Posted 2023-02-24, evaluated by the judges panel

Is there a doctor in the house? There's likely others I'm overlooking, but - like OneUps alum & sax god Anthony Lofton - it's always great to have contributors with doctorates of music in the community. Newcomer Techie Jessie (Sara Garrard) has put that edumacation (a technical term) to wonderful use with her Hamauzu (and a little Hisaishi)-inspired waltz, our first arrangement from the anticipated-would-have-been-an-understatement Final Fantasy VII Remake:

"This is a reimagining of the "A Broken World" theme (Masashi Hamauzu) from the Final Fantasy VII Remake OST, a part of the new-composed score that I really liked for how filmic and sad and properly melodic it was. FFVII has meant such a lot to me for a long time now, and, with Remake, I got all fired up again.

This is still in a broadly soundtrack style and shape, but taking the sad strings theme and changing it into a melancholy, bittersweet, slightly French(?) waltz tune (from 0:53). Surrounded by some material from the opening of "Return to the Planet", a couple quotes from "Jessie's Theme"/"The Look on Her Face" plus little touches of other FFVII themes at the start, little references to "Final Fantasy VII Main Theme"/"Holding Thoughts in My Heart", "Opening - Bombing Mission" (Nobuo Uematsu).

Some orchestration ideas owe a little to Joe Hisaishi's Ghibli scores, particularly Howl's Moving Castle, the lightness and the 7ths, and also, on the other hand, the church organ at the start! My original plan also was basing the orchestration and arrangement on "The Merry-Go-Round of Life". Can you hear any of that still? ALSO, there's just one part of the tune that sounds so much like the 80s/90s Transformers theme, is it just me?

It's still definitely sad. But maybe not entirely bleak. In honour of Biggs, Wedge and Jessie, who were my faves from the start."

Judge DarkSim wasn't and isn't an FF7 player, so, while he didn't view this through a nostalgic lense, he nonetheless walked away appreciating the piece's features, intricacies, and respect for the source material, a meaningful mark of success for any arranger:

"On first listen, you’d be forgiven for thinking that this track starts at 1:25, with that beautiful piano rendition of the melody from "A Broken World". That was the point at which I really sat up and took notice. However, on repeat listens, there's a lot of detail and, I would say, *confidence* in this arrangement. I definitely hear the Ghibli/Hisaishi influence here. To attempt a "soundtrack" style orchestral ReMix using pieces from many FF7 sources shows great depth of knowledge of the game, and a strong emotional connection, which shines through the piece.

I’m sure fans of the series will love this immediately, although for a listener who has never played FF7, I would say that it took me a few listens to appreciate everything you were trying to do here. It definitely requires more concentration to listen to than most of the music I listen to regularly, but that’s no bad thing. There are moments of magic, such as 1:25, and the orchestration is beautifully done.

Not my usual cup of tea, but definitely worthy of the front page."

I myself never played either generation of FF7 (RPGs are for geeks, man ;-P), but in breaking down the source tune references for my own judging vote, I too gained a sincere appreciation for Techie Jessie's instrumentation, structuring and delicate presentation of these themes. Hamauzu's been a personal favorite composer of mine ever since I was first exposed to the SaGa Frontier 2 soundtrack, and it's been a treat to have him leaving such a strong legacy within the FF franchise as well. Presenting like a cinematic cue, Jessie's debut has strong tension and dynamics to start, before settling into her waltz for the second half, and there's indeed a confidence that shines through; it's a reverent musical journey that would fit right into FF7R itself!



Latest 2 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
on 2024-03-29 11:59:34

This 100% sounds like a movie or game soundtrack. I legit thought I was listening to the remake's soundtrack for a moment there. If this were any more cinematic, some popcorn would have materialized in front of me.

on 2023-02-22 09:27:43
What did you think? Post your opinion of this ReMix.

Sources Arranged (5 Songs, 2 Games)

Primary Game:
Final Fantasy VII Remake (Square Enix , 2020, PS4)
Music by Masashi Hamauzu
"A Broken World"
"Jessie's Theme"
"Return to the Planet"
"The Look on Her Face"
Additional Game:
Final Fantasy VII (Sony , 1997, PS1)
Music by Nobuo Uematsu

Tags (14)

Bassoon,Brass,Chromatic Percussion,Oboe,Orchestral,Organ,Piano,Strings,Woodwinds

File Information

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