"Here is an orchestra arrangement based on "Egypt" and "Rome" theme, from Astérix GB. "Egypt" is really my favorite melody from the OST. For a long time, I wanted to arrange this. But I didn't find convincing ideas to start. The arrangement must emphasize the main melodic line (ML) from the theme (divided in ML1 and ML2 in my breakdown). I didn't find how to start like this. In the end, I decided to start my mix with ML3, a melody with oriental influences really pronounced.
I wanted an epic orchestration to well represent the power of the Egypt empire: melody in brass, deep notes for the rhythm (faithful to the original), gong sounds to mark beginning of some parts, anvil sounds to reinforce percussion rhythm, quick notes by piccolo, harp effects... I find also interesting to introduce some dissonant notes with xylophone. This emphasizes the unease we can feel in this piece.
For this particular effect, I've taken my inspiration on Dawn of the Planet of the Apes soundtrack composed by Michael Giacchino. Else, some influences of peplum soundtracks can be felt on the whole piece.
The arrangement starts and ends up by the melody simply played by flute, accompany by harp. There is also a bridge, soft part with ML1 played by flute, accompany by a light instrumentation. On the other parts, it is the full orchestra that I wanted epic.
"Rome" theme is introduced at part 5. I find these two themes well blend. :)"
Guillaume also provided a full source breakdown, which is always helpful. AJG is one of a handful of composers who really made the most of the Game Boy's sound capabilities, and it's wonderful to see more of that work being recognized. This arrangement weaves a tale that ranges from subdued/mysterious to grand/epic, with some agile, fluid part-writing especially on the lead flute. Judges were unanimous; Sir_NutS writes:
"Bluelighter has shown us he has a particular, distinctive arrangement style that is a bit quirky, whimsical, and also compelling. This one is less on the whimsical side than usual but still boasts an interesting arrangement that's not your usual epic orchestral arrangement. This has some extra flavor of having strong Egyptian tones, as well as a bit of a Celtic touch thrown in for good measure. Some interesting arrangement choices with the time signature changes that work out very well and kept me interested all the way. The production is OK, though I found some busy sections were a bit too wet for my taste. Solid stuff."
Roger all that; the tone here is a bit more serious, as befits the subject matter and stated influences. prophetik music adds:
"i can absolutely hear the Giacchino influence here. the low moving brass are something i've always associated with him. the flourishes in the flute and xylo at 0:26 and onward are delightful and add some whimsy to the normally dour phrygian mode you're playing with. i like you moving between Cm and Fm to keep interest. the mixed meter is another whimsical addition that is a great way to keep attention, and the varied percussion (vibraslap!) is a fun variation from the usual gong or cymbal crash."
"Vibraslap" is a wonderful word. As both Mike & Brad point out, this arrangement does a lot to grab - and then hold - the listener's attention, with neat pivots, good ensemble/solo tradeoffs & blend, and a superb blend of themes & moods. Excellent work from Bluelighter!
Sources Arranged (2 Songs)
- Regional > Middle Eastern
- 6,389,234 bytes
- Size: 6,389,234 bytes
- MD5 Checksum: be3acb6e8870573873a4bff682a04df7
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