ReMix:Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3 "Bright Moon" 3:53

By Michael Hudak

Arranging the music of one song...


Primary Game: Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3 (Atlus , 2006, PS2), music by Shoji Meguro, Yosuke Uda

Posted 2020-08-05, evaluated by the judges panel

Michael Hudak continues to surprise with another experimental electronic piece, this time taking the Persona 3 "Tartarus" theme into strange new territory with chopped/tail-end piano samples:

"Persona 3 is one of those games that, upon release in the mid-aughts, had several soundtrack choices (made by composer Shoji Meguro) that were seen as quite unorthodox for a big-budget game. Here we are well over a decade later, and the music of the Persona series (Everyone's got a favorite game out of 3, 4 and 5! What's yours?) has become some of the most beloved stuff ever. Go figure.

The music from Persona 3's main dungeon, "Tartarus," has 6 different versions (or "blocks" in the video sample) that build on one another as the game progresses. The one I prefer is the 4th version, coming in at 2:40. The first section of my ReMix is the closest to it.

I attempted this ReMix in the style of Ryuichi Sakamoto's collaborations with Alva Noto (real name: Carsten Nicolai), in which Sakamoto would record a piano track for Nicolai to then chop to pieces and add "raw material" sounds to -- sine waves, shaped white noise, tiny clips of 808 kicks, etc. -- to varying degrees of listener accessibility. A lot of time in their collaborations, only the very tail ends of sustained piano notes/chords would be used, with the gain cranked up of course, so the hiss of the mic used to record the piano came through clearly and added an extra element to the sounds.

Since I only used sampled piano sounds that I assume were de-noised by the companies that released them, I mostly didn't have that natural mic hiss that I needed, so I had to layer much of my chopped up sampled piano on top of various layers of white/pink noise of the same length to create that effect artificially. So, all hisses you hear in this ReMix are deliberate -- even the subtle and/or oddly-panned sounds -- and not unwanted artifacts.

Thanks for considering such a weird piece. Unfortunately, this is the kind of artsy, sound-design-y music that simply doesn't sound good on laptop speakers (nor is it supposed to), but hopefully, not too many listeners will be put off by that."

Even though the samples are of a piano, this ends up having a very electronic sound, as the attack transients are all of an inorganic nature, with decays that hint at acoustic roots but also incorporate various layered noise. Oh yeah, I'd say P4 is my favorite, personally; Naoto Shirogane is where it's at. As with Michael's Majora Mask piece, this ain't sing-it-in-the-shower material & won't be everyone's cup of preferred beverage, but it's almost unarguably a unique take on one of P3's more repeated/varied themes, and for those who've played the game, I think it gels more with the game context/aesthetic than some might think. prophetik music writes:

"more musique concrete? yes please!

yet another great concept here. this is definitely an interesting and niche application but i think it actually turned out being something really interesting. i love the chopped tail effects being used, and the layering of sliced piano chords on top of organic piano sustain is really a great contrast. i didn't mind the pink noise being used at all, although my wife found it grating (we have very different listening profiles in terms of genre)."

Definitely a your-mileage-mary-vary sort of thing; personally, I find mixes like this a lot more enjoyable on headphones, for what it's worth. Chimpazilla was a big fan of the sheer peculiarity:

"Oh god, this sounds soooooo broken. My brain keeps wondering if my computer is about to blue screen. I can see how this could be super irritating to some people. But it's so ridiculously clean and well-balanced. This track throws my brain off in such a wonderful way. The sub booms in the intro are subtle and divine. I absolutely love this. Like, seriously love. Smiling. Thank you."

On repeated listens, my appreciation for the panning & different qualities/colors of layered noise grew; this probably IS the type of track you could use to low-key torture people with diametrically-opposed listening sensibilities, but that's kinda what makes it cool for the rest of us, however much of a minority we constitute. Props to Hudak for continuing with his exploratory, left-field takes, as they bring with them sonic diversity & inspiration, pushing some envelopes and delivering something decidedly different. Cool!



Latest 3 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
on 2024-04-10 12:17:44

I'll admit that this is one is not really for me, but I always appreciate doing bold and creative things with music and audio in general. The effects and chopping work done with the pianos was pretty cool!

on 2020-10-06 03:18:41

Sadly, I must recommend that people NOT listen to this track... even though it is very nice.

The tones used in the high pitched end of the song seem to be similar to a certain destructive tinnitus tone... The squealing waveform can damage your hearing if it hits a certain resonance.
It was quite an interesting track until I heard that, and immediately dropped the headphones. The tinnitus that I have responded in a painful fashion to the resonance of the tones, which is how I know this to be true. I once listened contently to such a tone in the past and thought nothing of it, which resulted in my ears ringing continuously for the next few days.

If you do experience tinnitus ring, I suggest you enter a silent environment with no sounds. The ring of the tinnitus will annoy you, but it has the highest chance of repairing somewhat if you do not stress the hairs in your ear any further than necessary,

on 2020-08-05 10:52:51

What did you think? Post your opinion of this ReMix.

Sources Arranged (1 Song)

Primary Game:
Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3 (Atlus , 2006, PS2)
Music by Shoji Meguro,Yosuke Uda

Tags (5)

Arrangement > Minimalist
Effects > Glitching

File Information

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