Yesterday and today I worked tirelessly on a film I call "Monkeys". This film short - and any and all films I may do in the future - will help me practice my film composing. This one was kind of short, but I hope future ones will be more drawn out and productive. I'm also excited for this summer, like I've repeated to myself about a thousand times already today, when we'll get to do a larger film and I'll actually feel like it's my job (for the most part)!
And speaking of summer, it feels very much like a 6 o'clock summer evening right now, because it's warm, birds are chirping loudly, I'm doing filming... :)
Click here to check out my playlist!
When you listen to a piece of music, whether it's a certain section that contains a wonderful violin melody or the piece as a whole, do you enjoy it? Do you enjoy and remember listening to it so much that some pieces of music give you a blast of powerful nostalgia from listening to the piece before? That just happened to me right now.
I've just been watching various videos on my YouTube channel, like my violin videos and such, and I came across my Kid Icarus: Uprising video of the first level. The cool thing about that game is, like Super Mario Galaxy, which I talked about last May (I think?), the soundtrack is orchestrated, and so much fun to listen to. The boss theme (click here!) gave me the shivers when I looked it up, because I have such distinctive memories with it. First, there's a little violin solo that is just amazing to listen to; I remember pulling out my violin and playing it. The main thing is the electric guitar that embodies most of the melody. You don't normally find an electric guitar in an orchestra, and yet, here it is! I remember at that time, I was active in my guitar-playing (this was probably April or May of last year when the game came out), and I wrote out the boss theme (and Dark Pit's theme, which has an awesome acoustic guitar solo) for guitar. I don't know; just every time I hear this theme in the future, I'm going to remember this moment. And whenever I read this entry in the future, hopefully I will remember, too! :)
Another piece that gives me a blast of nostalgia is Mozart's 40th Symphony. I don't remember when this was, but when I was three or four years old, I distinctively remember my parents putting in a CD for me when I went to sleep, and this piece played. So every time I hear this symphony (which is the perfect example of sonata-allegro form, by the way), I remember that moment. We will actually be analyzing this piece after we analyze Beethoven's Pathétique for piano. That's a cool piece, too, even though it doesn't have any violin; I played the first movement of it for a piano recital last May (wow, everything in this entry is about last May! Maybe you should go read my entries back then, too.).
Ugh, why did it crash? Now I have to re-write this article! :(
Anyways. From the top.
There are many things I am doing now so that I can have nostalgic memories later in life. I'm writing a personal journal, and so far I'm at entry 208 (I've written an entry every day since August 21st?). I have a random CD case of discs where I'm singing, playing piano, or chatting with my sister, and some of these date back to 2003! And, of course, I have this blog, which I will continue to do.
On my personal violin, I'd made a binder of music in March 2012. (I may have mentioned this before.) Sectioned off for classical music, gaming/film music, my own compositions, and holiday music, all written (or has a part of) for the violin, this binder is my ticket to a relaxing time with my instrument on a lazy Sunday when I need a break from practicing. The nostalgic memories come in when I play through my old compositions or even through video game music, remembering fun times playing those games. I'm sure this binder (and continuing to update it with stuff online or my new compositions) will be even more helpful in the summer when I'm not active with an orchestra (or at least these next few until I get older.) Nostalgia is one of my favorite non-tangible things, I guess you could say. My YouTube videos also have a great batch of it; my violin playlist, symphonic compositions, or even random Animal Crossing videos helps bring back memories and helps me to relax.
Also, this year I'm participating in a Fox Valley Festival, in which I'm part of the violin section for a full orchestra, built upon top kids from other schools. My orchestra teacher doesn't select a lot, so I'm glad I get to go! I just can't wait to practice the music over Spring Break. :) The actual event isn't till the end of April - a rehearsal Sunday from 1pm-5pm, a second rehearsal Monday from 1pm-5pm, and then the concert 7pm Monday night. I don't have to worry about that now, but that should be great fun when it comes! :)
This morning from 9:55am to 10:55am, I went for a wonderful walk. There was still snow, but it was melting. After listening to a part of Tchaikovsky's Sixth Symphony, I turned on Vivaldi's "Spring", and then I turned off the music altogether to listen to the symphony the birds made. (I think I talked about some of this yesterday.) When I got back, I devoted the rest of the morning creating a short violin improv video, using sounds from the symphony of spring (and summer, I suppose). Enjoy this video! If it bodes well, I may do a nighttime one for summer. Note that the violin is not supposed to have a melody; it's just sound.
And as (hopefully) good as this is, it's nothing to stepping outside on a spring morning, possibly to climb a tree or just walk around, listening to the birds play their concert.
Today I was out for my morning Saturday walk, pondering about pondering, life, and music while listening to Bach's Concerto for Three Violins in D Major. First, two quick thoughts about that piece: one, it modulates to A Major right at the very beginning, which is kind of weird, but then again, it's Bach. And two, it's very violin-based and I love it! :)
Anyways. On my walk, I was thinking about how nice it would be to be springtime weather, because right now there's still snow on the ground. It was raining a little during my walk, which made me think of rainy summer nights. Respectively, I thought of the morning birds of spring and the evening cicadas of summer and also the storms summer brings. AFter that, I remembered Vivaldi's Four Seasons (and I'm doing a project with "Winter." As a side note, it's coming along great!) Then I began to think about what it would be like to sit in a chair in the summer, but then I really began to put connections to music. Just how did music start? I mean, we have facts about when it began as humans, but is there a such thing as music in animals, like the birds and cicadas I mentioned?
