Friday, June 18, 2010

VGMusic Submission: Paternal Horn

So it's been a while since I've submitted something to the mighty VGMusic.Com, home to the vast collection of MIDIs by composers of all skill levels. My previous entry was near two years ago, and despite wrestling with a number of ideas, I've seen a precious lack of new material since that time. That, however, comes to an end today.

The piece I chose to arrange this time around is from the soundtrack to the video game NiGHTS Into Dreams, arguably one of the best games that nobody's played. Even during its heyday, its mother console Sega Saturn was ever overshadowed by the powerful PlayStation and the innovative Nintendo 64. The fact that NiGHTS hardly achieved commercial success is somewhat of a shame, as many critics agree that the game is one of developer Sonic Team's finest.

The game's soundtrack (born from the talented minds of composers Naofumi Hataya, Tomoko Sasaki, and Fumie Kumatani) is, simply put, incredible. Although I've never played NiGHTS Into Dreams, the music sorely tempts me to track down a Saturn and do so; I find that to be quite the compliment. The soundtrack is rife with enchanting level themes, groovy boss music, and a slew of improvisatory solos that would make a jazz pianist weep with glee. The specific track I chose to get to know better was Paternal Horn: Spring Valley, the music behind one of the game's beautiful early stages. You can watch some gameplay of the tune in context here. So, with no further ado:

Paternal Horn: Spring Valley ~the IDEAL~

Date Submitted: 2010-06-19
Time: ~6 hours
Software: Finale 2008
MIDI Tracks: Glockenspiel, Celesta, String Ensemble 1, English Horn, French Horn, Brass Section, Electric Grand Piano, Electric Bass (finger), Percussion

This was a fun piece to arrange; the tune was generally straightforward enough for me to deduce by ear in a reasonable time (hey, six hours is good for me, OKAY? :P), and it's just so damn catchy. Admittedly, instrument-matching was a bit of a pain; I'm still skeptical about the chosen synths for the beginning ostinato. There was also a touch of guesswork involved with some of the softer synths, but overall I'm pretty satisfied with the result.

Anyway, how'd I do? Feel free to comment with any critique and/or suggestions you may have about this MIDI, or even if you'd like to request another piece of video game literature. With respect to the latter, though, I'll admit I already find myself leaning in this direction...



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