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  • Writer's pictureJonathan Shaw

New Arrangement: "Ivan and Hama" from Golden Sun (2001)

As decided by my patrons, here is an orchestral arrangement of "Ivan and Hama" (or "Ivan's Theme") from the classic JRPG, "Golden Sun" (2001). Feel free to check it out!

Feel free to download the score and recording here!

If you are one of my Patrons, you can now find the MIDI, XML and SIB files I created for this arrangement now available to download from your Patreon Google Drive folder!


Arranger's Note:

"Also known as "Ivan's Theme" and "A Little Friendship", this nostalgic track is remarkably simple. It could be argued that its small, fragile nature is reflective of Ivan's character, but as there are no official titles for these tracks, it is more likely a coincidence and the main reason that fans have colloquially linked the track to Ivan.

The main characteristic of this track is the syncopated pizzicato strings that persist throughout its entirety (0:02), emphasizing a 1-2-3-1 rhythm in a 4/4 time signature.

On top of this sits a delicate synthesized melody (which I have orchestrated here in the clarinet) swimming simply around E major and its related chords: B major (the dominant; 0:06); C# minor (the relative minor ; 0:09); G# minor (the mediant; 0:13); and A major (the subdominant; 0:17). Those are the sole few chords used in this track outside of occasional added note embellishments (e.g. a major 9th at 1:04). This sparse harmony reflects its rather small aesthetic.

There is a panpipe accompaniment for a good portion of the track (which I have expanded to cover the entire arrangement by shifting it into the clarinets at 1:00). This rather breathy instrument is commonly used by Sakuraba throughout the entire Golden Sun OST, and could be linked to wind adepts (bit of a stretch ;) ).

After the first 8-bar phrase, I decided on adding a counter-melody to accompany the rather isolated solo clarinet (0:31) to add further interest to some static moments and help prepare for the busier 2nd section (1:00) where I've added a distant female choir and a childish soprano recorder accompanying the panpipe melody.

While the arpeggios of 1:01 were originally in a synthesizer (the material of which I had previously given to the clarinet), I decided to place them in the harps here to blend better with the other instruments and allow me to retain the Sakuraba "echoing" effect in a less intrusive manner. While an echoing effect was also used with the initial melody (0:03), I decided to remove it so to not needlessly complicate what was a very simple, delicate melody.

Otherwise, I added some additional percussion; such as a suspended cymbal to help bridge the transition between sections; and a triangle and tambourine bounce off of one another on rare occasion to help convey the small-ness of the track."


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