Posted 2020-06-17, evaluated by Rexy
I don't know if Mustapha Mond would approve, but this instrumental acoustic folk/rock jam mega-collab from Paths Less Travelled: Terranigma puts an inspiring, energetic, creative, & exceptionally well-performed spin on the overworld theme - jnWake headed up the arrangement:
"This is quite an old track by now. If I remember correctly, I wrote this remix on like November 2016, so my memories of my intentions back then are a little hazy... I've always loved the Terranigma soundtrack, which is kinda underrated since the game was never globally released, so I was pretty excited to remix something from it.
For this project I picked the overworld track, which plays in-game as you explore the second main map of the game. For the remix, I wanted to keep the theme's main motives while adding my own spin to it. Since this track plays on the overworld, it marks the start of the real adventure in Terranigma. Hence, I wanted the remix to have an adventure-ish vibe. Given that the game is also a lot about nature, I decided to pick non-synthetic instruments, so I ditched all the pads, synth leads, and other stuff I like to use... well, most of them, anyway. Since I wanted the track to sound natural (and because sampled acoustic guitars never sound too good), I contacted people to play the main instruments live and that's how I ended with a lot of collabers: ilp0 plays rhythm and lead guitars, zykO plays the main guitar solo and other guitar leads, Ivan Hakštok plays the bass, and Trev plays the violin.
Regarding the structure of the track and source usage, I feel it's pretty clear for the most part. The remix begins with a more relaxed vibe, but quickly shifts to a more acoustic-rock-oriented approach to show it's time for action! After a few fun solos and leads, there's a little break and relaxing section before the ending, where the piano and zykO's solos take the lead. Hope you like it!"
What's not to like? I love the artist's explanation of the dynamic arc & acoustic palette, both of which work wonders with the capable, talented performers that were looped in; the whole thing resonates with spirit & life, as I believe was intended. It also sounds gorgeous, with all the recorded parts integrated into a cohesive, vibrant whole. Album director & string production assister Jorito (Jorrith Schaap) writes:
"jnWake is another artist whose interest we've managed to rekindle when we rebooted the album project. He essentially already had the full arrangement done, and even had a lot of recordings ready, it just needed mixing. Just a few iterations later, he delivered this adventure-ish version of the overworld that somehow reminds me of the Wild Arms OST. I even helped out with some string work on it, so I might be biased if I say you gotta love it. Regardless, it's a great arrangement that keeps on moving and keeps you on your toes and ready to explore the world. Also good to see him back in the remixing game, it has been too long!"
In spite of some delays & setbacks, a lot of things really ended up going *right* for this album, and this collab is yet another example, with a serendipitous transition from a largely-complete arrangement to a wonderful realization of said arrangement, with live performers doing it great justice. Trev's violin soars and waxes romantic with some passing Eastern inflection, zykO, Ivan, & ilpo ALL kill it on bass/guitar, and piano and organ parts are lively & varied too; I almost feel spoiled. Album assistanct director Trism adds:
"If you were to play this track while someone was speeding across the plains on a galloping horse, head-down and eyes squinted against the flying dust, it would not be at all out of place. A wonderfully upbeat piece that exudes hope and adventure, jnWake has done a fantastic job in keeping the feel of the source alive and well."
It's heroic stuff. Rexy evaluated & rightfully recommended this direct post, and covered some great details (so I don't have to!):
"One thing that I expect jnWake to do with his arrangements is some significant transformation that still makes the melody recognizable - and boy does this arrangement have it in spades. The initial A section treatment at 0:16 starts as a call-and-response with the intro, all while altering rhythms and keeping the pitches intact. Both B sections (0:31, 3:36) keep that initial familiarity before going into entirely original writing territory, 1:51 and 2:05 have the first two bars of A in double-time and B in half-time respectively, and the key change at 3:06 made an excellent opportunity to return to A while building up. Finally, the use of C was a brisk climax - the least radical transformation of the lot, and the duel between Waleed's guitar and the piano was an appropriate way to draw it to a close.
On top of his fun ideas, the production values worked so well for this unplugged direction. All live performers were on point and demonstrated their skills amazingly well. Jorrith's assistance with string writing gave it some much-needed padding underneath despite the uncanny clashing with Trev's real one. And with a clean mixdown and no artifacts present, what we have here is an ambitious vision, well-realized through to the end. If this is what jn is like when going out of his comfort zone, I'm excited to see further growth as a musician for sure - fantastic stuff!"
Rexy touched on the strings, and I guess that's really the only nit I might, if forced, pick, but ultimately this is just an enjoyable, inoffensive, & adventurous jam - everything came together swimmingly, it's a seamless collab as far as part integration goes, and there's a pervasive feeling of open exploration & spirited adventure, channeled through some superb performances. One of the best tracks on a very strong album - highly recommended!
on 2020-06-18 17:20:48
Wow, this ALSO slaps! jnWake is killing it today Really ambitious take that never felt too big for its boots, it felt cohesive and enjoyable to listen to at all times.
on 2020-06-18 05:09:56
I really like the harmonies here. Really tasteful stuff. Guitar was the highlight for me. I was gonna say it took on a Western sound later on, and then I see Wild Arms being mentioned, so it's not just me!
on 2020-06-16 12:01:31
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Sources Arranged (1 Song)
- Primary Game:
Terranigma (Enix, 1995, SNES)
Music by Masanori Hikichi, Miyoko Takaoka
- "Further Into the Wide World"
- Folk, Rock
- Energetic, Funky
- Acoustic, Acoustic Guitar, Organ, Piano, Strings, Violin
- Arrangement > Extended Soloing
Origin > Collaboration
Production > Live Instruments
Time > Tempo: Fast
- 8,909,044 bytes
- Size: 8,909,044 bytes
- MD5 Checksum: d2796778d4ead61a2b6d536941becaa0
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