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Voices of the Lifestream

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Voices of the Lifestream
File:VotL Album Cover.jpg
Soundtrack by OverClocked ReMix
Released September 14, 2007
Recorded January 2006–September 2007
Genre Acoustic
Classical
Electronica
Jazz
Rock
Video game music
Length 3:27:46
Label OverClocked ReMix
Producer Andrew Aversa (zircon)
Professional reviews
OverClocked ReMix chronology

<span />

Project Chaos
(2006)
Voices of the Lifestream
(2007)
Thieves of Fate
(2008)

Voices of the Lifestream is an unofficial tribute album released by OverClocked ReMix in honor of Nobuo Uematsu's score for the popular video game, Final Fantasy VII.[1] The album was released on September 14, 2007, to coincide with the 10th anniversary of Final Fantasy VII.[2][3] Since its release, the collection has received praise from numerous video game sites and professional composers.[2][3]

Development

Production of Voices of the Lifestream began in January 2006 as a personal endeavor by OverClocked ReMix Judge and ReMixer Andrew "zircon" Aversa to recreate the soundtrack of Final Fantasy VII.[4] In a director’s note, Aversa credits his nostalgic experiences with the game as his motivation towards the project.[5] A private forum was created to house development on the project and many community members were contacted to aid in developing a track list. Development of the project lasted over 20 months encompassing over 40 remixers credited with creating 45 tracks.[6][7] The compilation was released on September 14, 2007, in correlation with Final Fantasy VII's 10th anniversary.[3] Few physical copies of the compilation were made. The tracks were instead made available through digital distribution in lossless WAV and MP3 formats.[8] Voices of the Lifestream is OC ReMix's ninth project to be released.[4]

Music video competition

On October 4, 2007, OverClocked ReMix announced a competition, in conjunction with Piano Squall and eStarland, regarding the creation of a music video set to a track from Voices of the Lifestream.[9][10] There were three different categories to enter including Final Fantasy VII, anime, and original. The winners were awarded a signed limited edition of Voices of the Lifestream among other prizes, as well as having their video presented at anime and gaming conventions that OC ReMix attends. The contest ended on December 14, 2007. The winners were announced on the OverClocked ReMix forums two months later:[11]

Final Fantasy VII Category

  • Winner: "Compiled Memories" by sayde (David Lee)
  • Runner-up: "Black-Winged Angel" by slkdragon (Chris Cook)
  • Honorable Mention: "Wheels of Lifestream" by Big Paul (Paulo Augusto)

Anime Category

  • Winner: "Final Moments of Clarity" by Mindeffects (Saša Tarbuk)
  • Runner-up: "Sweetest Embrace" by Phantasmagoriat (Chris Studer)

Original Category

  • Winner: "Stone Eyes" by Zethzen (Ian Cofino)
  • Runner-up: "Lunatic Hero" by backseatstuff (Matt Furbush)

Reception

Public reception has been generally positive, with Voices of the Lifestream being the most downloaded project created by OverClocked ReMix to date according to a BitTorrent tracker on OC ReMix’s website.[8] The success of the project can partially be attributed to the video game community’s efforts to “spread the word” about the album’s release on sites like digg,[12] as well as Final Fantasy VII's long standing popularity among gamers.[13]

Editors of video game music websites, and video game websites in general, have been typically positive in their reviews. Kotaku has referred to the project as being “a massive labor of love…truly amazing.”[14] Game Tabs has called the compilation a “masterpiece,” expressing surprise at the quality of the compilation, but criticizing the vocals in some of the tracks.[15] SquareSound gave the project a 90%, praising the musicianship exhibited by the OC ReMix community and recommending immediate download. SquareSound also criticized some of the tracks, feeling that they got “lost” attempting to reinterpret the source material.[6] In an advance review, Jayson Napolitano of Music4Games called Voices of the Lifestream “one of the most impressive and encompassing listening experiences in the world of video game music.” [16]

News of the album is not limited to the U.S. Finnish video game magazine Pelit gave the album a score of 5 out of 5 stars, lauding its diverse content but also pointing out a few unnecessary tracks which should have been excluded from the album while it was still in development. Voices of the Lifestream was nonetheless described as “the most interesting event on the Internet music scene in a long time.”[17]

