ReMix:Seiken Densetsu 3 "Not So Ordinary People" 4:25

By Jeremy Robson

Arranging the music of 2 songs...

"Can You Fly, Sister?","Ordinary People"

Primary Game: Seiken Densetsu 3 (Square , 1995, SNES), music by Hiroki Kikuta

Posted 2006-01-10, evaluated by the judges panel

The ReMixer writes:

"As I am continually forced by my professors to compose original music in various modern idioms, I feel more and more drawn to arranging game music in styles I'd prefer to listen to. Next up is a take on the Ordinary People track (1-03) from Seiken Densetsu 3 that resembles the quick and colorful orchestrations of Russian composers Alexander Borodin and Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov. This is actually the first time I went the other way around and decided upon what style I wanted to do first, then found a track that fit the criteria. I wanted a rustic, folk-sounding dance, and I found that here.

For the B theme I used my favorite track Can You Fly, Sister? (3-01) which resembles the original much more than what I do elsewhere in the piece. Why? I guess you could say it's because much of this arrangement is based on the first four measures of the Ordinary People track, but I do manage to make other references to the original. I really hope people will listen to this and say "Yeah, that's SD3 alright!" and not "There he goes again, off on some kind of tangent."

Frankly, I just listen and say "Hey, that's dern good musics!," as Jeremy's latest is also some of his very best work to date. The underlying detail and intonation shifts here are amazing, and he's nailed his stated goal of Russian influence squarely on the head. There's bombastic exuberance, exotic intrigue, victorious fanfare, and beauty all rolled up in one. Right out of the gate you've got a wonderful clarient duet that harmonizes then splits off of the theme, and Robson maintains that high calibre throughout. JJT writes:

"Ah, I love me some Rimsky-Korsakov. I can definetly hear the influence, especially in the use of the low brass and in the percussion. Very nice work, Jeremy. You've got a great ear for arranging, and throw plenty of variations of the main themes into this piece. As you'd expect from a Robson ReMix, the samples are good and used effectively."

Perhaps it's because I like shorter-form pieces in general, but this is my favorite of Jeremy's submissions to date; I really admire the harmonic decisions to no end, the whole thing feels fresh and lively without throwing too large an arsenal at the listener, and even though the ReMixer's last couple pieces have had a Russian influence as well, I think it's standout orchestral work, conspicuous and singular. As a band geek that played a lot of Russian classical pieces (albeit adapted for concert band), I've got a predilection for such material, but I think anyone into orchestral will be able to sink their teeth into this. Great work.



Latest 13 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
on 2011-12-08 12:40:58

I do indeed hear the Russian orchestrated influence here, albeit for some reason I tend to be feeling more of Tchaikovsky's upbeat influences within it :P And my expectations on Jeremy's work are often reflected here too - taking the theme and fitting it within a relevant symphonic expression. Something about this kind of reminds me of the similar expansions done for the Final Fantasy 7 Symophonic Suite's Finale that he worked on in terms of tearing the source apart; these may be different in tone, but the ideas are present and have expressed it in this fluctuating-yet-bouncy setting. Nice work.

Albeit, the orchestra sounds may even sound slightly dated in comparison to current standards, something I'm most commonly sensing in the woodwinds more than anything (and occasionally the strings but some of the attacks and tremolos are still very well worked on), but for its time it hits the sweet spot when measured up to his already fantastic way of writing.

All in all, a very well done track! And please come back soon, your style is close to being missed D:

on 2009-11-08 06:53:42

It's a shame this song hasn't gotten so much attention, much less the game. Seiken Densetsu 3 had a nice soundtrack.

Aside from my irrelevant gripes, This is a nice orchestral take on the source - it honestly could fit in many modern RPGs and not skip a beat in being out of place. Just a well done track.

on 2009-01-16 03:58:27

I really love Russian classical stuff, which would surprise a lot of people that know me. But just let it be known that the influences weren't lost on me. There is a lot of Polovetsian Dance similarity going on in the mix, but that only makes me want a choral section.

