June 26, 2012

See you around! Moving to AIVITRAN.COM

Hi everyone! I wanted to thank you all for your wonderful support over the years, and also mention that after this post, I'll stop updating this blog and many, many links are about to break. (Get out of here before the apocalypse!) Even though it's been awhile since I've posted anything of substance here, I still receive comments about my videos and sheet music, which I really appreciate.

As I've mentioned in a previous post, I'm actually very active on the internet, and the best way to hear my music is to follow me on Twitter (for updates and all the mischief I get up to), YouTube (for videos), Facebook (for general news), and Soundcloud (for originals, and sketches/improvs).

I'm also updating my website, which has its own blog now! I'll leave this current blog up for good times' sake, but all of the sheet music and MP3 downloads that were available here will also be available in the Downloads section there within the week, so don't fret.

Once again, thank you for being wonderful fans, and thank you Blogger for being a good first host.

If you're coming along with me for the ride, I'll see you over at http://aivitran.com!


December 6, 2011

Score Downloads on YouTube

Hi everyone! I just wanted to apologize for all of the broken links on the blog, since I've been receiving a lot of comments about them lately. Please check my YouTube channel for links to all of my scores, and follow me on Facebook and Twitter for more frequent updates regarding new covers and original pieces.

I've also rounded up every video game arrangement I've made between 2008-2010 into this video - please click through to find the list of links to the downloads.

July 27, 2011

“Zanarkand Sundown” Video, from Final Fantasy X

My take on “To Zanarkand” from Final Fantasy X, composed by Nobuo Uematsu. There are a lot of great covers of this song out there already, so I wanted to do something a little more... my style :]

Reharmonized and spliced the original melody up quite a bit here, plus minor improv and a brief meter change - hope you enjoy! And apologies, but there is no actual video for this piece. To copy and paste what I told someone: it takes me months to practice for a video, yet only hours to come up with an arrangement... I figure if I sacrifice the videos now and then, I can cover more songs!

Download the MP3 here.

July 6, 2011

“Planet Wisp” Video, from Sonic Colors

“Planet Wisp” composed by Kenichi Tokoi, from the amazing Sonic Colors soundtrack. I’m crazy excited that I had the chance to collaborate with one of my favorite musicians in the universe, Dave Harris (aka Blitz Lunar), an extremely talented sequencer and composer. He transcribed the entire “Planet Wisp” theme (by ear, of course) and I performed the piano part and solos alongside it.

Did you catch the Green Hill Zone reference in the piano? How about pixel Sonic on the right (inspired by http://snakestitch.wordpress.com)?

Download the MP3 here, and be sure to check out Dave’s YouTube channel and website.

As an aside, I started out in the game music community as a MIDI sequencer in the late 90’s, submitting transcriptions of videogame pieces to the Video Game Music Archive. (You can still find a lot of my work there under the alias Sirius. Don’t laugh too hard! I was super young.) I have a lot of admiration and respect for sequencers, as it requires both precision with one’s ear and precision in execution, which in turn requires a command of the technology. Dave and I started talking because of our common history with vgmusic.com (and our common adoration for soundtracks like Bomberman 64) and it’s been an absolute pleasure to get to work with someone who I share some sensibilities with. Plus, I get to show my appreciation for an art form that’s quite sentimental to me, and I wouldn’t be here today without it!

July 2, 2011

I Got Hit by a Mink Car

Awhile ago, I was invited to be a part of the Mink Car Cover project with 18 other amazing artists (including Mustin of The OneUps, Ryan North of Dinosaur Comics, MC Frontalot, my almost-roommate Jonathan Mann of SONGATRON, and many more!) The original Mink Car album by They Might Be Giants was released on September 11, 2001, the day of the attacks on the World Trade Center in New York. We’ll be covering all of Mink Car and proceeds will go to the FDNY Foundation.

I’m so honored to be in the company of all these great artists that I’ve admired from afar. For the TMBG fans out there, the track that I’m doing is “Mink Car” itself as a piano solo. I’m really excited for the whole project! Check out http://minkcarcover.com to read about the project’s background, the artists, and to pre-order the album.

In other news, I’m working on a really cool duet with Dave Harris (aka Blitz Lunar), one of my favorite people in the universe. Red Burst, Yellow Drill, Orange Rocket, Green Hover, Blue Cube, Purple Frenzy, White Boost - can you guess what game soundtrack we’ll be performing from?

Happy 4th of July, American friends! Hope you all enjoy the holiday on Monday!

June 24, 2011

“Basic Step” Video, from Wii Fit

Hi everyone! Sorry I haven’t posted in awhile. Here’s something I recorded last month:
I couldn’t resist. The “Basic Step” theme from Wii Fit is incredibly catchy and charming, and I kept giggling to myself when I came up with the idea. (Notice anything different? I moved... and got a new keyboard! Say hello to my new home and my new Roland.) I had way too much fun with this arrangement! Hope you enjoy.

