DragonAvenger

OCR03864 - *YES* Final Fantasy 8 "Wanderlust"

Recommended Posts

ReMixer name: ZiSotto
Real Name: Zack Sottolano

Website: https://www.youtube.com/c/zacksottolano 
https://soundcloud.com/zack-sottolano
https://twitter.com/ZackSottolano
https://www.instagram.com/zsottolano/
https://www.patreon.com/zacksottolano
https://open.spotify.com/artist/2tat9MZnRP8BZIHiYiR4Td

UserID: 14501

Name of Game Arranged: Final Fantasy 8
Name of My Arrangement: "Wanderlust"
Name of Song Arranged: "Blue Fields"
Composer: Nobuo Uematsu
Link to Original Track ReMixed:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RNdGoENQNQ4

Comments:

Blue Fields. Who could forget this memorable melody sparking you to action as you first exit Balamb Garden with Squall & Co? This is one of those songs that is permanently etched into my brain due to the countless hours spent grinding on the world map. This whole soundtrack is one of Uematsu's best imo, but I always liked the sense of mystery and comfort in the repetition of the notes this particular song evoked. I figured the best way to get it out of my head would be to create my own unique interpretation.

I present to you "Wanderlust". This is a wistful piano-centric orchestral arrangement I composed of the song "Blue Fields" from Final Fantasy 8, originally written by my favorite composer Nobuo Uematsu. Blue Fields can be heard anytime you are traversing about the world map, and is instantly recognizable, catchy, and just gets you in the mood to jaunt about, explore and adventure around the captivating world of FF8. The version used in the game is much more up-tempo and has a march-like cadence to it.

For my re-interpretation, I wanted to keep with the piano theme, and slow it down into a plodding, gently developing, brooding, contemplative, and introspective piece. To do this, I first recorded the piano part with light reverb. After that, I duplicated the piano part so it plays twice in succession, as the song itself is fairly short, and I wanted enough time to experiment with it. I wanted to have 2 different variations of the theme to keep it evolving, so for the first part, I focused on orchestral arrangements with countermelodies and soft ambiance. For the second play through, I stripped down some of the ambiance and created a 2nd piano part using a mellow grand piano preset on my Kawai ES7 digital piano and added delay and reverb effects. I then just improvised for about 2 hours with the song on a never-ending loop until I came up with something I liked as an accompaniment melody and laid that track down, which I think added a very ethereal, dreamy quality. I purposely didn’t follow the exact melody of the song for the second half with the improvised piano, and made it a bit more discordant and harsh.

The song features 44 tracks, including 4 piano live recordings, violins, ambient textures, pizzicato style strings overlaid on the left hand of the piano to give it that poppy, airy sound like it has in the game…and mostly floaty soundscapes I created messing around with synths and using the wonderful creation engine that is Omnisphere Spectrasonics 2. Hope you enjoy!

cleardot.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The playing is definitely emotive here, though it is a bit difficult to get past the plodding pace here. I think the developments that do happen take a very long time simply due to the tempo, which makes it a difficult listen. I wouldn't have minded having a slower section to start or somewhere in the middle if it was used as a tempo change or emphasis, but as is it really starts to drag very quickly. The other big issue that I think is contributing to this is the fact that the first ostinato pattern that starts the arrangement continues throughout the entire mix unchanging. After a while that was the only part I could focus on, and it became distracting. I think having some sort of change or drop out of that section would make a huge difference. 

I was personally fine with the piano sounds as is, but they might be a little fakey for some of the other judges, I'm curious what they will think.

For me this is close, but the plodding and the repetitive background are not doing it for me. Good luck!

NO (resubmit)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice slowdown of the theme with a more pensive style. An arrangement doesn't have to be overcomplicated to work, and I'm fine with a flatter dynamic curve as long as there are dynamic things going on within that narrower range, which this has, IMO.

By 1:12 in, it did drag on first blush if you focus on the main pattern, but other smaller details were going on from the very beginning. At 2:03 with another section of the theme, you hear more pronounced inclusion of gentle SFX, padding, and ornamentation, which helped spice things up along with some part doubling; good subtle stuff there.

DragonAvenger's not wrong about that main pattern repeating a lot, and it being purposeful doesn't automatically mitigate that criticism. But to some extent it's a your-mileage-may-vary thing; to me, though the foundation was repetitive, it was interpretive and still served as a solid base that other subtler, evolving writing was built around, so I didn't have a problem with it as long as the other writing was varied. To me, ReMixes come in a lot of different forms, and I'm very open to something structured like this.

YES

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I definitely see both sides of this.  The melody is sufficiently progressive, and with the SFX and ornamentation Larry mentioned, I didn't feel like it was repetitive or directionless.  I don't feel like the lack of variation in lead or tempo hurt this.  On the other hand, that ostinato is relentless, as are the simple strings used as a pad.

Ultimately I think it works.  It's almost like a series of variations on a theme; the transformations to the melody and the changes to the additional elements almost serve to change the nature of that core ostinato as the arrangement progresses.  Sometimes it's a subtle undercurrent you barely hear, sometimes it's a counterpoint that emphasizes the melody, sometimes it hammers hard to emphasize the rhythm, sometimes it introduces dissonance for tension.  Most repetitive lines like that get more and more irritating the more times I listen to the remix, but this one actually grows on me as I hear different subtle ways it's played on.  I'm on board.

YES

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I totally get what Deia is saying but I think structurally the ostinato pattern is really anchoring the piece while everything swirls around it. Really delicate work, especially in the upper register. A piece like this could really drown in reverb, but you've managed to keep the clarity. Nice work.

YES

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 5/10/2018 at 4:02 PM, MindWanderer said:

I definitely see both sides of this.  The melody is sufficiently progressive, and with the SFX and ornamentation Larry mentioned, I didn't feel like it was repetitive or directionless.  I don't feel like the lack of variation in lead or tempo hurt this.  On the other hand, that ostinato is relentless, as are the simple strings used as a pad.

Ultimately I think it works.  It's almost like a series of variations on a theme; the transformations to the melody and the changes to the additional elements almost serve to change the nature of that core ostinato as the arrangement progresses.  Sometimes it's a subtle undercurrent you barely hear, sometimes it's a counterpoint that emphasizes the melody, sometimes it hammers hard to emphasize the rhythm, sometimes it introduces dissonance for tension.  Most repetitive lines like that get more and more irritating the more times I listen to the remix, but this one actually grows on me as I hear different subtle ways it's played on.  I'm on board.

YES

 

quote-voting here because MW pretty much sums up my thoughts on this.  However, I'm more borderline on my vote because man that ostinato got old after the first couple minutes and it only got more aggravating as the track progressed.  The surrounding ambient elements are nice as well as the variations and as a whole, I think it barely makes it.

YES (Borderline)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.