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By Jonathan Balofsky On 17 Nov, 2017 At 10:30 AM | Categorized As News, NINTENDO, Otaku Music, ROG News | With 0 Comments

No GravatarThe Materia Collective sent out the following

Materia Collective is thrilled to release Octorock: The Zelda Metal EP, a rocking tribute to The Legend of Zelda. Featuring arrangements from Ocarina of Time, Majora’s Mask, Wind Waker, and Skyward Sword by arranger and guitarist Joel Kent, Octorock revisits some of the greatest moments from across the series, injecting guitar riffs and shredding throughout. Octorock: The Zelda Metal EP is fully licensed and available now on iTunes, Spotify and Bandcamp

 

 

The track list for Octorock: The Zelda Metal EP is as follows:

01. The Lost Woods (Ocarina of Time)
02. Dragon Roost Island (Wind Waker)
03. Stone Tower (Majora’s Mask)
04. Ballad of the Sky Goddess (Skyward Sword)

“I’ve been a huge Zelda nerd for as long as I’ve been able to hold a controller,” reflects arranger Joel Kent, “And I still remember my first experience with the series: watching the full moon rise over Hyrule Field during the opening cinematic of Ocarina of Time. When I start up the game and hear those opening chords it still gives me chills and probably always will. Journeying through the various titles in the series to Koji Kondo’s melodies had as much an impression on me growing up as listening to my Dad’s classic rock albums.”

Learn more about Octorock: The Zelda Metal EP:
https://www.materiacollective.com/music/octorock-the-zelda-metal-ep
About Joel Kent
Joel grew up in Northern England and spent his teens studying classical guitar and playing in rock/metal bands. He relocated to Liverpool at age 19 to study and pursue being a full-time musician. Whilst studying classical music at Liverpool University and playing gigs on the weekend, Joel produced a variety of original music and remixes across all sorts genres. In 2016, Joel relocated to Boston to study at Berklee College of Music.

Follow Joel Kent on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube
About Materia Collective
Materia Collective is a Seattle-based videogame music publisher and label, representing an international array of renowned video game musicians, composers, and songwriters. The collective supports its members with the financial, legal, logistical, and creative aspects of bringing videogame music into the forefront. The company has become known within the industry as a representation of highly innovative game music endeavors that move and inspire.

Learn more: https://www.materiacollective.com
Follow Materia Collective on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and SoundCloud

This is amazing. The Zelda series has always had spectacular music, so this Metal EP is truly welcome.

Will you be checking it out?

 

Source: Materia Collective PR

By Jonathan Balofsky On 10 Nov, 2017 At 09:43 AM | Categorized As News, NINTENDO, Otaku Music, ROG News | With 0 Comments

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The Materia Collective sent out the following

 

Materia Collective is thrilled to unveil the latest installment in their Piano Collections album series dedicated to the original Pokémon titles that started it all. Arranger and performer Trevor Alan Gomes returns to bring to life 38 tracks from Pokémon Red/Blue/Green/Yellow, and in the spirit of those classic Game Boy variants, is releasing Piano Collections Pokémon in four different album cover variants, each featuring a unique interpretation of fan-favorite Pokémon charmander, squirtle, bulbasaur, and pikachu. Piano Collections Pokémon is licensed and available today.

 

“There are piano albums like this for many games, but the vision that drove this one was unique: it’s comprehensive and narrative-driven, spanning the entire soundtrack of the game in chronological order to tell the entire story that millions have loved since 1996,” notes Trevor Alan Gomes. “Together with an amazing team, I’ve had the joy of taking the simple, charming 8-bit music of Pokémon Red and
Blue and turning it into lush, expansive piano arrangements.”

With 38 tracks covering almost all of the music from the game and spanning over 100 minutes of classic Pokémon music that is beautiful and lively, fans will relive all of their favorite moments from the original Pokémon games.
About Trevor Alan Gomes
Trevor Alan Gomes is an Los Angeles-based composer, pianist and performer. He has worked extensively as a pianist for The Walt Disney Company and has assisted with score preparation of such feature films as Finding Dory, Skyfall, and Passengers. He regularly performs a live show on Twitch based on improvisation, song writing and sight reading music under the alias 88bitmusic. He holds a Master’s Degree in Music Composition from University of Cincinnati.

