Thursday, September 20, 2012

Thanks for 20,000 Views!

The title says it all here. When I started this blog a couple years back, I expected it just to be something that I mostly visit myself, or occasionally share with some friends at best. To say that I was pleasantly surprised when I started getting visitors from the Internet community would be an understatement. So, thank you! :D

In celebration of this momentous occasion, I decided it might be appropriate to take a trip down memory lane. Here's one of my earliest arrangements that's actually been captured on video. It's "Dream Land" from Super Smash Bros. (perhaps better known as "the Kirby level"), performed by Duke University Percussion Ensemble! Hope you enjoy :)

Thanks again to all of my friends and members of the Internet community for all of your support, and I hope to share much more with you in the years to come!

Best wishes,


Thursday, September 6, 2012

Piano Cover: Empty Loneliness (Valkyria Chronicles)

It's the three-year anniversary of my YouTube channel! A lot has happened in the last three years: finishing undergrad, moving to a new city. Amid all of this flux, music has remained a constant force in my life, always pushing me to improve and keeping me sane through my difficult times (and perhaps acting as a procrastination tool). I've really enjoyed sharing my music and interacting with the YouTube community over these last few years. What better way to celebrate this incredibly important milestone with another piano cover?

I chose the song "Empty Loneliness" from Valkyria Chronicles because I felt that its title perfectly captured the solitude and despair that characterize my desolate life. LOL JK. I actually chose this song because Valkyria Chronicles is my favorite video game of the recent generation (and indeed, one of my favorites ever), and I wanted to revisit to my roots in arranging video game music. "Empty Loneliness" was perhaps the most piano-heavy track in the game, and also happened to be a variation on the inspiring main theme of the game, scored by the esteemed Hitoshi Sakimoto.

I don't feel right letting a perfect opportunity to heap praises on Valkyria Chronicles slip by, so here we go. Valkyria Chronicles is a brilliant strategy-RPG released by Sega in 2008, and paints a heartwarming tale of a small militia squad and the lessons they learn from war and conflict. Everything about this game impressed me, from the creative BLiTZ gameplay elements to the unique CANVAS art style, from the memorable characters to the beautiful music. I'd also like to point out that of the numerous friends to whom I'm introduced Valkyria Chronicles, all of them have fallen in love with it (and even spread it to their roommates). It really is that good.

Anyway, let's get to the cover, shall we? (Spoiler alert: avoid the text if this concerns you.)

Empty Loneliness (Valkyria Chronicles): Piano Cover

Composer: Hitoshi Sakimoto
Date Completed: 2012-00-03
Software: Audacity, Movie Maker, Sony Vegas
Number of Takes: Conservative estimate: ~30 <_< Instrumentation: Piano Aww, Welkin & Alicia. :) This song was a lot of fun to play, but I was probably too much a perfectionist with the recording. Admittedly, some of the novelty did wear off after my twentieth or thirtieth time attempting to record this song in the wee hours of the morning. The result wasn't perfect, certainly (I really need to learn how to pedal better <_>), but in retrospect I'm glad I held myself to the high standards that I did. Also, I played around with some reverb effects in Vegas, but I'm certainly no expert with these effects; I'd appreciate any advice!

That's all for this time! To all of my YouTube visitors: thanks so much for your support over the past few years. Here's to hoping that the next few years will be filled with just as many fun piano covers (and hopefully more collaborations) as the past few have been. Cheers!

'Til next time,