Kanon & Air Piano Arrange Album -Re-feel-

Kanon & Air Piano Arrange Album -Re-feel- Album Title:
Kanon & Air Piano Arrange Album -Re-feel-
Record Label:
Key Sounds Label
Catalog No.:
KSLA-0010
Release Date:
December 28, 2003
Purchase:
Buy Used Copy

Overview

Following the precedent of various other bishoujo developers, Key celebrated the music of their first visual novels with a solo piano album in 2003. The release features five pieces from Kanon followed by five more from Air, all of them arranged by Ryo Mizutsuki and riya. The album sounds lovely from start to finish, but lacks the variety to be a top-notch release.

Body

When analysed from the ground-up, the opener “Promise” is one of the most simple piano arrangements in game music: a slow pensive melody is repeated on the right-hand above soft arpeggios. However, it is anything but dull. Subtle touches — such as the occasional chromatic shifts and melodic ornamentation — bring a lot of depth to the arrangement. In addition, the emotionally driven performance draws listeners in and brings new perspective to each repetition of the melody. It’s the ideal arrangement to put listeners in a calm reflective state.

With subsequent interpretations such as “Girls Prison” and “Afterglow”, the arrangers stay close to the melodies and moods of the originals, while offering a little more complexity than the opener. The arrangement approach is ideal for inspiring emotions and memories from sentimentalists. But on top of tracks such as “Tradition” and “Speaking of Dreams”, the amount of ballads can be frustrating. They all feature soft melodies, diatonic harmonies, and predictable forms, meaning that the album eventually bores. Given the Air and Kanon soundtracks featured plenty of upbeat tracks too, some more variety would be appreciated.

The album is most remarkable when it deviates from its balladic origins. Inspired by the jazz basis of the original, “Pure Snows” expands into a lounge style improvisation with some dazzling treble frills from the 1:55 mark. It’s major highlight of the release. Air‘s “Summer Lights” is also a breath of fresh air with its emphasis on pentatonic tonalities; while not as special as the original, it still retains a worldly flavour. Based on Kanon‘s theme song, “Remnants of a Dream” is a surprising momentous arrangement featuring some bold chord choices, while the semi-improvised closer “The Bird’s Poem” shifts slightly from the balladic influence to provide a liberating and romantic finish to the soundtrack.

Summary

As far as game music piano albums go, Re-feel is middle ground. On one hand, the arrangers and performers capture the melodies and moods of the originals with elegant piano interpretations. On the other hand, they rely so much on predictable balladic approaches that the album lacks the variety needed to be a completely satisfying listen. This album is best recommended for Air and Kanon nostalgics and those who enjoy sentimental piano piece.

Kanon & Air Piano Arrange Album -Re-feel- Chris Greening

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Posted on August 1, 2012 by Chris Greening. Last modified on August 1, 2012.


About the Author

Chris Greening

I've contributed to websites related to game audio since 2002. In this time, I've reviewed over a thousand albums and interviewed hundreds of musicians across the world. As the founder and webmaster of VGMO -Video Game Music Online-, I hope to create a cutting-edge, journalistic resource for all those soundtrack enthusiasts out there. In the process, I would love to further cultivate my passion for music, writing, and generally building things. Please enjoy the site and don't hesitate to say hello!



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