MP3 available here.

Some announcements and minor changes: the Blogspot URL of this blog will now redirect to http://blog.aivitran.com, and the menu on the top left should tie into my main portfolio site, plus links to my Twitter and YouTube pages. I’m hoping to create one central hub for my work, rather than many auxiliary sites that I sporadically update and randomly direct people to.

Finally - and I feel so narcissistic about this! - I started a Facebook page as another way to get in touch. I get a lot of friend requests and I feel really bad about turning them down (we all want a little bit of privacy, after all) so I hope that this will make things easier.

That’s all for now! It’s been a very busy month for me, and I hope I can show off more music very soon. Thanks again for all of your wonderful words and support, even when I seem to be in “sleep mode”!

March 2, 2011

“The Legend of Zelda Theme” Video

The famous Legend of Zelda theme, in honor of Zelda’s 25th anniversary last week! This arrangement is largely inspired by the Koholith Overworld from Link’s Awakening, my favorite rendition of the LoZ theme (with a sprinkle of Ocarina of Time in the intro and Link to the Past at the end).

In the interest of time, I edited the audio in a few places that I was unhappy with instead of re-recording, so the sound may look off from the video in spots. Regardless of its flaws, I hope it’s still fun to listen to!

February 9, 2011

Musical Sketches: “Butterfly” and “Basic Step”

Are you a night owl or an early bird? I’m starting to think that I'm a little of both...

My boss at the music school asked me if I feel more creative during the day or the odd hours of the night. Many of my fellow music teachers have all mentioned that the magic happens at night, and I definitely agree that there’s just something about the night, having had my share of sessions where I actually see the sun rise while composing - but I feel inspired during the day, too! You’d think that after all this time, I’d know my own creative process, but I don’t. I guess I’m just a 24-hour music machine.

I did sort of notice something, though. I listened to a few songs that I recorded/composed at night, and then ones that I created during the day. It seems like the music that I make at night tends to be more fun, risky, free and uninhibited, while the music that I make during the day is controlled and concise.

I recorded two new sketches this month. They both took about the same amount of time. And here’s the fun part... one of them was recorded during the middle of the day, and the other was recorded in the middle of the night!

February 1, 2011

My “day” piece. This is a short idea for a new track that I came up with. I started with a minimal piano line, then threw some strings over it, although I’m not sure how much I like them. The piano part stays for sure, though! No particular reason behind this - I just felt like composing.

Wii Fit: Basic Step Improv
February 9, 2011

My “night” piece, an improvisation on the irresistibly cute “Basic Step” theme from Wii Fit. I was having way too much fun jamming on this tune. If you’ve never heard the original theme, check it out here. (I haven’t played Wii Fit for about two years, but I used to love doing the Basic Step just for the music! It’s certainly not DDR, but I’d still go all out and rock out anyway, while staying in step. It definitely makes my list of favorite video game tracks.)

Hope you enjoy!

January 19, 2011

“Rainbow Castle” Video, from Mario Party

My take on “Rainbow Castle” from Mario Party for the Nintendo 64, composed by Yasunori Mitsuda. I loved the Mario Party soundtrack as a child, and this board’s theme was my favorite. (Fun fact: when I was in 8th grade, I submitted a MIDI of this piece to the Video Game Music Archive!)

For anyone who’s interested, you can download the MP3 here. Hope you enjoy!

October 1, 2010

Musical Sketches: “Assault” and “Feldschlacht III”

I took a Masashi Hamauzu day recently, and I thought I’d share the results with you guys.

FFX Piano Collections: Assault
September 28, 2010

A 30-second test run I recorded of “Assault” from the FFX Piano Collections, composed and arranged by Masashi Hamauzu. I’ve been practicing this one a lot, and think I’ve mostly gotten the hang of it! I give it another month or so. (Also, I lost the sheet music last week, which is forcing me to play from memory and make up notes that I can’t remember for the life of me... sounds about right.) This one makes my right arm sore after an hour, but the way both hands fly around is so satisfying.

SaGa Frontier II: Improvisation on Feldschlacht III
September 28, 2010

I’ve been on a long SaGa Frontier II soundtrack kick, and among the fantastic stand-out tracks that I listen to a lot (like “Vorspiel” and “Arranguer”), most of my attention has been on “Feldschlacht III”. I go through entire commutes to and from work with Feldschlacht on repeat (and I even learned how to spell it!) The result of my gushing love is a short improvisation that I sat down and recorded. It's messy, but I like how it turned out for a sit-down-for-one-minute-and-wing-it track and think it has potential for a full-fledged arrangement.

More of my sketches here. Happy October, everyone! (Where did this year go?)