Our Pokémon triple-dose concludes with a mellow, chillaxing ballad arrangement of "Canalave" from Diamond, courtesy Emunator (Wes McDonald):
"Given my history of endlessly dwelling on arrangements for years, I'm incredibly proud to say that my first finished remix of 2020 came together in under 15 hours over the span of just a few months while I've been in quarantine.
I've been playing a lot of Animal Crossing: New Horizons lately, and although this doesn't borrow any cues directly from that soundtrack, stylistically, I wanted to craft something that might fit into that universe. Additionally, with all the stress, bitterness, and uncertainty going on in the world right now, I thought it would be a good exercise to make something that just sounds happy. In essence, this remix is the soundtrack to the island I wish I could escape to at this moment in time!
This track also served as a chance for me to use some of the music theory knowledge I've been actively absorbing over the last year. I have no formal musical background and am entirely self-taught through sheer trial and error, but there have always been major gaps that have prevented me from tackling more complex musical ideas. Here, however, I was able to utilize complex chord structures and harmonies, numerous key changes, syncopation, and even modulate to a 5/4 time signature for a single measure to help the melody flow the way it did in my head... all musical concepts I couldn't even put into words a year ago. Brad has been an absolute saint in helping me diagnose some of the problematic harmonies/chords and I think we've got it all sorted out.
I hope this mix provides a few minutes of peace and respite for those in need of that right now!"
That's me. Sign me up. I need the peace & the respite. The melody/treatment here reminded me of several other pieces - "Kokomo," the first stage theme from Alex Kidd: The Lost Stars, and the Phantasy Star III title theme, specifically, but only in a pleasant, passing breeze... not to be confused with "Passing Breeze" ;) It's a vaguely Caribbean/tropical vibe, led by chromatic percussion/EP, with folksy acoustic drums, shimmering backing pads, an accordion-esque lead, and just a laid-back, sippin-a-drink, watching-the-tide-come-in attitude. Judges were unanimous, and even MORE unanimous when Wes submitted a revised version that addressed a couple tonal nitpicks; Rexy writes:
"Indeed, this is an excellent treatment of the source. There is a single run, with the A section getting doubled with textural variations, plus there are some small and effective changes to the melody line as well. There's a variety of counter-melodies, grace notes aplenty, some minor notation modifications that stay musically pleasing, and some added harmonies for when the situation calls for it. Playing around with said A section for the calming ending also felt satisfying and appropriate for this "getaway port town" feel you're going for here. And even the brief 5/4 bar at 1:52 felt organic and smooth."
Short, but definitely sweet, great to see Wes back in action with a relaxed-but-polished Vacation Vibe that offers a calming, welcome oasis in the desert of suck that most feel 2020 has turned out to be; find your happy place & enjoy!
Sources Arranged (1 Song)
- Primary Game:
Pokémon Diamond Version (Nintendo, 2006, NDS)
Music by Go Ichinose, Hitomi Sato, Junichi Masuda, Morikazu Aoki
- "Canalave City (Day)"
- Ballad, Easy Listening, Folk
- Chill, Mellow
- Accordion, Chromatic Percussion, Sound FX
- Regional > Carribean
- 4,733,248 bytes
- Size: 4,733,248 bytes
- MD5 Checksum: 74336af3c2059a9236a3b627905b8dfd
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