February 13, 2012

Music Monday: Ovelia's Worries

This week's piece was selected for a few different reasons:

1) Hitoshi Sakimoto's unforgettable music in Final Fantasy Tactics has never received a "piano collections" album (or any additional attention outside the OST, actually). I still remember the first time I played FFT on the Playstation, and having two distinct feelings: first, that the game was way more complex and difficult than any FF game I'd handled before -- and second, that the music matched this sophistication. The gameplay refused to dumb itself down for those who couldn't survive the trial-by-fire of its intricate, strategy-based battles -- and indeed, it wouldn't think twice about leaving stragglers behind. The music served meritably as a reward in and of itself for those who kept up.

2) The featured piece, Ovelia's Worries, is just one of a handful of piano arrangements by Casey Ormond. His YouTube channel hosts a variety of game music that he's adapted for piano, and it's worth listening to as well. Ormond has proven himself as not only a skilled performer, but someone who can rewrite a piece, add his own touches and decorations, and expand on the source material in a fitting manner.

3) Ormond's talents haven't only garnered the admiration of fans. Thanks to his proven skills, he was hired to rework more of Sakimoto's music in an official capacity, through the Valkyria Chronicles: Piano Pieces album. I'll definitely be grabbing this one soon -- apparently it's available on the US iTunes store (though not on the Canadian store, so I'm still figuring out what I need to do to access it).

Title: Ovelia's Worries
Game: Final Fantasy Tactics (released January 1998, North America)
Originally Composed by Hitoshi Sakimoto
Arranged by Casey Ormond

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