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 publishing game music arrangement albums and original game soundtracks. Below are a collection tracks that I’ve contributed on Materia Collective’s more recent releases.

The first arrangement comes form EPOCH: A Tribute to Chrono Trigger. The album covers music written by Yasunori Mitsuda, Noriko Matsueda, and Nobuo Uematsu for the game Chrono Trigger.

The original “Schala’s Theme” is one of my favorite tracks from the Chrono Trigger soundtrack. I wanted to create an arrangement that kept the spirit of the source material, while still feeling like a modern adaptation. Special thanks to Andrew Dunn, who provided a wonderful performance on cello that really enhanced this arrangement.

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 arrangement is from the album EXILE: A Tribute to Supergiant Games. The album covers the music of Darren Korb for the games Transistor, Bastion, and Pyre.

The track “Sky Dance” was a fun opportunity to write an energetic prog rock arrangement of the music from Pyre. The sound of the arrangement is heavily influenced by the work of Emerson, Lake, and Palmer. The opening is a nod their song Tarkus. In addition to my own keyboard and organ playing, the track includes performances by Pete Bobinski on electric guitar and Ian Martyn on electric bass.

One of the more recent albums I worked on was Omega: A Tribute to Xenogears. Covering the music of Xenogears by Yasunori Mitsuda, this was one of the rare times that a Materia Collective album received a physical release.

“October Mermaid” is one of my favorite pieces from the Xenogears soundtrack. I wanted to keep my interpretation true to the original track’s tranquil tone. This arrangement takes a lot of influence from the minimalist orchestral work of Joe Hisaishi, particularly his score from Spirited Away. Sean Schafianski did some wonderful solo work on the soprano saxophone for the track. October Mermaid was a great piece to work on and I hope people enjoy the arrangement.

This next 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.

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.

In January of 2019, Materia Collective release MENU: An Homage to Game Title Themes. The album consisted of a selection of main menu and select theme arrangements from a wide variety of games.

My arrangement for the MENU album was “Space Cruise,” the title theme to FTL: Faster Than Light by composer Ben Prunty. I wanted to do something quite different from the source material, so I set out to make an acoustic jazz cover of the main menu theme. Special thanks to Stemage, who contributed a wonderful performance on the lead guitar to make this arrangement really shine.

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