Many thanks to Larry "Liontamer" Oji who's written the last several mix writeups as I've been recovering from a double-whammy of COVID and a (slightly) broken shoulder. I'm more or less back in action now, as we begin the month of June with some experimental/minimal Paper Mario oddness & wonder from Michael Hudak:
"Hey hey! Michael, here and there. I did tons of experimentation with sound design during the writing/collaging process for this and love the results. The goal was to create 10 to 15 different sounds that I really dug, polish them as much as possible, and then use as many as I could get away with in a ReMix that's still musical, and not incidental. "The Great Boggly Tree" is a short, bizarre piece of music that I figured would work perfectly as a foundation for this; it's so weird, that it already met me halfway. All I had to do was create more weirdness, and even though what I came up with was pretty nuts, as a reimagining of the source it's really not too irreverent of a leap.
I ended up getting quite a good deal of sonic and structural inspiration from a short fantasy story by Italo Calvino called "The Origin of the Birds" (which is the first chapter of his book Time and the Hunter), in which the narrator named Qfwfq first encounters creatures that will come to be known as birds, near the beginning of the world's existence. He is stricken by their songs, and chases them across his world, and into their secret homeland, as his continent and theirs crash together, and he's flung from one to the other. Transcendence follows. Highly recommended. Calvino's work is so colorful and so imaginative and so funny and so rich. I tried to match that with this ReMix. A sawed-off rainbow.
Those crackle sounds at around 1:20 are just some granular residue from a send effect, if I recall. I like them. Like gravel in a bird's gut that helps with digestion... The stuff starting at 1:38 is one of my favorite parts of any piece of music I've ever done (even though I put reverb on the low end and boosted it way up, which you're technically not *supposed* to do).
Breakdown! The structure is AB1CDB2, roughly.
- Intro screeches are the same, pretty much. Maybe that's 2-5 seconds of sameness.
- 0:12-0:27 in the source: Used as refrain. 0:14-0:27 & 1:38-2:14 in remix.
- 0:28-0:45 in source = 0:59-1:38 in remix.
- 0:49-1:06 in source = 0:27-0:52 in remix."
Tons of negative space, different verbs/spaces/trails on elements, some of which succumb to the entropic spirals of granular FX, and an overall Zen, less-is-more structure make for a mix that's unmistakenly Hudakian yet still unique amongst his progeny. In this case, the source tune is unequivocally zany & irreverent itself, so as Michael says, it wasn't actually a huge stretch. 0'28" reminds me of the Akira soundtrack a bit, specifically the parts with Tetsuo & the Espers in the hospital; some particular combination of playful & creepy. Judges had a bunch of fun comments which I (as always) encourage you to read; prophetik music kicks us off:
"elephant in the room: yes, i do think this qualifies as a remix for the site. there's recognizable TTYD content throughout, it's long enough to convincingly display that in a unique and new format, and there's no copypasta from the original.
so now about execution. to start out: i can't believe we're getting a boggly tree remix that's actually reminiscent in style to the original. your technique throughout this track is really well represented. you did a great job of really exploring a ton of intensely strange timbres in ways that still allowed the listener to grab onto it and go along for the ride without having to microdose LSD to understand it. i particularly liked the parallels of the opening sounds to the original. i also really enjoyed the fluctuations in timbre used from 0:15 through 0:27 to the point that i almost wish you did more with them there so that their more spare nature didn't clash against the more complex stuff on each side of it. the bird SFX at 0:55 were cute."
""What the Qfwfq is this?" I found myself wondering on first listen. Having never heard the source, and expecting something experimental from yourself, I still wasn't prepared for what I was about to hear.
The first 12 seconds or so remind me of something by The Avalanches, except you're not sampling anything - it's all original sound design chopped and mashed together to create a similar effect. There's a similar melody to the classic one from Close Encounters of the Third Kind that appears around 30 seconds, which is fitting because this is so alien to my usual tastes that it's a challenge to evaluate objectively. Nonetheless, there's a certain magnetism that has been conjured up in these short minutes which is a testament to your sound design and arrangement. Without using traditional methods (you know, things like a beat, groove, or melody...) you've somehow captured my attention and held it for the duration of the track. I'm not sure whether I love it or hate it by the end, but I definitely appreciate the artistic endeavour."
This is on the more challenging & artsy side of the mixer's work, which means Your Mileage May Vary, but in this specific case it's somewhat difficult to see the source handled in a more pedestrian/accessible manner. Anyone with a penchant for unusual sound design should absolutely apply, and I think fans of Paper Mario who are familiar with the original are going to get a special kick out of how Mike's explored the territory in an identifiable yet disconcerting fashion. Plus anyone gets bonus cool points for namedropping Italo Calvino in a submission - unofficial policy. Enjoy!
Sources Arranged (1 Song)
- Primary Game:
Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door (Nintendo
Music by Saki Kasuga,Yoshito Sekigawa,Yuka Tsujiyoko
- "The Great Tree"
- Electronic,Sound FX,Synth
- Arrangement > Minimalist
Effects > Glitching
Effects > Lo-Fi
Time > Duration: Short
- 4,182,329 bytes
- Size: 4,182,329 bytes
- MD5 Checksum: eee42110b1c4fc65dae07d796f1700d3
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