Memories of Dali

by Jean Of mArc

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My submission to the OverClocked ReMix album "Final Fantasy IX - Worlds Apart" (ff9.ocremix.org)

For whatever reason, RPGs had never caught my interest until I saw the cover of Final Fantasy IX. My local gamestore was renting it, and so I decided to give it a try and see what kind of reaction I had. From its choreographed introduction to its settling conclusion, FFIX captured my imagination in a way that very few games had done in a long time. I have a distinct memory of realizing my love for the game immediately upon my entry into Frontier Village Dali. Ever since then, that moment has stuck with me. That's very appropriate, because the entire game of FFIX is themed around the idea that memories never die, and even when times passes and people separate, our memories hold us together. "Memories of Dali" is both my own reflection of a time when I had the ability to sink 80 hours into such a great experience, and of the shared sentiment of the women who actually reside in the fictitious village.

From a production standpoint, it was also a bit of a milestone for me. It was the first time I picked up and started using a DAW again in many years, choosing to go with Reaper, and the first time I tried using high-quality virtual instruments instead of using freely available ones or doing only live recording. It was the first time I wrote somewhat serious lyrics for one of my compositions, as I usually either do no write them at all, or write very silly ones. Also, it was a chance to reunite a musical trio from my university days: myself doing the composition, my amazing wife Solveig Giffin performing the piano, and our great friend Christine MacIsaac with her soothing vocals. Neither my wife nor Christine were familiar with the game at the time, but having two of my favourite people involved in performing an arranged song from one of my favourite games was a very special experience. Although it took a long time to complete, due to many learning hurdles to overcome along the way, the result is definitely worth it, and I hope you'll all enjoy this track as much as we did making it.

lyrics

I remember way back when
You and I were young and reckless
Riding chocobos through the field
Oh how alive we’d feel!
In the windmill we’d hide the treasures that we’d found outside
And nobody found them...

When our moms worked on the farm
We would go and catch some oglops
And we’d put them where they’d be seen
Oh how our moms would scream!
Then chase after us as we’d laugh hard and run away,
But those days are gone now...

The queen’s men came to town
Wanted dolls for the crown
Moved our work to the underground
And they took all our farmland down...

What are all these things?
Gears and belts and springs?
And machines we can’t convey.
Dumb production lines
Sealing hats with twines
They take our life away.

Now our kids run wild and free
And we’re not even able to see them.
We’re always stuck the earth
And what is it all worth?
To miss their lives for a little bit of extra pay,
We don’t even need it.

Let’s bring back the charm
Of those days on the farm!
Once again under the sun
Watching our kids laugh and have fun
And play their tricks on us
Like we used to do!

Bring back, bring back,
Those days.

credits

released September 9, 2015
Singer: Christine MacIsaac
Pianist: Solveig Giffin
Composer: Jean-Marc Giffin

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Jean Of mArc Halifax, Nova Scotia

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