Posted 2013-07-01, evaluated by djpretzel

From the orchestral grandeur of Will's opening we keep things going strong with a collab that zircon organized to arrange Shadow's theme in the style of an epic spaghetti western. Brilliant. I hope you're ready for a wild, adventurous ride, as this mix takes it WELL over the top, nailing the aesthetic and building to a monumental, adventurous climax as ensemble orchestral brass heightens the untamed spirit. Andy writes:

"Ennio Morricone is one of my favorite composers, and when I was thinking of ways to treat Shadow's theme, I kept coming back to a spaghetti Western style influenced by such scores as The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly and A Fistful of Dollars. I could hear the arrangement in my head, but to really capture that authentic Western vibe, I needed help. Jill, XPRTNovice, Jeff, and session player Frank Witkam truly breathed life into my MIDI arrangement and gave it the driving, rugged feel I was going for. Every performance is spot-on and I'm thrilled with how it turned out. I hope you'll agree that a character as enigmatic and awesome as Shadow deserves this kind of grand musical treatment!"

This is EXACTLY the type of ambitious vision that defines Balance and Ruin and characterizes its music; I think every single artist working on a track for the album had something specific & unique in mind, and each was able to translate that mental picture into reality without a loss of fidelity. Part of being able to accomplish that transformation was having a studio budget for session musicians and employing a lot of live instrumentation; Will's track helped set the tone in that regard, and now this audacious, raucous, & unbridled mix from zircon & co. has continued the trend. It's one thing to have that initial spark of doing Shadow's theme in a Morricone-inspired fashion; it's a fantastic concept, but it could easily have proven prohibitive for any number of reasons. Happily, the idea in Andy's brain was manifested in exquisite detail. XPRTNovice (who is ALL OVER the album - we'll get to HIM later!) & Jill both lend their respective whistling & vocal talents to give things that authentic feel, Joe also chips in with the acoustic guitar & trumpet, Jeff (also ubiquitous on B&R) lends his bow (violin), and finally Frank's axe (harmonica) completes the fellowship. In true go-big-or-go-home fashion, Andy gambled a bit by pursuing this concept, but it paid off, as these nickels are worth their weight in gold. Congrats to all five artists for contributing to one of the album's most unique and adventurous arrangements!



Latest 15 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
on 2014-10-06 01:02:10
I think it's a Jew's harp.

If you listen closely to the wikipedia sound example, there's a metallic layer to the sound, which may sound like a "flicking", but I don't hear that in this remix at 2:50. Also, I've mixed one of XPRTNovice's remixes recently, and he has some live didgeridoo in it. Could be either one, but yeah, it could be a Vietnamese jaw harp (or a really high passed didgeridoo; these appear to be really similar). ;-)

on 2014-10-06 00:50:24
That didgeridoo at 2:50 never gets old.

I think it's a Jew's harp.

on 2014-04-26 21:27:07

That didgeridoo at 2:50 never gets old.

on 2014-04-06 09:13:42

This track is really kickass. Every little thing is flawless here. Awesome atmosphere too. Probably, the best track from the album.

on 2014-03-01 12:32:03

Of all the movie soundtrack-inspired mixes on this site, this may be the most polished and fully realized. And I say that with great love and respect for some of my other favorites. I get excited every time this comes up in my playlist.

on 2013-09-19 16:29:13

When zircon first announced his take on Shadow's theme, I had an idea how it might sound. And it did sound like my idea and better. This is so cool

on 2013-08-21 05:43:24

Holy moley! This really came out of left field, right, or heck, somewhere in the wild blue yonder. This just woke me up and made me grin in knowing exactly the moment when you hear this, with a fresh spin that deserves praise! Seriously, this song so far in listening just up and has my vote in the early listening start to finish of favorite song. I hope it stays that way.

on 2013-07-18 16:59:38

Simply had to find my login details from signing up several years ago, to post in appreciation of an utterly fantastic remix. Been blasting it out regularly for a fortnight!

So many brilliant segments, better described by Shorty, and epic production values.

