Posted 2020-07-01, evaluated by Emunator
"This track kind of took on a life of its own as I was working on it. All I knew in the beginning was that I wanted to try and distill the source into something more ambient. It wasn't until I'd started a couple drafts that I realized a tanpura (the stringed drone instrument used in certain forms of traditional Indian music) could provide a really nice atmospheric accompaniment to the synths I was experimenting with; the rest fell into place from there.
"Riding the Desert Winds" also incorporates two other stringed instruments I'd never used in a piece before -- the kora (from West Africa) and the oud (which is used in Iran, Syria, Egypt, and many other regions). These instruments are similar to lutes and provide the guitar-like sounds later on. All the instruments on this track are synth or sample-based, but I checked out some video performances for the tanpura/kora/oud to get a better sense of how their live counterparts are played and learned quite a bit from those.
I love psybient music and have been immersing myself in it for the past few years. Some cues I took from that genre for "Desert Winds" include the slow build, easy-going pace, and the blending of non-Western instruments with ethereal, airy synth textures. As for all the wind sounds, those are meant to evoke the character and gameplay of Air's Rock in the original game. The dungeon is full of whirlwinds the player can ride, so I wanted to contrast the calm parts of the arrangement with soaring sections that feel like they're lifting you up and setting you down somewhere new. Hope you enjoy!"
Arrangement picks up considerably towards the end, blurring the line between what would otherwise have been a more exploratory, ambient vibe and something with more narrative structure; I dig how Darren has drawn from instruments all over the world, but also felt comfortable inserting some nice ambient synth pads into the mix, for a cinematic/hybrid vibe. There's good use of negative space, where certain phrases are given room to resonate, and the overall experience is transporting - Album director TSori writes:
"Eladar bailed us out several times on the album. He took this track when it was the only one of the four elemental rocks we were missing. He offered to help Lucas Guimareas out with "Mercury Lighthouse," the only elemental lighthouse we were missing, and he stepped in to take over "Battle! (Doom Dragon)" when that one became available again at the last minute. In fact, Eladar was such a huge help both with tracks, as well as lending an extra hand for administrative stuff, that it's hard to believe he didn't join the album until 2 months before the final deadline.
I was thrilled with what Eladar did with this source. Particularly, the choice to switch out the choir in the original for chromatic percussion was brilliant, in my opinion. He uses a mix of electronic instruments and "real instrument" VSTs to create a very engaging and atmospheric sound. This track in particular is really reminiscent of his work on the soundtrack for his own game, Mythic Ocean (which is definitely well worth your time to check out). Eladar spent a lot of time studying live performances for this one in order to figure out how to recreate more lifelike performances, and I think his effort really shows.
On a fun side note, one thing Eladar and I had in common was that we both really enjoy coming up with names for remixes/albums/whatever. As we are both big Golden Sun fans, we not only had a lot of fun thinking of fitting or clever names for our own remixes, we helped a few other remixers name their tracks as well. Eladar also played a large role naming the discs."
Love to see new faces/voices, and Darren's contributions to A World Reignited help make it what it is; kudos for the work, musical and otherwise. Arrow (Jarel Jones) chipped in on the album eval, and had this to say:
"This was so good and relaxing that I actually let it play about four times before realizing I should cut it off."
I can definitely see that; it's hypnotizing, but not static or soporific. Great stuff that really captures a certain spirit/vibe and rolls with it - hope to hear more from Darren in the future!
Sources Arranged (1 Song)
- Regional > Indian
Regional > Middle Eastern
- 7,502,137 bytes
- Size: 7,502,137 bytes
- MD5 Checksum: 36be5f58fd8f1604681c3f204cbf4f95
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