ReMix:Sorcerian "Cursed Piano" 5:17

By XenoCross

Arranging the music of one song...


Primary Game: Sorcerian (Sierra , 1987, DOS), music by Hideya Nagata, Mieko Ishikawa, Reiko Takebayashi, Yuzo Koshiro

Posted 2004-03-03, evaluated by the judges panel

A self-proclaimed Falcom fan, newcomer XenoCross sends us this solo piano arrangement from the PC game Sorcerian, which was actually converted from the Japanese MSX console and actually found its way onto the Sega Genesis as well. He indicated with his submission that the world needs more Falcom mixes, and I'd tend to agree - my guess as to their relative scarcity would be the lack of domestic translations/releases for many of their titles, or minimal marketing, resulting in less popularity with the world outside Japan. Though the piano here is a bit muffled, the sound itself is good, dynamics balanced, and the arrangement rather interesting. Not meant as an insult but rather a compliment, this does sound to me like the type of piece that you'd hear at a piano recital; something varied in playing styles, featuring recurring motifs and changing tempo requirements. Judge DarkeSword sez:

"Hm, this is quite nice. I'm not at all familiar with the original, but it seems to me there's a good amount of arrangement going on here. There's a nice sense of momentum throughout the piece, but at the same time, it's broken up by a lot of neat rhythmic things that make me sit up and pay attention. I do agree with Malcos though; it lacks a bit on the higher end. That's a minor gripe though. Excellently done."

There's a tiny bit of the melody that has the same rhythm and interval as part of Greensleeves, which probably prompted my recital comment, come to think of it. At any rate, this makes very good, extensive usage of BOTH hands (like the Ani DiFranco song says), with the left always doing something or other instead of just playing wingman in the background. Okay, it's looped a few more times while I've written this, and yes, I definitely keep thinking Greensleeves, which for me personally takes some getting used to - your experience may vary. Clearly, regardless, the original has been interpreted and expanded on in a wonderful fashion by someone that knows how to capitalize on the strengths of the piano as a solo instrument. Good stuff, at times even reminiscent of impressionist works by Debussy... cool.



Latest 13 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
on 2011-12-30 17:37:29

Gonna have to agree with the sentiment for adapting this source to solo piano. Something about it has a Greensleaves-esque quality to it for me :)

(Also, Xenocross, Xenocross, Xenocross... were you on VGMix at one point? That name sounds familiar to me.)

It starts off with a delicate intro, before going into a straight interpretation of the source. There were some lovely liberties taken past the 1 minute mark most notably with the melody and pacing, not to mention a classy key change past the 2 minute mark that feels rather chopinesque in nature. The darker nature of the arrangement for the 3 minute mark and beyond was a great way of interpreting it in a more elaborate and 'cursed' way to boot, though I do indeed like how it manages to feel slightly more positive going towards the ending.

The piano sound itself is lovely, but I can't help but think that this is a mechanical sounding piano - constant tempo at least up until the run up the instrument at around 2:25, and even then the articulation feels rather constant for me. The complexity of the arrangement makes up for this rather mechanical stance though, so it's considered a good take on what seems to be a classically-oriented source. :)

on 2009-12-08 19:23:49

The piano tone really gives off an eerie mood that's reflected in the arrangement. I've always been a fan of this one - I have a hard time articulating just what I like about solo piano mixes but I wanted to express the fact that I did like it and think that the piano sound meshes wonderfully with the arrangement itself :-) Lovely!

on 2009-10-29 22:07:21

This is a very pretty piece that has some very nice subtle changes. As DJP mentioned, the left hand really gives the mix some character by staying active throughout the entire mix. Overall the piece is very well played, but there were a couple of spots that I wished had been just smoothed out a little. No real mistakes, things just felt a little awkward to me, but then again it might just be me thinking things. The recording quality is also a bit of a bummer, but it's certainly still a nice listen. Kudos.

on 2009-05-10 01:35:46

Cursed Piano repackages the arid, drowsy source as a story to be told rather than a drag through the desert. Places like 1:00+ use the niches between key melodic notes as rearrangement space, while other iterations are more straightforward but sorrowful. 1:54-2:23 ups the mood and sounds like a graceful ballet recital. 2:53-3:37 reminds me of one of the early songs in Dragon Warrior 3, for some reason.

In the last minute or so, the piano seems to beg: "Do I really have to stop? Please, let me keep going. Just a little more..." It utilizes a slow tempo, up-the-scale runs, and delayed notes as if mulling over its own pains and regrets, searching for some hint of warmth within itself, stalling the inevitable for as long as possible. It's almost a chilling parable for death.

on 2008-05-22 02:46:19

At least lately, Alex has been browsing the forums, and I know he submitted something that I've yet to get to in the OCR inbox (sorry, real life is awful), so I wanted to check out "Cursed Piano."

The recording quality certainly was hurting, and I think the piano playing could have been more impactful, fluid, and expressive, but what's here is nonetheless solid, both for its time and now.

Changes in the flow like 2:30-2:38 4:30-4:39 were beautiful in their simplicity and grace, as well as how comfortably they pieced together with the writing before and after.

The Sorcerian soundtrack has a much better reputation in Japan than stateside, which is a shame given the potential this mix shows the soundtrack to have.

on 2006-12-27 11:15:34

Piano mixes are one of the hardest ones to keep interesting, and this mix does a great job here by cycling through several themes and adding a lot of tiny embellishments. Very relaxing with enough interest to keep you awake. There are some nice tempo changes throughout.

on 2004-10-06 03:51:40

yo! uh, really nice mix, gotta love it... one thing that i found somewhat not right was the dynamics... for example it seems the entire song is in piano or mezzo piano or somthing... few notes were accented i noticed, but not really enough variation (i found)... i really hafta turn up my speakers to listen to this... but apart from those, good job man!! keep up the good work (with some dynamics :roll: )

on 2004-03-18 11:56:53

I used to play Sorcerian on my old 286... 6 5.25 floppy disks, I think! it was too old to run on my Pentium at the time. Ahh, memories...

Great stuff! Keep up the good work... :D Let's hear some more of those promised piano arramgements, too.

on 2004-03-06 21:00:25

I guess I forget to say this was sequenced and not played by anyone but my cpu when I submitted this. Ooops!! . My future stuff will be played most likely by me though unless I get someone else to perform it. So that will mean more realistic piano arrangements unless I get my hands on other instruments.

Thanks for the comments folks! I can't believe I'm OCRemix!

on 2004-03-06 18:06:31

This is a fantastic piano arrangement, but I disagree that it's reminiscent of Debussy. The only portion of the piece that suggests Debussy is the bit from 2:30 to 2:36.

That said, I also disagree that XenoCross has "capitalize[d] on the strengths of the piano as a solo instrument." There's certainly some great playing here, but I think this piece could have been much more effective if XenoCross had tapped more into the piano's power. As it stands, each variation on the theme blurs into the next, without much dynamic distinction.

Regardless, I love the arrangement. It's the best solo piano ReMix I've heard, at least.

on 2004-03-03 00:40:32

It would've been nice if this mix had dynamics. ;_;

Still, very good arrangement, XenoCross. Congratulations on your first posted remix on OCR!

on 2004-03-03 00:37:54

holy crap, congrats for remixing a truly original and rare game

on 2004-03-03 00:25:50

What did you think? Post your opinion of this ReMix.

Sources Arranged (1 Song)

Primary Game:
Sorcerian (Sierra , 1987, DOS)
Music by Hideya Nagata,Mieko Ishikawa,Reiko Takebayashi,Yuzo Koshiro

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