ReMix:Syberia "To the Land of the Great Mammoths" 5:46

By Prasa U.

Arranging the music of 2 songs...

"music0", "music3"

Primary Game: Syberia (Microïds , 2002, WIN), music by Dimitri Bodiansky, Nicolas Varley

Posted 2007-09-22, evaluated by the judges panel

So, in retrospect, breaking up a flood of FF7 mixes with a Sonic mix, no matter how good it was, didn't exactly inject any esoteric/innovative source material bonus points into our musical bloodstream. For that, we've got newcomer Prasa U.'s first ReMix and our first coverage of Syberia, a critically acclaimed PC adventure game that also got ported to PS2 and Xbox. The ReMixer writes:

"Most of the original material in the piece are derived from the original themes or chord progressions. The first part of this orchestral arrangement revolves around the main theme and variations of the main theme, the middle is based the second "explore" theme, and then the end is a return the beginning ideas. Starts in C major, modulates to Am, goes to D for the restatement, then modulates to the dominant to finish. My purpose with this mix was to exhibit the subdued wonder, awe, and serenity in the game. The volume is a bit low because I needed to prevent clipping in the louder dynamic sections."

Judges were fairly split on this, mostly on more technical production issues and less on arrangement, although apparently the mixer's decision to intro with cello rubbed some folk the wrong way. I see where most of the criticism is coming from and agree with most if not all of it, I just think that the aggregate of all the issues pointed out still doesn't outweigh the good stuff going on - good dynamic range, alternation between ensemble and solo sections, solid arrangement ideas, thematic direction, and competent production. The staccato brass stuff going on around the fifth minute definitely gave me some... pause... and the harp, as Jill points out, is definitely a little too loud at points. These are concrete issues that I do believe weaken the piece, but they're far from being representative or key to the overall composition's success, in my mind. The source material being orchestral as well made Prasa U.'s (PU's?) job a little harder, but there's substantive additive and mutative work present, as Jon points out:

"I hear plenty on the arrangement side. lots of substantive supporting parts, interpreting the main theme (rendering it in a minor key, for example), and some new segments that compliment the original nicely."

It's a great original with a lot of melodic/harmonic work going on, and I think the mixer has managed to keep what's strong, alter it meaningfully, and add some new stuff. Overbearing harps and unorthodox staccato brass bits alone can't really undo that, and while there are other, smaller issues and production gets a little muddy at times, this is solid on both arrangement and production sides of the house and should give orchestral fans, fans of the game, and fans of the much-loved adventure genre in general something to be happy about.



Latest 15 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
on 2012-10-18 20:20:41

This is a quite beautiful mix - I had forgotten all about this one!

The orchestration could use some more treatment in areas, the brass and strings at times seem a little mechanical or sound suboptimal. I love this as a whole though, it's a nice arrangement and carries a majestic and lush feel to it.

on 2008-04-10 11:22:51

Very sweeping sound to this one; the strings sound very nice. I do think the transitions were a bit weak overall in terms of lines, and the stucatto brass section near the end I don't think worked at all, but otherwise I thought it was beautifully done, specifically your legato strings.

I recently received this game (though I can't play it on my mac), so I am unable to compare it to the source, but if it's similar to this mix, I definitely want to check it out.

Martin Penwald
on 2007-10-16 14:21:25

I usually prefer my orchestral arrangements powerful and energized, but I like this one nevertheless. The mood it sets up is just wonderful. Nice work.

Shadow Wolf
on 2007-10-14 20:54:02

I actually have to disagree with Pixie for once on this one... I really like the solo cello in the intro. In light of the rest of the mix, I'm fairly certain it was supposed to sound alone and out in the cold. The patches used for this mix really grabbed me too, they were very realistic, and it added a lot, so props for patch selection and production. Hope to hear from you again!

on 2007-10-14 00:38:49
It is. But my school has a digital music program with some great equipment and software so I pay nothing!

Really? are our MACs really that expensive? O_O

(yes, i registered just to ask you that question =] )

on 2007-10-11 16:47:41

Yes , I'm sure you do.

on 2007-10-11 00:34:07

srsly? I wanna go to expensive digital music program school too!!

on 2007-10-10 23:40:24
Nice mix too. It sounds expensive =o

It is.....but my school has a digital music program with some great equipment and software so I pay nothing!

on 2007-10-10 23:34:56

Nice to see another Scarbronite on here.


Nice mix too. It sounds expensive =o

on 2007-10-10 23:08:33
A very interesting interpretation of what we tried to achieve...

All the best,

Nicholas Varley, composer, Syberia.

Thanks for dropping by!

on 2007-10-09 10:30:43
A very interesting interpretation of what we tried to achieve...

All the best,

Nicholas Varley, composer, Syberia.

So awesome!

I loved this mix as a WIP and still love it as a completed work. The cheesy cello solo is alright by me, but you never really reworked that harp.

Nicholas Varley
on 2007-10-09 09:29:50

A very interesting interpretation of what we tried to achieve...

All the best,

Nicholas Varley, composer, Syberia.

Hy Bound
on 2007-09-23 15:13:25

I don't really review very much, but i felt compelled to on this one.

All I have to say is that i really found this to be one of the best orchestral arrangements I've heard on OCRemix. I know there are going to be others who disagree with me, possibly strongly, but I felt more of an attachment and emotion with this arrangement than many of the other orchestral arrangements on this site.

Yes, it feels a little too drenched in reverb, and the cymbals sound shitty, but on the arrangment side and for the rest of the more technical side, it is quite outstanding.

BTW, did anyone else get the feeling of Halo on the first few notes of the song? I was reading the Halo 3 review while listening to the song and thought the video review had somehow popped up. I guess thats quite the compliment i can give, considering Marty O'Donnell is a badass.

on 2007-09-23 14:06:52

Thanks for the kind words guys! Here's a long ramble as my gratitude:

In the months after I originally submitted I was constantly learning more and so I can understand the criticisms of the judges, especially zircon comment about cymbals. Chalk it up to newbie-ness :P It does kind of annoy me that I had tried to contact one judge through PM to get a pre-submission opinion and got a "need more info" reply, and no reply when I provided that (coincidentally that was one of the judges who voted "NO" rather starkly to this mix on the panel). I don't know if I will submit more, as I feel like the WIP process isn't too rewarding without proper feedback.

I did realize I was entering shaky territory by creating an orchestral mix to an orchestral soundtrack, so I can see why some people would think it's not "different" enough to qualify. But, my main goal was to interpret and build the melody in the way I wanted, and in a cinematic sort of tone. But it was still a fantastical, orchestral arrangement of a fantastical, orchestral original source. I knew I was kind of toeing the line, and I would have completely understood if it had been rejected because of that fact, but I'm happy it worked out in the end.

on 2007-09-23 01:26:11

i watched my friend play a lot of this back when we were in the dorms. cool song; reminds me of the trains in the snow and such. makes me wanna snag a copy and play it on the 360 (hurray for ports).

Sources Arranged (2 Songs)

Primary Game:
Syberia (Microïds , 2002, WIN)
Music by Dimitri Bodiansky,Nicolas Varley

Tags (2)


File Information

6,048,179 bytes


8-bit Jazz Heroes - Press Start
View All

Latest Albums

View All

Latest ReMixes