Newcomer Chris Kohler debuts with a soaring, uplifting orchestral take on the lab theme from Pokémon Diamond/Pearl:
"Here is my new submission. Hope you like it!
An extended intimate piano intro sets the stage for grander symphonic things to come, as Chris sprinkles harp, strings, & woodwinds in and eventually has a flute take over on lead. Piano returns for more isolated focus at 1'04" - I especially like the deliberate, relaxed timing, with a nice ebb & flow that wouldn't have survived extensive quantization. 1'52" almost feels like the track is over, but we then go in for a second dose of the grander, symphonic instrumentation. 2'34" has a nice brass choir interlude, which is then joined by solo violin - none of these samples are uber-convincing, but they're all solid enough to communicate the emotions of each part, and I think the tempo/timing control breathes more life into them, too. Emunator writes:
"There's some really lovely writing here! It feels distinctly out of the Pokémon D/P canon, full of nostalgic warmth and unconventional chord changes/melodies, but elevated by a more organic, high-quality sound palette. The sequencing is a mixed bag for me, with most of the leads feeling just a touch robotic but nothing standing out as a major dealbreaker, either. The samples themselves have pretty great tone across the board, so despite the flaws in the sequencing, it still sounds quite pleasant to listen to. Brad touched on the copy-paste section at 1:55, but the addition of the percussion keeps the arrangement progressing overall."
Some judges were a bit more bothered by the similarities between the two larger symphonic sections & some of the sequencing on wind leads, but most were persuaded. I think what impresses me the most & what I think makes this mix work is the contrast between more intimate, gradual piano-led sections and the faster orchestral passages; I weighed in on the judge thread with the following:
"Kudos for slowing the intimate, very cinematic (as @MindWanderer points out) piano bits down and giving them temporal breathing room. I don't really enjoy listening to the original, to be honest - I hear the promise, but it's on tempo rails and hits me wrong - but I dig this treatment, and found it engaging and well-conceived."
Had this arrangement been "on rails" & hopped along at the same tempo, with more rigid piano in particular, I don't think it would have functioned nearly as well. Instead, happily, Chris provides differentation and a more emotive vibe, leveraging the contrast and offering an engaging, more narrative take on the original. Strong debut, looking forward to hearing more!
Sources Arranged (1 Song)
- Primary Game:
Pokémon Diamond Version (Nintendo, 2006, NDS)
Music by Go Ichinose, Hitomi Sato, Junichi Masuda, Morikazu Aoki
- "The Pokémon Lab"
- Cinematic, Symphonic
- Energetic, Suspenseful
- Brass, Chromatic Percussion, Flute, Orchestral, Piano, Strings, Violin, Woodwinds
- 5,453,830 bytes
- Size: 5,453,830 bytes
- MD5 Checksum: c0055f5dddd1b50a67ef6ef45921d20a
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