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  • Writer's pictureJonathan Shaw

New Arrangement: "Yallam" from Golden Sun: The Lost Age (2002)

Time to head to the forge at Yallam along with a new orchestral arrangement. Don't forget your dark matter and orichalcon!

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:

"For the track that most of us would associate with the forging mechanics of Golden Sun, there was one instrument that I definitely had to use - anvils - which now run subtly throughout the entire track and receive an extended usage in the final phrase.

The material itself is quite drearily simple - understandably so! - as the town of Yallam has fallen into poverty and despair since the death of their master sailor, Yepp.

As such, the track remains largely static, anchored to a persistent "A" pedal for the entire track. Around this pedal (in this case, an "inverted pedal" since it sits above the other instruments), the harmony swims in an Aeolian fashion (A-B-C-D-E-F-G-A), simply outlining an initial A triad (A-C-E; 0:09 & 0:15) as well as hints of the subdominant (D-F-A) and leading chord (G-B-D) at 0:10, 0:16 & 0:22, etc.

This floating indefinite harmony creates allusions to plagal cadences (IV - I; here, D - A). This particular cadence is not as complete-sounding as the more typical perfect cadences (V - I; E - A), once more complementing the depressing, unresolved state of the town.

By 0:30, the opening phrase is repeated, now doubled with an additional sustained instrument (placed here in the recorders) which is elaborated slightly at 0:45. A bass instrument has now also appeared - a bass guitar - taking over the role of the "A" pedal from the prior phrase and turning it into a regular pedal (a pedal below the other instruments, as opposed to above).

The original inverted pedal slips back in seamlessly at 0:47 as we progress into the final section at 0:52. In the original, this section was characterized by lightly arpeggiated triads, which have been retained here in the piano, harp and celesta. To complement this, I added quickly fading chords in the strings (and then the brass at 1:04) to add some slight development across the phrase. This is also the section where I brought a mild anvil rhythm to the forefront, which seemed appropriate given the forging function of this town.

At 1:05, I made a re-statement of the prior recorder material as a slight addition to the phrase so that there is some slight development in preparation for the loop to the beginning."


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