Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Piano Cover: Coral Sea

I first encountered the piece "Coral Sea" in 2008 during a Lunar New Year performance by the a cappella group Temptasians. I proceeded to forget about the song until two years later, when I sought out the original piece out of curiosity and immediately fell in love. For most of spring 2010, the Jay Chou piece was constantly emanating from my iPod as part of a small collection of C-Pop and K-Pop pieces I'd become enamored with. Over the summer, I decided to explore Jay Chou's music in more depth, picking up a few of his albums, including Coral Sea's debut album November's Chopin. Although I enjoyed the music a great deal and developed some new favorites (I discovered I'm more partial to his slow works than the upbeat ones), none of them could quite compare to Coral Sea's unique place in my heart. [/melodramatic]

One of the funnier stories relating me and Coral Sea involves the lyrics. Due to my innate tendency to overlook lyrics in favor of the music, coupled with my not-amazing-literacy in Mandarin and the song's fairly complicated lyrics, I neglected to learn the lyrics for the first few months of listening to the piece. The file in my iPod did provide lyrics, but they were in Traditional, which I couldn't really read. Thus, I just went about listening to the song, assuming it was one of the typical sugary-sweet C-pop love songs. When I finally looked up the lyrics in Simplified (and eventually English for confirmation), I was actually quite taken aback my the despondency and bitterness of the words. lol, that'll teach me to assume things about music. xD

So, long story short, I decided to figure out Coral Sea on piano, as likely evident from the title. I've been playing around with it for a few months now (a random 3-month-ish period with no access to a piano notwithstanding), but I finally decided to put together a low-quality recording of it. Anyway, I'll skip right to the media. For those of you unfamiliar with the piece, here's the source material for reference.

珊瑚海 (Coral Sea): Piano Cover

Artist: Jay Chou
Date Completed: 2010-08-17
Number of Takes: 8-ish
Software: Audacity, Sound Recorder
Instrumentation: Piano

Again, I was rather loath to perform the piece in its normal key of A-flat, so I decided to take it down a half-step. Sorry again to the perfect-pitch kiddies out there. You'll also probably notice that this recording is certainly not error-free; turns out I get twitchy when the mic comes on and make dumb mistakes easily. >_< Regardless, I hope it gives at least a passable impression. (I also discovered, literally now, that I can record directly from Audacity...maybe that'll help with some of the quality issues?) Anyway, once I get back to school in a week or so I'll hopefully find the time to put up higher-quality recordings, perhaps even a video or two. :P [UPDATE 09/01/10: I've updated the recording from my last post to a higher-quality, straight-from-audio version. Hopefully that will make this cover suck a little less. xD]

I've got a few layering experiments planned for the near future, so stay tuned!

Until we meet again,


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