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djpretzel

OCR01024 - Secret of Mana "Drifting Towards the Stars"

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Well lately I can see that Gray has been really busy pumping out remixes, and I'm really happy about it! He's a great composer who I've actually been getting to know pretty well, and his personality shines as much as his music does.

When I listen to this I feel as if I'm drifting away into the clouds. ^^ It's really nice, and apparently I'm the first to comment on it O_O! I heard right away from him and decided to come check it out. This is pretty good stuff to listen to late at night, just close your eyes and listen.

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What's the point of a song that goes nowhere? That's my question. As great as this song is to listen to, it really feels like it just...is. It doesn't progress, it doesn't change. Even the most basic early 50's rock songs had a sense of differenciation and change. Without those, the listening becomes almost a chore. It's great as background music, but not as a stand alone song. I think a few tweaks in composition could've given this a better edge. Right now, it's too loose a listen for me to really enjoy it.

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I like it! It does seem to have a wavelike quality to it, which is probably a good thing for a calm piece such as this one. The background harmony gets a bit repetative around 1:30, but this is brief and doesn't really interfere with the piece as a whole. I like how the climax builds yet doesn't actually vary from the rest of the song much. Some might not like it because it's very "static", but it's a nice, peaceful song to listen to. Good job.

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Well Gray, I got back from camp just to post a review on this mix of yours! (not really, but I'm really happy that this song made it on after what, 5 months of waiting?)

Let me listen to this song once more....

Ah yes! I love this song, it may not be up to par with your DS mix (IMO), but I still love this version of Star of Darkness, even if it is lacking the electric guitar. I love this song when I'm in the mood for a time of just sitting and thinking of.... well, stuff. It's very relaxing, and it has no "bad guitar samples" like DS, and I'm really glad to see that this mix has finally gotten through the judging process!

I remember when you worked on DS for months, and I'd listen to EVERY version of it for HOURS (literally, at least two hours per version). You know how you split the song into two parts, the first part and the second part (to those of you who know what I'm talking about, good for you), I liked how you played the first part more than the second part, because the second part just kept repeating in the original when the first part was my favorite. I told you all of this either on AIM or through the WIP thread months ago. My favorite part is basically any time it plays the first part (I wish it had the guitar though! I know it wouldn't be this song if it did though, it'd be DS2 instead). I really like how parts of the song have the building in the atmosphere, around 3:15 in particular. Keep up the good work Gray, I look forward to more of your stuff getting the recognition it deserves from OCR!

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I really liked this theme!

I'm not familiar with the orginal theme from the game but as a general music lover I thought the mix hit all the right notes (pun intended) providing the feeling of peace and serenity to the atmosphere.

I always love to envision some thick myserious foggy settings whenever I hear atmospheric songs like this.

Doctors should consider paying to use this song to calm the mind of their

patients as I truly believe it could do just that. I could list all the great

things I love about this mix but that would take too long. OH what the hell!

Really dig the part that starts at the 1:21 mark. With beautifully sweeping strings and bells that eventually evolve into something with a little more dramatic flair to them.

The 1:48 - 1:56 part felt like one of the very nice climax moments of the song when things just hit a peak and then reverted to calmness again.

Fortunately this song knows when to move on so it doesn't become stagnant. It's a continuously moving piece with a melody that's on viagra.

The intros and endings were also well done. I really liked the sudden nature of the intro. Instead of slowly building an opening,it just burst onto the scene without warning.

All in all, I absolutely LOVE the samples coming from his Service Merchandise $49.95 + tax Casio Keyboard! Totally kick@$$!!!

My only complaint with this mix is the fact that it isn't Techno... ALL remixes should be done in Techno, utilizing nothing greater than the default sounds of a Soundblaster 16, nothing more, nothing less!

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Psst, judges, let you in on a little secret: Not all music has to follow the same structure. Expand your horizons sometime. Listen to some new age and ambient stuff. Aphex Twin's "Stone in Focus" is virtually 10 minutes of the same sound over and over, yet somehow the little variation it does have keeps it interesting the whole time. And it doesn't have to be interesting in an "foreground music" way to be music; if you're listening to it that way, the problem is with you, not the remix. Don't feel threatened by someone else's originality just because your views are too narrow to understand it. Expand your horizons instead. Looks to me like 5 out of 6 of the people who replied here have no problem hearing this for the beautiful introspective artwork that it is.

