Return to YouTube!

Hey everyone!  My goodness, I am SO sososo sorry for such a long absence!  I had trouble keeping the channel up during school so I had to drop YouTube as a result.  I am not sure what I will do when school starts back up again, because I’m sure the workload will be harsher, though I’ll just have to work on my time management skills a lot before then!

Thanks for being so patient with me.  Here is my latest cover, a piece from one of my favorite childhood films, My Neighbor Totoro!

I am a little rusty on the steel string guitar (I restricted myself to only playing classical to improve my technique at school) so I decided to start simple!  In regards to upcoming projects, I plan to work on some video tutorials that people have requested, and I would love to arrange some Attack on Titan music as well.  I currently have an arrangement for the ED of the anime called FREE!, all that’s left is to practice it and clean it up and I should have that up sometime soon as well!

My Lack of Musical Eloquence

So, I’m learning a guitar arrangement of Bach’s 1st Cello Allemande, and when I brought it in for lessons, my teacher told me that I keep breaking up the phrasing too much, and while I’m sort of on the right track with the articulation, I tend to worry too much about the micro-level grammatical nuances, rather than bringing the whole phrase together and letting it speak for itself.

I find it hilarious that one can draw an evident parallel between my musical phrasing and my overdose of punctuation; breaking things up and not allowing the information to flow. It just goes to show that music is, in essence, a language.

I just hope that one day, I’ll find what it is I want to say.

Piano & Oboe Duet Draft

New piece I’ve been working on for the past day.  I was surprised how fast it was coming together, and I am satisfied with how easily it was for me to weave in and out of non-diatonic colors.  However, obviously after a huge rush of ideas, I’ve hit a writer’s block.  No clue where I should take it after this.  I also need a more heart-wrenching melody, as this one feels a bit dry.

Andy McKee – Rylynn

Yay!  Finally another Andy McKee cover ^^!  What a great piece.  Man, I remember this being the 2nd song from Mr. McKee that I ever listened to.  I just saw there awestruck while I listened to the ending fade out.  I always thought Drifting was nice and catchy, and the technique was sick.  But when I heard Rylynn, there was no question about it; I had found one of my greatest musical influences ever.  That was 4 years ago, and I still listen to his work with just as much enthusiasm.  His music is timeless, and so is its inspiration on my life.

The practice sessions for this song were pretty frustrating.  And I had to do around 6 or 7 takes to get one I finally settled on.  I always messed up something at the end, which is funny because despite how it looks, that tapping/harmonics section is much easier than most of the song.  I’m just glad I finally got it down!  I learned it a couple years back, but I was never really satisfied with it, because I took a few shortcuts and my playing was just absolutely horrid.  I’m happy that I could clean it up just a little bit before posting it here.  I hope you enjoy!

Dantalian no Shoka OP – Cras numquam scire

So, I’ve been arranging this for woodwind quartet.  I started just a couple days ago, and it’s already proving to be an educational challenge.  Managing the usual ever-present melody, harmony, rhythm, and counterpoint, alongside the timbre changes known to woodwinds is what makes this such a puzzle.  One has to be extremely careful of how the timbre changes in each instrument.

For the flute, the timbre changes is very subtle and smooth, so I’ve noticed that it’s typically the easiest to work with (for me).  Its melodic potential lies mostly within the upper ranges, where it really shines through the other 3 voices and commands attention.  Since its lower ranges tend to fall out behind the textures of the others dynamically, it can also be a very useful tool in sculpting harmonies.

For the oboe, the timbre change is also very smooth.  However, as opposed to the flute, its lower ranges don’t tend to lose some of the aesthetic qualities of its tone.  It still stays very emotive.  Thus, I’ve found it to be a very versatile instrument in that it can easily take on the role of a main voice or that of a supportive harmonic one, regardless of the range’s tendencies in a particular melodic figure.  But of course, this purposes drawbacks.  Mainly, that its lower ranges tend to speak out further than the lower ranges of the flute, thus one must stay very cautious so as to not have the melodic ranges of either intertwine if the flute is meant to be the foremost voice.

Now the clarinet in Bb, poses me the most challenge of the 4.  There is a clear shift in timbre between Bb4 and C5.  It has a huge variety of timbres that span across its range, and while it maintains a relatively smooth transition between each one, the shift is evident, and its overall timbre does not tend to mesh well with the other 3.  So one has to be extra sensitive to what role the clarinet is assigned to in the harmony, or else it will disturb the listener.  Typically, I’ve noticed that the clarinet causes too much of a ruckus so that it must be sent to the lower registers to allow human nature to take its course (lower pitched voices are harder for the ear to discern, especially if they are weaved between the highest and lowest tones in a harmony).  But this further constricts possibilities for harmonization and just overall creativity.  Clarinet… its a freaking hipster.

Finally, the bassoon.  Other than the painfully obvious timbre change between D3 and Eb3, the timbre so far seems to mesh well and complement the others.  Having it assigned to lower registers also helps.  Not much to say for this one yet.

Sword Art Online OP – ソードアート・オンライン Crossing Field – LiSA

Welp, this is probably my worst arrangement ever, haha!  There’s a lot of “punch” missing from it because I’m still not quite used to arranging in standard tunings.

I felt bad for dropping some of my other anime projects, so I tried to make it up by arranging a song from a show that many would enjoy.  So, I tried my best to arrange this, and I tried to arrange it in a more standard tuning (it’s in Drop D).  I figured that since I keep resorting to altered tunings, it inhibits me from learning the fretboard, so I’ve decided to try my best to stay in more typical tunings from now on.

Sword Art Online is a pretty good anime so far, but I don’t think it quite lives up to its hype.  Though, I expect big things from it, and there’s still plenty of room to grow since they’re still fairly early into the season.  Some of the main problems I have with it are the poor transitions between episodes (I mean seriously, they skip so many floors and leave you without a hint of what happened in between).  The story arcs barely tie into each other, and for a female protagonist, Asuna has barely had any screen time until recently.  Story arcs are so rushed that the development is shallow and forced (Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer as an emotional Christmas song?  Really???).

Anyways, like I said, the producers obviously still have plenty up their sleeves.  It’s only a matter of time before something great happens!