Community Spotlight: March Favourites

Hi everyone! I’m a little late with this one, sorry. Just like last time, here are some of my favourite video game covers and remixes from the month of March!

insaneintherainmusic – “Breath of the Wild Jazz Cover”

I featured two songs by insanetherainmusic in the previous post. This time he’s brought an amazing jazz cover of Breath of the Wild‘s main theme! This arrangement turns the orchestral theme into a smooth jazz tune, which showcases the fantastically groovy sax.

Set to some nice nature footage, this video creates a great relaxing jazzy atmosphere. I especially like the part right in the middle; those few beats of silence evoke just enough anticipation before a the listener is hit with a wave of jazzy harmonies on the brass and keys. It’s quite a treat!

Scruffy – “Wistful Wild Funk/Raga”

Scruffy is a very underrated YouTube channel who posts high quality video game remixes, original tunes, and informative videos. Fans of the Pikmin series should really check him out: he’s created a couple videos that delve deep into analyzing the games from a technical standpoint. Check out his trivia videos about the sound effects of Pikmin 2 and the models/textures of Pikmin 3! If Pikmin isn’t your thing, he has other videos analyzing the Mario series, and lots of video game and original tunes.

The production on his trivia videos is just great: they are very informative, well-presented, and oozing with charm. These videos show of Scruffy’s impressive work in many areas of video production, including the background music, which is also created by him! He is currently in the process of uploading the soundtrack to his Pikmin 3 model trivia video, which is where this particular cover originates.

Onto the song itself: this a really cool cover of the foreboding “Wistful Wild” theme from Pikmin 2. Scruffy’s arrangement  is a smooth, chilled-out funk. I especially like it at around the 1:47 mark where those groovy keys kick in. Around the last quarter of the song is arranged as a raga, a traditional type of Indian classical music. As Scruffy notes in the description of the video, the melody line of “Wistful Wild” works perfectly with a Raga musical mode known as Thaat Bhairavi, the equivalent of the western “Phrygian mode.”

Rush Garcia – “Hero of the Wild”

Rush Garcia is an astounding orchestra arranger who has produced many fantastic orchestrations of songs from video games such as Undertale and Overwatch, as well as other media such as the popular TV show Steven Universe.

In this tribute to the Legend of Zelda, Rush Garcia crafts a beautiful suite of familiar Zelda melodies: a Link to the Past‘s “Dark World,” the iconic “Fairy Fountain” theme, “Zelda’s Lullaby,” the main theme of the series itself, and the theme of the recent smash-hit Breath of the Wild.

Right off the bat, we are greeted with a rapid-fire refrain of intense strings. I really love the sound of the strings, the timbre is so unique. These strings periodically return throughout the piece. The booming brass tones of the “Dark World” and lush harp of the “Fairy Fountain” are a treat to listen to. The gentle arrangement of “Zelda’s Lullaby” is truly beautiful, and segues right into Garcia’s epic rendition of the Zelda main theme. Finally is the memorable theme of Breath of the Wild, concluding this amazing musical journey.

AJ DiSpirito – “Super Mario Odyssey – Galaxy Remix”

AJ DiSpirito is very talented composer who has created tons of very high quality video game covers. He’s created arrangements in many different styles – orchestral to metal; jazz to electronic.

This is a cover of the trailer theme of the upcoming Super Mario Odyssey, arranged in the musical style of Super Mario Galaxy. In terms of emulating this particular style of composition, this cover is spot on! It evokes many classic SMG themes including “Gusty Garden Galaxy” and “Good Egg Galaxy.” The general orchestral sound is very evocative of Koji Kondo’s score – but its the little touches that bring it to the next level, such as the the flute trills, the spacey sound effects at one-minute mark, and the percussion that kicks in around 1:30. Overall, quite an impressive effect!

mlho7 – “Chun-Li’s Theme” (OCRemix)

Here’s another funk tune!
For any fan of video game music, OverClocked Remix needs to introduction. OCRemix is an organization dedicated to video game music. Their website is a treasure trove of literally thousands of the highest quality video game remixes. They’ve been going for almost 20 years now!

