ReMix:Secret of Mana "Drifting Towards the Stars" 4:28

By GrayLightning

Arranging the music of one song...

"The Dark Star"

Primary Game: Secret of Mana (Square , 1993, SNES), music by Hiroki Kikuta

Posted 2003-08-18, evaluated by the judges panel

The latest from GrayLightning divided the judges panel, largely due to being fairly ambient and static in terms of development, with no decisive climax or denouement. In fairness to the ReMixer, that's what I consider one of the staples of a good cross-section of Kikuta's work - repeating, interacting patterns, often played by bells or harps or other timbres with quick, salient attacks. The ReMixer takes that and develops off it with a cinematic piece reminiscent of Tubular Bells or some of Thomas Newman's (love that Six Feet Under opener) work. Judge Digital Coma viscerally praises that "It's nice to have a dynamically high-octane mix that kicks your ass the first time you hear it, but stuff like this... now here's a different story altogether. Instead of a musical escalator, reaching its finale at an apex, we have a wave whose climatic crest rolls under itself once, twice, thrice, and more until it washes off at the shore. It would seem that GrayLightning is experienced with a woman's nature of physical relief." - judges that were less positive (and lewd) cited the relatively static pace and tone and some of the "edgier" bits of the chord progression and relationships. For my money, the question this mix raises is: when a mixer decides to cover a track that was contextually background music, with no strong melodic motif or development, is he or she expected to synthesize those characteristics via the arrangement, or can things remain more zen and incidental? I'd say there's really no clear answer one way or the other, and that it's a case-by-case evaluation. In this case, even without a solo or something to add a bit more narrative, GL's work is evocative and well-realized. That's not to say such modifications wouldn't have enhanced the arrangement, but it's certainly truer to Kikuta this way. If you're into ambient, morphing, filmish compositions as described, and like Kikuta's more background-oriented work, chances are high you'll dig this ReMix from GrayLightning, too.



Latest 15 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
on 2009-12-17 17:23:03

Didn't really do anything for me. Definitely cool for ambient fans, but I it's more of a exercise in tone color than anything.

Thanks but no thanks. :-(

on 2008-12-08 08:18:40

What I like about this mix is that it really thrives in the shadow the SnappleMan, GrayLightning mix 'Distorted Star'. Like others have said, 'Distorted Star' packs a lot more punch, but I definately don't think it replaces or takes worth away from the mix at hand.

I've always thought the source tune was deceptively dark and foreboding whilst also being meditative and ethereal, and I really think this remix captures that ambiguity. 'Distorted Star' focuses on the dark sound, and maybe for the better, but I still really dig 'Drifting Towards the Stars' for its liquid and contemplative deepness.

If that makes any sense at all.

on 2008-06-22 15:48:03

A beautiful piece. I love music that is about a state of being, not just about this particular interval and that particular drumset. It has a zenlike quality of just being what it is, which inspires you to do the same.

on 2006-04-14 10:08:17

Me liky this one alot. As many already said, this is mellow, calm and relaxing. The piano and the bells makes this smooth and close to ancient remix, it lulls you back and forth like a lullaby. If this remix "goes" anywhere or not depends of our own definition of it. Personally I agree, it doesn't go anywhere. It's drifting. When I imagine someone float in space, there aren't much action, no chaotic surroundings, but more of a silent and calm feeling when the person slowly comes closer to the mystical stars far away in space. That's also how this remix is. Nice work GL. :nicework:

Angelus Laminarum
on 2005-03-30 16:48:33

This is a rather interesting ReMix. It flows in rather effortlessly, quite akin to a cloud as it rolls in, unnoticed, unheard. As the bells gradually become more pronounced, I value this song more and more. Although this particular ReMix did not increase the foreboding mood as much as Distorted Star did, that is not the point. This particular ReMix has its own way of expressing the same tune, and I find I enjoy it.

Good job, GrayLightning. Keep it up!

on 2004-10-26 04:26:51

This piece brings back memories of SD2 in scads. It could easily replace the original in the game. Even after a year of listening to it I never tire of this remix.

on 2004-10-24 02:57:48

This is music at its finest. I agree with ziwtra's description that the best part about Gray's style of music is that even on the 100th listen, I will always find something new and beautiful to focus on within the layers of ambience and lush sounds. Definitely took me a number of times to appreciate it, and I feel that appreciation will grow with time. This song is like wine.

Gray - you make awesome music. And I mean that very literally, as in I am in awe for those few minutes of my life that are devoted solely to your work, and the reflection that follows. This is a really mind opening song.

on 2004-08-23 23:13:52

Terrific work. I can't believe there was even a question between the judges. How could anyone have done it better? The haunting theme just keeps at you, man it is very Thomas Newmanish. Just a great remix. Great mix, you can tell there is a lot of automated mixing involved here, as the strings and plucks (bells?) vary in dynamics quite a bit. A+ job all the way.

on 2004-01-05 18:18:42

This is such a beautiful and relaxing piece, thank you for sharing it with us.

I strongly suggest napping to this song if you're stuck in noisy place, it does a great job of washing away other sounds while not being disturbing in any way.

I do actually consider this to be one of my favorite OCR songs that I've listened to so far (next to Space Grind and Little Mac's Confession), and so far I've listened to everything on the site in A-R (working on S).

Thank you again for this incredibly relaxing piece of music.

-Austin Spafford

the warlock
on 2003-10-07 14:50:08

Niiiiiiice work, like most of GL's pieces ive heard he takes pride in being able to show his mixes of what i believe is "Dark Star".

As i come to expect from GL, this piece combines ambience with a gentle atmospheric feeling which lets the listener drift away and relax.

This is not good for anyone who dislikes ambience though im sure people with an open mind would be content. Personally i like it, not his best work for what it is but a solid piece of ambience.

Good work.. expect to see more from GL.

on 2003-09-11 17:24:44

Hmm.......flowing through the river of time.....never to see whats ahead, but only whats left behind.......only if the sun could rise one more time.........just one more time.......Thats what races through my head when I hear this song. Wow! Did I really write that? Man this song makes people insant poet's! Freaky.

Well man....I don't know...this song reminds me of past thoughts and memory's of times long ago.

This is a Mix you can't pass up.

I'm telling you this is quite amazing. Great work GrayLightning, this is truely a work of art. 8)


EDIT And yes, I really am an anime Charater. Thats why all my post have different signature Pictures of me.

on 2003-09-03 07:28:06

I actually downloaded this quite some time ago, and I forgot about it completely. Until I heard it just then, dark at night, doing homework.

I highly recommend you listen to this quietly, when it's nice and peaceful. For all of you KRAZY HEAVYMETAL PUNKTHRASH people, this is not your song - but for those who enjoy those songs which don't really go anywhere but are more about the journey - this is it.

Fantastic instruments, good arrangement, I like the use of ostinato, it really brings out that dreamy kinda state. And the little things in the background to keep the mix interesting are well executed - congratulations on a very relaxing piece.

One Word Review - Dreamy.

on 2003-08-24 13:09:30

I really dig this mix.....very calming, ambient and slow.

I dont see why the judges were less positive about this, its a nice change of pace for music normally heard here.

Definately recommended this mix for all those who want a great tune to just sit back and relax to. :D

on 2003-08-21 04:21:54

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.

on 2003-08-19 16:40:22

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:

Sources Arranged (1 Song)

Primary Game:
Secret of Mana (Square , 1993, SNES)
Music by Hiroki Kikuta
"The Dark Star"

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