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Arrangement of the Week: A Hint of Blue

July 31, 2015 | | 2 Comments Share thison Facebook Arrangement of the Week: A Hint of Blueon Twitter

There are some game music tracks that get much more attention than others from the game music arrangement/remix community. This seems to be particularly true of David Wise’s “Aquatic Ambience” from Donkey Kong Country. It’s not hard to see why it’s such a popular pick for reinterpretations. The original piece is, true to its title, ambient but also has a great melody that works beautifully over the textures and sustained music elements. So today I will be talking about one of my favorite arrangements of this piece.

Today’s Arrangement of the Week comes from artists Martin “Mordi” Lande, with Michael Gibs assisting on electric guitar. Their arrangement of “Aquatic Ambience” is titled “A Hint of Blue.”

The piece starts off quietly with a set of mellow synth pads, a panning synth arpeggio, and a few notes from a piano. Then at around 0’52” the piece builds up a little to the main melody on a gentle synth lead, with some light percussion added in. The mix continues to build a little at a time. Some vocals come in, the drums get a little heavier, and more synth textures add to the ambient chord progression. Despite the continuing inclusion of these new elements, the arrangement never loses its calming tone.

At around 2’34” the piece relaxes back down to the lighter synth pad elements. The more complex mix comes back though with Michael Gibs’s lead guitar taking the melody at 3’03.” The lead synth sounds actually trade off with the guitar every once and a while. Even when the guitar is taking spotlight, the mix still maintains this light and relaxing feeling. The combination of all these elements creates an enjoyable and interesting listening experience.

I think my favorite part of this arrangement is the way it winds down. At around the 5’00” mark the piece removes the percussion and guitar, allowing the focus to shift to the piano and strings. There are also some great touches like an echoing bell pad that further adds to the piece’s ambient tone. Definitely one of my favorite interpretations of “Aquatic Ambience.”

Do you have any favorite remixes, arrangements, or covers of “Aquatic Ambience”? Let us know in the comment section. You can listen to and download “A Hint of Blue” on OC ReMix.

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