Two professional video game composers have also given their approval of the compilation. Tommy Tallarico, video game composer and co-creator of Video Games Live, praised the album, stating “OC ReMix has done it again! I'm always impressed with the amazing talent that comes from the OCR community.”[3] Michael Gluck, better known as Piano Squall, has also voiced approval of the compilation, stating “…this is without a doubt the most fantastic project to ever hit the videogame music scene."[18]

Track listing

The project is spread out over four discs although few physical copies of the album are available.[1] Most of the content was distributed via download links and torrents. The names of the discs coincide with the titles of releases made for the Compilation of Final Fantasy VII (e.g. Disc One is entitled Crisis in reference to Crisis Core, Disc Two is entitled Dirge in reference to Dirge of Cerberus, Disc Three is entitled Advent in reference to Advent Children and Disc Four is entitled Order, which references Last Order: Final Fantasy VII.)[19]

Disc One – Crisis

  1. ”Deliverance of the Heart (Heart of Anxiety)” (4:29) pixietricks, zircon
  2. ”Every Story Begins with a Name (Opening - Bombing Mission)” (6:49) Big Giant Circles
  3. ”No Such Thing As the Promised Land (Mako Reactor)” (5:14) sephfire, SGX
  4. ”Materia Junkie (Under the Rotting Pizza ~ The Oppressed)” (4:20) LuIzA
  5. ”Full Frontal Assault (Let the Battles Begin!)” (5:09) norg, SnappleMan
  6. ”Too Much Fighting (Fanfare)” (4:54) Another Soundscape
  7. ”Damn Those Turks! (Turks' Theme)” (3:13) Daniel Baranowsky
  8. ”Adrenalyne Kyck (Hurry!)” (4:12) Big Giant Circles, Liontamer, zircon
  9. ”Nomura Limit (Fight On!)” (3:18) zircon
  10. ”Son of Chaos (Shinra Company)” (5:41) Xaleph
  11. ”Lunatic Moon (Red XIII's Theme ~ Cosmo Canyon)” (3:59) Sixto Sounds, zircon
  12. ”motor crazycycle (Crazy Motorcycle)” (4:55) tefnek

Disc Two – Dirge

  1. ”Short Skirts (Tifa's Theme)” (3:56) djpretzel, Vigilante
  2. ”Valse Aeris (Flowers Blooming in the Church ~ Aerith's Theme)” (7:24) Jeremy Robson
  3. ”Embraced Empathy (Dear to the Heart)” (3:05) Hemophiliac
  4. ”Serenity (Main Theme of FINAL FANTASY VII)” (5:31) Mustin
  5. ”A Life Without Parole (Desert Wasteland)” (4:54) Dhsu
  6. ”Scenes from a Memory (On That Day, Five Years Ago...)” (3:37) Sixto Sounds, Suzumebachi, zircon
  7. ”Golden Fields (Farm Boy)” (3:42) Geoffrey Taucer, Tepid
  8. ”Crystal Sermon (The Prelude)” (5:05) Trenthian
  9. ”Chasing the Storm (In Search of the Man in Black)” (2:41) Rellik
  10. ”Sephiroth's Wake (Trail of Blood)” (4:40) Tweek
  11. ”JENOVA Celestial (J-E-N-O-V-A)” (4:11) bLiNd
  12. ”Mark of the Beatsmith (Mark of a Traitor)” (7:20) Hy Bound

Disc Three – Advent

  1. ”Suco de Melancia (Costa del Sol)” (4:31) Red Tailed Fox
  2. ”Stone Eyes (The Great Warrior)” (4:12) Shnabubula
  3. ”Daydreaming Again (Words Drowned by Fireworks)” (3:38) Pot Hocket
  4. ”Alien Exploration (Gold Saucer ~ Cid's Theme)” (3:54) Trenthian
  5. ”Golden Feathers (Racing Chocobos - Place Your Bets!)” (4:01) Another Soundscape
  6. ”Midnight at Club Corel (Mining Town)” (6:26) Red Tailed Fox, Shnabubula
  7. ”Ahead On Our Rave (On Our Way)” (5:35) FFmusic Dj
  8. ”Kweh! (Electric de Chocobo)” (2:25) Darangen
  9. ”The Crossroads (Cid's Theme)” (4:52) Jovette Rivera
  10. ”Fading Entity (Listen to the Cries of the Planet)” (6:03) bLiNd, Leifo
  11. ”Frozen Landscape (Buried in Snow)” (4:08) Tweek