Follow Trevor Alan Gomes on Twitter, YouTube, SoundCloud and Twitch
About Materia Collective
Materia Collective is a Seattle-based videogame music publisher and label, representing an international array of renowned video game musicians, composers, and songwriters. The collective supports its members with the financial, legal, logistical, and creative aspects of bringing videogame music into the forefront. The company has become known within the industry as a representation of highly innovative game music endeavors that move and inspire.

Learn more: https://www.materiacollective.com
Follow Materia Collective on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and SoundCloud

This is excellent news. Pokémon music done via piano is a real treat and thus this is a must have for fans of the games!

 

Source: Materia Collective PR

By Jonathan Balofsky On 6 Nov, 2017 At 09:43 AM | Categorized As Otaku Music, ROG News | With 0 Comments

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The following was sent out

 

Brave Wave Productions is proud to announce a new partnership with SEGA that will see the releases of the iconic SONIC ADVENTURE and SONIC ADVENTURE 2 soundtracks on vinyl for the first time this winter. Both double-LP collections will feature music hand-picked by Sonic series composer Jun Senoue, be completely remastered for vinyl, come in special edition first-print color variants, and include an extensive booklet filled with artwork and interviews with Senoue and Sonic Team head Takashi Iizuka. Both SONIC ADVENTURE OFFICIAL SOUNDTRACK – VINYL EDITION and SONIC ADVENTURE 2 OFFICIAL SOUNDTRACK – VINYL EDITION will be available this winter via Brave Wave Productions, with pre-orders to be announced soon.

SONIC ADVENTURE was originally released in November 1998 as a launch title for the SEGA Dreamcast. It revolutionized the Sonic franchise and included the main theme, “Open Your Heart,” composed by Senoue and Fumie Kumatani and sung by Crush 40. SONIC ADVENTURE 2 followed in June 2001, introducing Shadow the Hedgehog as Sonic’s rival and featuring the classic song, “Escape From The City… for City Escape,” composed by Senoue with vocals sung by Ted Poley.

Learn more about SONIC ADVENTURE & SONIC ADVENTURE 2 OFFICIAL SOUNDTRACK – VINYL EDITION on the official website:  http://www.bravewave.net/sonicadventure

 

This is awesome news. The music from the Sonic Adventure games was absolutely amazing, and to have them remastered on vinyl is a real treat for video game fans and music fans alike.

 

Source: PR Email

By Jonathan Balofsky On 3 Nov, 2017 At 11:26 AM | Categorized As Editorials, Featured, Opinion, Otaku Music, ROG News | With 0 Comments

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Halloween has just passed, and among other things made for the holiday was Wayne Brady recording a 30’s style jazz cover of Michael Jackson’s Thriller.

 

 

I had been listening to Jackson’s music and re-watching his music videos for a while now and watching this cover made me appreciate Jackson even more. It also made me realize just how there will never be someone to equal Jackson ever.

Michael Jackson wasn’t satisfied with just doing the same as others and did everything better. His music videos were unlike anything before or since. His video for “Thriller” was less a music video than a short musical film and it pushed peoples’ expectations for what could be done with music videos. His collaboration with John Landis helped elevate music videos to true art rather than just an accompanying video for a song.  The dance scene is often imitated still to this day, and has shown up in everything from South Park to the Japan exclusive Splatterhouse nes/famicom game. It is a  shame most people today like to only reference it as a meme, as it is a video that other musicians can only aspire to come close to.

Jackson’s dancing was on another level as well. His moves in “Smooth Criminal” and “Bad” ( another music video that pushed expectations), were the stuff of legends. Whereas musicians are a form of artists, Jackson was one of the few musicians to be a an artist capable of multiple forms. His music was excellent and engaging, his dancing unmatched and his input into music videos helped change what was expected. He invented new styles of dance and music and constantly reinvented himself., and like any true artist he was never satisfied.

 

 

A lot of people view his music as inoffensive, and he was called the King of Pop, but the truth is that there was a message in his work. He often touched on racial issues even if many ( mostly white people) didn’t realize it. “Black and White” was the most blatant with this but “Bad”, also touched on this, though most people don’t seem to have seen the full video, but rather the shortened one. The full version touched on more serious issues as well as issues that were considered to be uncomfortable by some because of the racial message. In truth Jackson was talking about society in all its ways and it was a message that needed to be heard.

