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  • Writer's pictureJonathan Shaw

New Arrangement: "Venus Lighthouse" from Golden Sun (2001)

After going dark 3 years ago, 2020 will bring a new dawn with a new arrangement of Venus Lighthouse.

You can find links for the recording, sheet music and more over 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:

"Venus Lighthouse - the final dungeon of the original Golden Sun bringing us one of its most iconic tracks.

We commence in a strong F# Aeolian (F#-G#-A-B-C#-D-E) with a triumphant brass fanfare sitting atop a syncopated and energetic bass ostinato. To complement this rhythmic dissonance, I added a measured tremolo in the strings.

Harmonically, we sit on an F# pedal for some time with the harmony above progressing through F#m - G# diminished (G#-B-D) - F#m - E. Then we slip down to the submediant (chord VI; D major - D-F#-A; 0:06) for a brief excursion before climbing back up to F#m and concluding the phrase on an imperfect cadence on chord V (C#-E#-G#; 0:09).

This shifts upwards via an interrupted cadence back to D, followed quickly by E, and again to our tonic of F#m. All the while, the trumpets establish an inverted pedal on F#, colouring this ascending harmony to form added note chords (e.g. E major 9th; E-G#-B-F#; 0:13). To conclude the phrase, we have a final shift back to the submediant (0:16).

This opening material is then repeated, now with added woodwind and string flourishes, as well as piano support (0:18). A marked difference in this repeat is the ending harmony; at 0:29, we get a surprise shift into the tonic major (F#-A#-C#) instead of minor. This creates a more triumphant tertiary shift (e.g. the "Fellowship" theme from Lord of the Rings).

At 0:33, we begin the 2nd section in the submediant (D). Here, the strings and twinkling percussion take over the melodic role with a countermelody in the choir (now doubled in the horns and piano). Harmonically, we continue to traverse between the submediant and tonic (VI - VII - i) with some gorgeous added note chords from the countermelody (e.g. 7th at 0:33 & 9th at 0:39). As this 4-measure phrase repeats, this melody is expanded into octaves with fleeting woodwinds.

By 0:48, we repeat the opening triumphant material, now with additional melodic support from the trombones (0:48) and horns (0:50), later joined by the violins and flutes (0:57).

Following this, we get a surprising modulation into F Lydian (1:03; F-G-A-B-C-D-E; extremely distant from F# Aeolian) with a strong ostinato in the flutes, clarinets and harp to accompany a resolutely descending and ascending violin melody. In the repeat of this phrase, I added additional material in the trumpets to complement this melody.

After pulsing between F and G chords, we climb up to A major (1:18; A-C#-E; another triumphant tertiary shift of A to F). We are now scraping the climax of the track as we climb up another tone to B major (1:20; B-D#-F#). From here, we get an fantastically exciting tritone shift down to F major. To accentuate this, I added numerous sliding glissandi to sweep us through this remarkable shift.

From here, we climb again to G major and ultimately drop down another tertiary shift to E major (E-G#-B; 1:23), priming us to return to our tonic of F# via an interrupted cadence."


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