"I chose "The Big Whale" because Cecil is my favourite "paragon" hero in video gaming (maybe tied with Link). I had already done arrangements of virtually every other track that had anything to do with Cecil's journey, including (to name a few) "The Red Wings," "Mount Ordeals," "The Lunarians," "Mysidia," the "Main Theme," and the "Credits"/"Epilogue"/"Prologue" themes. However, this theme was still on my to-do list! I've always been enchanted with the whole idea of the moon and the Lunarian people in Final Fantasy 4. This seemed like a really good theme to represent the hero's truest identity -- an identity which he doesn't really discover until the latter part of his journey. The song also has a kind of grandiose, virtuous aesthetic that I associate with superheroes and old-fashioned epics."
This is a bit shorter than most of Rebecca's arrangements, but really paints a soaring, luminous scene with extensive utilization of very animated string writing - I found myself focusing on the accompaniment just as much as the lead melody, as rapid rise-fall patterns dazzle & elevate the piece. Judges did have some issues with the brass sounds & with levels being a little low, but the former didn't bother Jivemaster as much:
"Agree the brass is a bit basic. It only really pulled me out of the immersion during points where it takes over as a lead, which wasn’t that often. Otherwise I thought the instrumentation was well done, with parts complementing each other well, and different parts taking over one another. The slower pace over the original fit the execution. Twinkly outro was nice indeed."
Album director David L. Puga writes:
"I just... hell, this music is so good. RebeccaETripp, like Sam Dillard, was a new name to me when I came back for this incarnation of BadAss and I am blown away by the talent on display here. Rebecca has done a fantastic job making a sweeping, epic, lush, beautiful... I can go on but I'll just say this track is pretty (and) great!"
I concur; co-director Pavos adds:
"Another artist I was very happy we could bring into the BadAss family with the new possibilities of this spin-off was Rebecca. And, boy, did she deliver (as per usual)! If Sam's track was underneath the opening credits of a movie, this is definitely a journey theme, or when the audience sees a magical landscape in its full glory for the first time. I also like the "moon-esque" instruments on the end, clearly showing what Rebecca had in mind. The sense of exploration and progression is very clear in this track, so close your eyes and let yourself be guided by this magical track!"
What they said; the change in direction/aesthetic for P&R provided an opportunity for the BadAss series to branch out, and David & Pieter took full advantage of that opportunity - transporting addition to the album from Rebecca!
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