 

Jackson had to deal with repercussions of fame as we all know, and he even turned some of the problems into his music. Billie Jean was a legendary song and only Michael could have done it the way it was done.

 

Whatever stories there were about him are not relevant to this discussion. I am speaking of Jackson as an artist and one who brought everything he did to new heights. Thet ruth is that Jackson was a global superstar on a level that had simply never been seen before. His talent was unequalled and though many have tried to bill themselves as his successor, none will ever succeed. Jackson was a once in a lifetime phenomenon, a living legend. You cannot recapture that talent ever, and it is a shame that young people will never know such a global star in their lifetime. That being said, Jackson’s music is still here for people to listen to, and his videos and recorded concerts can still be watched and viewed in awe of his talent. If you will excuse me now, I need to listen to some more of the King.

By Jonathan Balofsky On 2 Nov, 2017 At 09:05 AM | Categorized As Otaku Music, ROG News | With 0 Comments

No GravatarThe following was sent out

 

Brave Wave Productions is pleased to present ART OF FIGHTING The Definitive Soundtrack in limited edition CD and vinyl formats. The release is the latest entry in Brave Wave’s industry-recognized Generation Series, which has seen the releases of the soundtracks to Street Fighter II, Shovel Knight, and the Ninja Gaiden series. ART OF FIGHTING The Definitive Soundtrack marks the beginning of a new partnership with SNK to restore and release classic soundtracks from the SNK NEOGEO catalog, which will include the ART OF FIGHTING 2 and THE PATH OF THE WARRIOR: ART OF FIGHTING 3 soundtracks among others. As always, the collection will include artwork pulled from SNKs digital archives as well as feature interviews with the sound creators. ART OF FIGHTING The Definitive Soundtrack can be pre-ordered now with expected shipments to begin in December 2017:

In addition to ART OF FIGHTING The Definitive Soundtrack, Brave Wave is also thrilled to make available the follow up to their SHOVEL KNIGHT The Definitive Soundtrack release with SHOVEL KNIGHT – PLAGUE OF SHADOWS The Definitive Soundtrack featuring music by Jake “virt” Kaufman as well as the compilation soundtrack to the action-adventure stealth game, RÉPUBLIQUE, with RÉPUBLIQUE ANNIVERSARY EDITION featuring music by Zinc LeMone.
This is great for Neo Geo fans, and fans of all kinds. The Art of Fighting games had some truly amazing music and this album will be a great way to highlight the underappreciated sounds from the games. Will you be checking this out?

Source: PR Email

By Jonathan Balofsky On 27 Oct, 2017 At 10:36 AM | Categorized As Books, Featured, Otaku Music, Reviews, ROG News | With 0 Comments

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Chris Jericho is well known for his time in WWE and his band Fozzy. He has chronicled his life and experiences over three previous books and now has turned his attention to making his new book about life lessons mixed with autobiographical details. With his trademark wit, Jericho takes us through the journey of an entertainer and a person and lets us in on his lessons learned.

The book is not arranged in traditional chapters like his Jericho’s previous books, but instead each chapter is a different lesson and covers a different part of Jericho’s life and experience. He details in full abut meeting Paul Stanley and getting invited to exclusive Grammy parties, auditioning for America’s Funniest Home Videos and having drinks with Hulk Hogan and Kevin Nash while on a flight. Each of these involves a different life lesson and Jericho plays the part of the teacher well.

I have to say that I truly enjoy Jericho’s writing, and the format chosen for this new book is a great idea. It allows Jericho to tell numerous stories and details and what to take away from them, and also leave people wanting more, thus setting up his next book if he should write one. While some parts are a bit much to read ( Jericho going on in detail about his drinking habits) there is much to like in the book and just get lost in his writing. Whether you are a WWE fan or a music fan, or just a fan of good writing, there is something for everyone. Jericho gives more detail about his early years in wrestling in Calgary and what he learned from other wrestlers for example. He also discusses how one should sell themselves when trying to get a job or make a pitch. When emphasizing not to take no for an answer, Jericho goes into detail about what you can accomplish if you stick to that idea. And music fans will appreciate his discussions of the industry, his interactions with stars like the late Lemmy Kilmister as well as what it took to get Fozzy ahead.

