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Gario

OCR03907 - *YES* Chrono Trigger "As Blew the Winds, So Forward Marched Time"

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  • Your ReMixer name: JohnStacy
  • Your real name: John Stacy
  • Your email address: 
  • Your userid: 33075
  • Name of game(s) arranged: Chrono Trigger
  • Name of arrangement: As Blew the Winds, so Forward Marched Time
  • Name of individual song(s) arranged: 600AD Overworld
  • Your own comments about the mix, for example the inspiration behind it, how it was made, etc.
I've never played Chrono Trigger.  Last December I participated in a secret Santa kind of thing in another community.  This track was what I did for that, going off the list of likes saying SNES RPGs.  I do know that Chrono Trigger is one of those.  I asked her if she would mind submitting it to OCR, and she liked the idea.
As for the track itself, I have never played the game but am familiar with the music.  I just don't know about context of the music at all.  This is an arrangement of the 600AD Overworld theme.  I arranged it in a dark, Grainger/Wagner kind of style, with lots of chromatic harmonic movement and various textures from lush to sparse.  It is arranged for 8 french horns.
 
There were two versions done.  The original version produced in December:
 
And this version.  I pulled the file out again and did some different mixing approaches, as well as got rid of the synth tracks backing the horns:
 
Arrangement and recorded material is identical for both versions, just mixing approaches are different.
 

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For a 4:48-long track, I needed to recognize the 600 AD theme used for at least 144 seconds for the original VGM usage to dominate the arrangement.

If it were up to me, I'd use the "Redux2" version for its cleaner mixing, but the main version actually has more personality to it; either mixing style was acceptable to me. I wish the production were sharper, but it's not like the track is awfully produced, just (sorely) lacking high end; maybe intentional, but I don't think the mixing works. That said, the arrangement more than makes up for the mixing quality, IMO, but your mileage may vary.

Like John's Super Mario Bros. "Reflecting Pool" (other than his slow rendition causing theme recognition issues), this is another submission that's going to bump right up with personal taste in terms of production choices and musicality once again.

Again, I don't mean to diminish John's work, as I personally appreciate it, but it sounds like it would be more of an academic's treasure and not necessarily a casual listener's; what a casual listener would "get" isn't our bar of course, nor should it be.

To me, this is a solid, smart, transformative arrangement concept and an easy pass, but you should at least give this a few listens to get used to the style and better recognize how the original song is used, since there's some slowing down along with some long-held notes within the melodic phrases. It gets more musical with repeated listens; again, not a slight against this, just acknowledging that it's a challenging, cerebral piece.

Don't let me down, people.

YES

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Oh, this is fascinating. It's really what it says in the description - it's a rendition and arrangement of the source from someone who absolutely doesn't know the context of the source material. I don't mean that at all as an insult, either; it really puts a fresh spin on the source that'd be hard to place on it if you were biased toward the source material.

It's slow, but frankly I don't think anyone should have an issue with recognizing the source as it's all over this track. The harmonies are rich and well placed throughout. Dissonant, sure, but not at all unpleasantly so, at least to me; none of the notes sound like they're a mistake or out of place. I'd venture to say this won't have a wide appeal, but I'll be honest and say I think it sounds just brilliant, to me.

It's not perfect; the arrangement does feel like it's meandering from time to time, with the section from 3:00 - 3:50 being the primary area of concern. The large amount of motion in the texture makes it easy for the listener to lose their place. Portions like that would benefit from the source material being pushed more in the front, either through the arrangement or through the mixing, as it would give the listeners an anchor to keep them from getting lost.

A relatively small nit pick on an otherwise great arrangement, though - really, this is some great stuff. As far as the version I prefer, I'm far more partial to the first version; the redux has too little spread, which magnifies the issues where the listener could get lost. The redux is a little brighter, which addresses Larry's concerns a bit, but honestly that's just an issue with an all-horns arrangement; the instrument just doesn't capture the higher EQ range all that well. It's part of the character of an arrangement like this, really.

Great stuff, always glad to hear your take on music like this.

YES

Edited by Gario

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:05.75-:09.5, :23.75-:26, 1:00-1:32, 1:36-1:57, 2:01.5-2:56, 3:18.75-4:10, 4:12.5-4:41 = 193.25 seconds or 67.1%

Forgot to include my source usage breakdown.

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Definitely getting some Wagner vibes here and there while listening to this.  It's a solid and very original take on this song, and I think not being familiar with the context helped a ton with this aspect.  On the performance side of things, everything is very well done.

Contrary to the smb track, I can tell the source here, it's a bit slower and some parts are changed but it's there.  I think regular listeners will have some trouble getting into this remix though.  It's very slow and some sections take their sweet time to develop, and for those who aren't musicians, most of the stuff John does with the arrangement will pass unnoticed.  Also even though the source is there, the adaptation will make it very hard to recognize. 

That doesn't have bearing on this vote though.  I think this is just great and deserves to go to the front page.  As for which version?  I'm not sure there.  The first one sounds better and easier to listen to albeit less natural, while the second one sounds a bit more crammed up, but it also sounds more genuine and "live".  Either way, good stuff, but certainly a tough sell.

YES

Edited by Sir_NutS

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I've been mulling over this one for some time.  The balance and the dissonance were my main hangups with it, and I have to agree that the latter is a subjective complaint, not an objective one.  It's unique and well-executed, and we should post it.

YES

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