This track is a funky cover of Chun-li’s theme from Street Fighter II. It’s got a super cool vibe, with a funky bassline and old-school drums. I think the flutes and xylophone work extremely well with this style of funk; its a great blend of traditional Chinese melodies and modern funk. This remix will certainly get your foot tapping!

Further Listening

eflat – “Carrot Sorbet Atoll” and “Forest Stage” (Kirby’s Adventure)
freezetag (OverClocked Remix) – “Hyrulean Overture” (The Legend of Zelda)
Jonathan Aldrich – “Rainbow Road” (Mario Kart 7)
NoteBlock – “Space Junk Galaxy” (Super Mario Galaxy)
Smooth McGroove – “Brinstar Red Soil” (Super Metroid)
Stevie Pilgrim – “Kakariko Village” (The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess)

Community Spotlight: February Favourites

Hi there! I haven’t posted in quite some time.

I’d really like to post these community spotlights on a monthly basis. These monthly posts will not be dedicated to one particular project or album, but rather will contain several shout-outs to cool creators and their awesome creations that were recently released that month! Without further ado, here are my favourite video game covers, remixes, and arrangements from this February:

ClefferNotes – “Dark World Theme Orchestra”

Alright, so I already wrote up an article about ClefferNotes’ fan-made The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild arrangements – you can read that right here. Just recently, ClefferNotes did a livestream showing his process of composing. The track he orchestrated this time was the fan-favourite Dark World theme from A Link to the Past. This track is a personal favourite of mine: it’s a great example of the amazing music this game offers, and I personal consider it one of the best from the game.

ClefferNotes’ arrangement doesn’t disappoint. It has an amazingly adventurous feel, complete with militaristic march-like percussion, cinematic brass, epic choral build-ups, and those classic ClefferNotes woodwind runs. Fans of Zelda, this arrangement is a must-listen. I honestly think it’s one of the best fan interpretations of this classic tune. Don’t miss out on the ending either – it’s just gorgeous.

The Second Narrator – “Battle Against a True Hero”

If you haven’t heard of The Second Narrator, do yourself a favour and check him out. He’s one of the best. I’ve really been enjoying his series of Undertale orchestrations – this time he’s taken on one of the most musically exciting and intense songs in the game, “Battle Against a True Hero”.  I love the original song, it really pumps you up for battle.

The Second Narrator’s orchestration is simply phenomenal. It cycles through many different musical acts, providing a rollercoaster of emotion. It’s a glorious 10 minutes of epic cinematic Hans Zimmer-esque music. My favourite part (in the original, as well as this rendition) comes at around 3:39. This arrangement is just spectacular – such a treat for fans of Undertale.

UntoldStoriesProductions – “Zelda’s Lullaby”

UntoldStoriesProductions is another great creator of orchestral video game covers. Please, check him out! This particular song is an arrangement of “Zelda’s Lullaby”. It’s such an amazing arrangement, and plus, you can’t go wrong with some Zelda’s Lullaby.

The delicate piano, angelic harp, and lush strings all come together in a very pretty rendition of this nostalgic theme. It’s just real lovely.

Stevie Pilgrim – “Character Select”

This one’s a change of pace from the orchestral pieces I’ve spotlighted so far. Stevie Pilgrim is a video game music remixer with such a unique, catchy style: he takes classic video game songs and turns them into really chilled-out, groovy hip-hop / electronic remixes!