There is also plenty of humor included, whether it be jokes about things that had occurred, or just the interactions themselves. Jericho definitely knows how to tell a story and this is a good one. it may bill itself as a guide, but it is a guide based on experience and that experience is what we all need to know more of.

 

No Is A Four-Letter Word is available in stores now.

By Jonathan Balofsky On 24 Oct, 2017 At 12:47 AM | Categorized As Otaku Music, ROG News | With 0 Comments

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Materia Collective is pleased to present Resurrection of the Night, an ambitious 13-track re-imagining of the classic Castlevania: Symphony of the Night soundtrack for orchestra just in time for Halloween. Featuring Michiru Yamane’s beloved compositions transformed into orchestral masterpieces by arrangers Wayne Strange (Video Games Live, Zelda Reorchestrated) and Tim Stoney (Zelda Reorchestrated), Resurrection of the Night is fully licensed and available for pre-order as of today:

Resurrection of the Night features fan-favorite selections from the soundtrack including “Dracula’s Castle,” “Marble Gallery,” “I am the Wind,” and more. The full track list is as follows:

01. The Illusionary Dance (feat. Michaela Nachtigall)
02. Nocturne in the Moonlight
03. Dracula’s Castle
04. Dance of Gold (feat. Laura Intravia, Kristin Naigus)
05. Festival of Servants (feat. Ro Panuganti)
06. Marble Gallery
07. Wood Carving Partitia
08. Requiem for the Gods (feat. Chad Schwartz)
09. Dance of Pales
10. The Tragic Prince (feat. Ro Panuganti)
11. Blood Relations (feat. Ro Panuganti)
12. I am the Wind (feat. Katelyn Isaacson, Wayne Strange)
13. Enchanted Bwakquet

A follow-up album titled Resurrection of the Night: Alucard’s Elegy will also be coming to Kickstarter next week to fund all-new live orchestra and choir recordings for release on CD and vinyl. Alucard’s Elegy will offer a second inverted castle for listeners to explore.

“The music from Richter’s castle will be laid before you with Resurrection of the Night,” notes arranger and producer Wayne Strange. “We intend to delve deeper into the anguish that Alucard must endure with Alucard’s Elegy. Because we would be moving into more story-driven material we would like to make this experience a truly authentic one. That means hiring a professional choir, and, if our dreams are fully realized, a symphony orchestra. But enough talk, have at you!”

This is awesome news, as Castlevania: Symphony of the Night had some of the best music of any game. This is one to keep an eye on.

 

Source: PR Email

No GravatarI recently got the chance to speak with composer Anthony Willis about his work in cinema as well as discuss his work on the Knack 2 soundtrack. Please take a look below.

…………….

 

JB: How did you first get into composing? Was there any specific thing that inspired you?

AW: I actually grew up singing music as a chorister of St. George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle in England, which was a very inspiring time in my life. Windsor Castle is a popular residence for the British Royal Family, and so I was constantly surrounded by some of the world’s greatest choral music.

That experience at Windsor taught me to understand how music in built, and definitely instilled the desire to write my own music! That early training has been of immense value to my life as a composer.

 

JB:  Who are some of your influences as a composer?

AW: There are probably many more than I even realise..I suppose that potentially anything and everything that’s I’ve loved hearing has rubbed off in me in some way..and I have a pretty broad taste for what I like! Alongside my classical background, I’ve always been wowed by artists like Bjork, Sigur Ross, Radiohead, and then of course there’s Eminem.. In terms of film music, I grew up loving the scores of my childhood, Hans Zimmer’s The Lion King and Gladiator. James Horner’s American TaleBraveheart and Titanic. Patrick Doyle’s Henry V & Basil Poledouris’s Free Willy,  Harry Gregson Williams & John Powells Shrek- It seems obvious, but the biggest influencer of a given score is the story for which it’s created. No matter our desires as a composers, we must search to find the best way to bring that to life.

 

JB:  You have composed music for a wide variety of movies, including Despicable Me 2, Rio 2, How to Train Your Dragon 2, as well as The Martian, The Birth of a Nation, and Jason Bourne just to name a few. These are very different films requiring a very different style, so how do you find that different sound needed for each film? Where do you begin the process of composing?

