My 2022 Year-End Reflection

December 30, 2022, 11:25 PM · Most years here on, I like to write up a musical reflection for the year. This year's will be brief - I'm writing this just as I'm finishing mixing and mastering my very first album for a fast-approaching release! It's a tribute album to the music of Super Mario Galaxy, featuring five of my favorite tracks from the game. I recorded everything on piano and violin, as well as a few other instruments. It's a project I planned, arranged, practiced, recorded, and mixed in a process that lasted the entire year. I learned quite a lot about music production (which I am still very new at) that I can hopefully apply to some future albums of original music I hope to release next year.

I suppose music production was the name of the game in 2022! Now that I've graduated and still isolating from people mostly at home, virtual music-making has been the best way to go to continue making it. I launched a Spotify that currently has a couple Animal Crossing covers and a couple of original pieces I wrote throughout the year. I will soon be adding my Mario Galaxy album to that list! I've also done several online collaborations with music friends on various video game tunes from games like Stardew Valley, Celeste, Earthbound, and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. These group projects have all been very fun and a fantastic way to continue to make music in an online setting.

In addition to music production, I have started teaching both piano and violin! Starting at a local music school in February, my list of students grew rapidly throughout the year, and I had fun accompanying students in Christmas arrangements or pieces from the Suzuki books on piano in their recent recital. I'm looking forward to accompanying more students in the Solo and Ensemble festival in February. It's a bit strange being on the other side after participating in the festival as a student all throughout middle and high school. I know it will be a fun and rewarding experience as I push my teaching skills further next year. I've started learning the cello to teach a few students, and while working on my album got in the way of steady progress on it I hope to get back into practicing it right after the New Year.

It really feels like I'm starting to slowly get myself out there, both in the online world of music-making and in my local schooling community. While 2022 has been a learning curve for sure, I'm excited to see what of these skills I can truly master in 2023. I'm still writing academic concert music and listening to my favorite classical composers, too - I've got a chamber piece I'm finishing up for a New Music Mosaic concert in the spring that's quite different to anything else I've written! However, in focusing on game arrangements and smaller pieces, it's been fun to record things myself, taking my performance skills from my time at Augustana.

I'll leave you with a small orchestral adaptation of a slow movement of my 2019 Oboe Sonata to end 2022! Thanks for reading, and see you next year!

Click here! (I'm playing a little violin on it, but it's mainly done through my BBC Symphony Orchestra software instrument patch I have in Logic...)


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