Posted 2005-07-21, evaluated by the judges panel

Three way collab action! Musical ménage à trois! - of a strictly platonic nature, I am assured... Daniel, Gray, and the singular Miss Jillian "pixietricks" Goldin all combine forces for a triumvirate take on FFX's "People of the North Pole" - and appreciative our Arctic friends should be, the Clauses and their dwarven slave labor all, as the three of them have, via an iterative process, come up with an icy, dramatic, enveloping arrangement. Gray actually came in after an initial version had already been cut, revising the mastering and also adding additional compositional and percussive elements on the sound foundation that Dan and Jill had crafted with their respective arranging and vocal/lyrical roles. Sephfire writes:

"I've been working on this thing since like October '04. I originally intended to submit it just an instrumental piece, but just as I was finishing up, pixietricks's name popped up on the OCR front page. So I sent her an email and here we are."

Being a fairly well-established fan of Jill's voice, lyrics, etc., I'm glad that one of the changes Gray made was to bring the vocal up a bit, as it works so very well against the floating, freezing, striking landscape which Dan crafted and Gray embellished. Regarding the lyric she penned, pixietricks writes:

"The lyrics, inspired by the love story between Tidus and Yuna, take the form of a sort of call and response. As Yuna reflects on their journey and the disappearance of her lover, a reassuring voice emerges from the fog."

The simplicity and directness work, both because they echo the soundscape and because Jill stretches the phrases out with an excellent sense of timing and release. It never ceases to amaze me how lyrics can read a certain way and seem relatively straightforward, but when sung, take on a whole new being. The mix itself intros with an ambient sweep, water drop fx, ethnic percussion groove, and piano establishing the verse melody, which in this case is more defined and conspicuous than the chorus, with the vocal gliding in and replacing it at 0'40" - lovely filtered effect and delay, which again speaks to the icy, ethereal space the piece creates. I especially like how Jill's voice rises on "I feel the voice with-in" and handles the interval there appropriately, indicative of her formal vocal training. Between the first verse and the second you have the musical equivalent of narrative exposition, as Gray and Dan take the foreground with layered drums, piano, the underlying trancey synth pattern, and general ambiance whilst ms. tricks vocalises over top, and at 2'18" the chorus shifts into more extended melodic phrasing and the response that Jill alluded to with her comment. Drums then pick up and get a bit more aggressive, lending renewed energy to the remainder of the mix, which closes out with lovely solo cello augmenting the piano as things slowly die back down into the frozen, ambient bed from which they emerged. Shna just had his own piece posted, so let's see what he had to say:

"HELL YEAH!!! I happen to know the source for this very very well and I can tell you that there is plenty of coverage of it in this mix. The original only had two melodies both of which were very short and both of which appear here and have been brilliantly adjusted to fit this HOT 6/4 groove"

So there you go - while it may not have RAD TIMBALE LICKS, it has HOT 6/4 GROOVE, which is pretty damn good as well. While not providing a comment that lent itself to amusing catch-phrase capitalization, Brandon also offered:

"Being around my old roommates and their FF love I’ve become pretty familiar with the source through osmosis. That being said, I’ve got no problems with the arrangement. At times the combo of the entrancing vocals, the modified time signature and the slick percussion overshadows the theme and allows me to forget that I’m listening to a remix, but honestly I feel it is well incorporated throughout."

From October of last year all the way to July, Sephfire's done a great job of taking a concept and running with it, holding off when he thought he could improve it significantly, and bringing on two very talented partners-in-crime for a very polished, enjoyable piece. While not every mix needs or can afford to have such a relatively lengthy gestation period, in this case it served the end result to have the respective talents of pixietricks and GrayLightning on board. The finished product is artistic, transporting, unique, powerful, and highly recommended.



Latest 15 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
on 2011-03-12 18:27:21

I know this is a bit of a necro at this point, but I've been listening to this track non-stop for about a week. It's awesome.

I love this type of thing!

on 2010-12-07 17:17:00

Fantastic. The lyrics, the arrangement, the tools, everything.

on 2010-09-01 16:27:53

Anyone rating this song less than at least 10/10 is wrong. This is a fact.

dANGER boy
on 2010-07-20 22:18:25

This was the first ReMix I'd ever heard from OCR and it hooked me for life. I remember hearing this for the first time 2 and a half years ago from a friend who introduced me to OCR and I haven't been the same since. Addict for life! Simple amazing job on the song and vocals. The song convinced me to play Final Fantasy X and a huge smile came across my face when I heard the original song in-game.

Amazing ReMix!

on 2010-04-16 01:53:28
Where could I find the lyrics for the song?