This recent track of his has stood out to me: the Character Select theme from Super Mario Bros. 2, an underrated game with an equally underrated soundtrack. Stevie takes this song in pleasantly surprising places, creating a laid-back piano groove with a little hip-hop flair. Those who listen to Stevie’s covers know that he likes to include musical references to other games. In this piece, he references the happy-go-lucky music of Yoshi’s Island, and the quirky soundtrack of Little Big Planet. Take a listen for yourself!

insaneintherainmusic – “Mii Channel Theme”

I’m a huge fan of insanetherainmusic: his channel is a treasure trove of extremely high-quality jazz covers of video game tunes! He’s amazingly talented so please watch some of his videos if you haven’t already!
Joined by two other saxophonists, insaneintherain creates a fantastic jazz arrangement of the iconic Mii channel. I have to say, I’ve listened to this particular cover more than ten times now. It’s just so good, I can’t stop replaying it!
It begins as an almost perfect keyboard recreation of the memorable Mii Plaza tune. This is soon decorated with some percussion, and then a swanky sax overtakes the melody. What began as a simple little tune on the keys blossoms into an infectiously catchy Latin-inspired jazz number. It’s well worth a listen, trust me!

Further Listening

Here is a little selection of some other tunes I’ve enjoyed from these past few weeks. The list is certainly not exhaustive, but it showcases a few pieces that have stood out to me from the video game music community.

eflat – “Title Screen” (Kid Icarus)
insaneintherainmusic (feat. 8BitBrigadier & Kenny Stern) – “Wii Shop Theme
NoteBlock – “Romance in the Air” (The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword)
PoopPoopFart – “Spiral Mountain” (Banjo-Kazooie)
Stevie Pilgrim – “Map Theme” (Yoshi’s Island)
String Player Gamer – “Trailer Theme” (The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild)
Swarmviper – “Dragon Roost Island” (The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker)

“My Music” – Analysis of a SMASHING Soundtrack: Kapp’n’s Song

Track: Kapp’n’s Song
Remixed in: Wii U/3DS
Game of Origin: Animal Crossing and Animal Crossing: New Leaf
Arrangement Supervisor: Shohei Tsuchiya
Prominent Instruments Used: Electric Guitar, Electric Bass, Drum Kit, Brass Section, Vocals (Kapp’n’)

In the first post of this series, I analyzed my favourite arrangement from Super Smash Bros. Brawl. Now, I’d like to take a look at my favourite new arrangement in Super Smash Bros for 3DS & Wii U: “Kapp’n’s Song”!

This remix draws from the various sea shanties that Kapp’n sings when ferrying the player character to and from the Island (known as Tortimer’s Island in New Leaf). They are simple songs sung by Kapp’n himself and accompanied by ukelele. The lyrics are often about Kapp’n’s life at sea, his poor luck with women, and other silly anecdotes.

Above: Kapp’n’s sea shanties are memorable for their humorous and often nonsensical lyrics

This arrangement is actually a combination of two of Kapp’n’s songs. The first is the tune from New Leaf, heard here. After this melody, the horns take over and play this version of Kapp’n’s song from the original Animal Crossing. You can hear Kapp’n’s regular speaking voice talking over top of this part – I think this is a reference to the fact that in New Leaf, Kapp’n stops mid-song to say a few things (you can hear that happen here). Then, in an really cool moment, the key changes and we return to the New Leaf Kapp’n’s song. At this point, the energy ramps up and the brass section goes full-blast. It’s really quite a treat to listen to.

This track really stands out to me for a number of reasons. The fact that the Smash developers chose to arrange this song was quite a pleasant surprise for me – I never would have guessed that Kapp’n’s song would get a full-out remix. The original song is just so simple, and isn’t really a video game song in the typical sense (ie: instead of being background music, it is an actual performance by a character in the game). It just personally struck me as an out-of-the-box, but also very creative, choice. I was quite excited when I first heard this remix in the background of the 4/8/2014 Super Smash Bros. Direct! Another reason it stands out is its genre. This song is arranged in a style that has not received much attention in Super Smash Bros.: ska! As it isn’t a typical genre for Smash, and may not be familiar to some, I’d like to briefly describe what “ska” is and look at the history of this genre. This will help us understand why this remix was created the way it is.

