Posted 2022-09-15, evaluated by the judges panel

EUPH! I was delighted to see live euphonium on this atmospheric, dark, and VERY creative Hollow Knight arrangement from newcomer Justin Thornburgh, with live brass from Dewey Newt & live strings from Chromatic Apparatus. Justin writes:

"This was a fun one because I took different sound design ideas I had used in previous covers and use them more intentionally. The main idea of my arrangement was to explore a creepy and weird atmosphere that I feel is a different take on the dark ambiance of original track and game. This arrangement is also a further development in trying out more ideas from electronic music. I started with the idea of a fusion of orchestral and electronic elements which a heavy emphasis on sound design using analog synths. I moved sections around to create a different momentum and progression throughout with a hopefully cohesive form. The melodies and chord progressions of the original are strong and simple, so they feature nicely and prominently in the arrangement.

Live euphonium and cello are also featured on the arrangement. The euphonium is played by Dewey Newt, and the cello is played by Chromatic Apparatus. Thanks a bunch as always for playing on my tracks!"

This is our 3rd featured arrangement from Pixel Mixers' Hollow Knight tribute album, Voidheart, following in the footsteps of heymagurany and donut, Sean R. Hanson & Deckels. This is also the mix that finally forced me to add a "euphonium" tag to our database, so bravo on that front alone - it's what I played in high school band, so there's an emotional attachment, even if I haven't touched one in 25 years. It's a beautiful instrument - the "eu" prefix in the name is the same as in euphemism, euphoria, etc., for those etymology geeks out there. Means "good" - so basically: a "goodphonium." But that sounds ridiculous, and so here we are. It tends to get some amazing parts in Sousa marches, and also gets a fair amount of melodic material, so it's not just bass oompahs, 24/7. Dewey's much better than I was, and I especially liked some of the trills toward the end; good stuff.

But live low brass is just one highlight of the mix; Justin really created a unique soundscape, here, and even without the euph & cello, it would still be a striking blend... more & more I find myself gravitating towards music that doesn't really resemble anything else, that feels alien in its textures but also its construction, and this has those qualities, at least for me - keeps you guessing, unorthodox, and wields a unique blend of sounds in an effective manner. Judges were unsurprisingly unanimous, with minimal critical feedback; Chimpazilla was perhaps the most enthusiastic:

"This is an eclectic mix of sounds if ever there was one. I love it, everything gels together amazingly and the arrangement moves along like a spooky adventure story. So many changeups here, rhythmically, energetically and instrumentally, all while sounding cohesive. Mixing and mastering are on point. Loaded with ear-candy. The leadwork near the end, with the string backing, is utterly epic (I wish that part was longer). I'm giving this two snaps, a twist, and a triple


I'll have what she's having. Things morph into almost-EDM territory with a solid kick, morph back, there are deep resonant analog synths paired against harsher digital chippy bits, and it all plays nice & fits together, somehow - this is one of those arrangements which, described on paper, would seem like a recipe for a potential trainwreck, but it absolutely works on all levels thanks to superb arrangement & production matched with some elevating performances. Really quite cool & immersive, and a fantastic debut; check it out, then check out all of Voidheart for more!



Latest 2 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
on 2022-10-17 21:12:35

Ooh, this is interesting. I don't hear a lot of music that properly manages distorted elements. I like that this highlights the woodwind and brass instruments that tend to be in the middle or back of the orchestra. Honestly, you got me hooked all the way through with all this textural variation. If you haven't listened to this or commented here yet, what are you doing?

on 2022-09-14 12:53:26
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Sources Arranged (1 Song)

Primary Game:
Hollow Knight (Team Cherry , 2017, WIN)
Music by Christopher Larkin
"Enter Hallownest"

Tags (12)

Origin > Collaboration
Production > Live Instruments
Usage > Halloween

File Information

6,520,716 bytes


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