Posted 2020-03-30, evaluated by Rexy
We begin the week with a short-but-sweet lo-fi hip-hop treat from Tune in with Chewie (Nestor Estrada), arranging Skyward Sword & some other Zelda themes in a dreamy, dusty interlude:
"I'll always have a soft spot for Skyward Sword. I played the game during college and the music helped me study. I even incorporated some of the music on my live orchestral Zelda medley I arranged for my senior recital back in 2013 (I should share it one of these days). I LOVE "Fi's Theme," but even more, I love this short piece called "Gate of Time." It's very simple. It's defining characteristic is the arp played by a harp with notes played by a piano on the 3rd beat. It has lush strings swells and drums giving it a march-like feel.
The original piece is pretty short, essentially going on a never-ending loop. Since this doesn't really have a melody, I wanted to keep the arp very similar to the original to let the listener know what the piece is right away. Once I set up the basic motif at the beginning, I explored different harmonies and textures. I liked the original idea of strings swelling in and out. I kept that basic idea of swelling, but with different notes and techniques.
Since the original lacks a strong melody, it allowed me to sneak in some other melodies from the series. Mainly, "Fi's Theme" and a bit of "Zelda's Lullaby." Both have strong ties to this one, but the main reason I chose these 2 was that they both worked and I like them.
For strings, I went again to my friend Joni Fuller to record the parts I've written. She recorded the parts several times so I can then layer them during post. I also processed the strings to give them a more lush feel.
For vocals, I like using Output Arcade to find cool sounding vocal phrases whenever I can't find what I want from my own custom library of vocals. I like manipulating vocals so once I found a phrase, I spliced it up and played in what you hear on the track. When I was writing this, I was wondering what Fi would sound like if she was singing rather than talking. This is where the idea of adding vocal bits came from.
All of this wrapped in a lo-fi aesthetic. I hope you enjoy it!"
DAT AESTHETIC THO. It's something Nestor seems to grasp intuitively, with each mix creating an organic, lived-in, lo-fi space. It's not as easy as just adding static/noise and bitcrushing; like with cooking, you gotta build layers of flavor, and he does. Joni's strings are part of that, even if they end up in the ether a bit, as you can still hear the additional detail & variation. Rexy writes:
"I hold nothing but respect for people who can make arrangements of more ambient and minimal sources work. Nestor not only broke "Gate of Time" down and re-shaped it with his tools and Joni's violin recordings, but he also figured out a way to keep it dominant with the underlying harp arpeggio. Repetition also became a non-issue, as the generated aesthetic left a lot of breathing room for those Fi and Zelda cameos to get sneaked in, as well as those vocal manipulations and packed piano riffs - and all this is impressive for its short runtime.
When you pair that up with clean production values and a span of textures that match the intended lo-fi direction, you'll know that you're in for a mixpost with more unexpected objectives. I can visualize it now - something to take in at sunrise, as you drink your Morning Coffee, pun not intended."
Always intend pun ;) Bev says it well; a great example of exploring a piece, painting a picture, and evoking a moment, in less than two-and-a-half minutes. Enjoy!
Sources Arranged (3 Songs)
- Primary Game:
The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword (Nintendo, 2011, WII)
Music by Hajime Wakai, Koji Kondo, Mahito Yokota, Shiho Fujii, Takeshi Hama
- "Fi's Theme"
"Gate of Time"
- Ambient, Hip Hop
- Piano, Singing, Strings
- Effects > Lo-Fi
Origin > Collaboration
Time > Duration: Short
- 3,769,438 bytes
- Size: 3,769,438 bytes
- MD5 Checksum: 9f3248f331ca53d52cf2c0e98b8302e5
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