September 16, 2010

September 8, 2010

“Piano Fantasia” Video, from Secret of Mana

What’s going on here, two posts in one day?!

This is a simple medley I made to cheer a friend up a long time ago, with some themes that I like. I decided to call it a “fantasia” because I was sort of winging it as I went along (quick terminology lesson: a “fantasia” is a musical composition with a more free structure, and it often has an improvisatory feel, sometimes sounding abrupt when it moves between sections. In short, it’s a piece where the composer does whatever he darn feels like.) I really like how it came out.

Secret of Mana has one of the most amazing game soundtracks, and even though I haven’t played the game, the music is incredibly inspirational to me. The themes I used in the medley are “Together Always”, “Color of the Summer Sky”, “Fear of Angels” and “A Bell is Tolling.”

(You can tell what piece I love the most by the fact that I spent a whole 2 minutes on it, hehe.)

Musical Sketches: “Time Circuits” and “Into the Thick of It”

Hi everyone! Wow, I’ve been so busy in real life, between teaching piano 6 days a week and then when I’m not working, I’m still working (freelance composing). Unfortunately, that means almost zero time to arrange new pieces, write new scores, and practice. But I finally figured out a way to get around that: post things I’ve already made, but have never shared with anyone before.

I put up a new back-door-page on my portfolio site called Musical Sketches, where I’ve posted a few rough recordings and ideas. It’s kind of like looking at doodles in an artist’s sketchbook, and sometimes that’s more fun; I think there’s a certain charm to seeing a piece of art when it’s unpolished and in a more “natural” state. Well, okay, I’m not sure if that applies to me, but hopefully someone will feel that way about my pieces!

So... enough talking! Let me show you some music.

Into the Thick of It
December 19, 2009

This is a rough recording (or as I was calling it, a “draft of a draft”) of “Into the Thick of It,” a fantastic piece from Secret of Mana by Hiroki Kikuta. If you remember my pal Alex from Dragon Roost Island, this was our second planned duet that we never got around to finishing up. We recorded this to feel out the structure of the arrangement, but even for a “draft of a draft,” I think it turned out nicely. Hope you like it, too! Piano by me; guitars and drums by Alex. The drums were influenced by “Did You See the Ocean” - mmm, two birds with one stone.

Time Circuits 
February 28, 2010

This is, hands down, my favorite song from a videogame. I adore it so much, and it even inspired me to play Chrono Trigger. “Time Circuits” is such a unique piece for a game - the instrumentation is exotic, with tabla, sitar and what sounds like some sort of gamelan instrument, yet the notes themselves aren’t “exotic” at all, carrying a sound that’s much more familiar. The result is a beautiful kind of tension, something that instantly inspires the fantastic feeling of far-off worlds and bittersweet nostalgia all at once.
Anyway, this is a little piano sketch that I recorded of it awhile ago. I really like where it’s headed, and I’ll definitely finish it sometime!

Feel free to check out the Musical Sketches page for some original pieces, too. As usual, please enjoy!