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  #1  
Old Apr 18, 2012, 04:58 PM
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Jormungand Jormungand is offline
 
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Default Arcana/Card Master Composer Breakdown Discussion

Just popped this CD in the car this morning and got to thinking... I think we need to have a thread on this. I've known the music to this game since my childhood, and am now pretty confident about my guesses here. Of course, they are guesses, and this is a discussion forum, so feel free to chime in!

(tracks based on spc set)

(JI) / Jun Ishikawa
(HA) / Hirokazu Ando


01) Grass Flute (JI)
02) HAL Logo (JI)
03) Our Story's Name/Title (JI)
04) Prologue to the Tale (JI)
05) A New Chapter (JI)
06) Rooks ~ The Card Master (JI)
07) Crowded Marketplace (JI)
08) Alchemist's Workshop (JI)
09) Weapon Shop (HA)
10) Magician's Tent (JI)
11) Resting (JI)
12) The Legend (JI)
13) Reinoll ~ Generous Hermit (JI)
14) Death of a Loved One (JI)
15) Cristal Sword (HA)
16) Got Item (JI)
17) Trusted Circle (JI)
18) Journey (HA)
19) Trickery (HA)
20) Conflict/Battle Theme (JI)
21) Fanfare (JI)
22) Ariel ~ Soldier of Betrayal (JI)
23) Fantatical Warlock Galneon (JI)
24) Shrine for the Worship of Chaos/Balnia Temple (JI)
25) Draven's Valley Pass (JI)
26) Silent Forest of Doubt (JI)
27) Darwin ~ Treasure Hunter (JI)
28) Cavern of Ice (JI)
29) Decisive Battle/Boss (JI)
30) Dark Castle Bintel (JI)
31) The Goddess (JI)
32) Birth of a Hero (HA)
33) Second Armageddon/Final battle (JI)
34) Two Beautiful Princesses (JI)
35) The Symphony of Elemen/Ending (JI)
36) unknown6 - duplicate of 34
37) unknown7 - duplicate of 01
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  #2  
Old Apr 19, 2012, 10:35 AM
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Blitz Lunar Blitz Lunar is offline
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CHALLENGE ACCEPTED. I will listen to it all and make my own guesses first before reading yours so that I am not biased in any way, then we can see where we agree and disagree. In the past I used to think this was an Ishikawa dominated score, but I'm not so certain anymore, now that I'm more familiar with Ando's writing. I'm still pretty positive about certain songs being Ishikawa, but I guess Ando's typical writing style doesn't stick out to me here much. As a rule he is more of a stylistic chameleon than Ishikawa so harder to spot.

(JI) / Jun Ishikawa
(HA) / Hirokazu Ando

01) Grass Flute (JI)
02) HAL Logo (HA)
03) Our Story's Name (HA)
04) Prologue to the Tale (JI)
05) A New Chapter (HA)
06) Rooks ~ The Card Master (HA)
07) Crowded Marketplace (JI)
08) Alchemist's Workshop (JI)
09) Weapon Shop (HA)
10) Magician's Tent (JI)
11) Resting (JI)
12) The Legend (JI)
13) Reinoll ~ Generous Hermit (HA)
14) Death of a Loved One (JI)
15) Cristal Sword (JI)
16) Got Item (HA)
17) Trusted Circle (HA)
18) Journey (HA)
19) Trickery (JI)
20) Conflict (JI)
21) Fanfare (JI)
22) Ariel ~ Soldier of Betrayal (JI)
23) Fanatical Warlock Galneon (JI)
24) Shrine for the Worship of Chaos (JI)
25) Draven's Valley Pass (JI)
26) Silent Forest of Doubt (JI)
27) Darwin ~ Treasure Hunter (JI)
28) Cavern of Ice (JI)
29) Decisive Battle (JI)
30) Dark Castle Bintel (JI)
31) The Goddess (JI)
32) Birth of a Hero (JI)
33) Second Armageddon (JI)
34) Two Beautiful Princesses (HA)
35) The Symphony of Elemen (HA)
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Last edited by Blitz Lunar; Apr 19, 2012 at 10:45 AM. Reason: oops, just adding color tags.
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  #3  
Old Apr 19, 2012, 10:59 AM
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Okay, follow-up post, just to make keep things separate and tidy. So it looks like...

We agree on:
01) Grass Flute
04) Prologue to the Tale
07) Crowded Marketplace
08) Alchemist's Workshop
09) Weapon Shop
10) Magician's Tent
11) Resting
12) The Legend
14) Death of a Loved One
18) Journey
20) Conflict
21) Fanfare
22) Ariel ~ Soldier of Betrayal
23) Fanatical Warlock Galneon
24) Shrine for the Worship of Chaos
25) Draven's Valley Pass
26) Silent Forest of Doubt
27) Darwin ~ Treasure Hunter
28) Cavern of Ice
29) Decisive Battle
30) Dark Castle Bintel
31) The Goddess
33) Second Armageddon/Final battle

We disagree on:
02) HAL Logo
Shmeh, it's a logo, what can you do.

