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Gario

OCR03746 - *YES* Chrono Trigger "Elements of Time"

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Contact Information
 
ReMixer name - Andrew Thompson
Email address - 
Userid - 33982
 
Submission Information
 
Game - Chrono Trigger
Arrangement - Chrono Trigger Medley
Songs - Lavos, Secret of the Forest, Undersea Palace, Corridors of Time
Additional information - Composed by Yasunori Mitsuda
Comments - Performed and arranged by Andrew Thompson with Kristy Mezines on Piano and Fernando Valencia on Percussion

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Fantastic instrumental work here.  A little of the violin work is on the harsh side, but overall the effect is quite impressive.

I do have two major concerns, though.  First, the arrangements in each section are extremely conservative.  Wherever the original instrument is in the artists' repertoires (piano, bass, woodwind), they use it; most other instruments are substituted 1:1.  There are a couple of small additions (e.g. the strings at 0:50), and there's some extra material in the transitions to help them change the energy level and flow better (e.g. the strings at 2:23), and a bit at the end, but otherwise there isn't much in the way of interpretation going on here.

Second is the issue of "medley-itis."  I feel like the transitions here are borderline at best.  They're not completely abrupt; there's definitely an effort being made to try to get the sections to flow together.  The first one is maybe OK since you could call it the end of an introduction, but the transitions to Undersea Palace and Corridors of Time are jarring, and it doesn't help that the sections are completely different in energy level.

I'd love to see some of your work here on the site, but I really don't think this is the sort of arrangement we look for.

NO

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This is a very tough call. The performances are phenomenal, and overall the listening experience is incredible. On the other hand, the shifts in pacing and mood pushes the 'multiple arrangements placed next to one another' sound that we don't like in medleys. On the other OTHER hand, the transitions are not bad, either - there was effort to make it sound like a cohesive track, and it does show.

On the other other other hand, though, you called this Chrono Trigger Medley... Really. Just saying, there. :P

I disagree with the comment that individually the arrangements are too conservative, as there are a lot of cool details behind the scene that keeps things interesting (like the string textures behind the forest theme, and reharmonizations for the Ocean Palace), not to mention the related but original material used to bridge the sections.

If the pacing didn't shift between sections this would be an easy YES on the books, but with those fairly large swings in mood and pacing it makes it much more difficult to give it a clean pass. MindWanderer's observations are not wrong, but I think the transitions are just good enough to consider this something of a musical suite rather than a disjointed series of arrangements slapped together. I'm going to swing just to the other side of things here, but I can see others going for the NO on it.

Oh, I think the violins sound great, personally - the more distinct harshness make them great for solo performances and duets. Might be just me, though. ;)

YES

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I can see why any judge should look at a medley carefully, but I didn't believe it was a tough call. On the level of interpretation, the key changes, different instrumental textures, live performance dynamics, as well as the addition of original part-writing all together added up to a substantive arrangement. Nice move from the woodwind lead to the piano (with original string accents) at 1:30. The swell at 2:23 was nicely done also.

As far as the arrangement's structure with multiple themes, I don't see how the medley was problematic; the pacing and flow didn't feel disconnected or "pasted together" from theme to theme, IMO. The transitions at :37, 2:39 (with the bowed strings as the common thread), and the move into original writing at 3:14, then the shift back into CT at 3:34 were all fine. Same at 3:46 (with the bowed strings fading down as the next section built); all of the transitions here are clearly given legitimate thought.

Everything sounds kosher to me. Nice job by Andrew, Kristy, and Fernando!

YES

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This is another case of a track sounding very conservative at first glance but having a lot of subtle details that add to the interpretation.  As noted by Gario the underlying additions behind the much more conservative main melodies are what distinguish this track from a straight-up cover.  However how much they add as to make the track stand out on its own is the question.  I believe enough is done, specially in sections where harmonies and keys are switched, and where themes are meshed together, such as near the end.  

Performances were good for the most part, some of the instrumentation felt stiff in some spots but enjoyable nonetheless. 

Overall I think casual listeners would probably need to listen attentively to hear the differences, but wouldn't need to put much effort to enjoy this piece which was well crafted, performed and produced.

YES

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I'm in agreement that this is a bit close in terms of putting a lot of themes together and having a flow between them. For the most part I think the transitions do a nice job of keeping the song flow there, but a couple transitions where the mood change is more abrupt does jar a little. In the end, though, I think the performances are fantastic and the subtle changes in the arrangements really make up for the flaws here. Really a very nice listen, and the artists should be proud :)

YES

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