Legendary stuff guys :)

on 2013-07-15 23:53:00


Is what I would say if I only had one word, but you can't stop there! Out of the gate the guitar and the harmonica (axe, to DJP) take some deep cleaves into you, and that's a cut you can live with. The mix starts to drive and before you know it, you hear that familiar melody (whistled) of the most enigmatic and foreboding character of FFVI, Shadow. At 0:59 the drums back off and the bass goes out queuing the strings pick up and lead the way, lulling you into a false sense of assurance for a brief moment before picking back up at 1:15 to drive back into the fray of instrumentation culminating at 1:23, a worthy play for any assassin and his newly earned nickel! The mix changes up at 1:39, and well, for quite a while playing on all the things you felt and heard from it up to this point. At 2:16 you think it's going to go back into the melody, but makes a very nice change (I actually didn't like it at first) until around 2:30 where the song leads you calmly back down, almost reminding you that this is Shadow, and there will be no rest until the job is done. And 2:37 is that reminder that the job is not, in fact, done. The signature melody comes back out, looming over, building triumphantly over and through 3:01 until its finish, displaying Shadow as superior rogue victor once again, faithful Interceptor at his side, disappearing into the unknown once more (que sunset?).

I've browsed this site much over the years, I've appreciated so many from so far. The talent that these artists and so many others have that I've heard here is nothing short of astonishing. But this, this was the one that broke me to sign up and post. This is a wonderful work of art in music. I rarely (read, don't) stand and applaud, as is such common practice today, but to this, I do.

on 2013-07-15 10:16:39
I had to go back and listen to the original to realize a whole bunch of the elements in this remix are not present in the original, which is very simple, yet they FEEL as if they should be. That's the sign of a great remix.

Hmm, yes. You're quite right I remember thinking the same with NekoFrog's "The Omen of JENOVA" when that first surfaced.

This one itself is a good track but there are others I personally prefer, in essence I don't actually hear much of the SW influence myself when I listen, but it works well for the character, and that is what matters I think.

on 2013-07-15 09:45:53

I had to go back and listen to the original to realize a whole bunch of the elements in this remix are not present in the original, which is very simple, yet they FEEL as if they should be. That's the sign of a great remix.

on 2013-07-15 03:37:10
Also, anyone catch a certain movie score reference at 2:28..?

The harmonica melody right there sounds so so familiar, but I've never heard the score to A Fistful of Dollars. Is it a different movie? Or am I hallucinating?

This is a really well-done embellishment on the Western themes present in Shadow's original tune. Was hoping for an arrangement more reminiscent of Shadow's regal horn salute in the ending theme, but that's a completely different vision. Love the real whistling and those driving guitar/percussive rhythms. It all melds together so well.

on 2013-07-07 14:30:00

The whistling and vocals go together really well. Huge grin especially right after the half-way mark. :D Shadow is bad ass. Great song.

on 2013-07-07 02:53:37

just adding my nickels in the pile for some more praise. awesome mix of Spaghetti western and a bit of wild arms.

on 2013-07-06 02:49:53
Thanks so much everyone. This was really a joy to create and obviously all the performers deserve huge props for realizing my arrangement and making it go even further beyond what I had in mind. Also, anyone catch a certain movie score reference at 2:28..?

I happen to remember it more as the opening of Wild Arms...but I hear though that it's taken from the spagetti western movie, My Name is which I can kind of hear it, but I might be listening to the wrong song...LOL...It reminds me more of a Fistful of Dollars...

Great job on the song by the way! I really like this piece. I guess I'm a bit more of a purist of the FFVI soundtrack, and while I don't think the other tracks are bad, I just preferred the melodies to stick to the same concept, which this one I felt did. So this made me happy. :)

Sources Arranged (1 Song)

Primary Game:
Final Fantasy VI (Square , 1994, SNES)
Music by Nobuo Uematsu

Tags (11)

Rock,Spaghetti Western
Acoustic Guitar,Brass,Harmonica,Strings,Vocals: Female,Whistling
Origin > Collaboration
Production > Live Recording

File Information

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