Posted 2019-01-23, evaluated by Liontamer

This epic, globetrotting, mega-collab symphonic medley opus from Arcadia Legends is like an album in itself. Spearheaded & arranged by Jorito (Jorrith Schaap), there's adventure, mystery, beauty, sadness, and joy, conveyed through a formidable lineup of talented instrumentalists & singers:

Mad respect to everyone who chipped in, because you really knocked it out of the park with this one. A big, soaring album like Arcadia Legends definitely calls for an arrangement like this, which itself reaches for the skies and pulls no punches, and Jorrith & co. deliver with a piece that's not only mind-blowing, but just *happened* to clock in at 13'37" - he writes:

"Uh oh, I got into trouble with big ambitions again! When Darkflamewolf and Modus asked me if I was interested in remixing the airship theme of the game, I initially said no because of time constraints. They didn't give up though, and when they later shared a music clip where elements of each continent in the game were featured in the song, I started thinking it would be nice to incorporate these continent themes more completely than as just mere flyby fragments. Little did I know that this ultimately would turn into a monster of a project with a runtime of over 13 minutes that would take me 8 months to complete, include collaborations from 10 performers, eat up close to 160 tracks in my DAW, and give me a project file too big for my computer to actually handle. Ouch. It was quite an undertaking and made my computer cry, so it might be a while before I attempt something so huge again. I just hope it was worth it, and if not, well, at least I had fun while doing it.

Given that this track contains not only the airship theme but also all the different continents in the game, that meant there was a lot of music to work with. With so many different types of music, making things sound cohesive was definitely a concern. I was a bit hesitant at first to give this the orchestral treatment, given that the OST is fully orchestral too. I initially thought that it would be difficult to make this track different enough from the source material. After some more deliberation however, I quickly came to the conclusion that an orchestral track would be the only way I could actually pull this off in a consistent manner. Once that was settled, it became a lot easier to get started and flesh out the arrangement. With all the different tempos and time signatures, making things flow and transition well between the different parts without sounding too much like a medley was a tricky challenge, but I think it turned out pretty well. I also learned a lot of orchestrational and compositional things that I hope to apply in a new orchestral project (but please hit me if I try something so big again anytime soon!).

As is common in my tracks, I like to include collaborations from other people. Not only because it makes the music better, but also because it's a lot of fun. This track was no exception. I went on a recruiting spree to augment, layer, and replace my samples wherever I could, and ultimately I ended up with 10 collaborators across the full orchestral palette. I am immensely grateful for all these talented performers who were willing to give this a shot and join me on this crazy journey. A big shout-out to Damian, Doug, Earth Kid, Gregory, Jay, John, Keadrin, Michael, Lauren, and Ryan; you really helped making this track come alive! Also big thanks to Modus and Darkflamewolf for cheering me onwards and keeping me motivated to see this through.

To prevent the write up from becoming as long as the track itself, let me wrap things up with some closing words: sit back and take a trip back to the lands of Arcadia. Hope you enjoy the journey as much as I did!

Since it's quite a long track (understatement), I figured a source breakdown would be helpful. Most of the sections feature the introduction of a source in a simpler form and a repeat of it that is built out more. For convenience, here are the sources and the parts I used; since I only used the melody, it should be easy to find in my arrangement."

Parts from the source used:

  • "Delphinus" A: :10-:40
  • "Delphinus" B: :41-:57
  • "Kingdom of Nasrad" A: :22-:29
  • "Kingdom of Nasrad" B: :29-:40
  • "Kingdom of Ixa'taki": :05-1:00
  • "Eastern Air Pirates" A: :00-:35
  • "Eastern Air Pirates" B: :36-:51
  • "Town of Ice": :00-:43
  • "Armada": :10-:44
  • "Great Silver Temple": :54-1:46

Source breakdown:

  • 00:00-01:00 - intro, with the piano hinting at the "Delphinus" A theme, before the oboe really plays it at :36
  • 01:00-01:39 - "Delphinus" A kicks in on brass at 1:13
  • 01:39-02:05 - "Eastern Air Pirates" B section on woodwinds
  • 02:05-02:59 - "Kingdom of Nasrad" A on sultan strings and part B on ethnic woodwinds
  • 02:59-03:25 - "Eastern Air Pirates" B section on triumphant trumpets
  • 03:25-04:42 - "Kingdom of Ixa'taki"
  • 04:42-06:00 - "Eastern Air Pirates" A kicks in on erhu at 4:56
  • 06:00-06:56 - "Town of Ice"
  • 06:56-07:52 - "Armada"
  • 07:52-09:01 - "Delphinus" A variation on solo trumpet starts at 8:13
  • 09:01-10:42 - "Great Silver Temple"
  • 10:42-11:08 - buildup towards...
  • 11:08-12:25 - "Delphinus" B on soprano
  • 12:25-13:37 - "Delphinus" A on brass

Let me just say... damn. Jorito never scales back his musical visions, and this one was a humdinger, with different regions and palettes and emotions and cohesive incorporation of so many musicians; it's quite the accomplishment, and it sounds amazing as a result. This captures the feel of travelling, of grand adventure crossing through different cultures & experiencing a story firsthand, and it does so on a vast stage that it confidently controls. Larry Oji writes:

"Boy, am I genuinely appreciative of the source usage breakdown for an arrangement of this scope and magnitude. (Thanks, Jorrith!) I'm sure I've mentioned this before, but one of the big things I respect about Jorrith is his penchant to collaborate with live performers; live performers are not a recommendation we collectively push on the judges panel because everyone's different in how they socialize and we don't require live instrumentation to pass our production bar. It's always a treat, however, when an ambitious arrangement concept can be more fully realized thanks to real-life performers, so building bridges with collaborators is a soft skill everyone benefits from. This here is an orchestral powerhouse of a journey though Skies of Arcadia's soundtrack, so props to everyone for their synergy here!"

