Absolutely fantastic 5/4 swing jazz ensemble take on "Venus Lighthouse," off of Golden Sun: A World Reignited - full lineup:
- Lucas Guimareas: arrangement, mixing
- Nathan Madsen: saxophone
- Damian Nguyen: oboe
- TSori: trumpet
- DS: piano
- wolfman1405: electric guitar, electric bass
- Matheus Souza: violin
- Jake Kargl: drums
Arranger/mixer Lucas Guimaraes writes:
"This song has it all: a catchy melody, a pre-existing remix that I heavily enjoy, one of my favorite games, and my favorite song from the entire game. What does that make it for me? A daunting task to remix. Doing an awesome remix of a song I value dearly was already a hard feat, but when my mind started to mix swing jazz into it, I knew this arrangement would be one of my most difficult ones - both for me arranging and all performers involved. I had the idea to transfer something with swing jazz inspiration, particularly from Paul Desmond's "Take 5." Before this album started, it was on my long list of songs I wanted to do and always in the back of my mind as "I'd do it with jazz."
Lo and behold, when the time came around for this album, I strung my two ideas together (5/4 and Isaac). What did I do? I can never stop hearing "Venus Lighthouse" in 5/4. The weirdest thing about primarily making arrangements/compositions is, when I work on them, I want to make them sound as good as possible on MIDI. This one was one that sounded so good on the MIDI that I had a hard time imagining the final arrangement, to be honest. Luckily, I had some pretty ace performers by my side to surpass my expectations. I had some engraving assistance to make sure this complicated tune could be given justice, an amazing ensemble of performers to bring it to life, and a mixer, wolfman1405 (who also did the excellent guitar and bass on this track!), bring it to life.
It stays pretty close to the source, but when I heard the arrangement going from the page to the final mix, I spent days humming the solos. I couldn't stop. Particularly the oboe (thanks Damian!) one sold me, making me go "This is it. One of my best remixes I've done." I know it's a bit different, but I'm delighted with the final song, and I hope everyone enjoys it as much as I enjoyed making it."
When discussing 5/4 jazz, it's hard to avoid the popular Brubeck piece - incidentally, I had always assumed it was written by... Dave Brubeck... but when you make assumptions, you often make an ass out of "u" and... "mptions." Props to Lucas for steering me right, and for arranging one heck of an inspired tribute. Bonus cosmological karma points for working in some JAZZ OBOE, which we don't see much in these parts; sweet. The opening piano/cadence definitely suggests the aforementioned inspiration, but we deviate from there, as more elements are added and we get some violin, sax, delicious electric guitar & bass, and TSori's trumpet, adding the ubiquitous brass element that helps define the album's sound. I must again reiterate how happily surprised I was when I discovered just how much of this album is jazz/funk, and with a good deal of diversity (New Orleans, swing, etc.) within those genres, too. Judges were unsurprisingly & resoundingly unanimous; prophetik music writes:
"whoa, what a style change. arrangement is clear and over the top in terms of fulfilling the guidelines. there's a ton of attention paid to ensemble work here. i especially liked the call and response portion early on. a common issue we find with jazz tracks is that it'll be a great adaptation of the head and then ten minutes of ramen before we get back to the melodic content, and that's not the case here. there's a ton of examples of melodic content throughout, and it's showing through in the solo work. a few of the solos are a little less directed than you might want but overall the quality's high and the instrumentalists do a nice job playing their instruments and recording them in a way that sounds decent. props to the soprano sax player making the palm E at 2:43 sound like a real note that was in tune and not a death screech. i did find the piano playing to be pretty blah after a while, but that's fine because it's way in the back and was essentially just a fancy rhythmic pad for the duration of the song.
...ultimately i think the productions good enough, but a more realistic mastering of the drums, and some clarification on the bass would have really helped it out a lot. this is a fun track with great ideas. the mastering of the backing parts isn't great but the overall track is fun and quickly recognizable as the original. great job here."
Some of Brad's production nitpicks were echoed by other judges... in mixed case, even... but there was nothing approaching dealbreaker territory. "Ten minutes of ramen" sounds delicious to me, personally, but I guess it's a synonym for... meandering improv? Or a bizarre culinary typo. Either way, point taken - it's still jazz and it still explores the theme, but the source is core & remains present. Mixing live recordings from different artists into a cohesive whole is all sorts of challenging, but even though there are some moments where the "in-the-room"-ness is an issue, the energy & character of the performances is compelling throughout. Great stuff from a great album which managed to marry a presiding vein of jazz/funk with plenty of other genres & voices; kudos to Lucas & all who contributed!
on 2021-05-14 20:40:59
NOODLING, dave. it was a clever joke and i defy you to gloss over it!
on 2021-04-13 11:42:18
Glad to see this one up on the front page! Lucas did a such a great job with this arrangement. It's a very unique take on one of the most recognizable and celebrated tracks on the OST. It also taught me how much harder it is to try to do improv in 5/4. My brain did not want to work that way.
Fun fact: this is third member of what i like to call the Gondowan Jazz Trio. By some happy coincidence, all three sources tunes from the Gondowan region in game ended up being remixed as different flavors of jazz.
Congrats to Lucas on a great ReMix!
on 2021-04-12 03:33:24
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Sources Arranged (1 Song)
- Electric Guitar,Oboe,Piano,Saxophone,Trumpet,Violin
- Production > Live Instruments
Time > 5/4 Time Signature
- 7,976,976 bytes
- Size: 7,976,976 bytes
- MD5 Checksum: daad3b670efc6d46b74c8cf398aac316
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