ReMix: Final Fantasy VIII "Everything = Nothing" 6:50

By Sefiros

Arranging the music of one song...

"Compression of Time"

Primary Game: Final Fantasy VIII (Square, 1999, PS1), music by Nobuo Uematsu

Posted 2005-05-06, evaluated by the judges panel

Well... things have been really interesting the last couple weeks. Everyone's been busy with finals, I've been gettin into Hot Hot Heat a bit, the most recent episodes of both Naruto and Gundam SEED Destiny rocked out, I'm finally getting around to converting some of OCR's code to use classes and make the best of PHP4's rather weak support for OO, I've been falling in love with Eclipse as an IDE, not only for Java but PHP as well, and whaddaya know, our very own Washington Wizards are finally holding their own in the finals. Good stuff. So, more relevantly, newcomer Bryan Henderson, alias Sefiros, gives us a dramatic, near-seven minute, striking orchestral arrangement of "Compression of Time". Things begin with tentative, deliberate piano chords, as strings edge their way in like the first rays of the sun breaking over the horizon of a clear wintry morn. Sounds like I stole that from a rejected Hallmark card, but visually it actually *is* the image conjured, if not the phrasing. This piece has a dramatic, building, pulsing push to it, not unlike the concluding track off my favorite Goldenthal score, Titus, or some of the work off the singular Requiem for a Dream soundtrack. There's a lot of exposed, stark solo violin, and while sometimes (like the very end) notes are held so long that the vibrato loop becomes readily apparent, overall the production quality is high. There's a lot of emotion here, and you get the sense the ReMixer really felt the original piece when he constructed this arrangement. Larry mentioned potential issues with sustained dynamics at parts, but there are plenty of breaks that drop things down, and constituent elements are often fading in oh so gradually, slowly and intensely building up momentum and force. Despite the very serious mood, I can't help but give the nod to Shariq's quip-prefixed comments:

"The opening reminds me of one of those chinese martial arts movies where they make the pretense of having a really deep love story when it's all just an excuse to do kung fu. Go figure. Yeah this is really pretty stuff. I'm enjoying the slowly moving lines buried within the sustained chords; nice stuff. Dynamics are excellent; lots of highs and lows; those detache strings are wonderfully executed too."

Frankly, no one ever needs an excuse to do Kung Fu. Everyone should Kung Fu freely and with as little discretion and context as possible. This would solve 70% of the world's problems, by my calculations. But in the end this ain't Kung Fu Fightin' music, but rather a serious, transporting opus, nearly a textbook definition of a cinematic "build" piece, and a classy, beautiful initial ReMix from Mr. Henderson.



Latest 15 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
on 2012-05-22 22:27:49

Surprised that Sefiros didn't post this here himself. Anyway, Sefiros has put out a new version of his 2005 remix "Everything = Nothing" (May 2012). It can be downloaded here:

I'm not sure it's necessarily a better version of the song, unfortunately. I'd really like to see someone with crazy production skills -- like zircon -- redo this track (you know, short of getting an orchestra to do it).

on 2011-06-15 02:04:45

I will go so far as to say this mix can be interpreted several ways:

- Not simply poetry in motion, this is poetry on the MARCH. Progressive yet introspective, merciless at the front of the activity bulk but beautifully calm in the center, it's a storm that both destroys and revives the entire landscape in one gradual sweep.

- In a gracious nod to the source name, this embodies the concept of time. Thundering drums keep the measured, unstoppable pace; shaky strings echo regrets, nostalgia, and other longing-based emotions that humans feel when they think about time they will never get back; and progression-wise, the atmosphere creeps up on us loomingly (like fast-approaching deadlines) and departs in the distance (making us say "where did all the time go?" and "life can pass you by").

- Need a physics textbook? Just pluck some physics terms from here, since many can be said to be in this mix (some previously noted): weight, force, friction, momentum, compression (lol), you name it.

If this were the real song played during Ultimecia's time compression spell, sign me up for the end of the world.

on 2010-12-15 23:03:38

Curious take on this heavy song - while this is also heavy, it has a lighter feel to it somehow to me. That's not saying much though, as this has a somber march aspect to it.

It's a nifty atmospheric track that's probably easily overlooked, good job!

on 2010-06-30 15:37:24

Congratulations on your first OCRemix mix!

This is a wonderful arrangement of a spectacular source. The soundtrack of Final Fantasy VIII has always been one of my absolute favorites, and Compression of Time is one of its most underrated songs, so this piece was extremely welcome as far as I'm concerned.

Like a lot of people have mentioned before me, the slow build-up really adds to the innate atmosphere of the song.

Very well done, indeed, I can't wait to hear more remixes from you.

on 2010-06-01 17:27:07

Holy shit this is incredible. I never thought the source was anything special, but this is exceptionally dramatic and emotional.

The super drawn out build was very well done, and everything really clicked. I'd love to hear this performed live, as the dynamics would be even more pronounced then.

Very awesome stuff.

on 2010-05-28 12:36:04

Desperate. Distant. Lonely. That's what this song makes me feel. Very well done.

on 2010-03-31 23:06:19

Good work. Truly a moving piece. You got me aiming for the "Download" button before I finished listening to the entire preview. That is high praise from me!

on 2009-07-16 21:43:30

I've always loved 'Compression of Time' while playing FF8. Everytime I heard it, I felt the..nothingness..the despair in its tunes. What you did with it was absolutely brilliant. At first I said there's no way, but now that i've listented to it, I have to say "you did it!" IT was simply brilliant.

on 2009-05-19 03:09:53

This is an utterly beautiful rendition of this song. It is just as dramatic and moving as the original if not moreso. I love the slow build and that you didn't add too many instruments or make it too busy. I was afraid of listening to a remix of this particular song but I'm so glad I did!

on 2009-04-18 12:44:11

I wanted to do a remix of this source, myself, hoping that no one else did an amazing rendition of it. It is one of my very favorite Final Fantasy songs (perhaps next to Kefka). Damnit, you beat me to the punch! This remix is great, and I hope everyone on this site can at the least give it a listen - they won't regret it!

The source itself was amazing, and you didn't detract from it one bit. Wonderful.

on 2008-05-22 02:34:42

Still one of my absolutely favorites on OCR and among video game arrangements period.

Personally, I don't know how well the sequencing pulls off being realistic. Bryan certainly did a good enough job for me. The sound of the bow movements and the string harmonies were extremely emotive.

I would love to hear this on an official arrangement album, without the losiness of the 112kbps encoding. It's that good. Given further fine tuning with the sound quality, it could have easily closed out a dramatic battle in an blockbuster Hollywood film.

Ranch Doritos
on 2008-01-30 15:58:50

This caused meh to cry... Please make another...


Phoenix Wynde
on 2007-12-29 12:37:47

This is really beautiful and in every aspect of the word. Very mesmerizing and soothing.

I don't think I could say enough about how much I like this piece, nay, love this piece. It just takes you to another place and does it with such justice, too.

Right on, man.

on 2007-02-07 01:37:16

For some reason I don't like most of the FF8 remixes, this one however is great. Good job mate.

on 2007-02-03 16:22:48

Absolutely amazing! one of the best songs in the game Remixed to perfection! well done!! very well done! bloody marvelous remix love the the ending to it! big build up to a slow finish, Well done and thanks for an awesome remix Slasher

Sources Arranged (1 Song)

Primary Game:
Final Fantasy VIII (Square, 1999, PS1)
Music by Nobuo Uematsu
"Compression of Time"

Tags (4)

Orchestral, Strings
Time > Duration: Long

File Information

8,289,679 bytes


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