ReMix:Sonic & Knuckles "Tomorrow's Wake" 3:53

By Rexy

Posted 2005-03-06, evaluated by the judges panel

Rexy gives us a melancholy yet hopeful piano arrangement from Sonic and Knuckles - not the type of source material you'd think would yield particularly sober, dramatic piano stylings, but Bev makes it work with a strong arrangement and a warmer, clearer piano sample and cleaner recording than her initial version of the track offered. Dynamics were also improved, or rather the soft notes were made a bit softer. The judges were in rare unanimity, however, and I agree, in observing that the piece's one salient flaw is the excess velocity applied to many notes throughout the piece. Particularly when it's part of an already separated melodic passage, fortissimo coupled with staccato is a dangerous weapon, to be used with a bit more reservation than the ReMixer applies. It's not a devastating issue and it fortunately doesn't kill the mix, but at least to our ears, it's a noticeable detractant. Now that THAT'S out of the way, the good news is that the arrangement is lovely, with an intro that begins with Debussy-like simplicity and pacing but gets more elaborate, with dramatic lower voicings forming a foundation for upper-register permutations of the main melody. Some of the progressions are well-implemented, specifically the diminishing ending that concludes the piece, and in general the degree of arrangement compared to the source material is substantive and creative. Binnie writes:

"New sample is better, recording is cleaner, tone is warmer. But the problem of plunkiness still remains, courtesy of the stiff and occasionally spiked velocities on key notes. Thanks to the improved mixing, it's a little easier to ignore. My main problem with this work was and still is the original phrasings and voicings, which aren't too interesting; the arrangement is best when interpreting and improvising on the theme. But as a whole, the rearrangement is fine."

I feel like part of my duty with these write-ups is "selling" each track, i.e. explaining the better aspects, and why you should check it out, but I'd be remiss if I didn't focus on some of the negatives as well. In this instance, it's a testament to Rexy's legitimate interpretation of the original and otherwise eloquent, elegant interpretation that it remains solid (to every last judge) in spite of some performance and voicing concerns.



Latest 15 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
on 2015-12-04 01:54:16

I think orchestra is the name of the game whan it come to Sky Sanctuary Zone, but Rexy really made it work with piano. And she did it amazingly! Somehow she managed to make her arrangement sound very inspiring and uplifting yet serious and gloomy. I believe this is probably my favorite arangement of SSZ. Especially love the gorgeous part from 2:23. Excellent!

Tuberz McGee
on 2011-12-25 18:48:34

As a big fan of Sky Sanctuary Zone. This warms my heart.

The piano line opening it up gives the image of floating and has a very playful fun nature.

Though at 0:50 it starts getting serious. This always reminds me of playing the stage.

I always go nuts at the landscape and part way through the stage realise that I could have fallen and died a lot.

I love piano remixes. This is easily one of my favourites too.

2:53 just makes me feel happy for my life. I love it sooo much. It's incredible.

And I must truly thank Rexy for making such an inspirational track.

It still inspires me today. I'd like to think there's a little bit of Rexy in my sound. ;-)

Brandon Strader
on 2011-12-15 16:18:14

Can't go wrong with Sonic music, or with Rexy solo piano. :-) I really like this and the triumphant sound it forges. The velocity expression and the subtle looseness of the performance implies realism to me. I've heard live piano recordings with a less quality sample even in more modern times. Though I will admit that her recent acquisition of Alicia's Keys has done wonders for the quality of her solo pianos. This song is a lot more uplifting than some of her recent solo piano work that I've heard, and I do enjoy this a lot. But I love the more chaotic and dark side as well. The pacing on this is good, and the performance is smooth and very well performed.

on 2011-07-04 18:41:19

Incredible piano playing in this ReMix. I enjoy hearing piano versions of quite a bit of game songs and it really is interesting that they can not only make the original sound good, but then be expanded and changed to a point where it sounds like a beautiful peace that was always meant for piano. Definitely added to the other piano ReMixes in my collection.

Level 99
on 2010-02-17 15:14:44

*melts in the piano* Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh....

