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  • Writer's pictureJonathan Shaw

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

That's another lighthouse ticked off the list - the ancient "Jupiter Lighthouse", now for orchestra!

Feel free to check out the landing page with links to the recording, sheet music and more!

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:

"This track is largely constructed on the old system of musical "modes" (essentially "scales"). We open in an E Phrygian mode (E-F-G-A-B-C-D), notably from the progression in the bass from E - D - F (the characteristic tones of E Phrygian and the latter of which being a tertiary shift).

But at 0:20 we get a more extreme tertiary shift down to Db Major 7th (Db-F-Ab-C) which is not a part of E Phrygian. From here, we get an unusual perfect cadence from Db to Gb Lydian (0:26; Gb-Ab-Bb-C-Db-Eb-F; very distant from our starting tonality of E) which then drops down a semitone to F (0:32; a very Phrygian progression) with a suspended 4-3 chord (F-A-Bb-C), and another slip down from F to E to repeat the phrase.

This swirling of tonalities is very reflective of a gentle breeze swaying in one direction and quickly changing to another. To enhance this, I decided to add an overall shimmering timbre through the use of trilling, tremolo and harmonic strings, as well as wind chimes (an apt choice, I reckon, for the lighthouse of wind). This shimmering should create a magical power to the track, complementing the immense power of alchemy sealed within.

To boost this massive, ancient sound, I also added organ pedals to support the bass (only the 32ft or 16ft pipes - that largest). These create an effective low booming that no other instrument can create (since there are no other instruments 32ft in size!)

As the phrase loops at 0:38, we get our first melody, originally placed in a sitar-like synthesized instrument in Sakuraba's original, but placed here in an ancient woodwind instrument - the Heckelphone (substituted by a Cor Anglais if not available). As it swims around a Phrygian-Lydian modality, there is not much else to say about this melody.

As the 2nd phrase concludes at 1:12, the track would originally have ended. But I decided to extend the track for one more phrase, giving the melody this time to a solo cello in its upper registers, as well as dropping out some of the shimmering from the strings so that their return is amplified when the track loops (1:48)."


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