• "Wanderlust" - Blue Fields Cover [FF8][Piano][World Map Theme]

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    Blue Fields. Who could forget this memorable melody sparking you to action as you first exit Balamb Garden with Squall & Co? This is one of those songs that is permanently etched into my brain due to the countless hours spent grinding on the world map. This whole soundtrack is one of Uematsu's best, but I always liked the sense of mystery and comfort in the repetition of the notes this particular song evoked. I figured the best way to get it out of my head would be to create my own unique interpretation.

    The final piece in my Piano Collections project, I present to you "Wanderlust". This is a wistful piano-centric orchestral arrangement I composed of the song "Blue Fields" from Final Fantasy 8, originally written by my favorite composer Nobuo Uematsu. Blue Fields can be heard anytime you are traversing about the world map, and is instantly recognizable, catchy, and just gets you in the mood to jaunt about, explore and adventure around the captivating world of FF8. The version used in the game, linked below, is much more up-tempo and has a march-like cadence to it.


    For my re-interpretation, I wanted to keep with the piano theme, and slow it down into a plodding, gently developing, brooding, contemplative, and introspective piece. To do this, I first recorded the piano part with light reverb (sorry I didn't make any piano videos for this song) using this sheet music (under Disk 1 - Blue Fields):


    After that, I duplicated the piano part so it plays twice in succession, as the song itself is fairly short, and I wanted enough time to experiment with it. I wanted to have 2 different variations of the theme to keep it evolving, so for the first part, I focused on orchestral arrangements with countermelodies and soft ambiance. For the second play through, I stripped down some of the ambiance and created a 2nd piano part using a mellow grand piano preset on my Kawai ES7 digital piano and added delay and reverb effects. I then just improvised for about 2 hours with the song on a never-ending loop until I came up with something I liked as an accompaniment melody and laid that track down, which I think added a very ethereal, dreamy quality, a bit similar to my Helen Jane Long cover. I purposely didn’t follow the exact melody of the song for the second half with the improvised piano, and made it a bit more discordant and harsh.

    The song features 44 tracks, including 4 piano live recordings, violins, ambient textures, pizzicato style strings overlaid on the left hand of the piano to give it that poppy, airy sound like it has in the game…and mostly floaty soundscapes I created messing around with synths and using the wonderful creation engine that is Omnisphere Spectrasonics 2. I impressed myself by somehow recording, mixing, and mastering this entire song in 3 sessions over 2 days (pretty long 6-8 hour sessions though), a minor miracle for someone who usually agonizes and obsesses over every small detail.

    Piano Collections will feature 8 tracks and will be submitted on December 21st through Distrokid and should be out on Spotify and elsewhere within the week. Please give it a listen! I am taking the remainder of the year off from musical projects to perhaps work on a website and enjoy the holiday. Starting in January I will be working on my first original solo album which will infuse piano, chill hop, electronic, and ambient.

    As always thanks for listening. Tell your friends! Subscribe! Enjoy!

    -Zack Show less
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