Baba Yetu won the Grammy!



  • Baba Yetu from the Civilization 4 soundtrack won the Grammy for "Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocalists." This is the first song composed for a video game to win the award. Pretty exciting!

    Video here.



  • I find it overproduced, hit-ified, westernized, Eurovisionist, Lion-king-esque, unconvincing, unenticing, flavourless, dry, emotionally void bullshit. I'm this close to calling it dishonest, but that would be a disservice to the singers and players involved. So I guess it's more a criticism of the producers and those who decided this should win.

    Sorry to rain on your parade, but I'm far removed from call this bit of Westfrica stuff "very good", let alone the best.

    In order to comparing apples to apples: the background music of AssCreed II is at least fifty-seven and four twelfths times the quality of this tripe. Especially the Venice music. That shit is tearjerkingly delightful. Jesper Kyd has outdone himself.

    That said, is this really the first video game music that won such an award? Because that is a pretty good thing regardless.



  • Troll more.



  • I've got to agree with dhromed here.

    I've not played Civ IV or even heard that music until today, but, ugh! That music just didn't feel appropriate to the subject matter. My feeling is that the music sounded too consistently jubilant, where what was needed was something much more epic. That was indeed like Lion King, when the subject matter warranted something much more like Return of the King.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @too_many_usernames said:

    I've got to agree with dhromed here.

    I've not played Civ IV or even heard that music until today, but, ugh! That music just didn't feel appropriate to the subject matter. My feeling is that the music sounded too consistently jubilant, where what was needed was something much more epic. That was indeed like Lion King, when the subject matter warranted something much more like Return of the King.

    If you play 'epic' music for the entire duration of a 20-hour game, it kind of stops being that.

    Civ 4's soundtrack never impressed me, possibly because there were only like... 5 songs, and playing them over and over for a 20 hour session SUCKS GIGAWANG. Mute that crap and let Winamp's failtastic random algorithm do what it can. Civ 5's soundtrack on the other hand - I can't think of even a single characteristic about it, which must mean it's at least serviceable and not annoying.

     

     

    At any rate, it's far from 'best' anything I've heard out of vidjagames - but at least there's some sort of recognition happening now.



  • Do not ask for whom the bell trolls! It trolls for thee!

    But seriously, the intro to Civ IV is incredible and inspirational, and if you feel no joy or wonder while watching it, you are some kind of automaton. From wrongville.

    edit: Civ V indeed has a crappy intro. As for in-game music, I keep it off so I can watch movies while I play.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    But seriously, the intro to Civ IV is incredible and inspirational
     

    That clip you linked was the actual Civ IV intro?

    I'll go look it again; I alttabbed away so I could focus on the crappy music.



  • @dhromed said:

    @blakeyrat said:

    But seriously, the intro to Civ IV is incredible and inspirational
     

    That clip you linked was the actual Civ IV intro?

    I'll go look it again; I alttabbed away so I could focus on the crappy music.

    It's edited together from the intro plus some of the wonder animations plus I think a little bit of new CGI. (The scene with the cavemen near the end doesn't appear in the intro or wonder animations, as far as I'm aware...) Oh and the epic composite city with virtually every wonder in it is I think one of the victory condition animations (cultural?) Whoever storyboarded the Eiffel Tower construction animation really outdid themselves.

    Either way, it's the song's official music video, so.



  •  Yeah, the animations are pretty good.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    But seriously, the intro to Civ IV is incredible and inspirational, and if you feel no joy or wonder while watching it, you are some kind of automaton.

    Why do you say that I am some kind of automaton?

    (Sorry, couldn't resist. I'm wondering, though, how many people get that reference?)

    More seriously: I'm not saying that song isn't inspirational, but that it doesn't seem well matched to the imagery in that particular video. I think that music is better suited to something along the lines of people welcoming travelers back from a long journey, or the first infant born after a great calamity, or a sunrise, or something. When it comes to civilization-scale war you need something like the 1812 Overture, and interstellar travel needs something like Also sprach Zarathustra.



  • @too_many_usernames said:

    @blakeyrat said:

    But seriously, the intro to Civ IV is incredible and inspirational, and if you feel no joy or wonder while watching it, you are some kind of automaton.

    Why do you say that I am some kind of automaton?

    (Sorry, couldn't resist. I'm wondering, though, how many people get that reference?)

    ... uh I'm not sure I get the reference. What are you talking about?

    The only "reference" I know of to the word automaton is in Mystery Men, where Furious is yelling at that girl in the diner: "let's all just be good little automaton droids and believe everything we hear in the news!" (Or something like that.) I just think it's a nifty word.

    @too_many_usernames said:

    When it comes to civilization-scale war

    Civilization isn't about war. In fact, if there's one thing Civ IV and V have done to the game, it's to downplay war significantly.

    @too_many_usernames said:

    and interstellar travel needs something like Also sprach Zarathustra.

    Far too cliché.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    ... uh I'm not sure I get the reference. What are you talking about?

    It's really kind of amazing that something extremely common from the 'net in the late 90's is already "obscure"... the key isn't the word "automaton" but the general structure of the statement.

