Posted 2023-05-22, evaluated by Liontamer

Final Fantasy VIII: SeeDs of Pandora is chock full of showstoppers, both intense and refined, so let's amaze you with another offering from the refined side. Newcomer Sorven (Kyle Mesce) aptly harnesses Final Fantasy VIII's power of 8, joining forces with an all-star array of performers for a beautiful aural blend of East & West:

Damn, son, Sorven didn't come to play AT ALL. Or maybe he did, considering he was so inspired by FF8, searching for friends (OK, that's 6) to bring this concept to life. No matter what, Kyle decided to show up and show out, as he described the international flair of this concept:

"Many beloved video games in the world are created in Japan, yet the traditional musicality is often lost in several of these games due to stylistic choices or creative limitations. "Find Your Way to the East" is an appreciation of this convention towards Japanese music (with nods to Chinese instrumentation). It also utilizes Western strings, as if someone from the United States has arrived in Japan and is taking in all the sights it has to offer. From West to East, I hope you enjoy the journey."

This one's a journey alright, one you'll want to repeat over and over. How about those instrumental tradeoffs of the melody from 1:03-1:18? Was that not a thing of beauty? That's immediately followed by the main melody at 1:22, and, oh man, do those string plucks sound gorgeous. :-) As album director Darkflamewolf noted while declaring this an album favorite, your takeaways from this may be singular & personal, but DFW's personal imagery from this track involved a geographical musical battle ending in mutual admiration:

"What begins as a slow track turns into a back and forth between two cultural influences that ultimately leads into what feels like both backing off realizing the merit of the other. A track that can be interpreted in many different ways based on who is listening to it and the experiences they bring to the table as they let the song wash over them, and that's why it is my favorite."

This is a personal favorite of mine off the album as well, and it's not hard to hear why. There's loads of personality and panache in the performances, and you'll undoubtably catch yourself wanting to revisit and relive various moments, such as the swell from 2:07-2:14, the dropoff at 2:29, or the strings at 3:25, just ear candy galore with an Eastern flavor. Album co-director Jorito praised Kyle for taking full advantage of the album's collaborative spirit, allowing for bolder arrangement choices in a musical outcome only possible with teamwork:

"Kyle was one of those artists who really leaned into all the performers that were available on the album, and, given that we had a lot of Chinese instrumentalists, it meant giving the track a nice ethnic cultural flair, yet marrying it with Western influences. While his initial take on the source track was a more traditional orchestral affair and a fairly straightforward arrangement, adding the live instruments, fleshing out the arrangement, and fully exploring (finding his way...) the source really fleshed the track out and brought it home. The merge of the Eastern and Western world is tastefully done, the track tells an interesting story, and I think it makes it a rather unique and enjoyable take on the source."

After the release of the new FF8 album, we recently had a fan mention in our Discord that they preferred hearing OC ReMixes by singular atists as opposed to larger collaborations; in all honestly, I just don't see where the knock comes from. Tracks by solo artists are wonderful, and I've gushed about them tons in writeups, submission judgements, and review comments. However, there's nothing quite like hearing a grand vision fully realized with the power of live performers. This may have seven performers, sure, but one couldn't persuasively argue that this striking presentation doesn't sound fully cohesive, that there isn't a power in witnessing a piece like this -- unity of purpose with pure, wonderful harmoniusness of sound. If you have no nostalgia for Final Fantasy 8 (guilty as charged!), you'd be making a massive mistake breezing past Sorven's maiden musical voyage on OCR, let alone the entirety of SeeDs of Pandora. :-)



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on 2023-05-22 11:46:06
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Sources Arranged (1 Song)

Primary Game:
Final Fantasy VIII (Square , 1999, PS1)
Music by Nobuo Uematsu
"Find Your Way"

Tags (14)

Origin > Collaboration
Production > Live Instruments
Regional > Chinese

File Information

6,766,352 bytes
album cover
Published 2023-05-08
By OverClocked ReMix


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