August 25, 2009

“Rikku’s Theme” Video, from FFX Piano Collections

One of my favorite arrangements by Masashi Hamauzu from the FFX Piano Collections, an adorable rendition of Rikku’s Theme with hints of bossa nova. I downloaded the sheet music from SODA Sheet Music and altered it a little bit for accuracy.

I also added an extra high E at the very end, which wasn’t in the original performance by Aki Kuroda. For some reason, it just felt right!

The FFX piano arrangements are very inspirational to me. I’d definitely like to take an example of their inventiveness when I make own game music arrangements in the future.

August 15, 2009

“Palace” Video, from Zelda: Adventure of Link

The famous “Palace” music from Zelda II, a quick gift for a good friend. It’s a simple arrangement that only took about 15 minutes to come up with, but it’s been awhile since I’ve posted a video, so why not?

Despite my silence on YouTube, I’ve been working on a number of videogame arrangements – the ideas on my to-do list have just been taking some time to write and practice. In fact, I met up with the multi-talented Alex Culang yesterday (one of the artists behind the Buttersafe webcomic, and a multi-talented musician) to jam on our Dragon Roost Island arrangement. I’m also working on a monstrous Melty Molten Galaxy duet with Zach Sershon (zachpiano on YouTube). So, keep your eyes and ears open!

August 12, 2009

A Custom Boss Battle Medley

The last time I put together a Boss Battle Medley, I picked songs that my friend Mike and I enjoyed mutually since it was a gift to him. He’s familiar with a lot of SNES/Playstation RPGs that I’ve never played, like Final Fantasy, Chrono Cross and Secret of Mana.

Between the “you have good taste” comments I received about it, I began to realize with guilt that the medley didn’t quite capture my taste, since I was arranging it for someone else. I started to wonder what I’d put in my own boss battle medley, were I arranging one as a gift to myself. After coming up with a list of songs, I’ve decided that the end result would sound... interesting. Even awful. Or maybe amazingly epic. It’s hard to tell.

I’d open with “The Extreme” from Final Fantasy VIII, using the introductory section between 0:19-1:40. I also like the sound of 3:16-3:48.

I’d want to play something crazy, like “Danger” from Secret of Mana.

Or the lick at 0:44 from “Meridian Dance.”

Somewhere in the medley, I’d try to squeeze in the “Decisive Battle” from FFX, as featured in the Piano Collections.

I’d also include several boss battles that were definitely not meant to be played on the piano.

“Dark Beast Ganon” from Zelda: Twilight Princess.

“VS Altair (Part 2)” from Bomberman 64.

“Master Hand” from the original Super Smash Brothers.

“Smithy Battle (Part 2)” from Super Mario RPG.

Some medley that would be, huh?

August 4, 2009

waltzforluma MP3s on

I’ve noticed that several people rip MP3s from my YouTube videos, so I’ll try to make things easier for you guys and post the high-quality stereo files. Look out for a “Videogame Piano Covers” album on my profile:

I also put up some original compositions for free download, so feel free to snag those if you’re interested. I’ll add a lot more music once I get some decent recordings.

August 2, 2009

“Alone in Kyoto” by Air

This summer has been full of new experiences for me, and I owe my long absence to a few things. Back in June, I went to Germany to visit family and spent a week sightseeing around Italy. And last week, I took a spontaneous road trip up to Portland, Oregon with Ryan for fun. (And it was fun. During our final night there, we went to Jimmy Mak’s jazz club and kicked back with some drinks. I need to get out to jazz clubs more often...)

During the 10-hour car ride between San Francisco and Portland, I kept hitting repeat on a song by Air that I’ve never paid much attention to and now find myself head-over-heels for: “Alone in Kyoto” from Talkie Walkie. The song is calm and contemplative with a steady, pulsing rhythm and has a lovely detached texture, mixing the short sounds of guitar/piano/pitched percussion with longer, sustained electronic ones. It was also written for one of my favorite films, Lost in Translation.

Maybe it’s my piano bias, but I love sharp attack/quick decay and “sparkly” sounds like piano and guitar. Also, “Alone in Kyoto” strikes me as something that more modern RPG music should resemble, and I mean that as a compliment.
“Alone in Kyoto” by Air, set to a scenic video.