ReMix:Chrono Trigger "Song of the Mountain" 2:56

By Urza

Arranging the music of one song...

"Singing Mountain"

Primary Game: Chrono Trigger (Square , 1995, SNES), music by Nobuo Uematsu, Noriko Matsueda, Yasunori Mitsuda

Posted 2003-10-02, evaluated by the judges panel

Normally you wouldn't hear this kind of variety in a mix under three minutes, and depending on your attitude towards the full expression of musical ideas, you might think there's good reason for that. In his first ReMix, newcomer Urza takes on the Singing Mountain theme from several different angles in a well-produced piece. I for one am fine by the length of the component sections, though many of the judges - who were positive in most other regards - indicated they would have liked more development of each and a longer overall piece. Perhaps because I'm a fan of punk and more concise rock like The Strokes and Sleater-Kinney, I'm used to an economy of time being allotted in which to get musical ideas across. I also think it's much easier to stray to the other extreme, resulting in the musical equivalent of run-on sentences or "Grapes of Wrath"-size descriptive passages, than to be too brief. Introing with a cinematic flare, a solo pipe (sounds like alto flute), string stabs, and harpsichord all give the feeling of some baroque tragedy being played out before the listener's eyes. At 0'50" the groove changes as the introduction of a very melodic and unboring bassline, along with some drums and a harp arpeggio, breaks things up and out, into a less formal and more groovy state. There's then a segue into an ensemble string bit, and the piece concludes with forte piano and the reintroduction of the harpsichord. In some instances, so many musical changeups in such short intervals could be considered compensation, i.e. "I don' think any of this stuff is really that interesting, but maybe if I switch between it real quick no one will notice", but in this instance each of the thematic iterations is mature enough to be taken out of context and developed further, but also works well with its siblings and creates a brief but rich arrangement that runs zero risk of being repetitious or gratuitous. Like the judges, you might like it or love it and concur with the all-too-common "should have been longer" refrain, but I personally respect decisions to curtail length and refrain from the temptation of over-development, at least when it results in works like this. Good stuff.



Latest 15 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
on 2009-05-28 04:24:46

Well orchestrated and structured, although I had a real hard time hearing the source in this. I'm sure it was there somewhere; traces of it can be definately heard; but the mix always seemed to be coasting just above it in original territory.

I think the transitions between orchestral styles and instruments were well handled. The mix was short, so I'm not sure if it required the diversity it was given, but I'd rather that than risk it be boring and monotonous.

I prefer tracks that stick to a recognisable melodious core and build their creativity around that core. With this, I got the feeling the melody was played with too much and bent in a way that it doesn't trigger the same response as the original. That's why I'm not fully behind this one, but I still see it as a mild and pleasant adjustment to an enjoyable CT theme.

on 2008-12-03 14:12:43

This is really something... The changeups in theme are done so well here. The song sort of carries you along, like you're climbing up a mountain for the first 1:50, just about there for the next 30 seconds, and at about 2:35 when the piano comes in, you've reached the summit.

It's more typical to see so many changeups done haphazardly. But this sounds as if a lot of thought and deliberation went into the arrangement, which is why it works so well. KF

on 2008-05-22 13:05:46

I really liked this piece! It's very gentle, with the piano adding a nice touch at the end. For some reason, at about :51, I was reminded of the first National Treasure...don't ask me why. ^_^;

on 2008-05-22 02:17:04

The sequencing on the woodwind lead was a bit stiff, and the sound quality on it was a bit too muddy. After the track picked up a bit at :50, I felt the backing instrumentation sounded too thin and untreated, particularly the percussion.

I did enjoy the tempo slowdown at 1:29; it was a solid lead-in to the more straightforward orchestral sections of the arrangement that closed things out. The finish ended up pretty strong and made up for some of the weaknesses from earlier on; always preferable to leave a good last impression.

on 2008-02-08 15:49:20

Nice mood set here, and great use of rubato and crescendos. The solo violin sample wasn't so hot, but everything else was relatively solid.

The understated percussion added some nice texture to the mix, and the bass part was suitably interesting. Nice groove overall, and the variation and expansion is excellent.

The flute sample was pretty good, but i've gotten very picky about modulation in synth woodwinds. The sample is very nice, but some additional dynamics would have been great.

Overall a beautiful piece with some great elements.


on 2007-03-19 16:06:04

Very well organized piece. While the music itself is nothing unique, the organization is among the best of any song on this site, it's more or less five minutes of quality in under three minutes.

on 2005-09-26 14:04:28 short, and so is this remix.

The beginning was great, I worried it would walkover to a trancemix any second, but it didn´t, phew. But it did got a little more somethin´, some sort of harp I think, very beautiful. And at the end, it all finishes softly and great with a violin-like instrument(...or is it a bagpipe?) with a heavenly piano that puts that finishing touch to the mix, and then...fin.

Very well done Urza, you got a shorty, but you did not waste a second of it, life.

on 2003-11-05 22:51:43

love this song; very nice :P

on 2003-11-05 11:16:30

I'm some how strongly reminded of the Manhiem steamrollers orchastra. Also I'm reminded of Yanni. That's not a bad thing. Just don't do it all the time. But all in all its a tear jerker. I love it. great job. :nicework:

on 2003-10-17 02:22:01

Beautifully done.

Could have been longer, yes. Could have been 4 or 5 minutes long easily and still not lost anything. But neither does it lose anything by being short! 3 minutes still allows plenty of time for the remix to do wonderful things. Especially given the short attention span of our generation... ;-)

on 2003-10-13 00:25:40

Out fucking standing! Best remix I've had the pleasure to hear in along time.

on 2003-10-05 18:14:07

I thought it was a beautiful piece. As a few others stated i to wish it had been a bit longer. Keep up the good work!!!!

on 2003-10-03 10:52:20

Interesting! As said above, much liberty has been taken with the original melody, but it's still a really pretty song. I think you really had something going with the first half (that soft drum beat is niiiiice). Echoing what pretz posted, the changes and transitions afterwards are a little jarring in a relatively short song (at least to me), but overall the orchestration is clean and beautiful. I likes it.

on 2003-10-02 16:32:57


Something sounded a little... low-fi... but that's just nit-picking. Composition is very pretty and well done. (Had trouble picking out the original, but that's okay :P)

Samurai Jin
on 2003-10-02 13:44:17

Great Remix dude... 9/10 only problem is the length... with a truly beautiful piece like this it needs to just go on and on.... but maybe thats just cuz I love CT... and congrats for this is my first post on the message boards! *dances*

Sources Arranged (1 Song)

Primary Game:
Chrono Trigger (Square , 1995, SNES)
Music by Nobuo Uematsu,Noriko Matsueda,Yasunori Mitsuda
"Singing Mountain"

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