Jan 19

Chrono Cinematica

Chrono Cinematica

Type Orchestral arrangement of music from Chrono Trigger
Artist Sam Dillard
Album Chrono Cinematica
Genre Orchestral, Symphonic, Rock
Release Date October 23rd 2015


Firstly a bit of background information. The original soundtrack from Chrono Trigger was released on the ‘Super Nintendo Entertainment System’ in 1995 and composed Yasunori Mitsuda, Nobuo Uematsu and Noriko Matsueda. The soundtrack remains both a personal favourite of mine and loved by many other fans of the game. Since it’s release it has been covered and arranged extensively by other artists such as: ‘Chrono Symphonic’ by the guys at OCRemix, ‘Play! A Video Game symphony’, Video Games live, Symphonic Fantasies and various Youtube users. In June 2015 Sam created a kickstarter to campaign for Chrono Cinematic which was successfully funded during July.

GENRE/STYLE – The album would best be described as orchestral and symphonic, although some tracks mimic the feel/style of the original tracks whilst still utilising the standard instruments of an orchestra.

ARRANGEMENT – It would seem Sam has go for the medley approach, so rather than having one theme per track, he has combined several themes from the original soundtrack and he does it creatively and appropriately. The themes that he puts together fit together either chronologically in the game, or thematically. A good example of this would be ‘Against the Wind’ which primarily features ‘Battle with Magus’ also includes a short statement of ‘Frog’s Theme’ at 3:05 as they are rivals and sworn enemies in the story. ‘Joints of Metal’ features 6 different themes which flow seamlessly from one to the next creating an interesting overall effect.

INSTRUMENTATION – The vast majority of the album features a full symphonic orchestra with choir, with some other instruments featuring occasionally such as drums, guitars and bass in the ‘Red Star Falls’.

PRODUCTION – Even though Sam uses virtual instrument samples to create his tracks it sounds extremely realistic and it’s often almost impossible to distinguish the difference. The different instruments and sounds are clear and well balanced through out, so production wise it’s really impressive.

CRITICISM – I may have to leave the section blank, because I can’t really think of anything to add. I don’t remember hearing Spekkio’s theme actually which disappoints me greatly, so I might have to know a point off for that.

Album Highlights

Times Are Changing – The opening track of the album is in interesting arrangment of the Chrono Trigger main theme which and rises and falls in dynamics and intensity. It is a delicate balance between conservative and liberal usage of the original theme – familiar enough to be enjoy but different enough to become interesting to listen to as an alternative to the original.

Joints of Metal – From what I can hear this song features several themes including: Gato’s Song, Battle, Boss Battle 1, Chrono Trigger, Robo’s Theme and Fanfare. Words that spring to mind to describe this track would be are bold, epic, driving,

Facing the Future – This song coveys the idea of heroes setting out on an epic adventure fitting for the story of the game. It begins with a Powerful and interesting arrangement of Boss Battle Theme 2. Sam also utilises some material from Determination which flows on from the previous theme. The melodic B section from the Chrono Trigger Main theme fills up the second half of the second and combined with a short arrangement of the fanfare theme it adds a much needed melodic contrast to the rest of the song. A highly rated track full of drama.

Dreams of the Virtuous – Schala’s theme is one my favourite tracks from the original soundtrack and Sam does it justice here with this beautiful and lush arrangement.

Rating – 10/10

I gave every song a 5 star in Itunes, well except for track 7 (Ding-a-ling Chaos!) just because it is so short. If you’re a fan of orchestral arrangements of video game music or you loved Chrono Trigger (or ideally both) you won’t be disappointed with Chrono Cinematica, I highly recommend it!



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