AW: I think most composers really enjoy the variety that each project brings. It’s a chance to turn our hand to something that calls for different musical colours and devices, and the best composers are able to bind these together for each project with a consistent dramatic and musical instinct.

In the case of some of the films you’ve mentioned, because they are sequels, a lot of my involvement has been supporting the lead composer in creating variations and additional material, helping them to produce each cue in the score to the best standard possible. While the overall tone has been established, most sequels will introduce an exciting new element and or characters to the story. And so the challenge is to bring something fresh to the score to support those new elements musically, while making sure that it it feels part of the whole.

Finding the right tone for a new project is always a challenge, and that moment in the film’s creation is a very definitive one. In my experience the director has always had a critical role in that process, helping to steer the score towards it’s target. As a starting point, I’ve always been taught that a great tune, and an interesting set of chords to go with it, is the most impactful way to reach your audience.

 

JB:  What are some of your favourite films to compose for?

AW: I’ve really loved the experiences I’ve had in animation and adventure films. They allow you to really wear your heart on your sleeve in supporting the emotions of the film. The sky is very much the limit. I also love period dramas. They often have such important and timeless messages, and an intriguing sense of location. From a musical point of view, they have a wonderful way of focusing you stylistically, and the results can be very pure and honest.

 

JB:  What is a movie series you would love to work on?

AW: I absolutely love fantasy, adventure and magic, and so I’d love to compose on something like the Chronicles of Narnia. Those stories were so inspiring to me when I was growing up, and as a composer, the musical and dramatic opportunities are as good as they come.

I would also love to score more contemporary dramas. These can offer the opportunity to be quite musically minimal, but incredibly focused emotionally. I saw Taylor Sheridan’s Wind River at Sundance last year and was blown away by his command of that genre.

 

JB:  Moving to your work on Knack 2, I have to ask what interested you in this project?

AW: I was definitely looking for an opportunity to compose on a video game! Knack presented such a great wealth of musical possibilities that it seemed like the perfect project to enter the gaming world. There are adventures, heroics, great locations and environments, mystery.. the kitchen sink!

The developers were looking for a new sound for this second installment, something more akin to an animated movie experience, and so I was delighted to come on board.

 

JB:  How have you found working on composing for video games to be? Its obviously very different from movies, but what has stood out to you the most?

AW; In the case of Knack 2 specifically, the needs of the ‘in game’ music itself, were quite different to a typical film score. The music’s function is largely designed to energize the player, while adapting to their environment as they progress through the levels. The music is therefore very modular in design, there’s no definitive arrangement or sequence in which the music will unfold, and not really an opportunity for extended melodies. However, I really enjoyed this more minimal and percussive approach, which I think brought a more contemporary flare to the score.

That said, in many ways writing the music to Knack 2 was very similar to an animated movie, especially in the creation of themes and scoring of cinematic sequences.

Overall, you want to approach every varying project with your best work, which hopefully will resonate with an audience. In most games, there are upwards of 10 hours of game play experience, and so that offers an even greater opportunity for the audience, in this case player, to interact with the score. There’s a huge support for Video Game music by the gaming community, and perhaps even more pressure to live up to their expectations!

 

JB:  What goes into your process specifically for how you approached the video game music? Any specific influences that you wanted to pay tribute to?

AW: The music team and I started by trying to find some strong musical themes to support Knack and his world. I tend to write themes at the piano, in my head on a walk, or even at the sequencer itself, it depends very much on the situation. It’s so helpful to have these themes established as I approach the cinematic and game play cues. I’ll then try to find the best possible structure and appropriate arrangement for each moment in the game. It’s hard to pin down specific influences as it all gets put in the washing machine, but I grew up loving the music for Zelda, the use of themes, and the way the music supports the mystery and problem solving throughout the game. The Knack 2 score also has a definite nod in places to the classic adventure feel of John Barry.

 

JB:  What are some other video games you would like to work on in terms of composing?

AW: There is such a wealth of video games being developed at the moment we live in an amazing time of innovation. Being able to wake up every day and have a game to work on is a real privilege. I would love to lend my hand to a VR experience, with a lot of space to draw the player in and immerse them emotionally. I would love to work on something like Ori and the Blind Forest. The developers did such an amazing job, together with their composer Gareth Coker, at bringing that world to life. So it might have to be Ori’s distant cousin for me!

