Game Music Arrangements

In addition to my original music, I’ve produced arrangements of music from video games. These have primarily been through a group called Materia Collective, a record label that specializes in producing game music arrangement albums. Below are a collection tracks that I’ve contributed on Materia Collective’s more recent releases.

This first set of arrangements comes from FATE: A Tribute to Majora’s Mask. The album covers music by Koji Kondo and Toru Minegishi for the game The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask.

The original “Snowhead Temple” track has a very loose and improvised sound, so a jazz ensemble seemed like a good fit. One of my favorite jazz albums is Miles Davis’s Bitches Brew, and it became the primary inspiration for this arrangement, hence the cover name “Snowhead Brew.” You can hear this most prominently in the opening and closing sections of the track. The track features two soloists from Materia Collective who really helped bring the piece together. Sean Schafiansky performs on Soprano Saxophone and Ken Crouch did some wonderful work on Trumpet.

The track “Final Hours,” aka “Last Day,” was a more straight forward orchestral arrangement for me. The original track is foreboding and eerie, so I wanted to create something that evoked that same experience from when I first played the game. One of my fellow Materians Lauren Liebowitz performs a solo on Flute for the opening of the track. While it’s a brief cameo, it provides an appropriately haunting introduction of the main melody.

Another album I worked on as part of Materia Collective was a double album SPIRA: Music of Final Fantasy X. The two albums were released as Zanarkand Mix and Besaid Mix and cover the music written by Nobuo Uematsu, Junya Nakano, and Masashi Hamauzu for the game Final Fantasy X.

 

“Movement Green” was an interesting track to rework, primarily because the original piece is itself an arrangement of the Zanarkand theme. If it’s not already obvious from the arrangement, I’m a big fan of the music of Joe Hisaishi, particularly his work with Studio Ghibli. I created this arrangement with a heavy dose of inspiration from his more minimalist work on scores like Spirited Away and Howl’s Moving Castle.

 

“Besaid” is one of my favorite tracks from the Final Fantasy X OST. Both the original and remastered versions of the piece have a wonderful ambient vibe. For this track, I went slightly out of my comfort zone and made an arrangement that primarily uses synthesizers and electronic drum beats. Creating an electronic ambient track of “Besaid” was a fun challenge and I’m quite pleased with how this arrangement came out.

The next two arrangements are from Zodiac: Final Fantasy Tactics Remixed. The album covers music by Hitoshi Sakimoto and Masaharu Iwata from the soundtrack to the original Final Fantasy Tactics game.

 

“Antipyretic” is one of the many battle themes from Final Fantasy Tactics. The contrasting sections in Hitoshi Sakimoto’s original piece made it a perfect candidate for a piano arrangement in my mind. Much of this arrangement’s inspiration came from the official Final Fantasy Piano Collections albums and the later Piano Opera albums. It was a fun challenge to create my take on a battle piece from the Final Fantasy Tactics soundtrack.

 

“Requiem” is one of the more tranquil tracks of the Final Fantasy Tactics soundtrack. I wanted to create something incredibly relaxing and ambient, while still maintaining the somber tone of the original piece. I ended up creating an arrangement that combines electronic and acoustic elements for a hybrid soundscape.

LAUNCH: StarCraft Reimagined is album dedicated to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the original StarCraft game. The album was split into three EPs, with each EP representing one of the StarCraft races.

This piano cover for the Nylon Pylon EP ended up being an interesting challenge, since the instrument requires some creative solutions for imitating the long held chords and low drones of the original track. A big inspiration for my approach came from Mussorgsky’s “Pictures at an Exhibition” for solo piano. Particularly the “Old Castle” and “Great Gates” movements, which respectively feature quiet and atmospheric passages and large bombastic chordal passages. It was a fun arrangement to work on for the Nylon Pylon EP and i really enjoyed the creative challenge.

In July of 2017, Materia Collective released TESSERACT: An Acoustic FEZ Album. As the name suggests, the album covers the music of the hit indie game FEZ, written by Rich “Disasterpeace” Vreeland.

 

“Progress” is one of my favorite tracks from FEZ and I thought it would be fun to recreate the minimalist piece with a variety of solo acoustic instruments. While most of the instruments play repeating patterns, the featured soloists are given the more melodic phrases. Special thanks to John Robert Matz (trumpet) and Yishan Mai (flute) for providing their talents for the track.

I’ll be adding more arrangement tracks to this page as they are released. You can also look up my contributions to the Materia Collective albums on my Materia artist page.

 

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