03) Our Story's Name
Could quite easily be Ishikawa, really. I guess the chord writing seemed suitably intricate for Ando.

05) A New Chapter
Yeah, I dunno, I'm not certain about this one. I just went on the classical style being more likely to be Ando.

06) Rooks ~ The Card Master
Again, could easily be Ishikawa, he loves his transpose stuffs.

13) Reinoll ~ Generous Hermit
This to me is the one that sounds most like Ando on the score. Just those complex kinds of progressions aren't heard often in Ishikawa's music.

15) Cristal Sword
Transposing and suspension usage makes me think of Ishikawa.

16) Got Item
Hngh. Jingle. idno

17) Trusted Circle
Hngh. Jingle. idno #2

19) Trickery
Again I hear some sort of transposey suspension stuff going on. And I guess I've heard songs with a similar mood to this in Kirby Super Star and suchlike.

32) Birth of a Hero
I don't think Ando would use 7th arpeggios as blatantly. lol. seems too OBVIOUS for him.

34) Two Beautiful Princesses
Nothing particularly evocative. Could easily be either of them.

35) The Symphony of Elemen
You might be right with this one after all. Again I know Ando is a dab hand with orchestration but something about those arpeggiated string parts reminds me of Ishikawa.
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Looks like we're in agreement on most of them though.
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  #4  
Old Sep 21, 2014, 10:34 AM
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I've come to revisit this breakdown and integrate Lunar's suggestions.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blitz Lunar View Post
We disagree on:
02) HAL Logo
Shmeh, it's a logo, what can you do.
Indeed, jingles are tricky. The Halken logo appears in several of their early games including Arcana, Alcahest, and Hole in One Golf, exactly the same arrangement but with instrument samples changed to the corresponding instrument set. I think Arcana is a mostly Ishikawa score, and the other two are solo Ishikawa works. But there is further evidence when we look at Hole in One Golf, which was released in early 1991, a year or so before Ando joined the company. So, I think it has to be Ishikawa.

Quote:
03) Our Story's Name
Could quite easily be Ishikawa, really. I guess the chord writing seemed suitably intricate for Ando.
I'm on the fence. There's got to be someone we can harass on twitter or facebook or something! It's a really beautiful piece of music. I personally am reminded mostly of Ishikawa, both in terms of the chord progression and the string ostinato which Ishikawa is fond of.

Quote:
05) A New Chapter
Yeah, I dunno, I'm not certain about this one. I just went on the classical style being more likely to be Ando.
What gets me every time is the dotted quarter or eighth notes, which Ishikawa uses in a lot of his melody writing, even if the rest of it might sound like Ando.

Quote:
06) Rooks ~ The Card Master
Again, could easily be Ishikawa, he loves his transpose stuffs.
I'm undecided. Aside from the transposition, there's no clear indicator either way.

Quote:
10) Magician's Tent (JI)
We actually both agreed about this being JI, but upon many relistens I now question that.

Quote:
13) Reinoll ~ Generous Hermit
This to me is the one that sounds most like Ando on the score. Just those complex kinds of progressions aren't heard often in Ishikawa's music.
I've thought about this, and you're absolutely right: this is totally Ando.

Quote:
15) Cristal Sword
Transposing and suspension usage makes me think of Ishikawa.
I'm going to defer to you on this one.

Quote:
16) Got Item
Hngh. Jingle. idno
It's a bit similar to the Fanfare, so I think Ishikawa is a safe bet.

Quote:
17) Trusted Circle
Hngh. Jingle. idno #2
Same here. The little grace note on the trumpet lead-in makes me think Ishikawa, but that's all I can come up with.

Quote:
19) Trickery
Again I hear some sort of transposey suspension stuff going on. And I guess I've heard songs with a similar mood to this in Kirby Super Star and suchlike.
I agree with you here.

Quote:
32) Birth of a Hero
I don't think Ando would use 7th arpeggios as blatantly. lol. seems too OBVIOUS for him.
Again, I agree with you.

Quote:
34) Two Beautiful Princesses
Nothing particularly evocative. Could easily be either of them.
Something about the way this is arranged just makes me think of Ishikawa. I think it's the trumpets.

Quote:
35) The Symphony of Elemen
You might be right with this one after all. Again I know Ando is a dab hand with orchestration but something about those arpeggiated string parts reminds me of Ishikawa.
Yes, a lot of this feels very much like Ishikawa, arpeggiations, melody writing (dotted quarters and eights, pitch-bends), background ostinatos (particular the flutes), the overall chord progression, etc. Then there's the reprise of Balnia Temple's theme at 2:46 where it suddenly becomes everything that typically represents Ishikawa.

