Recording a Game Tribute Album

July 18, 2022, 10:30 PM · It's been a fairly chill July this year in terms of music-making. I've been mainly working hard to prep myself for working on a couple covers (and starting to release existing recordings onto music streaming services like Apple Music and Spotify, which should be exciting!), as well as practicing for some recording sessions sometime next month for a couple of albums to be released at the end of the year. More about one of those shortly, but I will say on Saturday, I enjoyed two BBC Proms concerts: the epic Verdi Requiem for the First Night in the morning, following the score on my iPad; and during an afternoon walk, John Wilson and the Sinfonia of London, playing a variety of British music. I've also started writing some album reviews on my personal website, so maybe I'll write a big review for the BBC Proms 2022 concerts I was able to see on there later on, we'll see.

Anyways, for today's post, I wanted to talk about my current repertoire on violin (and piano): music arrangements for a Super Mario Galaxy album I will be releasing at the end of the year! This is part of a GameGrooves Album Challenge, and this will be my very first album I will release. I have some plans to work on albums based on original music, and you betcha one day I'll dedicate some real work into a Ravel album for piano and violin (at least)! For now, I think this is the perfect middle-ground, as I get to play five arrangements of music I wrote myself from Super Mario Galaxy, and enjoy playing one of my favorite childhood video game OSTs for a professional record.

Going about working on this album has, in some respects, felt a little like preparing for a concert. Because I wrote these five arrangements earlier in the year all at once, and I'm just in the practice phase, I currently have five pieces of music I am working to put together, writing in fingerings (on the iPad), working on difficult techniques I had written, and trying to produce that etherial tone the Mario Galaxy players in Tokyo achieved. I arranged the music for four violins (which I may double to make a full strings section), piano, and some melodica, mainly for when I need lower notes. I really wanted to go for a pure orchestral strings sound with this album, and I think I'll be able to achieve it. It's a bit strange, as I know I am building up to that day or week in late-August where I will sit down and record everything (just like concert week!), which will include multiple takes and parts. I know all this practicing before will be worth it, and I am excited to talk about and share the final result with you later down the road.

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