ReMix:Super Metroid "A Hunter's Epilogue" 3:17

By Torby Brand

Arranging the music of one song...


Primary Game: Super Metroid (Nintendo , 1994, SNES), music by Kenji Yamamoto (I), Minako Hamano

Posted 2023-02-13, evaluated by the judges panel

Another newcomer enters the ring, as Torby Brand (Torbjørn Brandrud) submits a stirring solo piano take on the Super Metroid ending theme, part of the 2021 project Harmony of a Hunter Returns by Shinesparkers:

"Once again I've been blessed to participate in a Shinesparkers project! And for the first time, as a participating performer. I became a Metroid fan long before I was a pianist and music producer. This is the first time that I've truly gotten a worthy opportunity to express those two together. Because I entered the project at a later stage, there was added pressure to the task at hand. I needed to finish the track in time, but most notably, deliver a piece that was worthy of the source material and of the peers around me. I'm happy to say that in addition to making it in time, I was happy with my effort and that I gave it my all.

Super Metroid is not only one of the most iconic Metroid games, it's one of the most iconic games of all time! And so, to tackle this piece was no small task in my mind. The original track is composed of music that plays before the credits, during, and after. The chronological structure made it more challenging to arrange. I decided to embrace the idea of a faithful but expanded and "upgraded" piano rendition, while still carrying the essence of the game's ending.

Samus has just left Zebes when the original track plays, that's why I found it fitting to start up with a reference to Samus's theme that plays during the final fight. On the other end of my piece, I included a version of the classic appearance fanfare. Using it in a Metroid arrangement is far from an original idea, but I think the chord modification carries the mood change well, and it gave me the "beginning at the end" effect that I was looking for. Additionally, I sprinkled the iconic Samus arpeggio throughout the piece for dramatic effect, whereas it only plays towards the end in the original. Most of the arrangement choices were made in the numerous, smaller decisions. Additional harmonies, flurries, added melody, staccato and legato balances, and the dramatic changes in dynamics and mood. Adapting orchestral pieces for piano does inevitably mean stripping down the arrangement to some degree, but that does not make it necessarily easier in my view. It's challenging to make it compelling on its own, and to pick what to include, what to expand on, and how.

I wanted to highlight my passion for this piece, this arrangement, and for the franchise that brought me here. Thank you to everyone involved and to Darren for including me! Metroid will always have a place in my heart, and so will its music."

All of the Shinesparkers albums have been superb, and it's cool that we're still fielding (excellent!) submissions from them. This is a very "active" piano arrangement, with a strong left hand and some big, bold block chords w/ the sustain pedal in full force. Rather than streamline or compress melodic parts, Torby opts for an approach that retains more material & gives the instrument a real workout. DarkSim writes:

"The arrangement is conservative, but trimming everything down for 1 instrument and not having it sound too thin takes skill, and you've pulled that off here. Some of the faster left-hand work gets a bit lost (e.g. 0:54), but I like the consideration of using staccato right after that part, for a contrast."

prophetik music was a bit more critical, echoing some of the observations of other judges, while still approving:

"the piano tone is not amazing, but i didn't find it to be worse than others that we've passed in recent years. if anything, my complaint is that torby likes his sustain pedal a bit too much, which combined with the big blocks of fifths and octaves in his left hand results in some dense, muddy chord blocks. less velocity on those would have helped a lot, but it's not a dealbreaker. i think there's some level of quant on this also that makes it feel more robotic than it would otherwise have felt - again, i'd prefer it wasn't there, but i don't think it's a dealbreaker.

i think the arrangement is competent if conservative, and survives the adaptation to a single instrument quite well. the mastering is clear, and reverb and room tone both aren't overdone. i'd have preferred a better, more responsive instrument used, but this is over the bar."

Things do get a bit crowded with powerful lower chords & pedal work, but that actually struck me mostly as stylistic; your mileage may vary, but this is definitely more of a "foreground" solo piano arrangement that will demand your focus. As Brad points out above, mastering is clean & clear, and that's especially important given the wide dynamic range. This isn't a source that screams "solo piano" to me, but that's the fun: seeing how different folks are inspired by different strokes, etc. Great debut from Torby, hope to hear more in the future!



Latest 2 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
on 2024-03-29 12:23:48

Am I the only one who heard shades of the menu music from Smash brothers: Melee? This was a very good solo-piano remix, it sounded very full and the playing was quite good! :)

on 2023-01-24 20:28:19
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Sources Arranged (1 Song)

Primary Game:
Super Metroid (Nintendo , 1994, SNES)
Music by Kenji Yamamoto (I),Minako Hamano

Tags (6)

Piano,Solo Piano
Arrangement > Solo

File Information

5,587,858 bytes
Featured on album...

Harmony of a Hunter Returns

album cover
Published 2021-08-06
By Shinesparkers


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