On the remix page under the lyrics tab, lol.

on 2010-04-16 00:00:52

Where could I find the lyrics for the song?

on 2009-12-01 19:47:32

I like this song; it just feels like it was recorded out in some barren Arctic landscape. And the beats have this tribal feel that I adore. Still all of this pales in comparison to Jill's sheer brilliant vocal work.

Lyrically, this reminds me to a degree of Cher's Believe.

O.k., well, they're practically polar opposites, but still...

Believe is all about being strong enough to conquer being unlucky in love, Journey's End is a heartfelt plea of desperation.

Still they provide an interesting contrast.

on 2008-12-09 17:51:15

This was one of two songs that got me to download the entire set of OCR remixes. It's also what introduced me to Jill's voice. Back before I reset my MP3 player's settings, I think the #times played value for this song was somewhere in the 70s or 80s.

The arrangement is brilliant; the switch in timing works really well with the lyrics to make this almost a new song, while still keeping the sense of desolation and loneliness brought to mind by the source. Sephfire and GrayLightning really outdid themselves on the arrangement, and pixie's vocals on top of all that takes this song from amazing to indescribable. I can't think of a single thing that I don't absolutely love about this song. KF

on 2008-12-06 22:31:26

Just listened to this song because... well, I don't remember why I decided to listen to it; never seriously played FF:X or anything.

This song, along with AP's Terra remix, are two examples of awesome tracks that help explain why the 6/4 // 6/8 time signatures are my favorite.

edit: alright. this is cruel - it's hardly a review. so here goes. There's a lingering sense of adventure in the back pocket of a girl who is deep down equally afraid of the world, but slowly and deliberately she realizes her thrill-seeking esprit will have its time to thrive in what feels like the coldest winter .... with the help of her flame.

maybe. something like that. whatever it is, i really enjoy this. Beautiful vocals (not surprising, but pleasant through and through) - as much as I like the vibe of this mix, adding them kinda made this remix. The lyrics are great. hand percussion is intricate and engaging and are a real standout for me, though i question some of the mixing. some things sound so... distant in a tube far far away.

Azure Prower
on 2008-10-26 00:38:40

This is still one of my favourite remixes of all time. Nothing has captured the emotion better than this song.

Jillian Aversa
on 2007-10-22 01:04:59

Yeah, ditto. I wanted to thank her on her Facebook wall, but she doesn't have one! :oops::oops::oops:

on 2007-10-22 00:54:07
My lady, "The Lady", wrote up on this song as well as pixietricks in general over at our blog, VG Frequency. Stop by and leave her your comments. Doesn't matter when you see this. YEARS from now even, we still want 'em.

Aww, shucks. :oops: Say thanks to the Lady for me.

on 2007-10-21 00:23:42

My lady, "The Lady", wrote up on this song as well as pixietricks in general over at our blog, VG Frequency. Stop by and leave her your comments. Doesn't matter when you see this. YEARS from now even, we still want 'em.

I originally NOed this mix. I was drunk (read: inept) at the time. :-)

on 2007-04-12 11:28:25

It's a beautiful mix that evokes all the right emotions. It's expansive and chilly and I could easily see it floating across an icy sea. The time signature seems genius to me, and keeps the whole thing interesting. I think it also lends some "coolness" to the song, in every sense of the word.

There is something that bothers me, however. I have noticed in Pixie's mixes that she tends to go a little sharp (as in pitch) on many notes. It's a problem I think for anyone with a very pure voice. The other problem with a pure voice is that it is hard to bring punch to a song, and I felt this one could have used a little more punch. There was some harmony which helped, and I would have liked to hear more; I think that would have given the song a little more oomph without going overboard.

At any rate, that's my nitpicking...overall it's still a beautiful track and represents a great effort from its contributors.

on 2007-03-26 14:35:31

This is absolutely amazing. I really love the vocals in this, it kind of reminds me of Celtic Woman and Enya...

Sources Arranged (1 Song)

Primary Game:
Final Fantasy X (Square , 2001, PS2)
Music by Junya Nakano,Masashi Hamauzu,Nobuo Uematsu
"People of the North Pole"

Tags (7)

New Age
Piano,Singing,Synth,Vocals: Female
Lyrics > Lyrics: Original
Origin > Collaboration

File Information

6,132,093 bytes

The tide's come in
But I can't go on again
I feel a voice within fading

I need your touch
Why does it hurt so much?
I've never known such loneliness

The world is right
But I'm so alone this night
I can't find the light; guide me

Take heart
I'm by your side
Though we're apart
I have not died


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