Inspired & inspiring, Jorrith & his powerful posse of like-minded artists came together and gave us something that not only captures the spirit & soul of Skies of Arcadia, but communicates that spirit thoroughly and, I think, universally. I haven't traveled much since becoming a father, but damn does this make me wanna spin a globe, close my eyes, pick a random destination, and hop on the next flight there. Like Eddie Murphy in Coming to America, more or less. Spontaneity, exploration, adventure, & a rich, deep musical tapestry to let it all play out - a crown jewel on a consistently impressive album. Highly recommended.



Latest 6 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
on 2019-02-26 10:34:34
1 hour ago, Silver Knuckles said:

This was definitely a song handled with much care, as there's nothing out of place. Everything fits perfectly, transitions perfectly, and this song just really embodies the body and spirit of what made Skies of Arcadia special. Thank you for this beautiful gem...this is by far my favorite song I've heard in many years, and it's one that will hold an equally special place in my heart right alongside the game that inspired it.

Oh wow... thank you sir, I am humbled!

Silver Knuckles
on 2019-02-26 10:02:11

This song actually brings a lot of emotions out. Skies of Arcadia has hands down been my number 1 favorite game for many years, even with all of the other amazing games I've ever played. The story always kept me on my toes and kept me invested, the gameplay was fantastic for its time...and despite the graphics being dated, I still really enjoy looking at it to this day. It's a game that for me had everything I wanted in a perfect game, again even though there are many great games still being made today. It's always held a very special place in my heart that can never be replaced, and this song really captures the game very well.

I feel like I'm living through the game again when I hear this, experiencing it in a new way...imagining if it was made today. It both makes me smile and tear up a little with the memories it brings, the moments it makes me look back to, and just...gah. I'm just really in love with this song.

This was definitely a song handled with much care, as there's nothing out of place. Everything fits perfectly, transitions perfectly, and this song just really embodies the body and spirit of what made Skies of Arcadia special. Thank you for this beautiful gem...this is by far my favorite song I've heard in many years, and it's one that will hold an equally special place in my heart right alongside the game that inspired it.

on 2019-02-10 22:05:42

Beyond. Epic.

This song is so big and you transition between all the different sources so amazingly. This would be awesome performed live with a real orchestra

on 2019-01-24 05:16:59

Sometimes with movies, you don't just have an awesome theme, but there's also a brilliant "suite" on the soundtrack that takes you through many of the different tracks in a great journey. This is that suite. Amazing stuff from all involved and it's great to hear all of these live performances! Epic stuff guys!

on 2019-01-23 17:40:21

This song has quite a history. This was always imagined to be the centerpiece to the entire album in my eyes. One of the key defining features of the Delphinus track was how it would subtly change as you flew near each of the major continents of the world, different instrumentation layering itself to give a different flavor as you travel through each section. That aspect of the track always stuck out to me and I was always hoping we could incorporate that somehow into the remixed version. Although the album already featured a few interesting combo tracks, where we mixed two similar or even dissimilar songs together to form an interesting blend, this was going to be on a whole different level.

So I started pitching the idea to many people, saying the Delphinus track, if they were interested in it, had a VERY special requirement request placed upon it. Most were intrigued by the source tune, but the moment they heard the additional requirements to add into the song, they immediately bowed out. I can't recall how many remixers I approached with this track, each one turning it down for various reasons. It was getting to be one of the last 4-5 tracks left on the album unclaimed. We were starting to despair that we would even get anyone at all for it and the original vision I had wanted. I was considering taking away the request and just having the plain source tune by itself be the only thing a remixer would have to do.

Help arrived in the form of @Jorito. At first, he wasn't keen on producing another track for the album, having since submitted one already in the form of il buono, il brutto, il pirata dell'aria. He was busy with various other projects and remix songs. So I moved on to pitch it to others. In the end, he came back around and asked about the album and I mentioned there were only a few tracks left. He was interested in the request for the Delphinus and I told him my vision. He said it was highly interesting and he would think on it. I think a week or two went by and he came back inspired, saying he had the perfect idea for it. Why just layer instrumentation over the original melody? Why not just take the listener directly into the culture of each moon, incorporating rather the Delphinus track INTO the separate musical elements rather than those cultural tracks into the Delphinus? Let Delphinus be the bridge to this big melody than the sole focus?

After many months of going back and forth and tons of feedback, he dropped what simply was one of the best and most impressive songs of the entire album. He even loved the title to our second disc that he asked if he could appropriate it for his own song. Given that it was a bridge between disc 2 and 3, I figured there was no better track name for this than that. The moment I heard it, I knew immediately it was going to be the showstopper to end the second disc and seque us into the third. It had elements of songs that had come before and previewed songs we had yet to hear. It was the perfect bridge to the perfect album for Skies of Arcadia. Thank you again, @Jorito for a job well done!

on 2019-01-21 12:20:53

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Sources Arranged (7 Songs)

Primary Game:
Skies of Arcadia (Sega , 2000, DC)
Music by Tatsuyuki Maeda,Yutaka Minobe
"Eastern Sky Pirates' Theme"
"Great Silver Shrine"
"Ice Town"
"Kingdom of Montezuma"
"Kingdom of Nasrad"

Tags (19)

Bells,Brass,Harp,Orchestral,Sound FX,Woodwinds
Arrangement > Medley
Origin > Collaboration
Regional > Chinese
Regional > Japanese
Regional > Middle Eastern
Time > Duration: Long

File Information

22,231,696 bytes
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