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!