I'm lumping this with 600 AD in Piano and Silent Progression in my relaxation playlist. Can't say much more than this is awesome and emotive playing, with a great piano mixed very well. Almost brings a tear to my eye.

on 2009-12-22 13:06:58

I really like the section at 1:30- very serene. I also really enjoyed the piano tone and dynamics. Nice work!

on 2009-03-28 05:35:00

Let me take the time to answer your query, sir. :)

The keywords are in djp's description - melancoly, yet hopeful. So if there is a middleground between chill and energy, that's where the intension lies.

Work on the mix itself begun in November of 2004, where after spending 2 enjoyable months of University, I started to feel reflective regarding my return home for Christmas. The general feeling that I ended up having at the time were that I would have some highs and several lows, and whenever I end up experiencing lows, I would disregard it and think of doing my family proud.

It would also apply for similar situations that you might face. You may face several mishaps in life, but you gotta realise that there will be a light at the end of the tunnel. (corny wording, I know, but it works!)

I hope this helps answer your question :)

on 2009-03-28 02:36:16

I've found that some of the fastest, happiest and brightest melodies make the best slow melancholy melodies as well. Not that this mix is all that melancholy, but the slowdown is still quite beneficial in a lot of ways.

The arrangement held my interest for the entirety, however the purpose of the mix was really unclear for me. The playing is in a middleground between powerful and relaxing. Not that all solo piano pieces should be one of those two categories, but in this mix especially, I started to think about the actual playing rather than what was being played. Maybe that's my problem and not that of the mixer's.

Anyway, for what this is, it does well. Obviously piano mixes don't aspire to be heralded among the mighty, but I'll always have time for them. Glad to hear another one, and a finely arranged one at that.

on 2009-03-17 03:09:21
Hmm although I considered Rexy's Lament the pinnacle of your work, this is enjoyable too... *wink*

Hahaha, Rexy's Lament was awesome.

on 2009-03-16 23:18:56

This was the very first remix I heard. And a beautiful tune it was.

Excellen musicianship! Awesome job!

Nobbynob Littlun
on 2009-03-16 23:11:13

Hmm although I considered Rexy's Lament the pinnacle of your work, this is enjoyable too... *wink*

on 2009-01-06 01:22:23

I'm such a sucker for piano arrangements...

But I'm also a sucker for ReMixes that take a source soundtrack and completely turn it on its ear in terms of genre and composition. It's so nice to see a solo piano arrangement in the sea of electronica and the ilk that seems to flood the Sonic titles.

And this one certainly does it justice! It's relaxing, yet powerful, simply lovely to listen to.

on 2007-01-29 05:50:33

Actually, a nice soft rendition compared to the original, which I can't say is a bad thing.

I think the original can be a bit too hyper and bouncy/happy from the very beginning. It's nice to hear a rendition that really slows it down enough to appreciate the chord progression. LOVE the flat chords from the tonic.

Just my own thought, though, the chords, esp. the beginning sounded like it could have easily been mixed with the Triforce Chamber theme from Zelda: A Link to the Past. Would have been interesting to hear the two melodies interwoven w/ each other.

GREAT work, though.

on 2006-07-17 14:09:14
This piece is simply amazing! The way you changed back and forth from piano to fortissimo at just the right times, slowed it down just enough to not really feel as if it too slow--but still keeping you wanting more.....Brings back many memories.

PS-Just so you know, the links to your music sheets seem to be down.

Ah, that's because about a year ago, Herograw's .com server "a splode" in the words of Strongbadzone. I'll edit them later. It's just the same as the usual except they've moved towards his .org server instead.

Thanks again everyone :)

on 2006-07-17 07:24:47

This piece is simply amazing! The way you changed back and forth from piano to fortissimo at just the right times, slowed it down just enough to not really feel as if it too slow--but still keeping you wanting more.....Brings back many memories.

PS-Just so you know, the links to your music sheets seem to be down.

Sources Arranged (1 Song)

Primary Game:
Sonic & Knuckles (Sega , 1994, GEN)
Music by Howard Drossin,Jun Senoue,Masaru Setsumaru,Masayuki Nagao,Sachio Ogawa,Tatsuyuki Maeda,Tokuhiko Uwabo,Tomonori Sawada,Yoshiaki Kashima
"Sky Sanctuary Zone"

Tags (3)

Arrangement > Solo
Origin > Resubmission

File Information

5,676,347 bytes


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