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~Al~, my peers and I form a fusion of different backgrounds, perspectives, and ideas. This literal musical diversity will not always lead to unanimity. Some views will win out over others; that's the nature of voting. But it's not fair to condemn those who passed up a particular mix simply on the basis of your opinion of it.

Enjoy the mix, but save the potshots for our other forums.

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Ahhhhh, I must say this is a very good composer track. Damn. I gotta say it, Good job, as a boxer I like to softer things that make me focus more, it's alot like the original, but it's got that flare to it this is the way it should have been done on the SNES lol. Click. Listen. Repeat. :o

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Reading the build up to this, I was expecting something boring and repetative so I'm quite surprised at what I heard.

This absolutely has a sense of progression and climax with the chimes and piano sitting back in the mix at first, providing an ostinato, and some variation over the top, slowly moving to the front where they eventually dominate and finish in a dramatic climax.

I thought this was a well realised ambient work. Personally I think it would have benifitted from some bass and maybe even a meaty sawtooth, again to fill out the low end and help out the strings on crecendos.

But the arrangement itself I think was great and the attention given to the instruments that were present really payed off.

gen adds (15/12/03): It's funny how ones perceptions change. I listened to this again today and now I fail to see where the bass and saw that I recommended would go :P

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~Al~, my peers and I form a fusion of different backgrounds, perspectives, and ideas. This literal musical diversity will not always lead to unanimity. Some views will win out over others; that's the nature of voting. But it's not fair to condemn those who passed up a particular mix simply on the basis of your opinion of it.

Enjoy the mix, but save the potshots for our other forums.

I'll save them for here, thanks, when it's about this remix directly, and the judges don't know what ambient music is. I also included my opinion in the post, so you were the first one to post an off topic message.

I don't know what you voted, so I don't know how applicable it is to you, but my statement stands about how judges whining about ambient/new age music that doesn't "go anywhere" shows a complete lack of understanding of the genre. People shouldn't be judging something they don't understand.

And if they *do* have some understanding about the genre and they're still complaining, then they quite simply hate the genre, and if they can't post an unbiased opinion about genres they're biased against, they shouldn't be judges in the first place.

Gray made something beautiful here, so don't try to protect anyone who nearly didn't allow it to be accepted just because of they don't know what ambient/new age music is, or they have a bias against it.

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Yet another great mix from GrayLightning. Very nuanced and subtle, with several moments where the music comes into the foreground enough to really pull you back in as you drift out. This is the kind of song that sounds a little boring until you start paying attention to everything that's going on at once and realize there's so many layers and so much texture. This is a definite winner.

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...if they can't post an unbiased opinion about genres they're biased against, they shouldn't be judges in the first place.

Ahhh... Somebody said it. That's the best thing I've ever heard, ~Al~

As for the mix, I didn't recognize it next to it's original track, which makes me question is elegibility for an OCReMix. But it's well done. Very nice, very ambient.

Only problem I had was the issues of derivative.

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I think brian eno's original idea behind ambient music is fully realized here: ambient can be both "out of the way," background for reading, working, painting, studying or whatever, but can also yield depth and beauty if listened to intently.

This is some excellent remixing -- taking and using Kikuta's original theme to blend and tie together many *original* ideas. The care that goes into the blending and fading each of the elements is dead on. Subtlety is something that I find often lacking in a lot of remixes (I don't just mean detail, but subtety of details) and it's a quality that makes a mix "lasting." You will certainly hear something new, something different, every time you listen to this carefully.

I imagine that even after the quality of samples and production have gone through the roof and OC ReMix is swimming in top-notch arrangements, down the road this will be a mix that gets frequent play.

yh

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I appreciate that the judges and djp decided to post this. ^_^ Digital Coma's comments (edit: decision that djp referred to) are some of the most interesting ones I've read. :D

I am surprised that this mix actually made it, as I was unsure how the judges might react to an ambientish mix. This is influenced in many ways by the likes of tim story, the ecco soundtrack and possibly even vangelis, roach and serrie to an extent.

Thank you all for taking the time to check this mix out. Many thanks to those who enjoy the mix. I am elated to see this mix up on OC.

