“Searching for Friends” feat. Brett McDonald and Matt Endahl
Nobuo Uematsu Arr: Tyler J. Mire
Performed by the Multiplayer Big Band
-Listen to “Searching for Friends – A Big Band Jazz Tribute to FFVI” on all streaming platforms:
-Score Link: /2TQqCJT
Mixed/Edited By: Tyler J. Mire
Mastered by: Mike Haynes
In 2020, when my son was a small infant and I would do the 4am night shifts with him. To pass the time I would play FFVI on my Wii Virtual Console. This was probably my 20ish playthrough of the game, but it had been a few years since I had sat down to play it. I had the time, so I decided to grind out every esper for every character in the game. Fans of the game know that this can take a LONG time, even with grinding hacks. The music that plays for the overworld and airship is this beautiful song entitled “Searching for Friends” that played through 99% of those grinding sessions. This song now lives rent free in my mind (if it did not already).
When approaching this arrangement I wanted to challenge myself and write a little bit more than I usually allow (I’m notorious for cutting most of what I write and only presenting the most lean arrangements I can). In addition, I wanted the music to tell the story of the game in some ways. In this part of the story in Final Fantasy VI you are on a mission to find your allies and rebuild your party to take on the final enemy, Kefka. As this song develops we slowly add (find) individual voices of the group. Matt Endahl starts us off with a hopeful Rhodes solo (we have found the airship!), then the rhythm section joins. Brett McDonald comes in on alto, then Joe Jackson on trombone. The trumpets get a feature, coming in two by two. The full ensemble then sends off Brett (this time on flute) who dazzles with a stunning solo. After an original soli (some detours finding your friends, no doubt), Matt Endahl performs a Chick Corea-inspired solo for the ages. Now we are ready to go!
The climax is full and powerful! We found our friends, we can take on any obstacle! But wait – this may prove more dangerous than we thought. The tense ostinato suggests some anxiety and hesitation, will this party be enough to defeat the forces of evil? Yes! A dramatic “one more once” reprise sings out: we can do this!
The ending is a giant question mark. We’ve found all our friends, we’ve confronted Kefka. What will happen now? If you don’t know the answer – it is time to play Final Fantasy VI!
Thank you all for joining me on this adventure and listening to this humble EP! If you liked what you hear please share these videos and check out the music on all appropriate streaming platforms.
Brett McDonald (lead Alto Sax, Flute)
Andrew Francisco (Alto Sax)
Luis Hernandez (Tenor Sax)
Howi Dietz (Tenor Sax)
Kelsey Mire (Bari Sax)
Tyler Mire (lead)
Joe Jackson (lead)
Matt Jefferson (bass)
Shawn Purcell – Guitar
Matt Endahl – Rhodes
Nico Mendoza – Fretless Bass
Jesse Myers – Drums
Want more video game big band goodness?: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLt9vfS6MJhpvPquS6BaogHQbz4Jjnzdzl
Want to hear my original compositions for the Tyler Mire Big Band?: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLt9vfS6MJhpvzjnzkIyokGHaIs3G_u_xv
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