_______________________

So, with Lunar's help, I went diving into some Ishikawa+Ando Kirby music and came back to study their non-Kirby work. I just can't get enough of Arcana, it's such an excellent soundtrack. It's clear that Ishikawa was the lead composer here, with Ando taking a small role similar to (but much less than) Kirby 64. That said, Ando's contributions (at least what we know of them) are beautiful and nuanced. Altogether I can happily admit it to my top SNES soundtracks, ranked alongside Secret of Mana, SD3, FF6, and whatever other masterpieces I'm forgetting.

Arcana is actually one of the first video game soundtracks I ever heard, having played it looooong ago, somewhere between the ages of 8 and 12ish maybe. It left an impression. I remembered the game's music clearly up until discovering that other people actually listened to VGM and I could do the same via internet. So Arcana was an early, formative experience that probably shaped my personal and professional pursuit of music in a major way. It's amazing to re-examine it decades later and find that I still hold it in the highest esteem.

Not to get too off-topic, and I've lamented about this before, but I wish Ishikawa and Ando weren't slaves to Kirby. I like Kirby music, and after really studying it carefully, I find the things I love about both composers in abundance. However, these games are of a very different genre than games like Arcana and Alcahest, which were distinctly darker in tone, and I think this is the kind of tone I want to hear more from this particular pair. Both have spent the majority of their career writing music about a diminutive pink marshmallow that swallows his foes whole and flies via inflation; I just think composers of this caliber should be allowed to branch out more.

Of course, that depends on HAL, which has narrowed its focus to mostly Kirby with the odd casual game for Nintendo. It's not that I'm arguing HAL should make RPGs, as I don't know that that would be a strength for them (Arcana certainly wasn't amazing as a game), but somehow, someway, I want to see Ishikawa and Ando (collaboratively or separately) score more "serious" (I really can't think of a better word, please assist!) genres, preferably RPGs.
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  #5  
Old Mar 5, 2017, 08:13 PM
Spirit_Chaser Spirit_Chaser is offline
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It's been a few years since the guesses. Lately I've been digging and researching the music of Kirby, particularly what Ishikawa and Ando wrote. Right now I am going back to Arcana (their non-Kirby music). Does anyone have a new breakdown or a current one that we can go with?
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  #6  
Old Mar 6, 2017, 04:19 PM
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Jormungand Jormungand is offline
 
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This would be a composite of Lunar and my guesses, the very uncertain tracks left blank:


(JI) / Jun Ishikawa
(HA) / Hirokazu Ando


01) Grass Flute (JI)
02) HAL Logo
03) Our Story's Name/Title
04) Prologue to the Tale (JI)
05) A New Chapter
06) Rooks ~ The Card Master
07) Crowded Marketplace (JI)
08) Alchemist's Workshop (JI)
09) Weapon Shop (HA)
10) Magician's Tent
11) Resting (JI)
12) The Legend (JI)
13) Reinoll ~ Generous Hermit (HA)
14) Death of a Loved One (JI)
15) Cristal Sword (JI)
16) Got Item
17) Trusted Circle
18) Journey (HA)
19) Trickery (JI)
20) Conflict/Battle Theme (JI)
21) Fanfare (JI)
22) Ariel ~ Soldier of Betrayal (JI)
23) Fantatical Warlock Galneon (JI)
24) Shrine for the Worship of Chaos/Balnia Temple (JI)
25) Draven's Valley Pass (JI)
26) Silent Forest of Doubt (JI)
27) Darwin ~ Treasure Hunter (JI)
28) Cavern of Ice (JI)
29) Decisive Battle/Boss (JI)
30) Dark Castle Bintel (JI)
31) The Goddess (JI)
32) Birth of a Hero (JI)
33) Second Armageddon/Final battle (JI)
34) Two Beautiful Princesses
35) The Symphony of Elemen/Ending


Many that are marked are very certain. All the dungeon/field and battle themes, for example, are very obviously Ishikawa, while tracks like "Reinoll" are very obviously Ando.

On the blank tracks, it could potentially go either way.

I will say that I am more swayed to credit both "A New Chapter" and "Two Beautiful Princesses" to Ando. Either way, these two are stylistically a pair: whoever composed one surely composed the other.

"Got Item" is enough like "Fanfare" that I think Ishikawa probably did it.

"Magician's Tent" is so unlike anything either composer usually showcases.

For "HAL Logo", see my previous comment: I think it was a thing before Ando joined the company.

Such a great soundtrack. I really would like to see these two do something not Kirby, something darker.

Last edited by Jormungand; Mar 6, 2017 at 04:22 PM.
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