Some Updates/Two Videos to Share

August 5, 2019, 7:13 PM · Just a quick one tonight, and one that isn't totally relevant to much of anything except for a quick life update and a couple fun videos I wanted to sort of archive on here for the next time I randomly scroll back through this blog. Tomorrow I'm going into my old high school to play with the kids in Summer Orchestra for the next couple weeks, which will be fun because I remember writing on here about playing in that program, and it'll be a nice way to get some ensemble playing in (even easy strings music), and very nostalgic for when I was in high school playing in a string orchestra, before I go back to UIUC right after I finish. My composing is going great, working on my song cycle at the moment, though I've mostly been spending my time studying Theory and History. This involves listening to lots of different musical samples of the most important pieces throughout history, but I throw in listening to the BBC Proms as breaks (like today, with Sibelius' Violin Concerto from Prom 20, with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and the great Finnish violinist Pekka Kuusisto. It's been great to study something I love and I can't wait to continue doing so, with breaks to compose and play my violin at the high school, as I prepare to make my way to graduate school very soon! I will almost certainly be back at the end of the month or beginning of next for another post about how that has been starting, similarly to how I did so as I started at Augustana 4 years ago.

Finally, my two videos I promised. The first is one I actually haven't seen yet, but I thought it would be interesting. Netflix's show Stranger Things is one I've just started watching, and I have fallen in love with the characters and '80s aesthetic and the Doctor Who-esque monsters, but the synth music is something very fascinating to hear in the background since I'm so used to hearing Murray Gold's orchestral score. This video recaps what the score has been for the past three seasons of the show. I can't wait to finish up the first two and am looking forward to the fourth season sometime next year!

Stranger Things music

The other video shows a composer's process in arranging a video game soundtrack from the NES days by Koji Kondo to a glorious orchestral interpretation that is really neat to me! This combines all my favorite things into one: the Super Mario Bros. 1985 score, a 65-piece big band orchestra, and all the references he talks about from Broadway showtunes to Stravinsky to jazzy funk.

Super Mario Bros. video


Aah, nice to hear those summer cicadas this evening as I type this after having fun playing from my violin binder this evening...

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