ReMix:Super Mario World "Mario for Airports (1-1)" 3:09

By zachaction

Arranging the music of one song...

"Overworld BGM"

Primary Game: Super Mario World (Nintendo , 1990, SNES), music by Koji Kondo

Posted 2017-06-19, evaluated by the judges panel

Oh, the tranquility!! Newcomer zachaction (Zach Herrmann) debuts with this explicitly Eno-inspired & highly ambient take on Super Mario World, which transforms the familiar 1-1 theme into a somnambulent rumination:

"In the first track of Brian Eno's Music for Airports, "a single piano melody is repeated and at different times other instruments will fade in and out to create a complex, evolving pattern." (Wikipedia) This is a fairly apt description of Super Mario World's music, where that single melody is used countless times to evoke a variety of moods and movement. I sat at the piano the other night and this slow, ambient version of the Overworld magically appeared, and I ran upstairs to get started.

Eno used tape loops of varying lengths and speeds, and I'm sure much thought was put into every editing decision, with meticulous attention to detail and structure (or lack thereof). While this arrangement exists solely in the digital realm, I tried to make it as organic as possible: no copying and pasting, no automation, the shifting of samples to approximate slowed-down tape, and just the right amount of noise. It's not a metaphor, it's not a profound artist statement. It's a beautiful melody, a melody that lends itself to evolution by design, and it's right at home as the foundation of an ambient work.

Eno's titling of the album tracks ("1/1," "2/1," "1/2," "2/2") are the corresponding track number and side of the vinyl release. Of course, a similar numbering system is prevalent in the Mario universe as world and level, so it's a funny little crossover in the title.

I don't know if I've heard something quite as ambient as this on OC ReMix, and I pray that it doesn't come across as boring. Certainly it helps to be familiar with the Eno piece for context, but I don't think it's imperative; like the original music of the game, this submission is meant to evoke a certain mood and style. I believe it does that."

"Boring" music to me is music that doesn't reward close listening, doesn't illustrate any particular concept, and more or less operates on rails, in a paint-by-numbers permutation of its particular genre... i.e., even happy-hardcore or death metal can (easily) be boring. This ain't that; while the vast vistas & meandering melody may not be dancin' material, there's depth to this arrangement, its inspiration is manifest, you can (& should!) get lost in its halls, and as a bonus Zach did a superb job providing us with a bit o' context & methodology. Judges were unanimous; Gario responds in detail:

"Well, this is certainly interesting. We don't actually have very much ambient music on OCR simply due to how difficult it is to make an arrangement both ambient and recognizable. I think it's something that should be approached more often by artists, though, and you do a really good job presenting yourself here.

Listening to the 'Music for Airports 1/1' really quick, I can tell where you got your inspiration. Using this particular theme was definitely a smart idea, too - it seems to lend itself to something soothing like this. The low end on this seems pretty dominant on this track, even compared to the 'Music for Airports' track that you were inspired by, and sometimes it does get overly crowded down there. I personally don't mind too much as it sets a very warm, ambient tone to the whole piece, but it's something to be aware of.

Honestly, I think it's a very nice representation of the ambient genre - reminds me of Philip Glass, and the techniques you're emulating sound close to something Edgard Varese would do in his later electronic works. There's enough subtle variation throughout so it doesn't get boring, and it really is quite soothing. I'm down for posting this - great work!"

Music for Airports is a cornerstone work in the ambient genre, and the first to explicitly self-identify under that label, so Zach is taking a seminal composition & applying it to some of Koji Kondo's finest, which absolutely lends itself to the treatment. It's smart, and furthermore it delivers on the vision of the concept & makes the title reference one of respect and careful study. Recommended; very well done.



Latest 8 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
on 2017-07-31 17:05:04

I still love it. Where's 1-2? I would not mind an whole album in this style.

on 2017-07-09 02:09:13

I loooooove this

on 2017-07-05 20:39:34

The moment this song plays, I start to relax. My shoulders drop and I become aware of how tense I was. Original, beautiful, well produced. I think it's amazing, 10/10.

on 2017-06-23 10:06:07

Thanks for the kind words! While recording ambient works isn't really "my thing," I will certainly try and find some other game songs to try and arrange in the genre, as it was quite fun to do and a welcome change of pace from my usual rock-based work. Glad everyone is enjoying!

Old Man Pac
on 2017-06-22 01:04:14

Wow, I was not done listening to this at 3:00. Almost a shame it fades out, could be looped. In comparison to the inspiration, this track moves along a bit more steadily and is much better IMO

on 2017-06-20 06:00:19

I love it when people do ambient arrangements, and this is a good one. The usage of the source is lovely, it's beautiful and the whole track has this warmth, both aurally and emotionally. Also I appreciate the background given by the artist. Good stuff! More!

on 2017-06-20 01:49:13

Excellent. Nice to hear this style. Keep up the good work!

on 2017-06-14 11:03:49

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

Sources Arranged (1 Song)

Primary Game:
Super Mario World (Nintendo , 1990, SNES)
Music by Koji Kondo
"Overworld BGM"

Tags (8)

Time > Tempo: Slow
Usage > Meditation

File Information

5,112,710 bytes


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