In my opinion, the Stone Tower Temple music in Majora’s Mask is one of the best tracks in the game, and possibly the whole series. So, when I stumbled across this Stone Tower Temple remix by Josh Barron, which is part of the FATE: A Tribute to Majora’s Mask album, I was entranced. I’ve heard a lot of remixes of this theme over the years, yet none even come close to Barron’s expert recreation. Although he uses tonally similar instruments to the original track, maintaining its uncanny vibe, he also introduces his own unique arrangements to create a whole new masterpiece.
The main thing that really enthralls me about this recreation is how raw the instruments sound, which makes every individual note clean and emphatic. It feels like I’m at a live performance, watching musicians passionately play the flute, gracefully move the bows of violins and cellos, delicately strum and pluck guitars, and vigorously tap on drums. Each instrument is used in a minimalistic way too. They come in and out to complement one another at just the right times, which means no part is too overwhelming or repetitive (a trap that many remixes fall into).
I think it’s also interesting how Barron’s recreation has a slightly different tone to the original. Though the instruments are similar and the same drum beat persists throughout, the remix sounds more “alive” and uplifting. The track from the game has a choir of deep humming voices that make me think of death and bleakness — after all, Ikana is essentially the valley of the dead. However, in Barron’s remix, the voices have been replaced by very gentle-sounding yet upbeat instruments. As a result, I think it sounds like the kind of music that — maybe hundreds or thousands of years ago — musicians would play at the temple, back when Ikana was a society. I envision an Inca-like civilization (based on the aesthetic of the temple in the game) where people from all across Termina would come to pray to their Gods and admire the temple’s beautiful architecture.
Sufficed to say, Barron has breathed new life into the Stone Tower Temple track. I can’t stop listening to it, thinking about what Ikana Valley was like, once upon a time.