Posted 2009-12-18, evaluated by the judges panel

Newcomer Xenon Odyssey, aka Bobby Keller, gives us a solo piano debut arrangement from Sonic & Knuckles. This one definitely plays it loose with the source material, and the judges panel did have to really stretch a bit, since there's just as much original writing as there is arrangement. Some of you in the peanut gallery may snicker (pun) derisively when the judges get out their metaphorical - and in some cases, actual - stopwatches and break a ReMix down to ensure it's more arrangement than not. Well, consider the alternative... someone sends in a completely original piece that has five seconds of SMB plugged on to the end. Does it contain some VGM? Sure... Is it musically interesting & well-constructed? Possibly... Is it a VGM arrangement? Not so much. Says we, of course, and semantics antics are always gonna be subjective. Mattias writes:

"I, like Vinnie, compared Larry's and Bobby's times and agree with Larry. If Vinnie's calculations are correct and this is as close as 49.6% I consider this a pass. It sounds like an arrangement of the source too which is obviously the actual criteria. The harmonies, playing and pacing are all excellent. There was a minor hiccup somewhere but not enough to require a re-record. I say go. Awesome job."

That's my own bolding for emphasis right there, FYI. As AnSo mentions, regardless of specific percentage breakdowns, the true litmus test is really up to the individual judge - does it feel like an arrangement of the indicated source, or does it feel like an excuse to fiddle around with some original material and work some VGM in here and there? In this case, the decision was difficult but unanimous. OA sums it up in one sentence:

"The track is beautiful and meets the arrangement standards, but coming to a decision certainly was a lengthy process."

It's odd... I'm very used to the higher notes on piano patches being panned right, lower notes left, to match the layout of the keys in front of the player. That seems a bit flipped here, but it's not really problematic, just disconcerting. The clarity and space achieved by the piano sound itself is great; you really get a feel for the resonance and sustain. At times some of the upper-register forte overdoes it a bit, and that's something I'd generally avoid in the future, but some of the best moments here are subtle, and really boil down to timing... a key pause here or there makes a world of difference, and I think Mr. Keller has a great feel for using that space to his advantage. Very liberal take on fairly well-known source material that definitely changes it up dramatically; interesting, emotive debut from Xenon Odyssey, who hopefully makes the panel's job a little easier with his next sub!



Latest 15 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
on 2012-04-20 13:33:03

Solo piano for a ReMix is simply gorgeous. That's all that really needs to be said. Anyone who has a taste for solo piano can be rewarded with performances like this one, no matter what the source, and I think Lava Reef 2/ Hidden Palace was an excellent choice here. The playing is magnificent, the production was great and I like the arrangement. Downloaded so damn fast......

on 2011-09-17 13:33:17

This is lovely! You certainly know how to make Lava Reef awesome. Speaking of which, your 'Lava Passion' from Project Chaos is still my favorite version - in fact, it's one of my favorite VGM arrangements ever! I would love to see that submitted as a full OC ReMix...but until then, anyone who hasn't heard it, go check it out. It's like this, only with to-die-for saxophone playing.

Wina A. Kamlongera
on 2010-10-21 01:08:30

I love how this piece flirts with the melodies from the source. It weaves in and out from the notes in the source and into your territory so beautifully. I feel teased whilst listening to this, you create a nice level of tension by sewing in the source and then not quite giving it to us. And it gets to an eventual point (3:07) where when you flow fully into the melody that I associate the Hidden Palace Zone with, it's a great catharsis! Job well done!!

At first, I was thinking I would have expected the higher notes panned more to the right, but realised that the way things are set up, it's as though I'm standing opposite you playing the piano. Well, what am trying to say is, the set-up makes it seem like I am before a personal performance (when I have my eyes closed), adding something more powerful to the arrangement.

This definitely holds a place on my playlist that I use to relax! Great listen!

Martin Penwald
on 2010-01-11 11:38:10
it's really one of my favorite piano mixes to come along in a while just because there's nothing pretentious or grand about it - it's a very down-to-earth, mellow arrangement


Also, I like the sound of the piano, for a lack of better words. Something about it is very relaxing and soothing.

on 2009-12-31 10:41:54

This is very beautiful, l love a good piano piece.

Great work.

on 2009-12-28 16:47:01

Nice -- piano! I am always a fan of a good piano arrangement and you deliver :) . Very pretty, thanks for an enjoyable listen.

on 2009-12-24 00:23:40

Hey, a piano song!

While it may not be as technical as some of the other ones on the site, this one definitely keeps my interest a lot more than a lot of them. The thing here is that it has a gentle feel to it, but doesn't rely on being too dainty and slow.

Good work! :nicework:

on 2009-12-22 17:31:20

This is veeeerrryy pretty, that's about all I can say about it.

I really enjoy the mix of original material with the existing stuff, something about it makes it feel more, I'm not sure, more of something... it was the same but different enough to make it more enjoyable in a way.

Xenon Odyssey
on 2009-12-22 12:52:19

Thanks everyone for the kind comments!

And no worries OA; my next one is pretty much the straight source everywhere. No tricky give-or-take places.

on 2009-12-21 14:41:45

Really pretty stuff, but pleeeasse next time make it easier on me. ;_;

Beautiful playing, and the timing is what makes it especially good.

Congrats on getting posted, I am excited to hear what you do next.

on 2009-12-20 19:34:25

very beautiful piece, although it took a while before i knew what song it was, it wasnt until about the 3 min mark where i knew what the melody was, i think if you had of established this somewhere at the start of the track i would have liked it more but very well done! loved it keep it up!!

on 2009-12-20 14:15:06

I'm not familiar with the source material, but this song makes me remember David Lanz's calmer music pieces. I enjoy it very much. Good job, and good luck on future remixes.

on 2009-12-20 07:05:43

This is a surprise. For whatever reason, I never suspected you wanted this, and especially not with something like this. This is a beautiful piece. It's been snowing for the past few days here, and looking out the window with this playing in the background is a very pleasant experience. Merry Christmas, dude.

on 2009-12-19 23:13:01

I really like how this has a quasi-serious, thoughtful mood to this piece. Not quite emotionally or reminiscing-ly based, but simply highly thought provoking. Listing to this has made me feel oddly centered. I also like how fanciful the arrangement sounds and admittedly how liberal the arrangement is. It just feels like a breath of air to hear something as fresh and mellowly whimsical (especially after listening to some of the older remixes for a while, if you know what I mean. :razz:) Needless to say, this is an amazing debut mix. Congrats Xenon.

on 2009-12-19 20:45:34

I am not familiar with the source all that much, so from the standpoint of an outsider, this piece is very pretty, and it is an overall nice listen. DJP said it right that the timing is what really helps this out, with notes held, slower lines, etc. The dynamics aren't too varied, but they get the point across, and overall the writing is pretty fluid. Nice work.

Sources Arranged (1 Song)

Primary Game:
( , , )
Music by
Additional Game:
Sonic the Hedgehog 3 (Sega , 1994, GEN)
Music by Bobby Brooks,Brad Buxer,C. Cirocco Jones,Darryl Ross,Doug Grigsby III,Geoff Grace,Jun Senoue,Michael Jackson,Tatsuyuki Maeda,Tomonori Sawada
"Hidden Palace Zone"

Tags (3)

Arrangement > Solo
Origin > Resubmission

File Information

6,653,853 bytes



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