Ska is a musical genre that originated in Jamaica around the 1950s. It is a precursor to later Jamaican popular genres such as Rocksteady and Reggae – it shares many rhythms, albeit at a faster pace, with the latter. It is primarily derived from a style of Jamaican folk music known as “mento”, as well as Caribbean calypso music, combined with influences from American jazz and R&B music (source). It has the “walking” bass of American jazz music and unique, punchy rhythms of other African-derived genres. Broadly speaking it is quick and upbeat, and is primarily characterized by it’s emphasis on the upbeat, or “off beat”. Without delving too deep into musical theory, this basically means that every other beat in the song is accented. This contrasts with most other musical genres which emphasize the first and third beats in a measure, or, the “on” beats. In ska music, the off beats are usually marked with a drum as well as a unique rhythm on the guitar known as the ska stroke, or “the skank“. This “choppy” style of strumming creates a bouncy and energetic feel, and is unique to ska as well as it’s musical descendants such as reggae.


Above: An example of a typical “skank” rhythm in which chords on the off-beat (beats 2 and 4) are accented. Source: Wikipedia

Typical ska bands feature guitar, bass, drums, keyboards, and a prominent brass section. (source). Moreover, ska is often divided into three main periods, the first being the traditional Jamaican ska scene of the 50s and 60s (known as the “First Wave”), popular among the Jamaican “rudeboy” subculture (source). The “Second Wave” of ska saw a new variation known as “2 tone”, which became prominent during the genre’s revival in the 1970s. This style of ska became popular in Britain, and was infused with the punk-rock musical style and cultural attitude that was widespread in 70s Britain – this resulted in a genre characterized by more aggressive singing/playing, a faster tempo, and a more “electric” sound. Examples include popular UK groups such as The Specials or Madness. Third Wave Ska formed mainly in North America (particularly the United States) during the 1980s and 90s, and is often categorized as “ska punk”. Examples from this era include more modern groups such as Streetlight Manifesto, Reel Big Fish, and No Doubt.

There’s a lot more to be said about ska’s origins and cultural significance, but I’ll stop the music history lesson here. Where does “Kapp’n’s Song” come into this? Well, it displays many of the elements just discussed: it has a prominent brass section and the characteristic “skank” rhythm (listen closely to the rhythm guitar – there are sharp, punchy chords played on the upbeat). Stylistically it fits somewhere in the Second or Third Wave due to it’s high energy and slightly more punk-rock sound – it uses electric guitars and a rock drumkit, for example. Personally, I find ska fascinating as a genre, so I think it is pretty cool that Shohei Tsuchiya chose to take the arrangement in this direction. I think this genre was selected because it’s Jamaican origins, as well as it’s bright and upbeat sound, are thematically fitting for the tropical island that the original song is associated with. It’s also worth mentioning that Japan has it’s own sizable ska scene, called “j-ska“.

All in all, this is my favourite of the new batch of Smash arrangements because of how striking it is in so many ways. Experimenting with unique and atypical genres is something I’d love to see more of in Smash. That’s all for now folks! Hopefully it was an interesting read. For further reading on ska, check out some of the links I sourced throughout the post.

Community Spotlight: ClefferNotes’ Fan-Made Breath of the Wild Soundtrack

It’s no exaggeration to say that The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is one of the most anticipated video game releases. Very few franchises can claim the same level of critical success and fan dedication as The Legend of Zelda – so naturally, the series’ upcoming Wii U and Switch installment has captured fans’ hearts and set the “hype train” in motion!

For musicians and video game soundtrack enthusiasts like myself, one of the most exciting aspects of Breath of the Wild is its musical score. The Legend of Zelda series has always been a musical powerhouse, boasting some of the most iconic and memorable soundtracks in all of video game history. The soundtracks of Ocarina of Time and A Link to the Past, to name just a few, are renowned as some of the most effective, beautiful, and nostalgic video game soundtracks of all time. Ever since Ocarina of Time, music and musical instruments have played integral roles in the gameplay and stories themselves. Point is, the soundtrack is always an important element of each Zelda game, so many fans are eager to hear what Breath of the Wild has up its sleeve.

