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OCR03957 - *YES* Pokémon Diamond Version "A Snowy Wonderland"

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Pokemon Generation 4 was the last Pokemon games I really found myself diving into growing up. One thing I especially remembered enjoying was the huge jump in music quality from the previous generations. I wanted to put my own spin orchestral spin on it while challenging myself to try out a few new arranging techniques to use in my original writing. I would definitely like to revisit some bits of the other soundtrack in the future and arrange them in a similar style.
 
Thanks for listening and I hope you all enjoy!
 
-Jason Clark
 

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This is an excellent orchestration of a theme I admit I didn't even notice when playing the game.  Excellent use of the full acoustic space, effective use of multiple layers without ever trying to do too much.

However... it is extremely conservative as an arrangement.  Up to 0:40 and from 1:27 on is a fairly simple cover, leaving only about 47 seconds of interpreted material.  On the other hand, since the arrangement is only two minutes long, 47 seconds is a substantial chunk of it (over 1/3).  On the other other hand, it is only two minutes long.

I'm ambivalent about this one.  Two minutes is usually the minimum length we look for, and then only if the arrangement does a lot in that period.  And this sort of squanders 60% of that time as a cover.  But the rest of it is really good!  It doesn't feel incomplete, and I don't think that lengthening it for length's sake would be an improvement.  I'm also not sure what other direction you could go with it.

We'll see what the other judges have to say, but I'm leaning towards accepting this one.  There's really good stuff here and I don't have anything constructive to suggest to make it meet OCR's expectations any more closely.  I'd rather take it than leave it.

YES (borderline)

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Nice short, sweet take on the original. I’m not overly familiar with the Pokemon soundtrack. I agree with MindWanderer that the rendition is quite conservative, and your mix shares relatively similar pacing and arrangement to the original, although the additional instrumentation helps a lot with this issue. It has a anime end theme vibe. Production is mostly solid for a track of this nature, with decent mixing. Overall I’m ok with this one. While I would’ve liked to hear some further development and expansion on the ideas presented within the short duration, I feel this works as is. Let’s see what the others say.

YES

Edited by Jivemaster

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Opens up extremely conservative, so was looking forward to hearing it branch off. The strings fading in at :14 were a nice touch, only hitting the countermelody at :21, which was another nice, subtle touch. Expanding things out into an orchestral suite was a nice piece of business.

Not sure what was going on with the key change at 1:07, but we'll live. Overall, a short and sweet expansive take that puts more meats on a skeletal source with beautiful results. I thought it was personalized when it was straightforward, as well as expansive, so I didn't think it was a close call. Cool approach, Jason!

YES

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I can't deny the quality of those orchestral sounds.  They all fit well in this soundscape, sound gorgeously realistic, and even the brass has a lovely and expressive release to it.  I get that the entire section from 0:43 onwards is majestic, but I would've preferred the master volume to get brought down, not letting the instruments touch the ceiling.  It's still just a desirable thing rather than a significant flaw.

And of course, there's the arrangement.  Yes, it's barely 2 minutes long, and it covers just one loop of the source material.  But the new instrumentation added onto the source's bones makes up for it.  The slowly building strings at 0:14, the brass playing the melody at 0:43 and adding its own little flourishes, a fuller orchestra at that same section, the complete change of chords at 1:07, and that gentle plucked string backing at 1:26 are all potent examples of expanding the source's foundation.  It's short, it's sweet, and the treatment is sublime.

Excellent work, Jason - with the arrangement and production working well, your challenge paid off!

YES

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