November 2012

Post-Thanksgiving 2012

November 26, 2012 04:28

I hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving (and I suppose Black Friday)! I certainly did. I guess since this is my first Thanksgiving on this site, I'll go ahead and describe how it was. On Wednesday (of last week), we went to my grandparent's house in Indiana, and I brought along my violin. Because it was only Thanksgiving, I only brought my Solo and Ensemble piece (Vivaldi's Concerto in G Minor) and a binder chalk-full of sheet music from various classical composers, video games, movies, and some of my own work. It was fun just playing through a few things from there, although I didn't use it much. And although I didn't bring my orchestra binder, I played a few Christmas tunes as well. On Thursday, I had my instrument out from about 1pm-8pm, playing off and on and enjoying the feast. I also plucked out a few tunes for my 1-year-old cousin, which was cute. :)

Yesterday at 6pm after putting up some Christmas decorations outside the house, I was feeling a bit 'Lord of the Rings', so I brought out my violin Lord of the Rings book which contains a play-along CD that I used. I did a video of part of my short session, and even though I kinda failed keeping time in a couple measures, overall it was alright and sounded fine. Just thought I'd mention this. :P

And now it's Monday morning! I'm all set for a good day of school - and preparation in orchestra class for our Prism concert. I have to play four times (Thursday and Saturday at 6pm and 8:15pm), but it should be pretty fun!

Thanks for reading!

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December is (Unofficial) Music Composition Month!

November 20, 2012 21:40

You know how the month of November is National Novel-Writing Month? Since November is already almost over (and it's almost Thanksgiving - Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!), let's set December for National Composing Month! Basically, how it'd work is, you could use staff paper or a program to write a piece and then somehow send it in somewhere for evaluation. It'd be kind of like the composition contest I entered my symphony for this past month. And because December is around the holidays, if you felt all the festive cheer and felt like arranging/orchestrating a Christmas song, that would be acceptable, too! Here would be the basic rules:

1. Your composition/arrangement/orchestration should be 1,000 notes or more. Every note in the piece (including notes in other parts) will be accounted for.

2. Be sure to give your piece a title and the name of the original composer if it's an arrangement.

3. The due date for when your piece should be totally finished is December 31st at 11:59 pm CST (right?). So right as the countdown for 2013 (or whatever year) ends, you can declare your piece finished! :)

Let me know if you have any ideas for this! I just thought of it and thought it'd be a cool project. Not just for me, but for any musician.

Thank you and enjoy!

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A Sunset Walk

November 17, 2012 15:53

I cannot express in words what this walk felt like. I went out from 4:20pm-4:45pm, and it was incredible. There was a darkening blue with pink smudges throughout the sky. I had my dad's iPhone in my pocket, headphones on (so I could listen to Pandora), hearing lovely violins play out Leroy Anderson and John WIlliams and the like, seeing a combination of Christmas and Halloween decorations (only at some houses). It was just an incredible experience that made me think to my past for some reason. Maybe also I was thinking about The Legend of Zelda games, and excited about working on my fan-game soundtrack. (I may post a link to this later, but basically I made up a game title called The Legend of Zelda: The Violin of Power and am writing a soundtrack for it.) So anyways, yeah. I just had to get that let out. Now back to work! :)

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Pizz. Vibrato

November 14, 2012 16:21

Everyone knows about vibrato - the act of vibrating your hand to give a note a certain tone quality. I'm still developing mine, and it's coming along when bowing long notes. (But right now, the pieces we are currently working on are short and quick, so they aren't good songs to practice vibrato on.) My orchestra teacher always kept telling us to add a little vibrato to the notes when we're plucking the strings, and I'm not quite sure I fully got the gist on what he said until I came home today after school and practiced. I tried out the vibrato, and it worked! It sounded to me like the old SNES games' music for some reason. I think I got goose bumps, and I felt pride and success. My "newfound skill" will certainly make the polka we are playing a lot more fun, and I'm excited to play it! Sorry; just wanted to share this. Time to continue practicing!

While I'm here, I might as well do a quick update on my practice repertoire. My school is part of the District 204 Solo and Ensemble Festival. It's held in March, and basically any instrumentalist/vocalist can go by themselves with a piano accompanist or with a group and play/sing a song. Last year I did the first movement of Vivaldi's Concerto in A Minor. This year, I'm playing Vivaldi's Concerto in G Minor, and it's very different. Just thought I'd mention it. I think I'm also doing a piece for solo piano, too, so I'll have plenty of practicing to do, especially after New Years!

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Composing Emotions

November 11, 2012 12:43

As you may or may not know, my dream career is to be a movie composer. So this morning while out on a walk, I thought of an idea that may help me score films. At first I thought I'd just write music for an "invisible" film, but then I realized I could just try writing many different themes. A lot of films have love themes or action themes or death themes. A lot of emotional themes have different instruments that project this, like love themes or emotional themes have violins and strings; other action themes showcase the brass. I took an emotion and began a tune, first on the piano, and then orchestrated on Finale. So far, it has been going pretty well. I don't plan on using any of these themes in a movie; it's just practice. And then in the summer, if me and my sister make a film, I will really be able to practice scoring a film, finding moments to bring the music out and moments to back off.

If any of you have any ideas for me, any ideas will be appreciated! I realize how difficult it will probably be for me to get a job as a composer, but with lots of practice now I may be really good in the future so that I can land a job as film composer. Thanks!

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The Legend of Zelda: 25th Anniversary Event

November 1, 2012 04:32

I don’t know how many of you are gamers, but I can say I used to be a big one (I played a lot of Animal Crossing and Mario and such). Now I’ve toned it down, focusing on music mostly more than video games, but I still play from time to time, especially when my friends come over.

I don’t even know HOW I was thinking about this, but last year Nintendo launched The Legend of Zelda: 25th Anniversary event. I’ve been into the Zelda series, mostly because the fantasy world of Hyrule is pretty cool, but also because no matter which game it is, and no matter how it’s being performed, the music usually in some way resembles an orchestra. Skyward Sword, the latest game in the series, has an actual orchestra playing the music, and if you check out the video below, you’ll probably find what you see amazing, because I sure did!

With the 25th Anniversary event, in which Skyward Sword came out with its amazing soundtrack, Nintendo had a series of concerts in which an orchestra played Legend of Zelda tunes ranging around all of their games. I downloaded the whole CD that came with Skyward Sword (even though I borrowed it from a friend) and, when listening to this majestic, epic music, even listening through someone who has never heard of Zelda, the music sent shivers down my spine.

Below are YouTube links in which you can view a couple videos. I was working on a video, but it refuses to upload to YouTube for some reason, so I'll just show you these. Thanks for reading, and hope you enjoy!

11/3 Update: I found some more videos to add to the mix. They are pieces of music played at one of the concerts playing "Symphony of the Goddesses". If you have the time, feel free to check these out! Sorry I just updated this post; I didn't really feel like making a whole new one. What I like about the new videos (the third, fourth, and fifth ones) is that the video helps the music tell the story of Link in those games. Anyways. Enjoy!

The Complete Skyward Sword Soundtrack

The Legend of Zelda 25th Anniversary CD

A Link to the Past (SNES) Medley

Majora's Mask (N64) Medley

Ocarina of Time (N64) Medley

Information on the Concerts

There are more concert videos you could probably find from the recommended videos from these links, but those are also included in the CD, so I didn't include a separate link for them.

Again, thanks for reading!

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More entries: October 2012

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