January 2014

Outer Space Orchestral Video Game Theme

January 27, 2014 09:45

This morning, while taking a break from my score for 'The King of the Aliens' (yesterday while watching The Two Towers I got inspired for a lovely violin passage I included in a track in the score earlier this morning), I found one of my gameplay videos of a game I made back in 2010 called Super Ball Adventure. For one of the levels, I used the Battlerock Galaxy Theme from Super Mario Galaxy, which someone had mentioned to me about in the comments section in a previous post. (Like my extra-long link?) Anyways, I've been thinking a lot about that piece, and I also found an article that goes over it and added my own additions, so why not share it with all of you? :)

Super Mario Galaxy (Battlerock Galaxy):

The next piece I’m going to be looking at is the Battlerock Galaxy theme. This is one of my personal favorite themes in the game just because of how well it captures the atmosphere of a floating fortress.

Super Ball Adventure (World 4 Theme):
This piece of music is also used in this game. More then likely it was chosen because World 4 is an outer space world, and this music really does a fantastic job of capturing the essence of space. Combined with the World’s background and new gameplay mechanic that allows you to jump higher, this music is the only fit for this World.

The piece starts off with mid-range strings playing a steady beat with the synth playing a melody in the background. This steady beat gets accented by the addition of a snare and low strings.

The violins then enter in a slow but urgent melody.

This melody becomes more urgent when the violins play up an interval and the cellos start playing the melody with them.
Then the low and middle brass play a transition into a violin and trumpet fanfare. This fanfare ends with a set of repeated chords then the violins playing a series of notes downward to reach the melody that was played in the beginning. This melody is carried by the violins until the piece finishes.
This is one of the pieces that shows the most spacey influence in my opinion. No matter what the melody is there is always that synth in the background reminding you that space is still there.
(Josh’s additions)
And I agree. One of the main things I love about this piece is its extreme use of violins for the melody and, well to be honest, every part of it. There are still other sections of the orchestra that come in, as the violins have a very rhythmic (I like to call it ‘crunchy sound’) during the brass moments, but for the most part, it’s all very violin-based, definitely orchestral, and is, in my opinion, one of the best outer space themes ever. Possibly even topping Holst’s “The Planets” Suite. Maybe…?

...Or not. I still love Holst's piece. :)

Anyways, here are some links regarding this piece. I played it on violin once. And you can hear it in my game. That's all for now. See you! And thanks for the comments on yesterday's article. I really appreciate it! :)

Playing on my violin

In Super Ball Adventure

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Violins and Hearing Loss

January 26, 2014 16:02

Yesterday, while doing some college research, I found a PDF of a book about musicians and hearing loss, and about using ear plugs when you practice so you don't have to worry later in life about hearing loss. Because I can't imagine a life without being able to hear the sound of my violin, I decided to wear my noise-canceling headphones while practicing. Although I can't do this in orchestra class or when taking my violin out and about, such as my friend's house for a duet, I hope that this will help my ears in the future, and if I get into a habit now, maybe it would be a good thing. And I can buy an actual earplug for my left ear, since that is the ear that can get the most damage, since it's right next to the violin. I'm trying not to worry too much, as I'm just 17, but still.

Anyways, I tried it out today, and it's so weird! I don't think I'll be able to get used to this... Well, what do you guys think? Is my strategy good? Should I be worried? Cause I kind of am, now... Thanks a lot!

As a side note, I've been making up a wiki website for my film, The King of the Aliens, so if you want to know more about the film I hope to make this summer, click on the link below. I talk about aspects of the film's (actually very complex) plot, and the music, which includes the symphony I posted tons about back in September 2013. Thanks again!

The King of the Aliens Wiki

12 replies

Busy on Violin/Composition Updates

January 19, 2014 08:21

Yesterday afternoon, I brought my violin over to a friend's house and helped him with a couple of pieces. It wasn't much, and half the time I didn't really know what I was doing, but it was kind of like tutoring in a way. I wrote down some of the fingerings my teacher gave me for the Brahms audition music I was talking about before, and took his Solo and Ensemble piece home to work on some ideas and things for that. It was kind of fun, and as he doesn't have a teacher at the moment, I can try to be of help for a while.

