September 30, 2009

Thoughts Here and There

Sorry I haven’t posted anything new in nearly a month. I’ve been a bit distracted lately, but I think I have good reasons! The biggest news is that I’m back to teaching piano. It’s nice to have a consistent work schedule, and with my hobby as an arranger-transcriber, I can easily assign pieces that my students are interested in.

My second bit of news is that Alex introduced me to FF6, my second Final Fantasy. I’m sure many of you already realize this, but THIS GAME IS AMAZING. We recently completed the famous opera scene, which left me awestruck. After experiencing the inventiveness and sheer variety of characters and things to do, backed by a beautiful soundtrack (and feeling like I’ve only scratched the surface of the story) I feel inspired and ashamed that I’ve never played it before. I’m not very far in the game yet, but if things continue on like this, I think FF6 could easily sit among my favorites.

The most striking piece of music for me so far has been the “Serpent Trench” theme. It’s such a cool orchestral sound for a video game, and I can’t imagine many situations in any RPG that would allow a piece of music like this. Walking-pace string pulses, flitting motifs, unusual chords that give it somewhat of a surreal tone... I love it!

“Serpent Trench” from Final Fantasy VI, composed by Nobuo Uematsu.

And the third reason why I haven’t uploaded a new video is because I’ve been unhappy and picky. For awhile now, I’ve been practicing “Besaid Island” from the FFX Piano Collections. I memorized the notes about a month ago and can get from point A to B, but rather than “reciting” the piece from memory, I’d like to be “fluent” in it, to where it feels completely effortless. I do feel like I’m close to nailing it, though, so I’ll try to post it soon.

(Somewhat unrelated, I’ve also been teaching myself “Rufus’ Welcoming Ceremony” from the FF7 Piano Collections and Rachmaninoff’s Prelude in G Minor, which now that I think about it, have quite a few similarities. I suppose I’m in a chord-smashing mood.)

September 3, 2009

“Dragon Roost Island” Video, from Zelda: Windwaker

I’ve been dying to cover this song for a long time, and yesterday it finally happened. My friend Alex and I put our own spin on the “Dragon Roost Island” theme, arranging it for piano and guitar. We recorded separate tracks for the background strumming and three layers of clapping (three layers times four and a half minutes… you do the math! Our arms were so sore.)

We also made the video after recording the audio – trying to sync our performance was pretty darn funny.

This was a blast to work on, and I hope I’ll get to do more collaborations like this in the future!