    @blakeyray said:
    Civilization isn't about war. In fact, if there's one thing Civ IV and V have done to the game, it's to downplay war significantly.

    Kind of odd, really; the hallmark of early civilizations was war. Although I guess even games these days have to make the universe seem all cuddly and happy. Mostly my statement was referring to the scenes in the clip where the Roman-esque armies were gathering, or the American revolution scenes.

    @blakeyrat said:

    Far too cliché.

    Admittedly, but just about any theme that is associated with space is cliché any more...and at least people get the reference. Some other good space music would be from, say, the old Dune movie (yes, I know the movie is considered odd at best, but it did have some decent scoring at points).

    In my mind one of the characteristics of a good accompaniment is that it immediately conjures up images and emotions associated with its subject matter. I just didn't find the Baba Yetu to emotionally or otherwise associate itself with the rise of civilization, and that's why I think it fails at its indicated role. Some reasons why: the song started strong but actually ended pretty weak; there really wasn't a sense of crescendo. It was there, but it was too little. More concrete: why did the full choir come in right at the beginning? It should have started with only instruments, or a single voice, adding voices as time progressed - not going from the female wordless voice for 10 seconds, the solo male voice for about 10 seconds, then the full choir. Also, the song didn't evolve enough over time - it remained basically the same theme, with too few theme variations (or not prominent enough, at any rate). I had high hopes around 1:33 or so, as it changed and added some strings, but then they faded out. Overall the song just sounded too flat; it would introduce a new instrument or two - great! - but then instead of adding a new instrument to that, any subsequent additions would replace the old instead of build on them (like the solo flute somewhere in the third minute) - toward the end, around 3:30, it's left again with just a few simple musical lines (voice, drums, and some light strings).

    I guess some people like it, which is fine, but it just didn't work for me.



  • @too_many_usernames said:

    @blakeyrat said:
    ... uh I'm not sure I get the reference. What are you talking about?

    It's really kind of amazing that something extremely common from the 'net in the late 90's is already "obscure"... the key isn't the word "automaton" but the general structure of the statement.

    So I was making a reference to "a general structure of the statement common in the late 90's"... what the holy crap are you talking about? If I was referencing a work, what's the work? If not, what the shit does that mean?



  • @blakeyrat said:

    @too_many_usernames said:
    @blakeyrat said:
    ... uh I'm not sure I get the reference. What are you talking about?

    It's really kind of amazing that something extremely common from the 'net in the late 90's is already "obscure"... the key isn't the word "automaton" but the general structure of the statement.

    So I was making a reference to "a general structure of the statement common in the late 90's"... what the holy crap are you talking about? If I was referencing a work, what's the work? If not, what the shit does that mean?

    Eliza talk bot, I guess. Or one of the zillions of derivatives.



  • @bannedfromcoding said:

    Eliza talk bot, I guess. Or one of the zillions of derivatives.

    Precisely. I'm sort of surprised that, on this site, this wasn't noted sooner...I'm not really getting old am I?



  • @too_many_usernames said:

    @bannedfromcoding said:

    Eliza talk bot, I guess. Or one of the zillions of derivatives.

    Precisely. I'm sort of surprised that, on this site, this wasn't noted sooner...I'm not really getting old am I?

    Does the Eliza bot frequently use the word "automaton"? I know what Eliza is, I just don't get the relevance to what I typed.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    Does the Eliza bot frequently use the word "automaton"? I know what Eliza is, I just don't get the relevance to what I typed.

    I am having a very difficult time trying to discern if your question/statement is a troll or a legitimate instance of confusion.

    Does anyone else want to have a crack at it? I could spell it out, but it just somehow feels condescending to both of us.



  • @too_many_usernames said:

    @blakeyrat said:

    Does the Eliza bot frequently use the word "automaton"? I know what Eliza is, I just don't get the relevance to what I typed.

    I am having a very difficult time trying to discern if your question/statement is a troll or a legitimate instance of confusion.

    Does anyone else want to have a crack at it? I could spell it out, but it just somehow feels condescending to both of us.

    I honestly truly and non-troll-y have no idea what the relation between me calling somebody an automaton and the chatbot Eliza is. Maybe I just don't remember how Eliza worked, but I sure as heck would have remembered if it called me an automaton.

    In any case, I certainly wasn't making a "reference" to Eliza, as evidenced by my confusion in this thread.



  •  @blakeyrat said:

    One of your earlier posts said something like "if you don't feel inspired... you must be some kind of automaton."  This gave me reason to post a phrase in the style of a common automaton.  It really wasn't anything more than that.

     

    In all actuality, I was hoping this discussion would continue more along the lines of music analysis and theory rather than my questionably wry remark.



  • @too_many_usernames said:

    In all actuality, I was hoping this discussion would continue more along the lines of music analysis and theory rather than my questionably wry remark.

    Not making one seems to work most of the time



  • So anyway, Baba Yetu is amazing.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    So anyway, Baba Yetu is amazing.
     

    I disagree.

    Let's hope that new Radiohead album is any good.


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