Sort of related to that, I took my violin to another friend's house last Wednesday to practice a couple movements of a violin duet I wrote for us to play together for Solo and Ensemble. This was more just fun, practicing a piece of music with another violinist. And I wrote the piece, so... That's cool, I guess!

The next few months are going to be incredibly busy, because of the auditions on the 30th of this month, Solo and Ensemble I believe is March 1st, and, of course, orchestra concerts and such. I found out that the Orchestra Pops concert this year is Classic Rock, which sounds like it'll be very interesting, and the International Orchestra Trip, which we go on every four years, is going to be at Italy! So cool! From Vivaldi, I've always associated Italy with the violin, so it'll be great fun if I'm able to go. We will leave in the
summer of 2015, so right after I graduate high school. So that's very exciting!

As for my compositions, I'm still slowly working on themes for 'The King of the Aliens', although now I'm starting to orchestrate some of them. So far, I've done two versions of Ebonique's Theme and I'm currently working on the Monhán Theme, in which when I record it, I'll be able to use my violin as a solo instrument in the score (Monhán is the town where the main characters live). I am also working on a video game on PowerPoint called "Superhero Party". It's a 4-player multiplayer game where you play a bunch of mini-games and compete for points using Superman, Batman, Iron Man, or Spiderman. The soundtrack is just going to be one section of music looped, and I have so far Williams' 1984 Olympic Theme and his Superman Theme. I might play some solo violin tracks over some of that though. :)

Okay, sorry for just an update post, but these are really kind of good for me and to be as fluid as possible for this blog, and for whenever I go back and re-read any of these entries, as I like to do every so often. See ya!

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Winter Practicing

January 7, 2014 11:10

This morning, I had a practice session from 11am-11:45. And for some reason, the time flew! Maybe it was because I am starting to love and enjoy the violin again. (I often have bits of time where I obsess over something else, usually non-musical, for a week or so, and then go back.) Maybe it was because I was really focused and knew what I wanted to get done. Such as intonation problems because I'm going all the way up to a high C on the E string (not in third position) and there are some crazy shifts along the way, or the numerous accidentals. (I was working on excerpts from Brahm's Academic Festival Overture for auditions coming up.) Whatever the case, it was still amazing how the time flew, and I really hope all my future sessions will leave me feeling exhilarated like I am now. I feel almost like I just had a piece I wrote played by a real orchestra. :)

And it's always nice to play violin when it's extremely cold outside. Yesterday the electricity was out for about twenty minutes (we had no who'll today and yesterday), and although I was playing the piano, I could have just as easily picked up my violin and played, as neither of those things require electricity. And it was very relaxing, just staying inside the house, while it was cold outside. To quote Vivaldi, "To rest contentedly beside the hearth,/while those outside are drenched by pouring rain." (From his sonnet for "Winter")

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Happy New Year 2014! (wow!)

January 1, 2014 18:18

Happy 2014! I'm really excited; this summer, me and my friends may be making my film, 'The King of the Aliens', a reality! I'm really excited to work hard on a score; and of course, just filming it shall be fun.

Actually, this year, my resolutions are almost the exact same as last year, and I don't really feel like writing up any more, so..

Currently, I'm watching part of a Lord of the Rings marathon (The Return of the King). It's really cool to listen to Shore's score, and also inspiring.

So yeah, not much else to stay. I'm working on a small piece of Doctor Who music that is sort of emotional and describes the Doctor saving Clara, essentially. I'm also writing a piece called 'Into the Forest' for strings and harp, which I may be submitting in February for an orchestra to play. Not much else is going on, though. I'm working hard on audition music, and I recently wrote a Nature Suite I may play as a violin duet. That's it for now, so see ya!

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More entries: December 2013

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