 

JB:  Did you enjoy the experience of working on Knack 2?

AW: Absolutely! Like any project it had it’s challenges, but I’m so proud to be attached to the game, and to have been able to make a musical contribution to support Knack. I’d like to make special mention of my producers at Sony Playstation, Peter Scaturro and Keith Leary, who brought me on to the project, expertly guided me through the process, and supported my vision for the score. The whole music team at Playstation and JStudio were wonderful collaborators.

 

JB:  Is there anything you would like to say to the readers of Real Otaku Gamer?

AW: Well first of all, thank you for reading and for taking an interest in the Knack 2 score!

If you’d like to hear the score, the full album is available on the PlayStation Network- and will soon be available on itunes!

 

There are some preview tracks available here

 

JB: Thank you again

 

 

By Jonathan Balofsky On 26 Sep, 2017 At 09:47 AM | Categorized As News, NINTENDO, Otaku Music, ROG News | With 0 Comments

No GravatarThe Materia Collective sent out the following

 

 

Materia Collective is thrilled to release The Dark Hunter, a progressive rock tribute album by arranger and guitarist Ro Panuganti dedicated to Nintendo’s beloved Metroid franchise. Featuring tracks from fan-favorites Super Metroid and Metroid Prime, The Dark Hunter hits all the high points with its epic renditions of the mysterious lair of Kraid, the dense jungles of Brinstar, the driving battle theme with Ridley, and of course the Metroid Prime main theme. The Dark Hunter (Music from Nintendo’s Metroid Series) is officially licensed and available:

“The gripping atmosphere, exciting turns and twists, and of course the soundtrack from Super Metroid gave me chills,” reflects Panuganti. “Creating The Dark Hunter was fulfilling my long-running dream of focusing on one theme, one sound, and one game series and making a solid album. You’ll definitely hear influences of modern progressive artists like Periphery, TesseracT, Plini, as well as more ’90s musicians like Pantera and Alice in Chains sneaking into the tunes; interestingly I mostly listened to pop and musicals while recording it! I hope everyone who listens to The Dark Hunter feels inspired to pick up a 7-string guitar or at least Super Metroid, Metroid Prime, or the new Metroid: Samus Returns game!”
This is really cool news, and this author feels that fans of the Metroid series will enjoy this. Will you be checking this out?
Source: PR Email
By Jonathan Balofsky On 18 Aug, 2017 At 04:27 PM | Categorized As Otaku Music, ROG News | With 0 Comments

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The Materia Collection sent out the following

 

Materia Collective is thrilled to present SPIRA: Music from Final Fantasy X, a massive 100-track tribute to the beloved PlayStation 2 RPG soundtrack by Nobuo Uematsu, Masashi Hamauzu, and Junya Nakano. Spread across two 50-track volumes titled Besaid Mix and Zanarkand Mix, SPIRA  will cover a variety of styles such as orchestral, electronic, and rock along with Bollywood, disco, gypsy punk, folk and irreverent chocobo choir. The large cast of musical talent includes Horizon Zero Dawn vocalist Julie Elven, composer Dale North, Pokémon Reorchestrated arranger Braxton Burks, the Triforce Quartet, and many others. SPIRA: Music from Final Fantasy X is fully licensed and available today:

“The Final Fantasy X soundtrack already contains a lot of variations on a few common themes,” note project organizers Joe Chen and Emily McMillan. “We wanted to create a listening experience where it didn’t feel like you’re listening to ‘Hymn of the Fayths’ 20 times in a row, so all of our artists aimed to do something new on their track. For example, some artists arranged in an unfamiliar style, while others incorporated unique instrumentation. As a result, both SPIRA albums re-frame the classic themes from Final Fantasy X with a fresh perspective.”
SPIRA follows other well-received arrangement projects from Materia Collective including MATERIA: Final Fantasy VII Remixed and SUCCESSOR: Final Fantasy VIII Remixed. Given the size of this collection, fans can count on all of their favorite tracks being included, such as the highly emotional “Zanarkand,” the beautiful vocal ballad, “Suteki da ne,” and everyone’s favorite metal track, “Otherworld.”
Learn more on the official Materia Collective website:
This is really cool news. The music of the game is absolutely awesome, and the Materia Collection puts out high quality work. This will no doubt be another great project.
Source: PR Email.