Song: FF7 Boss Battle (Those Who Fight Further) – Two Piano Remix

Listen online:last.fm

Download song: mp3 Ogg FLAC

While Final Fantasy VII is not my favorite game from the series, it does possess some very memorable music. Chief among these is the anxious, driving boss battle theme, known as “Those Who Fight Further” (更に闘う者達). I’d go so far as to call it the most well-known JRPG battle theme, which is why I thought it worthy of a full-scale piano remix.

Several hours into my arranging, it became apparent that there was no way to do the song justice by using a single piano.  So two were required.  This is an arrangement for four hands on two pianos, and frankly, it would probably be easier as six hands on three pianos.  However, because this is a synthesized arrangement (e.g. not recorded live) I got away with mixing it in a manner that is probably impossible for just two people to play.  Exciting!

Credit for the original composition goes to the great Nobuo Uematsu.  I also based this arrangement off a MIDI version of the track downloaded from rpggamer.com.

Bonus: if you’re in the mood for some nostalgia, here’s a 10-minute video of every boss battle in the game. :D

Creative Commons License

This arrangement of “Those Who Fight Further” is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 License. The original song is ©1997 Square Co., Ltd.

Song: Find You (March Remix)

Download song: mp3 Ogg FLAC MIDI

Note: The original version of “Find You” can be found here.

Today’s download digs deep into the archives of an old video game project I was involved in (circa 2002). The original version of this song is a simple orchestral theme led by an oboe melody (linked at the top of this article). The game called for an action sequence using the original song, but it didn’t really fit; the original mix is slow and unassuming, which isn’t generally what you want accompanying an action sequence.

As an alternative, I put together this demo of the theme remixed as an orchestral march. It retains the instrument mix of the original, but the oboe is moved to a supporting role while the melody is taken over by a trombone.

Because this was just a demo, it’s only two short movements separated by a key change. Though the video game project dissolved before reaching completion, I enjoyed the opportunity to show off the versatility of the original theme.

Creative Commons License

"Find You (March Remix)" by Tanner Helland is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License. Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be obtained here.

This site - and its many free downloads - are 100% funded by donations. Please consider a small contribution to fund server costs and to help me support my family. Even $1.00 helps. Thank you!

Song: Defiance – REMIXED

Listen online:last.fm

Download song: mp3 Ogg MIDI

What better way to release some new music than this – a remix of one of my favorite rock themes.  Video game battle themes have moved away from orchestral themes in recent years, opting instead to use a lot more guitars and drums.

Thus we have the newly remixed Defiance.  Soundfonts have been used to render the entire song, and a new intro lends itself more to classic RPG boss battle themes.  The end of the song has also been remixed, including more than 60 seconds of new material.  This remix originally appeared in the TGP/TLA project of 2000-2001, but I’ve never released it online.

So here you go!  Enjoy the new tune, and if you’d like to compare it to its predecessor, the old Defiance theme is available here:

http://www.tannerhelland.com/26/defiance/

Creative Commons License

"Defiance - REMIXED" by Tanner Helland is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License. Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be obtained here.

This site - and its many free downloads - are 100% funded by donations. Please consider a small contribution to fund server costs and to help me support my family. Even $1.00 helps. Thank you!

Song: Aerith’s Theme – an impromptu piano solo

Listen online:last.fm

Download song: mp3 Ogg FLAC MIDI

Okay – I’ve finally had it.  I have listened to so many mediocre arrangements of this song that it’s finally time to write a good one.

For those who don’t know (shame on you), Aerith’s Theme comes from quite possibly the greatest game of all time: Final Fantasy VII.  The theme is beautiful, and many artists have attempted to arrange it in a variety of styles.  Most are terrible; a rare few turn out very nice.  I hope that this intermediate-level arrangement fits the latter description…  ;)

I hesitated to post this song since it is, as described, an impromptu performance.  I haven’t edited the recorded MIDI at all.  What you hear is straight how it came outta my fingers, sloppy runs and all.  But I feel like it’s important to post a good, original, live arrangement of this piece on the internet since most the amateur versions out there sound like they came out of a Lv3 Alfred Book.  Argh.  This is certainly a more varied, lively performance than the ones I’ve heard so far.  (And no, I haven’t heard the Piano Collections arrangement of this, unfortunately.  I imagine it’s quite good!)

It is also worth mentioning that this was arranged by ear, without any source notation.  The mp3 and ogg files are soundfont-generated and NOT from an actual piano.  I apologize for that, but alas – no recording studio + Yamaha Disklavier yet!  Someday!!  :D

Comments/requests for additional FF arrangements are welcome.

