Whoa, it's been a long time. It is going to take me a little bit of time to clean all of the dust off of this "blog" thing that I accidentally lost the time to write on. I feel like the time has come to revitalize it and bring it back, don't you? Why don't we start with getting caught up on what all went down in the last 6 months.
- I went on a random road trip to New Orleans day trip to see Tool.
- I got to pretend to be a boyscout with 68 awesome Dudes and win a silly little rag-tag show choir show.
- Somehow managed to prepare and successfully put on two senior recitals, one for composition and one for piano.
- I got to perform the first movement of Camille Saint-Saëns' 2nd piano concerto with my university's orchestra.
- I got my first two ever birdies in disc golf.
- Two of my best friends got married, and I had the honor of being part of their wedding.
- I got a new job.
- I won a bet that got me a new stuffed wombat. His name is Chompsky.
- My band has been recording a lot of stuff.
- I went to a ton of awesome concerts, one of which let me relive my middle school dreams.
- I've entered some cool contests, so fingers crossed that something comes out of that.
- I graduated from college.
That last one really hits hard. I graduated. That's unreal. I've hated school for the longest time ever. My parents somehow talked me out of dropping out of high school, twice, and then kept me motivated to stay in school and finish everything out, and look at me now -- I have a college degree. I actually have two of them. I earned two undergraduate college degrees in less time than it took me to finish high school. That's pretty cool. And even though my graduation wasn't nearly as epic as this, it was still an awesome feeling when I walked across that stage.
Let's get down to business. No, there are no Huns involved here. Well, maybe. I don't think there are any Huns in any of the Final Fantasy worlds, so yeah. No Huns. With the impending release of the latest title in the Final Fantasy franchise, I wanted to tell you people a little bit about one of my heroes: Nobuo Uematsu. Uematsu got started in the video game music world with Square all the way back in 1985. He's a self-taught musician, and he says that one of his biggest influences is Elton John. Then again, how can you not be inspiring when you wear hats like this?
Uematsu has always been one of my greatest heroes and influences because he's a naturally good composer. He knows how to write a good melodic line, but he takes it and twists it to be slightly not what you would expect. It makes his music great. Well, other things make his music great too. I'm just going to have you listen to some of it. Now, the majority of Uematsu's music was originally arranged for whatever MIDI synthesizer he was using at the time. But what else would you expect for a game that has so many pixels that it makes the beach look less grainy. Not to mention the opening dialogue looks like it's either a really long Jeopardy question or the Windows blue screen of death.
Anywho, as time evolved on in the video game world, so did the MIDI instrumentations of Uematsu's music. He eventually started using MIDI orchestra sounds to create the music for his game scores. There's a term that I like to use about some of the older video game music that it's so MIDI that it hurts. It's very true in every aspect of game music, but at the same time, it's so nostalgically beautiful that you can't help but find almost perfection in its timbres and colors. Back in the early 2000's, a lot of his music from the Final Fantasy series was transcribed for solo piano, and it's also absolutely brilliant. But nothing can truly beat hearing Uematsu's classic & beautiful themes performed by a real orchestra. That's something truly magical in of itself.
That's all the time I have for this week. I've got some neat ideas of what I'm going to write about in the coming weeks. Aren't you so glad I'm writing on this blog again?
Until next time, my friends, I leave you with this: never give up. (Trust your instincts) Never stop trying. Preserver and strive to the end, because it's worth it. I promise.