"Secret of Mana is one of the first games that I vividly remember playing a ton as a kid. Many random details about it are permanently etched into my brain, but none as clearly as the soundtrack. My first contribution to OCR was a track from it (an acoustic rock version of "Into the Thick of It"), and when I heard this album project was in the works, I quickly committed to remixing two more tracks.
"Fear of the Heavens" is the first thing you hear when you turn the game on, and its melody is one of the highlights of the soundtrack. The original 16-bit version is a classic, but I really wanted to hear that evocative melody on a bunch of different expressive, acoustic instruments. I worked it into sax, violin, and vocal parts throughout my remix, each in a different context of accompanying lines. I was lucky to get performances by both Trev and Bree on violin and vocals, respectively -- they injected these thematic moments with a ton of personality.
The bassline, countermelodies, and other accompanying parts in the original track are also pretty interesting in their own right, so rather than focusing entirely on the main melody, I experiment with alternate melodies that still work alongside all those different interlocking parts. I think the end result is something that strikes a good balance between exploring the source material thoroughly and frequently changing, evolving, and switching things up."
Trev Wignall adds:
"I was thrilled when Kyle asked me to perform on his arrangement of this piece. My goal was to complement the understated beauty of the arrangement and composition by mixing in both Romantic and Baroque solo violin styles. I am happy to contribute to his unique and thoughtful instrumentation choices."
In a word: stunning. A fantastic approach which instantly clicks - I love the sax & violin pairing, the male/female vocalized duet is a nice touch & fades into a full choir rather slickly, and I especially dig the original counter/alternate melodies that Kyle adds in: none of them detract from the focus, and all of them feel like they belong. Jorito writes:
"A classic of the Secret of Mana soundtrack, and probably *the* classic to most people because it's played at key moments in the game. Because it's instantly memorable and such a classic, it's not easy to come up with an interpretation that pays homage to the original but also allows for enough creative freedom to make it your own. Fortunately, the fear of the heavens didn't seep into Kylok and he was more than equal to the task. It's an excellent spin on the original, and the arrangement makes the live saxes and Trev's emotive violin performance really shine. Lovely, totally dig it!"
It's a big theme that's been interpreted more than a few times, but this arrangement feels natural, creative, expressive, interesting, and at moments, downright spine-tingling in its conceptualization & execution. A great introduction to Resonance of the Pure Land and a truly distinct & compelling take on a classic theme!
on 2017-12-09 01:37:06
Oh man, I came on this mix flood just before bed and I said to myself, "I love Secret of Mana, I'm going to have to listen to at least one. But which?" And then, of course, the start of the flood is none other than Fear of the Heavens, which is an extremely hard piece to do justice to because of its emotional and epic range, so I said, "If they can do this, it's over, I'm in." WELL MAKE ROOM FOR ONE MORE ON THE BANDWAGON, because this is just gorgeous, a wonderful, sweeping take that invokes its own magical feel while not abandoning the core of the opening. The instrument choices, the interweaving melodies, and the quiet, almost thoughtful ending - it works, it all works, and it's all magical. So impressed, so excited, so not going to bed until I hear a few more tracks! Well done!!
on 2017-12-04 01:08:16
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Sources Arranged (1 Song)
- Primary Game:
Secret of Mana (Square, 1993, SNES)
Music by Hiroki Kikuta
- "Fear of the Heavens"
- Cinematic, Classical
- Mellow, Suspenseful
- Bells, Choir, Piano, Saxophone, Violin, Vocals: Female, Vocals: Male
- Origin > Collaboration
Production > Live Instruments
Regional > Celtic
- 5,952,300 bytes
- Size: 5,952,300 bytes
- MD5 Checksum: 89a55dd15f3f99f5646ab1c44b6b0f4f
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