MC

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    King Hippo (+15)

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  1. Memblers, I am coming out of the pure woodwork to make this, my first post in some 13 years, a declaration that whether you or anyone else on this board knew it or not, you were ahead of your time in this mix. Your mix fit the obscure and frightening mood of Castlevania with introspective solo classical-style guitar and imposing, colorful organ. Here are some specific aspects that lend this piece its color and interest (I assume this piece is in the key of C minor): Great variety of guitar picking samples -- the very hard attack of picks near the bridge, and the open, rounder sounds of picks near the sound chamber; Special attention to dynamics in the solo; Good use and control of tremolo picking at 0:37; Nice, interesting release of tension by sliding the organ to the raised third (E natural?) at 1:08, an interval not in C minor; Clever use of the 7th (perfect 4th of the root key) at 1:19; and my favorite part, 1:39 and on: the chromatic, meandering organ line in place of the original's fugue (which is simply overused in Castlevania soundtracks and, at this point, has become trite) makes this passage beautiful, terrifying, colorful, and fit the character of the game so nicely. This is the sort of color that I've heard from Scriabin, Debussy, Bartok, and Stravinsky. Some pretty nice company you have there. I know you're probably proud of the re-work that you did, which people seem to like, but my opinion is that your original only needed a more conclusive ending. Again, a job very well done and thank you for this early treasure of OCR.
  2. Son, What a fitting way to mark this milestone in your contributions to the community! I don't know why it never occurred to me before, but David's review brought to my attention your painstaking manual sequencing. As someone without real perfomance capability, I've had to do the same for all my compositions, and I know well the frustration and attention to detail the task requires. In particular, I think your command of the string/koto-like instrument is notable and impressive by all rights, even if you had had a manual controller at your disposal. More generally speaking, you've delivered on just what you've recently told me I should strive for, namely colorful harmony and progressions (I'll spare specific citations here). Again, congratulations on your twentieth remix. May you continue to be prolific and develop! MC
  3. I composed what was the final version of this remix some time ago--a time that can now meaningfully be measured in years--having never heard the original from FF9, only Blak_Omen's rendition which I worked from. I just listened to the original, and I can definitively say that it sounds nothing like the remix I composed here. So the nay-sayer is right.
  4. A remix must be some effort if it makes me offer my first post in like 8 months. Very thoughtful sequencing, and an equally interesting arrangement. does sound a bit more like 'new age' to me--not that's a bad thing at all. perhaps a 'classical' interpretation would have included more experimentation with dissonance, or maybe I'm just a sucker for dissonance. In any case! When a remix makes me want to try my hand at arranging its original work, it's a reliable metric, in my mind, of a remix well done.
  5. Gray and I didn't see eye-to-eye on the very last chord. Obviously, he was of the mindset that what you heard was the most fitting ending, while I fancied something a bit louder or resolute, with more emphasis in the lower register. I think this was the point of humorous discussion between the two of us for quite some time while he was reworking this piece. I heard a lot going on in this piece while he took his second effort at it, listening to his work in progress at many points during the process. Some decisions he made were better than others. Gray and I also have a running debate on the prominence of natural law in various aspects of life--at least I can use this mix as sort of tongue-in-cheek backup for my argument that his natural refining process yielded the best of possible works he was to come up with. Like I noted in my comments in the WIP thread, one of the simplest yet most effective changes he made was to shift the bassline down an octave. I felt it added presence and afforded the mix some of the richness that Gray is known to have in regular abundance in his work. Percussion rolls off nicer than it did in his original. Better use of the strings and pads to create depth. And high praises for summarily ignoring any of that ill-wrought advice concerning the harp glissando in the wrong key. I can't think of anything better to say than Freemind's last comment, so I will echo it. I think I've learned from him, too--not just about the genre he's chosen to explore, and what his influences are, but how to think a bit more critically about what I write. So, Mr. Gray.. keep it sublime, keep it mercurial so we can continue to learn and benefit at the expense of your hard work!
  6. Yes, friends, this is piano. I'll say it again: THIS is piano. No bullshit 1-5-8-5 left hand patterns for 3 minutes here. Highly colorful, expressive performance and an innovative arrangement. If you can find it in the archives of WIPs, also listen to the very, very first cut of this remix, which is even more candid (yet not as polished--which I think can be a good thing in the right contexts) than this one. I am envious! MC
  7. I think this is your most moving work to date, and I'll almost be disappointed if you ever eclipse it, because I like what you've done here so much. I really enjoy the senses of urgency and desperation I get from listening to this... you know I wanted to do a right treatment of the piece in a remix of this remix but I couldn't get off the ground, mainly because I couldn't come up with a way to encapsulate in music what you had. This is my favorite of yours. Hats off, gentlemen--genius!
