Following on from our previously featured mix, we've got another Skyward Sword arrangement from Rebecca E. Tripp, this time infusing her folk/orchestral blend with some Asian/Indian influences and featuring Gamer of the Winds on flute:
"This cover is a long time coming! "Lanayru Sandsea," aka "Skipper's Retreat," is a long-time favourite of mine from Skyward Sword. The original soundtrack for SS was composed by Hajime Wakai, Shiho Fujii, Mahito Yokota, and Takeshi Hama. I don't know which one of them wrote this glorious track. (Editor's note: It was Hama!) Either way, it's one of the most serene, beautiful, relaxing songs in the series!
The flute part was performed by my friend, Gamer of the Winds! Check him out! You can find his channel right here: https://youtube.com/channel/UCQFIzKI61fxibPgfPKeJQxw."
Very mellow, almost meditative vibe on this one, as the accompaniment swirls around sustained drones, while plucked strings & chromatic percussion blend with winds and a lovely violin. Judges were positive, but noted some volume & realism issues that they've also observed with prior submissions; DarkSim writes:
"I was listening to this with a Pokemon Arceus stream on mute in the background, and it seemed to fit perfectly! It’s from a Zelda game so the atmosphere is very much one of discovery met with trepidation. The arrangement supports this, as XPRTNovice notes in his previous review, by not being too bold in its direction, preferring instead to stick close to the original source. I actually liked this choice, as there is some movement to the piece, albeit subtle, reflecting perhaps a cautious nature of our adventurer. Forgetting the main melodic instrumentation for a moment, I was pleased with the supporting instrument choices as well. The bells, chimes, and ethnic sounds scattered around serve to add an element of mystery and exoticness that adds to the theme of adventure."
...but then he also adds, and I think advice like this can be invaluable if digested:
"The sustained violin notes sound lovely with the hint of vibrato, however as the piece goes on, it becomes apparent there’s little to no variation in the sample articulation. Attack, decay, sustain, release, vibrato, legato, velocity - all can be automated and these details take time to program, but can elevate your music to the next level. It will not go unnoticed! Another example is the trill at 0:42 - it’s barely audible! A little more attention here would have been appreciated, and since the trill was in the source - why not throw in one somewhere else to spice up the strings a little? Sources can inspire us in many ways, and this is a prime example of a missed opportunity."
Fair; a lovely violin sample is lovely, yes, but if it's lovely in the same way, multiple times, in the same piece of music, it's not only the artificiality that tends to seep through, it also makes for a less dynamic experience overall. Everything DarkSim writes about modulating envelopes, vibrato, etc. can really elevate a piece & help breathe life into samples. Judges also noted the mastering was a bit low again, and some were scratching their heads on the sustained ensemble string note at the end, the exposed nature of which does amplify a static quality. That being said, the overall arrangement is relaxing, almost transcendental, and I think Rebecca did a superb job on instrumentation, with a lot of timbral variety. The atmosphere/vibe that the mix creates is effectively immersive, and Gregory elevates the production with live, organic flute bits. Good stuff - we harp on the details both because that's our job, AND because we want to see artists & individual pieces grow & thrive, so I do hope the feedback is considered. Other than that, another fine mix from Rebecca; enjoy!
Sources Arranged (1 Song)
- Primary Game:
The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword (Nintendo
Music by Hajime Wakai,Koji Kondo,Mahito Yokota,Shiho Fujii,Takeshi Hama
- "Lanayru Sand Sea"
- Bells,Flute,Hand Drums,Strings,Violin,Woodwinds
- Origin > Collaboration
Regional > Indian
Usage > Meditation
- 6,810,487 bytes
- Size: 6,810,487 bytes
- MD5 Checksum: c8e3b585423f025b8a1ce45f7db424de
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