Composer and musician Chris Wonfor, also known as “ClefferNotes”, has taken to writing his own ideas of what Breath of the Wild‘s soundtrack could possibly have in store. ClefferNotes is a composer who creates digital orchestrations of many video game tunes, as well as his own original compositions. Inspired by the songs heard in the official Breath of the Wild trailers and gameplay videos, he has created many amazing compositions that would arguably fit right into the game. I’ve been a fan of Chris for quite some time, and these Breath of the Wild arrangements stand out to me as some of his best work. I’d like to share a few of them in this article.

Above: The song that started it all.

ClefferNotes’ first Breath of the Wild arrangement, “Beckoning Winds”, is based on the music from the E3 trailer. The E3 trailer theme caught many a listener’s attention due to it’s intriguing quality. In terms of instrumentation and musical style, it is quite different than most Zelda music – soft piano keys and unique reeds give it a distinct, Ghibli-esque feel. This change in musical feel compliments the seemingly different direction the gameplay itself is taking. ClefferNotes creates a beautiful interpretation of this new addition to Zelda‘s musical library.

Above: Just a day after the release of the second official Breath of the Wild trailer, ClefferNotes uploaded a fantastic version of the trailer’s background music. Now that’s impressive!

ClefferNotes does more than directly recreate the songs heard in the trailers – he crafts his own distinct renditions while still capturing that unique new sound that has got so many Zelda fans intrigued about Breath of the Wild.

Above: ClefferNotes has posted spot-on renditions of some other themes from trailers and gameplay videos (such as the enemy battle song heard here), while still adding his own unique flavour.

Also in ClefferNotes Breath of the Wild line-up are some new takes on classic locations. I’m sure many longtime Zelda fans are curious to know what, say, the Lost Woods or Death Mountain would sound like in Breath of the Wild. ClefferNotes provides his own ideas with his fan-made Lake Hylia theme, for example:

Despite having no in-game reference for Lake Hylia as of yet, ClefferNotes effectively captures the feel of Breath of the Wild‘s soundtrack: soft, serene, with an element of mystery. This song also hides an easter egg: when sped up, the melody resembles the Lake Hylia theme from Twilight Princess. This is a clever and very fitting idea, as many official Zelda games hide musical secrets such as the well-known “Ballad of the Goddess” easter egg.

Some of his tracks even incorporate well-known Zelda motifs re-imagined in ClefferNotes’ Breath of the Wild style, such as a his idea for the background music for a rainy day – a pensive, atmospheric rendition of the “Song of Storms”:

Above: A great idea that is executed very well, this musical detail seems right in line with something Nintendo might do in the official game.

My personal favourite of his Breath of the Wild songs has to be “Horseback Adventure”, based on the brief musical introduction heard at the beginning of the Switch announcement trailer. Notably, this track is seemingly the first official Breath of the Wild track that is based on a past Zelda song: the main theme of the original NES title. ClefferNotes’ rendition sounds so genuine and truly feels like it could be the official full version of the theme. Check it out:

ClefferNotes takes the unique piano riff from the Switch announcement and runs wild with it: it starts off similar to what we hear in the trailer, but soon blossoms into a large orchestration complete with beautiful strings and epic percussion. He also smoothly incorporates some other recurring Zelda melodies such as the original “Title Theme”. I particularly enjoy how the little piano bit stays throughout the entire piece, it’s a great choice that gives the song a real sense of energy and motion. It really sets the mood for a quest!

