ReMix:Chrono Trigger "Strain On You Insane Diamond" 3:31

By zachaction

Arranging the music of one song...

"Strains of Insanity"

Primary Game: Chrono Trigger (Square , 1995, SNES), music by Nobuo Uematsu, Noriko Matsueda, Yasunori Mitsuda

Posted 2024-03-06, evaluated by the judges panel

Happy birthday to the co-author of "Shine On You Crazy Diamond", Pink Floyd's David Gilmour! zachaction's not afraid of style sendups, as he graces us with his third (wonderful one) in a row, an anachronistic fusion of the mood of "Shine On You Crazy Diamond" (which has a crazy story behind it) with the simplicity of "Strains of Insanity". While he may not fear aping other artists like Radiohead, Eno, or Floyd, zachaction explained that he definitely had a gulp in his throat over arranging (and even playing) Chrono Trigger:

"I know everything there is to know about FFVI (within reason) and was always hesitant to even start Chrono Trigger out of fear and anxiety of knowing NOTHING about it. In the last couple of years, I did indeed pick it up (only to never finish it) and I remember being immediately struck by this odd song in Magus's castle. I attempted a Nine Inch Nails-ish remix of it, in the style of Reznor's more ambient instrumentals, but it was incredibly boring. After all, the source music is about as short and vanilla as you can get: a constant Bb bass drone (duplicated in a high register as well), alternating diads of C#/Ab and Eb/Bb, and the occasional "laugh".

I don't really remember what took this remix in the Pink Floyd "Shine On You Crazy Diamond" direction, but, if nothing else, what perfect titles to blend together! This remix is basically blending the constraints and basics of "Strains of Insanity" with a condensed reinterpretation of Parts I-III of the Pink Floyd song. There are just a couple of times in the middle section where the chord changes to Eb for change and effect. Otherwise, the song lives on the Bb root note and the alternating diads, with the occasional guitar "laugh" (I'm really pleased with how the laugh sounds in the third section). There are no real melody or theory connections to the Pink Floyd song; only the instrumentation and the overall SOUND.

I suppose this submission may lead to some interesting discussions on source usage due to its addition of different melodies, but the source material has NO melody to speak of, and this remix retains all of the structure, chords, and mood of the original."

Style sendups, rather than arrangements of mainstream music, are always what we'll be in favor of at OCR, so we appreciate Zach making the VGM the compsitional star of the show. The guitar work and production sounded clean while having a genuine Floyd-like feel. Meanwhile, the source tune is very simple, so zachaction augmented it a touch with those cool guitar-laughs, referencing the source's voice SFX with the guitar at :07. :-) Judge Emunator caught the clever ways Zach referenced Mitsuda's original Chrono Trigger theme while simultaneously appreciating the authenticity of the Pink Floyd-inspired sound exercise:

"Scintillating intro, the mood created is similar to Ruined World meets Vangelis before finally breaking out into melodic guitar riffs supported by all of the different instrumental and synth flavors that you could hope for as a listener. [...] On the arrangement side, I actually listened to the remix first, and then found myself surprised at how little there was to go off of in the original, and simultaneously how quickly it connected. I actually picked up on the laughing sfx-to-detuned guitar plucks connection immediately and found that to be a super clever way to maintain source usage outside of just the droning chord progression. This is an immaculately produced homage to Pink Floyd[...]!"

Once things kicked in at 1:05, I too was pleasantly surprised by how substantially Zach was able to use the source tune, adding his own original melodic components in front of the minimal source's main two notes (from :15 & :26 of the original) and letting the chords breathe as well; the sustained chords found in the source tune are ever-present here while also serving as a stylistic connection to Part II in particular of "Shine On...". Fashioning that expanded melody was smart arranging, while the synth's sound was pure gold. All very creative techniques providing the connective tissue to meet the arrangement standards here. Once again, a shining example of zachaction's enviable penchant for successfully adapting the feel of major musicians' works with the video game music we know and love! Make sure any classic rock fans in your circle feast their eyes & ears. Major props to Zach, both a crazy and insane diamond in this community. :-D



Latest 2 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
on 2024-03-23 21:10:16

I definitely feel the Pink Floyd vibes! On its' own merit, this is a very nice slow jam. I dig it.

on 2024-03-06 15:45:07
What did you think? Post your opinion of this ReMix.

Sources Arranged (1 Song)

Primary Game:
Chrono Trigger (Square , 1995, SNES)
Music by Nobuo Uematsu,Noriko Matsueda,Yasunori Mitsuda
"Strains of Insanity"

Tags (11)

Progressive Rock,Rock
Electric Guitar,Electronic,Piano,Strings,Synth
Time > 6/8 Time Signature

File Information

6,024,976 bytes


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