Posted 2022-10-18, evaluated by Emunator
An FF13 mega-collab from mega-collab specialist Jorito (Jorrith Schaap)?
Don't mind if we do... this lush, emotive, pop/orchestral vocal track has a somber vibe, with a glint of hope, and features intimate, spot-on performances from a host of familiar faces. Credits where credits are due:
- Arrangement, production, lyrics: Jorito
- Vocals, lyrics: JoyDreamer
- Oboe: Damian Nguyen
- Clarinet, flute: Gamer of the Winds (Gregory Orosz)
- French horn: JohnStacy
- Guitar: Matheus Manente
- Violin: Ronin Op F
- Mastering: James C. Hoffman
"Howdy! This is the first track I ever did for the Materia Collective, and now that they no longer exist, I figured I'd try submitting it to OCR, see if it can find a new home.
Even though Final Fantasy XIII isn't a universally loved game, the music is actually pretty great. I wanted to try my hand at a smaller/more intimate/chamber orchestra arrangement with female vocals of the main theme and see if I could add some extra life, delicacy, and emotion to it. I wasn't really going for something epic (no big drums and angry synths in this one, heh). Couldn't resist adding a sneaky reference to the FFXIII battle music, because that track is so good!
This being an orchestral track, it of course also meant getting performers on board - something that's especially crucial in a smaller ensemble like this, where there's no hiding in epic walls of sound. For the lyrics, Joy and I ended up using both the English version and the (translated) Japanese version of the lyrics for Serah's theme, as we felt they complemented each other nicely. We did make a few small changes to glue them together and fit with the track title.
Matheus Manente adds:
"So glad to be a part of this one! Listening to the final product brings tears to my eyes. Great job, Jorito!!!"
Matheus's acoustic guitar adds a lot; as Jorrith writes, this piece has more exposed sections where the tone & timbre of each element is in the spotlight, so even for smaller passages or accompanying parts, the humanization and fidelity that these performances bring is vital. When "till dawn..." hits with the ensuing flourish at 0'54", I got dem goosebumps. I know the lyrics are existing/translated, but for some reason I love the "mocking what we treasure" line - it stood out as unique, to me. Joy's voice, with a speedy vibrato, makes the vocal part a heartfelt, moving experience; outside of technical aspects, I think selling a vocal part involves a certain authenticity, where it seems like you believe/feel what you're saying, and this does that, for me. I also really dig how Gregory's winds are utilized - the light, staccato pattern that enters at 0'33" helps define the momentum of the overall mix. John's horn solo at 1'58" starts in a register where I thought for a second it was a low trumpet or flugelhorn, but then descends enough to reveal more o' that rich, creamy French horn resonance. 2'55" reveals a little room noise and I feel like you can "hear the mic" and its acoustic imprint on the vocal, but it's a passing issue. Another minor nitpick, but the ending fadeout sounds linear & a little abrupt to my ears, as well. Absolutely beautiful piece, overall; I remember playing XIII back in the day and... really not liking the storytelling/writing, such that I quit, but I definitely missed out on some amazing tunes. Many thanks to Jorito & a capable cadre of creatives for giving this source such a passionate, dramatic workover and for bringing the source back to my attention - highly recommended!
on 2022-10-20 02:40:57
What a collaboration! I think this track really hit the feel of Serahs theme on the head. Sometimes I felt it didn't sound big enough but I think that's because I have the ending suite in my head and that has such a massive sound. But when I focus on the track as it is, I really enjoy the intimacy. Shout outs to the whole crew who worked on this and for Jorito for bringing everyone together. Cheers y'all.
Edit: lol same time post! The track must have some power to it.
on 2022-10-20 02:40:56
2'55" reveals a little room noise and I feel like you can "hear the mic" and its acoustic imprint on the vocal, but it's a passing issue.
This was actually very intentional; I wanted to make that section feel very small and intimate, so I changed the reverb and really dialed it down for that close room sound. Thought I'd point that out
on 2022-10-18 01:28:25
Sources Arranged (2 Songs)
- Primary Game:
Final Fantasy XIII (Square Enix
Music by Masashi Hamauzu
- "Blinded by Light"
- Acoustic Guitar,Clarinet,Flute,French Horn,Oboe,Orchestral,Singing,Violin,Vocals: Female
- Lyrics > Lyrics: Existing
Lyrics > Lyrics: Original
Origin > Collaboration
Production > Live Instruments
- 6,918,709 bytes
Make my wish come true, let darkness slip aside
Hiding all our hope, mocking what we treasure
Battles we can win, if we believe our souls
Hang in through the dark night
Hang in for the light... till dawn
'Cause fate will not leave you, hate will not heal you
Promise to me, peace shall flow everywhere
Make my wish come true, let darkness fade to light
Show me it's not over, show me there's still hope
Make my wish come true, let darkness fade to light
Show me there's still hope, show me it's not over
Battles we can win, our struggle lies within
Will we live to meet them?
Will we live to greet... the dawn?
- Size: 6,918,709 bytes
- MD5 Checksum: a894f3754612ffe5f5533026cba840dc
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