Creative Commons License

This arrangement of “Aerith’s Theme” is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 License. The original song is ©1997 Square Co., Ltd.

Song: Alagaesia and Eragon – a piano tribute

Listen online:last.fm

Download song: mp3 Ogg FLAC MIDI

After reading Eragon by Christopher Paolini, I was struck by the awesomeness of a teenager making the New York Times Bestseller list with his first novel.  If that’s not living the “American Dream,” I don’t know what is.

Anyway, the book is quite good and I am very impressed by Chris’s accomplishment.  So in honor of him and his first novel, I’ve written a piano tribute to my two favorite parts of the book: the world of Alagaesia and the protagonist Eragon.  This piano piece begins and ends with an Alagaesian theme while the middle section is a tribute to Eragon.  I hope it does both justice.

This was recorded off my old Roland HP-30006 keyboard and synthesized via a very nice Steinway-based soundfont.  Yes, an actual live recording will always sound better, but this will have to do until I can afford an actual Steinway. (Which, according to my calculations, should be sometime around 1 Jan 2135).

Creative Commons License

"Alagaesia and Eragon" by Tanner Helland is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License. Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be obtained here.

This site - and its many free downloads - are 100% funded by donations. Please consider a small contribution to fund server costs and to help me support my family. Even $1.00 helps. Thank you!

Song: Faith (Love Remix)

Download song: mp3 MIDI

Note: The original version of “Faith” can be found here.

I’ve played with many ideas for adding a melody to “Faith’s” original simple vi-IV-I-V (or i-VI-III-VII in natural minor) progression, but invariably none of them were epic enough to match the scope and majesty of the original arrangement.  Eventually I settled on a couple non-epic ideas worth investigating – and thus we get this “love remix”.

The key to writing a good remix is to maintain enough of the original that it sounds familiar, while also adding enough new/changed material that it’s not just a rip-off variation.  I wanted this to be a literal “re-mixing” of the original “Faith” theme and I’m pleased with how it turned out.  Nothing spectacularly technical here; just some simple arrangements of a couple simple themes.  Nothing as majestic as the original, but – then again – a sequel never is, eh?

Creative Commons License

"Faith (Love Remix)" by Tanner Helland is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License. Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be obtained here.

This site - and its many free downloads - are 100% funded by donations. Please consider a small contribution to fund server costs and to help me support my family. Even $1.00 helps. Thank you!

Song: DragonFyre’s White Knights Remix

Listen online:last.fm

Download song: mp3 Ogg MIDI

DragonFyre was the second composer working on the score of the legendary TGP/TLA VBRPG project.  His music has a crazy ambient vibe to it (something foreign to my traditional line of composition) so I wanted to take one of his songs and rework it in classic Helland style.  “White Knights” seemed the best choice as it was one of DragonFyre’s more thematic songs.

I retained the drums from the original mix but almost everything else has been modified (and the only reason I kept the drums is because at the time, I didn’t have software that could imitate that velocity shift).  I really enjoy the new countermelodies in the final bars of the song.

This piece still has a strange feel to it – eerie but soothing, distant but imminent.  I enjoy DragonFyre’s work and it was a treat to fiddle with one of his compositions.

Creative Commons License

"DragonFyre's White Knights Remix" by Tanner Helland is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License. Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be obtained here.

This site - and its many free downloads - are 100% funded by donations. Please consider a small contribution to fund server costs and to help me support my family. Even $1.00 helps. Thank you!

Song: Bloody Tears (Castlevania II Remix)

Listen online:last.fm

Download song: mp3 Ogg FLAC

Although I’ve never played any of the Castlevania games (shame on me), I’ve long been a fan of their stellar soundtracks.  So it seemed appropriate to contribute a modernized remix in honor of a series of great, great music.

“Bloody Tears” is one of my favorite Castlevania MIDIs and although I didn’t write this song (full composition credit goes to the Konami Kukeica Club) or sequence this particular arrangement (Ricoberto Dones deserves full credit for that), I did arrange the instruments and fill out much of the accompaniment. I don’t know how this song sounds in the actual Castlevania II game, but this remix is pretty loud…

Hope you like it, and kudos to Kenichi Matsubara, Masahiro Ikariko, Kazuhiko Uehara, and T-San for their brilliant original rendition.

Creative Commons License
This remix of “Bloody Tears” is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 License. Rights to the original song are retained by the Konami Kukeica Club.