Overall, a classy and ambitious remix with a really rich sound. Equal parts Brodin and Prokofiev (Wiki it, people) and great representation of a style that doesn't get much attention outside of Tetris mixes (which are still pretty awesome). Some of this seems like it could work over one of those awesome Russian propagandist movies from the 20s.

on 2008-11-23 15:10:02

Don't know either source (it's on my queue of games to play...someday), but this mix is fantastically arranged. Emotionally charged, with a wide range of dynamics and contrasts. Stylistically sounds exactly what Jeremy was going for.

My favorite part is at 3:52, where the strings build up to a huge section...only they suddenly pull back for a gentle moment. Very tricky. Great job.

on 2007-12-06 17:02:07

This is one of my favourites, ever! Those who have read some of my posts should know I avoid using exclamation marks, but when an exclamation mark is due, it's due. And there it is. His inspiration for this comes through nicely. It's an overall high quality arrangement of two probably underrated themes from sd3. Repeat: This is one of my favourites, ever!

on 2007-04-18 12:28:28

A little reverb-heavy, but overall a very well done orchestral remix. Very good use of samples and motifs, it has several different moods and atmospheres, and makes the source tune sound very Hollywood. Nice percussion work as well.

I remember this was on the front page when I first signed up for the site. :)

on 2006-01-26 04:30:49

I don't really mind if there's something 'ripped' from another composer. Just call it a quote, it happens all the time.

Robson's arrangements are really great. The samples aren't that bad either. I'd only wish he'd cut back on the reverb. Especially those fast parts sound really blurred. But that's just my opinion :)

on 2006-01-12 09:38:49
There's a bunch of sections that sound like they were directly ripped from Borodin's Polovetsian Dances. This is cool, I guess, but I wish it wasn't so jarring since they are so blatant.

Well he did mentiona Borodin as a major influence for the style...even so, the similarities are not so "jarring."

[Moderation Edit: Strong language not necessary] -Gray

on 2006-01-11 16:02:52

There's a bunch of sections that sound like they were directly ripped from Borodin's Polovetsian Dances. This is cool, I guess, but I wish it wasn't so jarring since they are so blatant.

on 2006-01-11 04:23:28

I'm not very familiar with Russian music, but i can't say no to a remix from Robson. There's a whole lot of strings in this arrangement, I can say that, and I liked the flute that this remix began with.

Although I don't know much of Russian orchestra, I still felt that Jeremy captured the feeling with the strings he used. They didn't always play a certain note, they played more randomly, like if you listened to a swarm of flies. This whole arrangement made me think of those huge danes the tsars used to arrange, a giant hall where the nobles did their dance on the floor with some fine classical music to dance to. It almost makes you forget that this is actually a remix. I did however recognize the happy melody of "Can you fly, sister?", it got a very beautiful feeling to it when the flutes played it.

Yeah, that's SD3 alright.

on 2006-01-10 23:21:33

The drop in pressure at ~1:30 is amazing, I love it.

The entire track is intriguing and lively, and I can hear the 'Russian' feeling very plainly, although those lighter points at ~2:30 is very powerful, not in volume, but just in emotion.

I give a 9.5/10

The Xyco
on 2006-01-10 23:15:06

Jeremy Robson has one hell of a knack for fine arrangements. His ability to manipulate music is fantastic. His only weakness I've ever found are some of his brass samples, particularly on the lower notes.

For this ReMix, however, the brass sounds significantly better, and serve as no detriment to the fantastic arrangement here. I'm not familiar enough with Russian composers to make any statements regarding the themes used here, all I can say is that this is yet again a very lively and well-pieced orchestral ReMix from Jeremy Robson.

And given a name as familiar as his, what else could you expect?

on 2006-01-10 22:48:58

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

Sources Arranged (2 Songs)

Primary Game:
Seiken Densetsu 3 (Square , 1995, SNES)
Music by Hiroki Kikuta
"Can You Fly, Sister?"
"Ordinary People"

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