All in all, I think ClefferNotes does a fantastic job of capturing the “feeling” of this highly anticipated upcoming game. It’s not a perfect emulation of the musical style, but rather a unique interpretation that shows off ClefferNotes’ distinct style as well. I recommend checking out his full playlist here, it’s great to listen to as the excitement builds for Breath of the Wild‘s eventual release. Please do check out Chris on his YouTube page and his SoundCloud, if you like Nintendo music and orchestrations you definitely won’t regret it.

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That’s all for now. I’d like to make this a regular thing where I feature cool songs/albums or talented composers from the video game music community. This post is an example of what these showcases will look like. And perhaps when Breath of the Wild finally releases I’ll do a post or two about the actual soundtrack.

Thanks for reading and have a nice day!

“My Music” – Analysis of a SMASHING Soundtrack: Route 209

Track: Route 209
Remixed in: Brawl
Game of Origin: Pokemon Diamond & Pearl Versions
Arrangement Supervisor: Shogo Sakai
Prominent Instruments Used: Piano, Drum Kit, Electric Bass, Trumpet, Strings, Synths

This is an arrangement of the track that accompanies the player’s travels through Route 209 during the daytime in Pokemon Diamond, Pearl and Platinum. It’s probably my favourite arrangement from the Pokemon series in Smash.

Above: Route 209 of the Sinnoh Region

Right off the bat, the arrangement stays very true to the original song. Unlike the previous song I examined, the tempo was not altered to make it fit the speed of a high-energy brawl. This is likely because the song would sound unnatural at a faster pace: sometimes the musical appeal has to take priority over changing a song to make it “fit” a fighting game. Because of its relatively few compositional changes, Brawl‘s “Route 209” does not feel like a full out re-imagining or remix of the original tune – rather it is like a remaster with updated instrumentation. In my opinion, they did an excellent job with doing so: this arrangement of “Route 209” really brings the original tune to life.

Arrangement supervisor Shogo Sakai – known mainly for his work on Mother 3 – has been a veteran composer for the Super Smash Bros. series since Melee. He has worked on more arrangements than any other composer who has worked on the Smash series (source), and even collaborated with the legendary Nobuo Uematsu to create Brawl‘s epic Main Theme. His approach for this particular arrangement, despite it’s similarity to the source material, still manages to display his creativity and compositional skills. It maintains the original song’s uplifting feel and the lovely, soft piano melody, but if one listens with a close ear, there are in fact some neat differences that give this version its own unique flair.

The main difference is in the instrumentation. The original song leaned more toward an orchestral ensemble: for example, the original uses a concert harp and tubular bells, instruments which are not present in the Smash arrangement. The Smash remix, in contrast, leans more on the side of contemporary popular music. While not belonging to any specific genre in particular, it has elements from both rock and pop music. For example, this arrangement forgoes the harp for some soft, bubbly synths, which add quite a nice new flavour. Also, the brass section isn’t nearly as prominent in this version. Another notable departure from the orchestral style of the original lies in the percussion: the original tune had a march-like beat, which is very snare-heavy; with a strong pulsing bass drum, evenly interspersed cymbal crashes, and a steady “marching” rhythm. While there are hints of the marching percussion in the Smash arrangement, it mostly opts for a modern drum kit. It’s beat doesn’t hesitate to stray from the steady rhythm of the original, allowing for some really cool licks and rhythmic patterns in the drums (particularly the hi-hats and cymbals). This fits with the subtle but effective transition from the more rigid classical march-like orchestral feel to a more contemporary pop flavour.

I think this difference in style is exemplified most in the chorus. The original Route 209’s chorus was rather standard, or “vanilla” sounding – still a nice melody, of course, but doesn’t quite ramp up the energy from the rest of the song. It’s pleasant, but a bit understated, if you know what I mean. Brawl’s arrangement, however, adds such a delicious flavour, and really elevates the chorus to a whole new level. Listen to the piano accompaniment in particular: it adds a completely fresh pattern of chords that is very soulful (it almost reminds me of the piano accompaniment you might hear in a gospel or R&B song). It’s brief, but it changes the “vibe” so effectively, making it into something you could groove and dance to. The chorus stands out to me above everything else; it makes me smile every time!

