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Chronology: A Jazz Tribute to Chrono Trigger

Catalog Number OCRA-0060
Release Date Aug 22, 2016
Publish Format Doujin/Indie
Release Price Free
Media Format Digital
Classification Arrangement
Organizations OverClocked ReMix / / (Publisher)
Composer / Yasunori Mitsuda / , Nobuo Uematsu /
Arranger / Wiesty, Triplepoint Trio (Doug Perry, Sam Suggs, Jonny Allen), Nostalvania, Fratto
Performer / The OC Jazz Collective (Wiesty, XPRTNovice, Anthony Lofton, Sir Jordanius, Fratto, Nostalvania, DrumUltimA, audio fidelity, Bowlerhat, AndyP), Triplepoint Trio (Doug Perry, Sam Suggs, Jonny Allen)


Disc 1

01 Way Before the Day Before Yesterday (65,000,000 B.C.) 4:49
02 Triggernometry 7:29
03 Time's Seal (12,000 B.C.) 6:59
04 Neuga, Ziena, Zieber, Zom... (600 A.D.) 5:21
05 Dream of Green (1000 A.D.) 5:29
06 Fight or Flight (1999 A.D.) 6:06
07 When Hell Freezes Over (2300 A.D.) 7:13
08 Driftwood (∞) 4:14
Disc length 47:40


Chronology: A Jazz Tribute to Chrono Trigger
Comments from album director Dylan Wiest (Wiesty) and ReMixers
Album freely available at

I first played Chrono Trigger when I was seven years old. It was my introduction to JRPGs, anime, and most importantly, video game music. I can vividly remember watching my brother play this game... or was it a movie? It certainly wasn't Super Mario Bros. or Donkey Kong Country. It had complex writing and intricate characters put into a vast and colourful world accompanied by music you might expect to hear in a film. As I learned to play the game, it consumed me. I would rent the game every weekend for what seemed like years. It didn't matter how many times I had completed it because I could restart and it would seem like a new adventure every time. Needless to say, I have a bit of an addictive personality. Over the years, I would go on to obtain many new obsessions and interests that would come and go. Chrono Trigger, however, did not. I am 25 now and, after nearly two decades of playing the game, I can honestly say that it still remains an important part of my life and that every time I play it, I look at it with the same wide eyes and enthusiasm as when I was seven.

I explored Chrono Trigger through all of its facets whether it was trying to copy Akira Toriyama's art (and learning that I'm not very good at drawing), discussing the more intricate plot features on the forums at Chrono Compendium, actively awaiting the English dub of Radical Dreamers so that I could further my knowledge in the Chronoverse, or attempting to learn Yasunori Mitusda's score on piano. I believe at one point I had just about the entire soundtrack learned and it was this that nudged me in the direction of the video game music community and, eventually, OverClocked ReMix.

Fast forward another half-decade and I decided to pitch the idea for a jazz based Chrono Trigger album. It seemed like this was going to be an impossible task to accomplish given the genre restriction and general interest from other arrangers at the time so move ahead another couple years and the OC Jazz Collective was born. Through some fluke, I was able to assemble my own "dream team" of musicians and arrangers on OC ReMix who all shared a passion for jazz and video game music. I felt Chrono Trigger would be an ideal candidate for our first release given the game's quickly approaching 20th anniversary and the fact that Mitsuda's music lends itself so well to jazz and improvisation. The musicians and artists on this album have put in countless hours of practice and recording to produce an album which I think sounds authentic and natural. Jazz is a social music best captured in the moment... and while the production process of this album was anything but "in the moment," I think the album's sound and cohesiveness will speak for itself. It has been an honour getting to know and work with these talented artists from different parts of the world. Each of them brings their own unique sound and nuances to the album and without each and every one of them this album would not have been possible. I hope that our devotion to detail will be apparent in the music and that you will enjoy Chronology: A Jazz Tribute to Chrono Trigger.

- Dylan Wiest (Wiesty)


1. Wiesty, The OC Jazz Collective - "Way Before the Day Before Yesterday"
Era: Prehistoric (65,000,000 B.C.)
Sources: "Burn! Bobonga! Burn!"; "Lavos's Theme," "Rhythm of Earth, Wind, and Sky" (cameo)

Dylan Wiest (Wiesty) - arrangement, drums
Joe Zieja (XPRTNovice) - alto/soprano saxophones
Anthony Lofton - tenor saxophone
Jordan Etienne (Sir Jordanius) - trumpet
Brian Fratto (Fratto) - trombone
Markus B. (Nostalvania) - piano
Doug Perry (DrumUltimA) - vibraphone
Jay Yaskin (audio fidelity) - bass