The mix initially started as a personal experiment to make a more mellow version of my Distorted Star mix and to make a mix that had a feeling of constancy. Another challenge for me was to create a mix without any kind of drums/percussion, something I had never done before. What makes this mix special for me was the interweaving of many like sounding instruments that made up the melody and harmony to blend in and out of each other. To create a mass of sound as some of the judges pointed out. Which brings me to the point that Mustin raised. Due to the blending of these elements the melody is at times masked, but I actually used about 90+% of the original's melody. Much of the harmony is distinctly different from the original yet is very much inspired by the original.

^_^

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I really dig this tune. Everything is really smooth. Lots of attention to detail. It is interesting to listen to over and over again. Nice werk!

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It flows. Yes indeed.

It be a good mix.

Not much of a comment, I know, but I've already talked myself to death about this mix in the past.

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"it doesn't go anywhere"

that was about as ignorant a thing as you could have possibly said; because its not goin anywhere for you (maybe all that is at your disposal for "sound travel" is a fuckin tricycle) doesn't mean it doesn't go anywhere or that its a weak work of music...

graylightning is one of the most talented and knowledgeable new age composers in our community and if you are into the genre, you probably already know that. this piece was a winner and deserves to be here. excellent work, bro, again, your chord progressions are crafted, you are getting better with choosing your tones to match the music... the atmospheric embellishments that you do with strings is very remeniscent of an RTS, kinda like age of empires... it has a very OLD feeling to it and the sweeps between 1:40 and 1:55 are :) good stuff

as far as the judges debate: there cannot and should not be uninamous decisions very often when it comes to a work of art because even if something is deemed a great piece, it is unlikely that everybody agrees on its quality/integrity/purpose. as far as whether the system works, that should be in another forum and not here.

i'm glad the song went through because its a great work of art.

p's

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Recently I've become a big fan of ambient music.

Now that this is out of the way, let me say that Grey Lightning has never let me down.

This is a great rendition of a great theme. It is very wave like, with very small variations in the volume, which bring our subconsious in and out of the song (if you're listening to it in the backgroud as I have been).

The intro and conclusion are very subtle, as they should be, and I could see this easily looping without me realizing it.

But I think my favorite thing is the power that this mix still contains. I love GL's Distorted Star for the majesty and power that it adds to the original song. But this takes that majesty and inverts it, creating power and slight tension from mystery and wonder.

All in all, this is simply amazing. And it will find its way onto my next work CD alongside other OCR ambient work. Thanks to GL and zyk0 I know exactly what I want to put together next.

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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.

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This was always one of my favourite pieces of music from SoM. I can remember repeatedly listening to a MIDI of it maybe six or seven years ago. In fact, I'd been thinking about remixing it myself, though given my lack of musical talent, knowledge and experience, it's probably a good job for all concerned that GrayLightning got there first.

I really like this mix. Whilst it doesn't really vary in tempo or "energy", there is plenty of variation here to keep a laid back listener interested.

It has a bit of a different feel to the original, I think. Whereas that was very ominous and threatening, this...well, it's still a little ominous, but it's not as immediate. It puts me in mind of a clear day, not a cloud in the sky, but the sky seems a little too dark blue, there's a slightly chill wind, and you can tell that there's something wrong, somewhere...Ok, I'm getting a little too dramatic here.

This is a very well executed piece, and it's very different to most mixes on this site, which is a very good thing. True, it doesn't reach out, grab you by the balls and shake, but surely there's room for a few quieter, subtler tracks here and there?

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I've always enjoyed this theme ever since i heard a .XM of it way back

in the days when I dialed up the internet via a 2400 baud modem.

I really enjoyed this take on the theme, and it's been growing on me

more and more ever since I heard it a while back when it was on the

judges forum. I'm not sure what mustin is smoking to not recognize the

original poking through in those pads... but oh well.

Very fun stuff indeed. Very much makes me want to dig out and salvage

the remix of this theme I started way back in the long time ago. Maybe

I'll pick it back up someday.. I'm feeling rather inspired listening to this.

Yay for non-dance music. (:

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I didn't have much time to read all thw reviews guys, so I am only going to say that:

GRAY I have heard this remix a lot of times and I feel very happy that finally passed the OC judges...Continue the good work and I hope that in the future new age music will be one of the best genre in this site... :wink:

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Typically I don't review much, But your certainly an exception.

You know that i think this is a good song.. love the laid back feel..

I dont honestly have much else to say, im not going into details, its a wonderful piece, you don't need my criticisms anymore, you've quite honestly risen up :)

What i'm going to be excited about are your future works.

Oh, and im also glad the judges let it through.

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