I believe there is. I believe, in their own way, the birds and the cicadas have their own symphonies. They pass songs down through the generations. (Any other facts you guys know of this subject would be helpful, too!) Then I began to think about all the various instruments we have in our world today. There are 'natural' instruments and 'electronic' instruments. Many natural instruments have been converted into electronic ones (i.e. guitars, basses, violins, drums). Many electronic instruments have been more recently created by us (i.e. synthesizers, 8-bit video game sound files, MIDI, etc.) I have a metaphorical belief that these natural instruments, like the guitar, the violin, the trumpet, the flute, the oboe, etc. all were grown by nature. They are bound to nature, just as our singing voice is. Obviously, this did not occur, but these instruments were around long before electricity was discovered and used to create more instruments. Now, I'm not saying any of these electronic instruments are bad; if anything, they're very helpful to create music just by yourself (I use GarageBand and I have to use synthesizers to get some sounds I want.).
In English class we read a poem recently that depicted the great war humans are having against nature. We are trying to take over nature with our roads, our cars, our computers. (Again, I'm not saying any of this is bad. Without computers, how would you be reading this right now?) But no matter what we do, nature will always fight back. This is what is keeping classical music alive. Classical music used to be the pop stars and digital downloads of pop music today. Again, it's not bad. But people are actually disliking classical music, and the reason, as my Music Theory teacher has said, is because they don't know how to listen to it. That's what part of my Vivaldi project is - we're writing down what's happening in the symphony or concerto as it happens in the piece, so we create a movie of the piece, essentially, every moment, each movement, will be shown in the movie. Maybe we can get classical music alive. Many film and gaming composers writing music now for orchestras are trying to do this. We just need to keep trying.
So yeah. That was my pondering session. You can think about a lot of things on a walk. I think I'm going to leave it at that, so as you've always been doing, record your comments about this; I'm curious to know what you think. Thanks for reading!
In September, I released a series of articles over a weekend I slept over at my grandma's house (the 8th and 9th), and in one of them I wrote an autobiography of me playing. (If you want to read it, go to my entries for September (of 2012) or go to my official website and click the Violin tab.) Anyways, I talked about how every year me and my sister do a movie. Just now, starting around 11:30am, I rewatched Nymph's World, the film we created during August of 2011, and I decided I'd talk about the film's soundtrack. You're just going to have to take my word for it and/or look up some songs on YouTube (I'll explain); there is no way I can release the soundtrack, sorry. Also, the film is about two years old now. I promise I'll do more for this summer's possible movie concerning the soundtrack, even if the film itself isn't released to the public. :)
I remember the idea for the film first came up probably in June (we just decided not to start working until the middle of July). I had been playing The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D, and my sister told me an idea she had which discussed fairies. I made a connection in how, in the game, you get a fairy which is your guide. We started drafting an idea where a hero (or heroine) goes on an adventure with a fairy guide, so I guess Nymph's World is kind of like The Legend of Zelda. Anyways, we settled on her playing the role of Nymph, and I was her brother, Oscar, as well as a bunch of monsters. The fairy, Naomi, was a stuffed Build-a-Bear with wings. Well, that's the essentials of the film's plot.
Most of the soundtrack was not my creation. I was still developing an enjoyment for the violin, music, and composition, as I now have. A lot of the themes were from The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. When Nymph sneaks into her brother's room at night, an epic male choir sings The Temple of Time (from that game). The game's mini-boss theme is used during one of Nymph's battles. I also used Super Mario Galaxy 2 music. The Melty Monster Galaxy theme and the Hurry! theme are coupled together as a headless monster kidnaps Nymph; Lubba's Theme (I think) is used to demonstrate the Oracle.In any case, these songs, even if they aren't original, are still semi-orchestrated and work well with the film's plot.
The three songs I created are what I'm going to focus on in this entry. I'm going to attempt to walk you through the music. Of course, it would be a lot better if you had the music to listen to, but I hope you can kind of keep up with what's happening. Maybe also this blog post is more for Future Me to read and decipher... sorry about that... :)
The first song was a battle theme. In the film, Nymph and Naomi are inside of a tree, and an evil yellow bird has just stolen the key needed to, essentially, move on in their quest. Strings create an A minor chord, and then the organ comes in with a scale that ends with the raised seventh. The timpani also blasts out a rhythm to punctuate and barricade the music inside.
The second piece is actually two pieces combined to make one (I just recorded each separately). It's the final battle music for Nymph's stand against the evil Dark King. Upper strings take on a driving melody while drums punctuate the ends of phrases. Finally, the choir comes in, belting an epic series of notes with the violins creating a countermelody underneath. This is the point where Nymph is down, and is summoning courage. Finally, Nymph gets up and the last blow is attempted; the choir and violins compete for the melody, each insisting they have it, while Nymph and the King battle it out. (I still honestly have no clue who gets the melody and who gets the countermelody; I might have wrote it with the choir in mind but the violins still sort of have a melody, so...) Finally, the choir sings an E as the King's wand leaves his hand; the piece dies away.
The third piece plays right after this; it's the credits theme. A harp softly plays broken chords while the violins sing a pretty melody and the other strings add water underneath (soft chords in C major). Basically, that's the whole piece, although the second violin section comes in underneath the first violin after a bit. It's a pretty piece, and I think it would be nice to have an actual orchestra play.
So that's it! I think it sounds great for a first real soundtrack (at least the songs I did.) I'm really excited for whenever a film will be made this year. I really have no idea what's going on with it, if more friends will join, or anything, but we shall see. In any case, I'll try to upload the soundtrack. I'm just not sure if everyone will want the film itself on YouTube. But for me, the music is all that matters (and will matter when I make it to college, probably). So thanks for struggling through this article, and sorry about that. I promise I will do another article like this closer to the date I finish the film, and also I will try to upload the music so you can at least have an idea of what I'm talking about. That's all! Thanks for reading!
More entries: February 2013
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