Interview with Rexy
Name: Bev Wooff
Songs: Balthasar's Opus, Peak of Incantation
1. When did you first play Chrono Trigger?
Prior to last Thanksgiving I've never played Chrono Trigger. Most of these reasons relate to no exposure in my country (UK) and that I wasn't much of a serious SNES gamer when I was a kid. But during my earlier days of floating around VGMix v2, the amount of Chrono-related mixes eventually lead me to check out the soundtrack, followed by finding out as much information on the storyline as possible. So I can say I pretty much know most of what has happened in the game without even executing a single fight command. ^_^* Coincidentally, two weeks ago I finally sat down and played this game almost constantly, at least being able to get the main ending. Without spoiling I managed to find it an incredible RPG experience, and another reason on why I heavily request a one-way ticket to America (!).
2. How long have you been remixing, and what tools do you use?
I've been making music on a regular basis since I did my first remix in the Summer of 2004 (Final Fantasy 7 "Chinatown's Future"), but I've actually been experimenting with studio software for six years prior to then. I've gone through a wide range of software to look through including Cakewalk, FruityLoops and Reason to name but a few. These days, I mainly use Cubase SX for my musical affairs, at least up until my university course is finished.
3. When did you get into orchestral?
I can't remember when I became fascinated with the genre, but I'm guessing it's through studies of classical/film music when aged between 16-18. As much as I would love to continue working in this genre, the sounds I've been restricted to are lacking in comparison to most other remixes of this type, and thus hasn't been much of my way of sound in recent times. Aside from one of my tracks for CS and some of the stuff for my original "Ecaros Sound Collections" set, the only orchestral mix I've done is Sonic 2 "Robotnik's Immortal Presence" (hosted at VGMix), and seeing it get rejected from the OCR judges twice shows why I don't experiment in the genre too often.
4. How'd you sign on as a bonus contributor?
It began with a brief role near the start of September, where Compyfox needed the finished mastering files from some unresponsive people. I got in touch with them, and he soon got to work on the songs he was given. In due time I was a little concerned on some of the people who wouldn't chip in in time; I contact Claado Shou about it but he thought that the main tracks will still be fine as they are. Nonetheless, the doors soon opened up to develop some bonus selections for not too long after the project is released, and so he wanted me to do two tracks for it.
5. Anything we should know about the song?
Balthasar's Opus - For disclosed reasons, Compyfox mainly wanted me to cover the Epoch music for a bonus track. What he was looking for was something that sounded more like some Final Fantasy airship music rather than the J-Pop sound of the original. So what you get as a result is a pretty safe approach to the source material as well as enough background expansions to make it feel more like a flight song. I even slipped in a middle proportion of the track that sounded a little bit similar to Hemophiliac's variation on the theme, which was originally going to take up that spot on the main score but couldn't be finished in time.
Peak of Incantation - When Roland first brought up the opportunity, my first thoughts were to cover Singing Mountain; as much as we all know about the mysteries of its use (or lack of) in the game, the melody sounded so simple for me to approach and transform into a dramatic styling. What's expected here is a piano arrangement, complete with enough familiarities to the source and a few theme expansions down the line. I think that's all that's needed to be said for this track...
6. How long did it take to make; was it on short notice?
It took me a matter of days to get the composition on them both finished, although I didn't work on both at the same time (obviously). I had the impression that because the due date for CS could be any week now it could have been on short notice, but then again Roland didn't pressurise me much when getting everything down.
7. What was the hardest part in creating the song?
Balthasar's Opus - For me it was wondering what kind of ideas to slip in and where. Back in the case of Robotnik's Immortal Presence most of my orchestration took a more liberal approach, so for going for something as more nostalgic for many as Chrono Trigger it seemed a little harder to add in whichever else down the line. Another thing that was tough was pushing myself far enough without falling asleep in front of the computer, but that's (kind of) another story...
Peak of Incantation - The mastering was actually pretty tricky. Apparantly, Compyfox wasn't too hot with the piano samples that I've used in the past, and given that I have minimal access to applications of any soundfont files (I've used VSTs up to now) it was hard for me to apply the general sound into the finalised product. I'm glad Roland even chipped in by using lots of pianos (and a bonus harpsichord!) to master the whole thing and leaving me to find a finalised result.
8. Plan to work in another project?
I'm actually involved in a few other projects right now, including but not limited to "Project Chaos" (Sonic 3 & Knuckles), "Summoning of Spirits" (Tales of Phantasia/Symphonia) and "Threshold of a Dream" (Zelda: Link's Awakening). I'm also running my own project, being a Dragon Warrior based project entitled "Children of Erdrick". So yeah, I can say I'm a project junkie, lol.
9. How's it feel being part of a Chrono OCR site project now that it's complete?
This is actually the first time I've written music for a project, although not officially. So I can say I'm really excited over much of this. I'm even more hyped for the fact that I've seen this project go on for over a year, and with the potential I've seen through some of the released tracks at VGMix I can easily say I'm feeling excited over seeing the finished result. Claado has really been pushing well, and for that I respect what he has done in making sure the project has been a success throughout its duration.
10. Anything you'd like to say to Chrono fans?
Robo's "scarecrow" overworld sprite is so damn adorable, don't you think?
Chrono Symphonic ExtravaganzaProject Summary
Other Staff Interviews
It's been a wild ride, everyone. If you'd like to check out other avenues for celebrating Chrono Trigger's tenth bithday, remember that the Compendium has a celebration page set up here. Enjoy it everyone, and be sure to grab the special edition! We've waited a long time -- happy listening!