To me, this arrangement shows that a major revamp is not always needed to make a great arrangement. While the Smash remixes that dramatically change the style or increase the speed/energy to feel more at home in a fighting game are always quite thrilling to hear, the more reserved arrangements such as “Route 209” are nonetheless welcomed additions to Smash‘s ever-expanding soundtrack. For a track that is nostalgic and emotionally significant to fans such as Route 209, perhaps all it needed was to be enhanced, rather than drastically altered.

Thanks for reading! If you enjoy this sort of post and would like more of this content, drop a comment and let’s chat!

pixelchips “Behind the Scenes”: Undertale Winter Medley (Holiday Song #4)

Hi! Merry Christmas Eve!

Today I uploaded an orchestral Undertale medley as the final tune for my holiday video game music EP. Have a listen to today’s tune here! Yesterday I uploaded a winter-themed teaser for my upcoming album, Kirby & the Amazing Mirror Arranged, which you can listen to here. I won’t be posting a “behind the scenes” for that one just yet, as I will be discussing it in detail later on when the album is finished.

Anyway, on to the Undertale Christmas Medley:
For the introduction, I used the very beginning of the main theme of Undertale, Once Upon a Time. It starts soft, just a double bass and piano, but then full string ensemble and a choir gradually emerge. The tubular bells really help give it a holiday feel.
The swelling of the orchestra leads into the soft and light theme of Snowy. I sped it up quite a bit, so that the tempo of the medley would remain consistent throughout. I aimed to create a light and carefree feeling with the instrumentation: a piano for the lead, quiet pizzicatto strings for the chords and accompaniment, and a piccolo and viola for harmonization.
Then comes the theme of Snowdin. I added more layers to the instrumentation: the double bass returns from the beginning, and a solo violin takes over for the melody. I included a playful xylophone and a twinkling celesta for a cheerful vibe. The tubular bells and sleighbells keep things feeling festive. The string ensemble returns for the section leading up to the next part of the medley…
…the Shop theme, a very lovely tune! The piano continues the tune of Snowdin over top as a sort of counter-melody, which I thought made for a very nice mash-up effect.
I tried to make the tune have an overarching build-up of instrumentation, starting with a simple piano/piccolo duet that leads into a full Christmas orchestra. I wanted all of the gradual build-up tune to amount to a climactic ending: the music stops, leaving only the echoing ring of a single tubular bell.

Hope you enjoy the tune! I’m quite proud of this one, personally. Hopefully it’s as fun to listen to as it was to create!

pixelchips “Behind the Scenes”: Frappe Snowland / Sherbet Land (Holiday Song #3)

Hey there!

Today I uploaded a wintry mashup of Mario Kart 64‘s Frappe Snowland and Mario Kart: Double Dash!!‘s Sherbet Land. Here it is!

I was originally working on an orchestral arrangement of Frappe Snowland, but it soon hit me that Sherbet Land might make for a good medley. After playing around with it for a bit, I realized that the melodies sound pretty good when played over top of one another. So, I used Sherbet Land as sort of a counter-melody.

The song starts with Frappe Snowland on its own: a melodic flute, string staccatos, double bass, the light twinkling of a celesta, and of course, sleighbells! Eventually, the main riff of Sherbet Land, played on the marimba, gradually enters the piece. Then, a solo violin joins the flute for the melody, and bassoon briefly joins the counter-melody.

For the “chorus”, the string ensemble plays Frappe Snowland’s melody while the flutes take over for Sherbet Land. I found that these melodies overlapped surprisingly well without clashing. Overall I’m pretty happy with the effect! I had trouble at first because the piece sounded very  messy – the hardest part was making sure the two songs don’t “clash” and sound cluttered.

Anyway, that’s all for today. Hope you’re enjoying the holiday season!