Skyrim + Rebecca E. Tripp = good. She takes on "Around the Fire" and the iconic "Dragonborn" theme with this mixed piece that starts off deliberate and more folk/traditional and then escalates into a grander, symphonic form, with plenty of choral bits:
"This is an excerpt from a medley, actually! But I also made this as a standalone track!
Firstly, Jeremy Soule's work is beyond genius. He's one of the most technically skilled composers of our time (as well as being one of the most prolific and inspired). To do it justice takes a heck of a lot of patience and understanding of the complexity and subtlety of his original compositions.
Secondly, Skyrim is one of my favorite games, so I had to do it right!
Thirdly, Skyrim's soundtrack is already orchestral, thus I had to make it different. I went the Japanese/Celtic/romantic classical hybrid route - as I do with almost everything; I went for warm, ethereal and otherworldly, since that is my style - in my heart, this medley represents the secret, sacred warmth of Skyrim buried deep within the ice and stone.
And, finally, I had (virtually) no MIDI to work with. I had to do over 90% of it from scratch. Although the vast majority of the harmonies and layers I add to my covers/remixes are original, it's still a lot easier to have something to work with. But there was an upside to this! It forced me to work on a blank slate -- which forced a lot of extra creativity out of me."
I'm a huge Skyrim fan as well, and have really been enjoying it all over again in the new form factor afforded by the Switch port, which is excellent. I'd LOVE to see Bethesda port Fallout 3 & New Vegas, the latter of which I still haven't played - the screen is large enough to make these games work, and being able to pick up the system and continue immediately is a huge convenience. But I digress; I like the flow of this arrangement, how it slowly begins around an isolated campfire and ends up ascending to something ethereal & "beyond" - very narrative and visual in its approach. There were a couple choral attacks and a few isolated cymbals that I could have done without; for the latter, pairing a cymbal with at least one other hit - usually a bass drum or timpani - tends to achieve the desired impact. More than a nitpick, but certainly not a dealbreaker. Sir_NutS writes:
"This isn't as bombastic as the great majority of the arrangements for the song of the Dragonborn, but it has its own charm. It's less of a Hollywood epic, and more of a strong, Celtic flavored arrangement. The use of drums is subtle and effective (with exception of the marimba, which does sound a bit upfront). Overall, this is solid, with some imperfections, but very enjoyable and with its own distinctive approach to a very familiar song."
"Very nice arrangement of these two sources. I agree with the crits on the instrument attacks, but overall the instruments are sequenced very well and the chants fit in quite well. Nice work!"
Isolated cymbals and sample attacks aside, the arrangement itself is some of Rebecca's better work, and since she has a great deal of excellent work, that's a statement in itself :) I'd like to see her start refining the production side of things and iterating a bit to get some of the details ironed out; her creative (and beautiful) musical ideas are usually being matched by mixing & instrumentation that can fully express them, but there are tiny gaps w/ regard to attacks, reverb application, etc. that could elevate certain more ambitious orchestrations, like this one. Regardless, it's very cool to see her unique style applied to a more modern game soundtrack from a different publisher, especially a game I've spent so much time with. Enjoy!
Sources Arranged (2 Songs)
- Primary Game:
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (Bethesda Softworks, 2011, WIN)
Music by Jeremy Soule
- "Around the Fire"
- Folk, Symphonic
- Epic, Solemn
- Brass, Choir, Hand Drums, Harp, Orchestral, Strings, Woodwinds
- Time > Tempo: Variable
- 8,206,685 bytes
- Size: 8,206,685 bytes
- MD5 Checksum: f6c923f5bcc9270a1509378e1e4da18b
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