April 14, 2010

Space Junk, No. 1 & 2

I never wanted to be one of those kids who’d open up GarageBand, lay down tracks in twenty minutes, then call the end result music, but admittedly I’ve been dabbling in exactly that – and it’s so much fun.

These are two short melodies that I improvised, both strangely in the middle of the night. Think of them like an artist’s doodles in a sketchbook. I’m calling them “Space Junk” because 1) the name seems appropriate to my love for Super Mario Galaxy, 2) the two improvisations are named after celestial bodies, and 3) the songs are junk. They make me smile, though.

No. 1: “Hello Moon” 
December 30, 2009

This was my first time messing around on GB. I won’t lie, there was a little bit of Bomberman and Mega Man on the brain.
The first thing I “doodled” was the chordal texture, then the drums, melody, and lastly the twinkling countermelody. The idea here (and with my thought process in general) is something that my dad taught me about prioritizing: imagine trying to fill a jar with stones, pebbles, and sand. The most productive way to do that is to start with the larger stones, then fill in the gaps between them with the pebbles, and finally, when the sand is poured into the jar, it’ll naturally fill in the rest of the holes. For me, texture and harmony are the stones, and my main priorities: they determine the overall feel and movement within a piece. The pebbles are the melody: of course I value a good melody, but I think a line of single notes provides a lot more flexibility than a line of chords. And finally, the countermelody is the sand: its main role is to complement all of the elements that are already there.
This method of composing seems better suited to certain kinds of music (like GB doodles) but it works for me, especially when I want to get an idea out there quickly.

No. 2: “Skylights and Stars” 
February 6, 2010

I remember waking up in the middle of the night, feeling a little sad. I ended up opening my laptop and recording this tune, before falling asleep again. I think my subconscious influence here was the Tekkon Kinkreet soundtrack by Plaid (which is fantastic, I should mention.)

It’s pretty fun to see how I make music when I’m sleepy and uninhibited. Thank you, GarageBand!


  1. I don't know if you saw my earlier posts on "Reason for my Treason: Blood Knight", Aivi, but if not, here's the basic summary...
    a) On a random note, I have a question. Have you, like me (and most hardcore SMG fans), beaten the game with Mario and Luigi and collected the 121st star?

    and b) I know you're really busy, but I have two arrangement requests:
    HoneyHive Galaxy and Ghostly Galaxy- I was listening to the tracks on YouTube (too lazy to pull out my game) and they really spoke to me. The upbeat, springtime music of the HoneyHive makes me smile and the eerie beauty of the Boos' waltz gives me chills. If you could, I'd be most in your debt; if you can't I understand, but either way could you reply to me? I'd appreciate it.

    By the way, Super Mario Galaxy 2 comes out May 23. Save the date :)

  2. awesome post!!!!Will you post your "doodle songs?" I'm sure your doodles are the closest I get to composing.

  3. Jordan - I've beaten the game with Mario, and was in the middle of doing so with Luigi but unfortunately never had the time (and recently lost my SD card with my file!) As for your suggestions, I left a reply in my last post. The gist of it is, it may take me a long while but I hope I'll someday get around to them (and the rest of the SMG soundtrack.)

    mp - Thank you! I want to try to post more doodles from now on, whether it's an original piece or a video game cover. I'm picky about posting things since I have high standards for myself, but in reality I'm making music all the time!

  4. 要求適合自己的愛情方式,是會得到更多,還是會錯過一個真正愛你的人。..................................................

  5. Cool! Thanks, Aivi.

  6. please reply to my comments!!!!!!!!!

  7. Drifting and very sparkly. I wonder how your serious, "damn yourself to music" compositions will sound? ...Can't wait to hear.

  8. Skylights and Stars sort of reminded me of this song

    except a little more modern haha

  9. Can you put these up for download? Pleaseeeee!?

  10. P.S. I think they're great!!!

  11. Wow. You definitely have a future as a professional composer, not just for games but for music as well. I'd pay to listen to this.

  12. i wish i had garageband for my ipodtouch... mines only an 8gig so i figured i would save up for an ipad or something this summer... :) i can play piano, clarinet, and 2 chords on guitar. both i and my much older brother (by 16 years) can somewhat play by ear if we hear the song enough. i would have a LOT of fun with garageband if i had it (i play it everytime i go to best buy :) lol)