(These are listed in no particular order, I simply pulled the submissions from the reddit post)
Really cool to see another submission from ukdaza. The mastering of this trick is significantly improved over the mastering of the previous submission as well. Even though there’s not much here in regards to rearranging the original idea, there’s still a ton of awesome improvisation going on here.
2 – Mr. Goodmorning https://soundcloud.com/mrgoodmorning/destiny-composition-challenge
Tons of instruments in this arrangement, and a surprising electric guitar at the end makes this a really varied arrangement. I really enjoyed the different textures scored in, but I wish that this piece had more cohesion and direction. Maybe if it lasted a bit longer and each section was given a bit more time to build, it would have helped with the overall sound of the piece.
3 – cparsons https://soundcloud.com/cparsons/september
Cparsons actually submitted one of the two winning tracks from the last challenge, so it’s nice to see him return with another track with some more amazing guitar playing. As before, the guitar playing is super sweet and super tasteful. The transition to and from the minor/middle section is handled tastefully, though I would have liked to see a bit of a difference in texture here compared to the before and after – maybe the piano that’s introduced here could have been utilized a bit more? The accordion also sounds delicious as well!
This arrangement is incredibly sweet. The slight alterations in the chordal structure really add a ton of kick to the progression. The tracking on the drums was very sick as well (the ride pattern on the symbol so groovy!), and I’m a sucker for well processed drums. The only complaint I could possibly have with this was that it was too short!
5 – Bass Race Music https://soundcloud.com/bass-race-music/deceived
The atmosphere created in the first minute or so of this lead to something quite…unexpected. I like the transition in that it’s unexpected, but I feel like it didn’t relate much to the initial section. I also wish that the piece would have had a bit more expansion on both the initial and ladder parts. Both of them sounded okay on their own, though, but I really wish the two parts felt less disjointed.
6 – Fr0z3nFL4mE http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f7IGe-U_EiM
This is definitely a “safe” arrangement, insofar as nothing ventured too far from the source material, but it’s a very solid arrangement with some piano playing behind it. I enjoyed listening to this being fleshed out as much as it was, though I might have wanted to see a little bit more experimentation with the arrangement. Overall, though, a solid piece.
This is a pretty “loose” interpretation of the source material, but I’ll let it slide in because, well, the more the merrier! I think that there are interesting ideas here, but the arranger would greatly benefit from becoming more familiar with whatever DAW he’s using. The midi instruments sound very flat and dead, and the lack of dynamics between any of the instruments gives the entire arrangement a pretty “flat” sound, in my opinion.
8 – rising_son https://app.box.com/s/8iqbw18h8vj2amnb8t0a
I like the way that the arranger handled the different instruments here, but I wish it would have gone on longer to hear some development for the second section. The volume on this was really quiet, too, and the abrupt ending was disappointing.
9 – Alexander Kolonelos https://soundcloud.com/alexander-kolonelos/stevens-challenge-2
I like that this one strays pretty far from the original, but at the same time it’s really hard for me to hear any of the original at all in this, heh. That being said, the chords used during the more spare sections towards the start sound really nice, and the piano motif introduced at 0:53 sounds really cool as well.
This arrangement deviates from the original in an amazingly awesome way. The combination of electronic/acoustic instruments is handled really well, too! The pizzicato strings in the second half are amazing! The instrumentation that follows afterwards is also really cool. Overall, a really adventurous and well handled submission. The only complaint I’d have is the sudden ending!
11 – OutsetReset https://soundcloud.com/traemenchaca/destiny-victory-march
I like the 8-bit feel to this, even if it does get a bit reptitive. Everything sounds nicely put together, surprisingly, considering how awkward it might seem to throw an acoustic guitar in here. I wish there was more variety as the verses repeat themselves, though.
12 – JayTea O _o https://soundcloud.com/jaytea-o-o/serenade-of-the-infestor
I like that even though the instrumentaiton is relatively simple, all of the parts seem to be really well thought out. There’s not much in regards to straying from the original, which works fine in this case because everything is handled so well within this piece. The only thing I could have possibly asked for is to have a bit more of the am->Bb section. Regardless, very nice scoring in this!
13 – Eshystie https://soundcloud.com/eshyshe/piano-improvisation-no-27
This remains faithful to the original source pretty much entirely, but the playing is absolutely phenomenal. It’s clean, the sound is nice, the player handles dynamics excellently. I would have absolutely loved to hear a bit more exploration with this, just because the performer seems to be so talented.
This arrangement is probably one of the more interesting/out there electronic arrangements. I’m not a huge fan of the dancey “untz untz untz” arrangements, but this one seems to handle it well enough.
Winning arrangement? There were a few that I’d love to choose from, but I managed to narrow it down to one this time.
When I was going through these pieces, the key thing I started to look for were pieces that sounded like they could stand on their own as songs. This one definitely could, and the level of recording/play of the guitars + the wonderful and amazing addition of the accordion pushed this one over the edge for me. There were about 4 other pieces that all could have been here, but this one takes the cake for me.
Stay tuned for number 3 to be posted shortly, along with a slight change up of how I’ll run these.