Posted 2024-05-19, evaluated by the judges panel

A couple of weeks ago, we let loose a tremendous flood of tracks originating from the inaugural Game Set Mash!! compo, but we ain't done! Emunator wrangled in the ladies to help add more depth and polish to a spirited combo of Final Fantasy VII & V:

Emu's been havin' a good year, he's been super productive, and he owes EVERYTHING, 200%, to GSM creator & OCR poobah DarkeSword, I think that's what he's saying here:

"This is my 3rd round submission for DarkeSword's Game Set Mash!! competition, and I think it's my favorite of the three. Knowing that our PSX team was behind in total points leading into the final round, and that we needed to win this matchup to even stay in the running, I knew I had to go all out. No half measures here. Over the next 10 days, I put roughly 60 hours of work into this arrangement, crafting easily the most heavily-layered, orchestrated piece I've ever made. At the end of it all, both teams were tied in points, so I guess the real victory was the friends we made along the way??

My elevator pitch for this arrangement is "What if James Horner composed the score to Avatar like normal, but he dropped acid for 30 seconds in the middle of one of his sessions?" My other key influences here were the Ori and the Will of the Wisps score, specifically the "Windswept Wastes" theme, and E-Bison's classic Xenogears remix, "Zeno Paradox". (I spent so much time trying to capture the magic of the surprise bass drop featured in Elliot's track, and, while I don't think I was nearly as successful here, I've always wanted to pay homage to one of my all-time favorite OC ReMix arrangements.)

This ended up being a fusion arrangement in the truest sense of the word, pulling influence from Chinese, Arabic, and Indian composition styles, as well as contemporary Western film scores. I let the character of the two sources drive the arrangement initially, but didn't hold myself back from exploring other pathways as they opened up. The final project file used over 180 plugins, 250 channels, and 25,300 MIDI notes, so, instead of attempting to break down the production or tools used, I'll just let the music speak for itself.

After the competition was over, I went back and did some minor polishing to the mixing, tapped Shea to record a more expressive version of my sequenced violin performance, and asked Chimpazilla to lend her secret mastering magic to finish it off, but, aside from that, this didn't need too much reworking to get it to its current state. I'm walking away from the competition with a sense of confidence in my ability to work quickly and decisively without having to make compromises on my vision. I'm truly grateful to Shariq for providing that avenue to expand my musical skills and meet so many wonderful collaborators and friends in the process. Team PSX for life!"

Man, oh man, not only did GSM get the musical ideas bubbling for Emunator, it motivated our boy to put in some extra spit polishing and elbow grease on his tracks, including roping in Shea and Chimpa post-compo to make the final version even better. I'd joke that I've never put in 60 hours of work into anything, but at my last job, I once put in 57 hours over three days (the team was in need) and got absolutely sizzled. Yeah... I ended up leaving that job... Much better to pace that much work over 10 days like Emunator did, am I right? :-D I either must have dropped acid or just spaced out, and in the case of this piece, judge prophetik music was surprised at Emu's lead source tune choice, given the spacey title:

"i am admittedly surprised that this is using Cosmo Canyon and not Launching a Dream Into Space.

opens with strings, flute, and ethnic percussion. 0:38 starts the more melodic material, and opens with the iconic main theme riff of FF7 - oh wait, it's the Unknown Lands theme (i see what you did there!). shea does a gorgeous job there on the violin. the bamboo percussion at 1:27 sound great behind the overall orchestral tone, although i'll complain that the plectral instrument under the orchestra is a lot louder than the orchestral sound which lessens some of the impact of the orchestral ensemble.

there's a beautiful dovetail of the CC theme into this around 1:51, and then there's a bit shift at 2:19 as the acid hits. much more aggressive use of rhythm-synced synths in this section - i love hearing the CC's arpeggio in those tight arps you have going on. the high fades pretty quick at 3:18 and we get a much more standard playback of the CC theme with a sudden transition to the soaring elements of the second half of Unknown Lands. the Horner influence is nowhere more obvious than at 3:57 with that chord shift and the vocals. [...]

this is excellent, demonstrating a broad scope of approach and a ton of flexibility and imagination from the creative side."

Cheers to Emu, Shea, and Chimpa for collectively channeling the musical spirit of Avatar before Emu took a tab of whozeewhatzits for that mysterious middle before coming to his senses and successfully steering this ship through the cosmos! Can't go wrong be inspired by a trio of talents like Horner, Coker, and Dr. Britton. :-) Prepare for takeoff, this flight's for you!



Latest 3 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
Geoffrey Taucer
on 2024-05-23 20:39:43

Love the shaker textures, and LOVE the violin!

And then the transition at 2:48, and that section after.....

I love everything about this mix.

Rad Decision
on 2024-05-23 17:19:17

Really love the introduction on this one—builds in a nice way, super textural, and instantly catches my interest! Great track.

on 2024-05-19 02:58:53
What did you think? Post your opinion of this ReMix.

Sources Arranged (2 Songs, 2 Games)

Primary Game:
Final Fantasy VII (Sony , 1997, PS1)
Music by Nobuo Uematsu
"Cosmo Canyon"
Additional Game:
Final Fantasy V (Square , 1992, SNES)
Music by Nobuo Uematsu
"Unknown Lands"

Tags (13)

Cinematic,New Age
Electronic,Orchestral,Synth,Violin,Vocals: Female
Origin > Collaboration
Origin > Competition
Time > 4/4 Time Signature

File Information

7,450,457 bytes


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