ReMix:Secret of Mana "Reminiscence Beneath a Great Tree" 6:25

By HeavyViper

Arranging the music of one song...

"Spirit of the Night"

Primary Game: Secret of Mana (Square , 1993, SNES), music by Hiroki Kikuta

Posted 2017-12-05, evaluated by the judges panel

Some REALLY cool sound design in this solemn 6/8 rock ballad from HeavyViper (Hal Binderman), where deep reverb & panning makes guitar screeches/scrapes sound like giant, nebulous creatures lurking in the mist. Things start off slow, but HV uses the 6'25" duration effectively, eventually raising the intensity and creating a dynamic arc, for one of Secret of Mana: Resonance of the Pure Land's more dramatic experiences:

"Secret of Mana! One of the only SNES games to make an instant impression on me from the moment I flipped the power switch. I can still hear the eerie cries leading into that beautiful panning shot of the Mana Tree. I had originally hoped to claim the title screen BGM, "Fear of the Heavens," for that very reason, but by no means was I disappointed to claim this one instead. It's a solemn, yet hopeful piece that really fits the scene it first plays over. The hero is cast out of his home, but, at the same time, he has a wonderful journey ahead of him...

I had to think a little about how to approach the track at first. However, the answer came to me fast enough. I have long been a big fan of the outstanding Konami Battle series of rock arrange albums released in the '90s, and always wanted to try and compose something in a similar style. Soaring guitar solos and reverb-soaked drum machines, gently backed by warm synth pads -- nothing like it. :3"

Indeed; love them synth tom fills, very satisfying. Jivemaster gives us a good rundown:

"Slow paced rendition of the original. We start off with a short introduction of sound effects and organ chords, followed by a clean guitar lead that plays for most of the remaining time. The guitar fits the lead part well, with some good levels of originality featured in the riffs played. At 2:38 we break into some distortion lead playing mostly the same notes from before, until 3:16 where we get some lead doubling followed by a solo. This made the section feel more original and less like what had come before it, but should’ve come sooner. The arrangement progression while safe, did include enough original material amongst the main melody to keep things fresh."

Nutritious adds:

"I like the approach here a lot. Guitar sounds fantastic. Performance is solid and I like the tone a lot. One crit from me would be I'd like to hear more textural contrast between sections, instead of the constant "ooh" pads that play throughout. Drums help in this regard when they arrive. For arrangement, the source usage is never in doubt for most of the mix. It starts getting into more original territory around 4:40, but it's already established the connections prior, while still bringing plenty of creativity. Ending was quite nicely handled as well - complete with SoM-style groans. Love it."

I agree that some of the backing pads & ambient accompaniment bits are a little too pervasive, but it's a relatively minor quibble - I dig the ambient rock ballad/waltz sound coupled with synth drums, I like that the piece blossoms and evolves from low-key somber into something less restrained, and I love that even though he didn't get the title theme, Hal still worked in those otherwordly animal FX. Atmospheric AND dramatic; excellent piece!



Latest 2 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
on 2017-12-07 18:03:13

Soaring, clean, warm and uplifting. Move from the roots to the heavens, with sunlight filtering betwixt those great boughs, and bird calls in the distance, beneath a brightening sky.

on 2017-12-04 01:08:47

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

Sources Arranged (1 Song)

Primary Game:
Secret of Mana (Square , 1993, SNES)
Music by Hiroki Kikuta
"Spirit of the Night"

Tags (10)

Electric Guitar,Organ,Sound FX,Strings
Time > 6/8 Time Signature

File Information

10,768,379 bytes


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