  8. and thus I am drawn back to OCR to make one more post. the other folks are right in their assessment of Gray's latest offering as more melodic than his previouf efforts. And I have to admit, when he first shared it with me in the WIP-stage, I was impressed with it for certain, but not that taken with it--I attribute that to a sort of narrow-minded bias against pieces with a more eastern (specifically, Japanese) bent to them. Even if I'm not able to appreciate this aspect of the piece, I can appreciate the musicianship. Gray's integration of all the insturments is beyond commendable, and this is amazingly convincing and euphonous use of the ethnic flute--at least the most thoughtful application of it that I've heard from a remixer. I'm also highly impressed with the fullness of his strings (which I've brought to his attention on another certain remix...!). Granted, some may view professionalism as sort of a superficial characteristic to seek; but nothing shows a beginner like a composition that sounds thin or hole-ridden. Gray has done precisely the opposite, and I mean this with particular respect to the strings, even though all the instruments coming together give the work a sought-after lushness. congratulations! MC
  9. for some reason I am reminded rather strongly of Shostakovich's 11th symphony with this piece. anyways, to say that this piece doesn't go anywhere is not only a disservice to it also a misunderstanding. There is development, but not a great deal of it--and that's not necessarily a bad thing, I think it fits this piece and Gray's aims quite well. I will enjoy this for many, many plays over.
  10. The piece follows a loose A-B-A' form, right? In any case, I will structure my review on that assumption. I'm afraid Kamikaze Noodle was wrong in his assessment. A, A': I'm a huge sucker for expression in piano parts. I didn't think this was a terribly expressive piano part. Only minimally colorful at most, which I thought to be at 2:21-2:27. Very little dynamic variation in the piano. Perhaps this was their intention, as to obscure the piano and not have it draw too much attention. Maybe that was a wise choice--I know I would brought it out quite a bit further...probably 'cause that's the only instrument I can write for... Nothing major here, but a pet peeve: the rolled chord at the end. I think the only time you should roll chords like that is when your hand isn't big enough to play all a chord's notes at once. B: The only thing that didn't sit very well with me was the snare drum. Not a lot of dynamic variation, and I'm not sure that the snare was the best choice to use in this case (perhaps a timpani instead?). Otherwise, I did enjoy the orchestral/middle/marchlike section. It sounds like there's a bit more thought that went into layering the instruments, dynamics and color than in the other parts. but then again, I only see in black and white. Take my review how you will!
  11. Some remixers are quite versatile, while others have distinct niches. I hold that GL belongs in the latter category, having produced some very thoughtful 'soundscapes' as we like to call them. I wish I had heard the original, only so I could better track the movement of this remix. Nice usage of all the instruments employed, along some interesting chords. A very quality mix, any way you look at it.
  12. I can't believe I forgot to put in my two cents on this remix. In all fairness, this one shouldn't be formally associated with me on OCR--as much as I'd like it to be--for this remix is the genius of SGX. I appreciate the credit for the help I lent but honestly, I owe SGX teh mad propz for letting me help him with this. You already know what's great about this mix, so I won't go on and reiterate. But I thought I would once again vouch for SGX's seemingly boundless creativity, especially as evinced by his latest Ecco remix. Well done! <sets off firecrackers> MC
  13. Thank you for your replies. I used a Roland XV-88 to record this piece. Everything is analog and I don't have any good recording equipment--hence the complaints about the quality! If my equipment/software condition improves, I might re-record this piece to take advantage of that. thanks again, and best wishes. MC
  14. ArtemisJaeger: thanks, and you're correct. I chose the very etude myself and thought that it would suit the original quite well. DiscoDan said that this sounded like Chopin, which is true--early Scriabin was *heavily* influenced by Chopin (evident especially in the waltzes and in the Sonata-Fantasy). The endings of Scriabin's etude and my remix are extremely similar but not identical. I hope, for your own sake, that you can find the recording of Scriabin's etude Op 12 No 8 from Vladimir Horowitz's 1986 Moscow concert recording. EASILY the best interpretation of this piece, surpassing all of Horowitz-himself's earlier recordings and everyone else's. This was the recording that inspired me to fit the SotN piece to the etude, and judging from the reponse, it worked pretty well. To cover myself, I probably should have noted in my submission notes that the ideas for the remix are heavily grounded in Scriabin's etude. MC