New Arrangement: "Traversing Weyard" from Golden Sun: The Lost Age (2002)
An excellent choice from my patrons - a new orchestral arrangement of the classic overworld theme from the JRPG, "Golden Sun: The Lost Age" (2002).
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!
"Similarly to "The Angarian Journey" - the overworld to the first game, "Golden Sun" - Sakuraba employs certain techniques to evoke a triumphant, determined, march-like overworld theme.
To start, there is a heavy tread of I-V-I-V (heard here in the tubas and cellos at 0:02), creating the characteristic "om-pa om-pa" march rhythm. This is combined with a snare drum (which I have restored here as they were unintentionally lost in Sakuraba's original - see: https://youtu.be/5XryhVMWCdI ), and brass fanfares. All of these create a familiar sounding march aesthetic.
Outside of instrumentation, Sakuraba also employs tertiary modulations (e.g. C - Ab (0:05), and Ab - F (0:39)) which are a common film music progression used for evoking triumph. The use of suspended 4ths resolving traditionally down to the 3rd also enforces this, such as Gsus4 (G-C-D to G-B-D; 0:09) and Csus4 (C-F-G to C-E-G; 0:17).
To enhance this aesthetic further, I have added in some periodic woodwind scalic runs, brass rips and glissandi for added excitement, as well as additional bass drum, timpani and cymbals to contribute to the march-like feel.
When the first section repeats (0:19), instead of a direct repeat, I added an additional string layer (violin I), increased the wind material and added a bright glockenspiel to top off the melody.
By 0:34 we move to a new section via a tertiary modulation (C - Ab) that opens with a gorgeous major 7th chord (Ab - C - Eb - G). To mark this shift, I decided to retain the bass guitar from Sakuraba's original (for added nostalgia!) but also added in some Sakuraba-esque arpeggios in the harp and celesta. Here, we also get two tertiary modulations back-to-back, with Ab - F - Ab (0:39) - exciting stuff!
As we start to climb at 0:43, Sakuraba breaks the 4-bar regular phrasing and ends this phrase after only 2 bars. Combined with the ascending tertiary harmony (Ab - Bb - C), this interruption of the phrasing only serves to enhance the track's excitement as we return to the tonic key of C major with a mighty brass fanfare (0:46).
Although not as audible in Sakuraba's original, here (0:47) he employs a C-pedal over which is placed a dominant chord (so G-B-D over a pedal of C). This creates a semitonal clash (B-C) that resolves outwards in contrary motion alongside another tertiary modulation (G-B-D move upwards to Ab-C-Eb, while the C shifts down to Ab). This combo earns Sakuraba at least 100 Brownie points and further exemplifies the triumphant aesthetic. To enhance this progression, I added in several glissandi instruments to highlight this contrary motion.
This phrase repeats once more (0:55), now with an additional melody soaring high above in the violins and winds as we get one final tertiary modulation (Ab - C) combined with Sakuraba's classic arpeggios (1:00)."