ReMix:The Last of Us "Sarah" 4:18

By nckmusic

Arranging the music of one song...

"The Last of Us"

Primary Game: The Last of Us (Sony , 2013, PS3), music by Gustavo Santaolalla

Posted 2014-09-30, evaluated by the judges panel

nckmusic (Thiago Nemecek) makes his OCR debut with our first arrangement of Gustavo Santaolalla's score to The Last of Us, a game that will hopefully need no introduction. Unanimously lauded by critics, Naughty Dog's post-apocalyptic masterpiece is specifically cited as a game that gets storytelling and characterization RIGHT, and a huge part of that is getting the music right, too. Thiago offers up a resonant, intimate cinematic arrangement focusing on piano, cello, and guitar. While the mix opens as more of a straight piano instrumental, high strings are peering in, and a deep & dark soundbed enters when the piano descends & picks up. 1'36" sees the dramatic introduction of cello; notice how both timing & dynamics fluctuate even within this smaller, softer space. 2'48" and the preceding build signal a final section that incorporates guitar & percussion. DarkeSword writes:

"Love the deep rumble of the cello juxtaposed with the sweet and delicate piano. This mix becomes so much more when you switch gears into the heavier percussive and guitar section. The sirens are a beautiful touch. This mix is absolutely gorgeous and really captures the powerful emotions at play in the game. Anyone who's played this game and understands the context of the title and what you've done here musically is going to be blown away. Fantastic."

Nutritious adds:

"Really nice atmosphere you've created here. Clearly, the mixer has paid a lot of attention to detail in the sequencing work as he's really done a great job handling delicate parts of the track. Arrangement is a bit on the conservative side, focusing on additive filler elements and counter melodic parts for personalizing it."

Solemn and subtle, any perceived simplicity in the composition is offset by the nuanced timing, dynamics, and overall mastering of the end result. Thiago's clearly got an ear for these things, as none of them tend to happen by accident; the space that this mix creates, very immediate and very emotional, is unique and rewards close listening. A superb debut from nckmusic and the perfect homage to a great modern game score!



Latest 7 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
on 2014-11-23 02:37:19

Maybe I scared people away with my last posting - but since it, I've heard multiple people's 'remix' versions of this song on Youtube, including by some artists I follow, and none of them even approach this remix. nckmusic, be proud - you crushed this.

on 2014-10-09 01:10:49

I'd like to tell a story about how OCRemix, and this song, made my life so much better.

Only one week ago I saw this song posted on OCRemix, and clicked. At this point, I had never heard of the game 'The Last Of Us', and all I knew was this song, the first two lines of djpretzel's excellently described stance of the game, and the entrancing cover art (that the creators fought like hell to keep against publisher pressure to only have the male lead on it!).

And then I listened to this song, and it was beautifully haunting. Melodic, yet poignant. It seemed obvious to me that nckmusic had really cared about this.

I hadn't played a video game in over two years. But something about this felt special. I went and got it for the PS3.

A week later, I am still enraptured, devastated, enlightened, and in deep thought. What an experience, what a moving and powerful story. To characterize it as a video game or, worse, a zombie/shooter is simultaneously not incorrect and yet such an injustice to the power and amazement of what the experience is. And through it all, that music. My heavens, that music - in different forms and different ways, the throughline of the entire story.

And now, on the other side of having completed The Last Of Us, I now have even more appreciation for nckmusic's work here. The evocative feel of the original source is now given even more power and a different, yet gentle, touch. The entire section from 2:48-4:10 (especially 3:30-3:57!! The melodies!! The sirens!!) could only have been written by someone who truly experienced the loneliness and desperation of the game, and of the source music.

For those of you who liked this song but didn't know the game, get it. For those of you who knew the game but haven't listened to this remix, listen to it. The two are meant for each other like few remixes I"ve heard.

on 2014-10-03 16:13:41

Man, musically, you can really feel this one. Lots of emotion just from the instrumentation alone. I can only imagine what it would be like if I knew the context and played the game like DS said. Still, amazing debut and wonderful ReMix.

OverClocked PodCast
on 2014-10-02 19:37:49

Powerful and restrained. Man. This is extraordinary.

Thin Crust
on 2014-09-30 21:30:17

I'm going to get this for PS4 when I get one eventually. In the meantime I've been on a full media blackout for this game. I haven't seen anything except what they showed at e3 press conferences. But I'll make an exception for this one.

on 2014-09-30 14:20:18

Nice progression here. I like how well the piano is humanized, and the cello made a good lead when it came in. If you pay attention to the cello's vibrato though, it's an indication of fakeness (constant frequency), but not really a big deal. I like the low cinematic percussion. Great bass here. The best part about this is the timing and dynamics, IMO.

on 2014-09-30 01:06:15

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

Sources Arranged (1 Song)

Primary Game:
The Last of Us (Sony , 2013, PS3)
Music by Gustavo Santaolalla
"The Last of Us"

Tags (6)

Acoustic Guitar,Cello,Piano,Strings,Vocals: Male

File Information

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