Wiesty: This is actually the last track I had arranged for the album. I had someone lined up for a track from 65,000,000 B.C. originally, but those plans fell through very last minute and I had to come up with something quickly. This track features elements from "Lavos's Theme," "Burn! Bobonga! Burn!" and "Rhythm of Earth, Wind, and Sky." I knew that for the intro I wanted to compose some sort of musical re-interpretation of Lavos's crash into earth with a very open and ethereal section building up to some sort of heavy impact from the horns. This was the toughest thing to coordinate on the tune between different players, but I think it worked out well in the end. This tune also features a sax solo which I wanted to write as a bit of a break from the solos that are prevalent on the rest of the album. I wrote something pretty challenging, I think, but both Joe and Anthony did a stellar job. I would say the hardest part about arranging this tune was its very centric tonality. It really only revolves around Esus and Dsus, so this made it a bit of a challenge for me to try and make it a bit more interesting harmonically. All of the players brought a lot of energy to this tune and it definitely shows, making it a great opener for the album.

2. Triplepoint Trio (Doug Perry, Sam Suggs, Jonny Allen) - "Triggernometry"
Source: "Chrono Trigger"

Doug Perry (DrumUltimA) - arrangement, vibraphone
Jonny Allen - arrangement, drums
Sam Suggs - arrangement, bass

Recorded in the Center for Studies in Music Technology at the Yale School of Music in June of 2014.

2:05 - Bass solo
3:31 - Vibes solo
5:41 - Recap of theme

DrumUltimA: Here's our rendition of the main theme of Chrono Trigger by Yasunori Mitsuda! I've been a big fan of Yasunori Mitsuda's work for years, and Chrono Trigger was the game responsible for that. When I started playing with Sam and Jonny, I played them the main theme of Chrono Trigger and expressed interest in trying to arrange it for the group. The other two seemed interested as well and we got to work. I drafted up a lead sheet of the track and we started experimenting with it. The arranging process for us is always a group activity -- Jonny and Sam had lots of ideas for ways to play certain sections, and we experimented with these ideas a lot. After a few rehearsals and test performances at various cocktail party gigs, we decided we were happy with the arrangement and recorded it. This arrangement was one of our first collaborative arrangements, and ended up serving as a model for how we arrange most of the music we perform.

3. Nostalvania, The OC Jazz Collective - "Time's Seal"
Era: Dark Ages (12,000 B.C.)
Source: "Sealed Door"

Markus B. (Nostalvania) - arrangement, piano
Joe Zieja (XPRTNovice) - soprano saxophone
Anthony Lofton - tenor saxophone
Jay Yaskin (audio fidelity) - bass
Dylan Wiest (Wiesty) - drums

Nostalvania: What I found interesting about this source is that it changes between 5/8 and 6/8 time. My idea was to actually invert it, so everything that was 5/8 before is now in 6/8 and vice versa, which sounds pretty nice as well, if you ask me. I also added some original writing and reharmonisations, as well as a 24-bar chord progression for the solo section.

4. Wiesty, The OC Jazz Collective - "Neuga, Ziena, Zieber, Zom..."
Era: Middle Ages (600 A.D.)
Source: "Magus Confronted"

Dylan Wiest (Wiesty) - arrangement, drums
Joe Zieja (XPRTNovice) - alto/soprano saxophones
Jorik Bergman (Bowlerhat) - flute
Anthony Lofton - tenor saxophone
Jordan Etienne (Sir Jordanius) - trumpet
Brian Fratto (Fratto) - trombone
Markus B. (Nostalvania) - piano
Jay Yaskin (audio fidelity) - bass

Wiesty: With this tune, I wanted to go for a very classic big band-style sound and I drew lots of inspiration from various charts that I had heard or played in the past. My favourite part about Magus's theme is how dark and driving it is while still being extremely melodic. I wanted to maintain this in my arrangement and I think that can be heard in the dynamic/rhythmic shifts that happen throughout. This track also features the only flute part on the album (if only for a brief moment), but it was a great opportunity to meet and work with Jorik. As with much of my arranging, I tend to arrange linearly; that is to say I'll start with an idea and evolve it as I go, sometimes without much of an idea where the song will go. This gave me a bit of a challenge for coming up with an ending for this tune as I had an idea of what I wanted, but no idea how it would sound once I got there. There were a couple of different endings that the musicians were kind enough to give me takes for, but in the end I was happy with what we chose.