Disc Four – Order

  1. ”Sleep, My Sephy (Judgement Day)” (4:40) Pot Hocket
  2. ”Collision (The North Cave)” (4:47) Darangen
  3. ”Airships Make Me Happy (The Highwind Takes to the Skies)” (5:06) Star Salzman
  4. ”Hydrophone Breakdown (Secret of the Deep Sea)” (4:33) JigginJonT
  5. ”Omnislash (Hurry Up!)” (4:12) Fishy
  6. ”Rare Square (Countdown)” (4:06) bustatunez, The Orichalcon
  7. ”Jenova Returns (J-E-N-O-V-A ~ Jenova Complete)” (4:59) Steffan Andrews
  8. ”Beginning of the End (Birth of a God)” (4:21) bLiNd
  9. ”Black Wing Metamorphosis (One-Winged Angel)” (3:21) bLiNd, Fishy, pixietricks, Sixto Sounds, Steffan Andrews, Suzumebachi, tefnek
  10. ”The Golden Ivories of Gaia (Various Themes)” (5:59) Bladiator

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Final Fantasy VII: Voices of the Lifestream. VGMDB. Retrieved on 2008-03-15.
  2. 2.0 2.1 North, Dale (2007-09-10). Final Fantasy VII: Voices of the Lifestream album advance review. Destructoid. Retrieved on 2008-03-14.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Radd, David (2007-09-14). Game Daily: OC Remix releases FFVII: Voices of the Lifestream. Game Daily. Retrieved on 2007-11-17.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Browsing: OverClocked ReMix Albums. OverClocked ReMix (2007-09-14). Retrieved on 2007-11-19.
  5. Aversa, Andrew (2007-09-14). A Note from the Director…. OverClocked ReMix. Retrieved on 2007-11-15.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Ronin (2007-09-14). SquareSound: Voices of the Lifestream Review. SquareSound. Retrieved on 2007-11-17.
  7. VotL Credits List. OverClocked ReMix (2007). Retrieved on 2007-12-13.
  8. 8.0 8.1 OverClocked ReMix BitTorrent tracker. OverClocked ReMix. Retrieved on 2007-11-19.
  9. Lloyd, David W. (2007-10-04). OC ReMix Announces Final Fantasy VII: Voices of the Lifestream Music Video Competition. OverClocked ReMix. Retrieved on 2007-11-17.
  10. Lloyd, David W. (2007-10-04). AMV: Voices of the Lifestream Music Video Competition. AnimeMusicVideos.org. Retrieved on 2007-11-17.
  11. Lloyd, David W. (2008-02-24). OC ReMix Announces Voices of the Lifestream Music Video Contest Results!. OverClocked ReMix. Retrieved on 2008-02-24.
  12. Digg: Final Fantasy VII: Voices of the Lifestream. Digg. Retrieved on 2007-11-15.
  13. Kraus, Alex (2006-08-30). 'Dirge of Cerberus' defies expectations, for better and worse. USA Today. Retrieved on 2008-03-15.
  14. Fahey, Mike (2007-09-14). Kotaku: Voices of the Lifestream. Kotaku.com. Retrieved on 2007-11-15.
  15. Archard (2007-10-13). Game Tabs: Final Fantasy VII: Voices of the Lifestream Review. Game Tabs. Retrieved on 2007-11-15.
  16. Napolitano, Jayson (2007-09-10). Music 4 Games: Voices of the Lifestream Review. Music4Games. Retrieved on 2007-11-17.
  17. Penttilä, Juho (November 2007). "Musiikkia vuosipäivän ratoksi". Pelit: 19. 
  18. Final Fantasy VII Voices of the Lifestream. OverClocked ReMix (2007). Retrieved on 2007-11-17.
  19. Track listing for Voices of The Lifestream. OverClocked ReMix (2007). Retrieved on 2007-11-15.

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