Arranging the music of one song...

"Opening Demo"

Primary Game: The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past (Nintendo , 1991, SNES), music by Koji Kondo

Posted 2010-03-30, evaluated by the judges panel

Hey, how about some nice, calming, well-played solo acoustic guitar Zelda mixage? Sound good? Newcomer Harjawaldar, aka Mads Smebakk, writes:

"A Link to the Past is one of my all time favorite vg soundtracks, and I think this theme is the best in it. I made the recording with only one 6-string Ibanez half-acoustic guitar, and there are many layers of guitars active at once. I really just wanted this to sound as beautiful as possible. The song was made for Dwelling of Duels Free month May 2009. It got me the second place."

Edging Mads out were Simon and Hugo with their super/mega/epic Langrisser II metal opus; it's cool that first and second place were so very, very different in tone & style, showing the versatility (and appreciation of versatility) over at DoD. The layering here creates a thick, resonating bed of strummed goodness, and the arrangement gets progressively more interpretive as the piece progresses. Larry writes:

"Definitely an impressive performance from when I first heard it from DoD. The first half of the arrangement was too conservative, but had some grace notes here and there. That alone wouldn't have been enough to make it passable though, so I'm glad the structure didn't stay like that. The second half (1:39-on) pulled this one up from a NO for being too conservative by getting significantly more interpretive with the source. Chill, relaxing stuff to listen to, and a welcome addition. Certainly hope we hear more from Mads in the future."

OA echoes those sentiments:

"Really classy stuff, as Larry pointed out, it started really conservatively, but it branched out the perfect amount for the second half. Some really cool ideas, good transitions, and a very serene feel. The playing was really nice, and though the tone was slightly thin, it was very clean, and it balanced well. If you do have a mic to record with in addition to the piezo, try recording both at once, as it'll give a great sound. If not, I'm still fine with this passing, and future subs should be ok. Jesse has some decent thoughts about EQ, so look into those for a future sub, but this one is great."

Not much else to say - this is a great theme, and Harjawaldar has done it great acoustic justice with a tight arrangement & performance that's simultaneously intelligent and emotive. Excellent stuff.



Latest 15 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
on 2012-08-16 09:49:09

As close to the source as it was when it started, it branched out very well when it pasted that golden point. Acoustic guitar to me is like the solo-piano of guitars, so to hear a Zelda piece with it is beautiful. The sound came off crisp, and the arrangement was great once things kicked up. Love it.

on 2010-05-02 14:06:57

Very clean! It's luscious and sexy I don't care what everyone else thinks

on 2010-04-27 08:58:43
Parts of this song reminded me of Mike Oldfield's Tubular Bells I - side B.

Interesting, my father loves Tubular Bells, and I like it too (even if I don't know it very well). Maybe I'll search for these parts you said :)

on 2010-04-27 08:52:34

Parts of this song reminded me of Mike Oldfield's Tubular Bells I - side B. I'm showing my age here, but this song gave me a good feeling and left me reminiscing!

Beautifully done!

Martin Penwald
on 2010-04-19 15:54:50

As far as arrangement goes, this hits the sweet spot for me, right between staying true to the original and adding own ideas. Performance is really good, too.

on 2010-04-01 05:44:21

When I first listened I knew I had heard this before, that of course was the DoD version which I totally forgot about, which was quite a mistake on my part! Even though this isn't new (to a lot of people here anyway) it's still very awesome, the acoustic approach is perfect for this track, which I think probably takes a lot of people back to the early days of the snes.

At the same time, it conveys a little more peaceful sense than the original, the guitar is just so tranquil here, with some nice variations from the source which work perfectly towards the end.

I seem to recall it was nearly a year ago that I first heard this so it's very nice to see it make the cut here at OCR as well, no doubt in my mind that it belongs.

on 2010-04-01 01:20:20
Loved when came out on DoD, good work!

What he said!

I remember hearing this before actually talking to Mads when Tony referred him to me as a good artist to ask to join a project, and when Dr. Manhattan sent him my email.

It's a convincing track that showcases Mads' acoustic guitar, and it's delicious! It shows some emotion, from the dark beginning to the more upbeat later section, the song has a feeling of progression to it that tugs at you some.

Great job, it sure deserved being in the top 3 for DoD that month!

Less Ashamed Of Self
on 2010-04-01 01:19:58

I think Tepid already proved that acoustic guitar and Zelda 3 are more than a little compatible. Tepid's cover was one of my favourites...


If every mix on this site was this classy I would have that OCR tattoo by now.

on 2010-03-31 21:03:51

Congrats, Mads! I always told you how this song is wonderfull! You did great.

on 2010-03-31 18:27:25

Great to see Harjawaldar finally getting a mix posted here! I've followed him on DoD, and while I prefer his more rockin' mixes, this is a pretty good one too. Slow and simple, just like the source.

on 2010-03-31 11:10:05

Absolutely beautiful, this is one of my favorite Zelda mixes on the site. Thank you so much for submitting this. 3

on 2010-03-31 09:01:19

Fantastic. I'd like to hear more remix arrangements with this style and this amount of overflowing quality. Well done, very well done, but certainly not long enough. Looping doesn't do it justice :(

on 2010-03-31 04:33:40

Loved when came out on DoD, good work!

on 2010-03-31 03:54:00

I love when you play this way Harja, this is so wonderful! ;_;

Congrats! : )

on 2010-03-31 02:27:25

I'm going to be listening to this quite a bit. I love mixes like this one, and I like the stripped-down production.

Sources Arranged (1 Song)

Primary Game:
The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past (Nintendo , 1991, SNES)
Music by Koji Kondo
"Opening Demo"

Tags (4)

Acoustic Guitar
Arrangement > Solo
Origin > Competition > Dwelling of Duels

File Information

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