5. Wiesty, The OC Jazz Collective - "Dream of Green"
Era: Present (1000 A.D.)
Sources: "Secret of the Forest"; "Chrono Trigger" (cameo)

Dylan Wiest (Wiesty) - arrangement, drums, keyboards
Anthony Lofton - tenor saxophone
Jay Yaskin (audio fidelity) - bass, guitar

Wiesty: Oddly, this tune is probably about 3 years old and began as a collaboration between myself and Anthony Lofton. This is by far my favourite track off the OST, and one of my favourite tunes of all time. It has such simple harmony paired with beautiful melody that Mitsuda crafts together in the perfect way. I wanted to have a very 80's-inspired, synth heavy, acid jazz type of sound on this track and lots of room for Anthony to just do his thing. We had the track just about completely finished when the concept for this album came about and I knew it would be a perfect candidate and an opportunity to bring in Jay on bass and guitar. There is an entire section of just noodling that I wrote into this tune, and I had a pretty good idea in my head of how I wanted it to sound, but was very worried about what would come out. Jay and Anthony did an amazing job of recreating my vision for this track and I think what came out was a very laid back piece with moments of fury and plenty of emotion to spare.

6. Nostalvania, The OC Jazz Collective - "Fight or Flight"
Era: Apocalypse (1999 A.D.)
Source: "The Epoch - Wings of Time"

Markus B. (Nostalvania) - arrangement, piano
Joe Zieja (XPRTNovice) - soprano saxophone
Anthony Lofton - tenor saxophone
Doug Perry (DrumUltimA) - vibraphone
Jay Yaskin (audio fidelity) - bass
Dylan Wiest (Wiesty) - drums

Nostalvania: When Dylan asked me to write arrangements for the album, "Wings of Time" was the first song I chose from the available sources. Since I don't have much experience in writing for large ensembles, I decided to use a sextet with sax and vibraphone.

I'm actually kind of a sucker for 7/8 rhythms, so I tried to convert the song to said time signature, which seemed to work pretty good, at least for the first part of the source. That's why I had to come up with something different for the B-section, and I think having it play in a 4/4 swing rhythm was the right solution. The arrangement continues with some instrumental solos featuring tenor sax (7/8), piano (7/8), and vibraphone (4/4), followed by a short drum break section (inspired by Dylan's feedback) before it goes back to the main theme again.

7. Wiesty, The OC Jazz Collective - "When Hell Freezes Over"
Era: Future (2300 A.D.)
Sources: "A Desolate World," "Yearnings of the Wind"

Dylan Wiest (Wiesty) - arrangement, drums
Joe Zieja (XPRTNovice) - alto saxophone
Anthony Lofton - tenor saxophone
Jordan Etienne (Sir Jordanius) - trumpet
Brian Fratto (Fratto) - trombone
Markus B. (Nostalvania) - piano
Doug Perry (DrumUltimA) - vibraphone
Andy Pearce (AndyP) - guitar
Jay Yaskin (audio fidelity) - bass

Wiesty: This song may have been a bit of an odd choice for an arrangement given its lack of melody, but I've been in love with its chord progression for many years. I can recall arranging a couple of different melodies over top of it many years ago and it being a basis for my introduction into improvisation. When we decided to do the album, I knew this tune needed some love. The drum intro and horns that follow are supposed to create a very sparse and mysterious atmosphere much like the frozen wastes of 2300 A.D. Doug sent me two takes of his vibes over top of the horns. I loved them both so much, I decided to include both of them panned left and right, which resulted in something very beautiful. I knew that this tune needed some sort of melody, so I decided to superimpose the melody from "Wind Scene" over top of the chord changes; a bit of a haunting ode to the days of life and prosperity past. This, of course, changes as the solo section is a straight-up funk jam with tasty guitar from Andy, smooth and sultry sax from Anthony, and a face-melting vibes solo from Doug. This tune really came together in the end to match what I envisioned in my head... hauntingly funky.

8. Fratto, Wiesty, The OC Jazz Collective - "Driftwood"
Era: End of Time (∞)
Source: "At the End of Time"

Brian Fratto (Fratto) - arrangement, trombone/bass trombone
Dylan Wiest (Wiesty) - arrangement, drums
Joe Zieja (XPRTNovice) - alto/baritone saxophones
Anthony Lofton - tenor saxophone
Jordan Etienne (Sir Jordanius) - trumpet
Markus B. (Nostalvania) - piano
Doug Perry (DrumUltimA) - vibraphone
Jay Yaskin (audio fidelity) - bass

Fratto: With "Secret of the Forest" being immediately off the table, I chose the "Brink of Time" track. When this project first started, we were learning that an OCR big band might be too big to take on. I was still missing the idea of a large-scale big band and couldn't make myself pull far enough back on instrumentation. I'd always liked how abrupt the piano chunks came off when the second section of the song is introduced. I used bass instruments to really make the original piano chunks even more abrupt. When I was pretty close to finished, Dylan suggested that we shift it into 12/8 and added a number of backgrounds to the solo section (my old composition professor always wanted more backgrounds too!) to really put the finishing touches on there.

Album Stats

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Platforms represented
SNES (Super Famicom)

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