I aged my guitar 60 years with an app

I aged my guitar 60 years with an app

Thoughts On Mega Man X ‘Spark Mandrill’ For Orchestra

"Wow, I can feel you chanting ‘No More Boss’ in every measure"

That’s what my friend said when he heard this week’s song, and that’s what I felt as I wrote every measure.

It’s quite fitting that Spark Mandrill is this week’s song for you because I feel like I finally overcame my own final boss this week. I’m moving to Los Angeles tomorrow and setting off for new beginnings.

With new beginnings comes happiness, which is really the only thing I’m after. I just want to be around the sun, go outside, collaborate with friends, and be along the Coastline. The East Coast stopped being fun for me. The pickup basketball teams got smaller, my friends are all married and usually unavailable, and my music has been uninspiring as a result recently.

As you know, I’ve been lost. I’ve been spending lots of time on building my robots, learning photography, and just searching for an answer in life. Not that that answer is Los Angeles, but at least hitting the “reset” button may lead to new ideas and motivation.

Spark Mandrill was a bigger, deadlier weapon, and stronger opponent than Mega Man X in almost every way. But what he didn’t have was Mega Man’s burning desire to save the Earth alongside the Maverick Hunters and Zero.

I feel that when push comes to shove, the size of the fight in the dog will always be more powerful than the size of the dog in the fight. Spark Mandrill learned that lesson, one that I hope to take with me on my new beginning.

The orchestra is the greatest ensemble in the world, and I can’t wait to share that captured emotion with you… tomorrow.

How could one ever forget the great blogging era of 1940?

How could one ever forget the great blogging era of 1940?

This isn’t a blog post about how autotune is ruining music (it’s not). It’s a post about how much higher the bar is, and how that bar is not human.

Above is Ricky Martin’s amazing Grammy performance from 1999. If you read the video comments you’ll notice some people feel that it’s horrible when compared to today’s performances.

And in some ways, it is. It’s not in 4K, 60 frames per second, autotuned, bright clothes, choreographed with 200 dancers, or uses every strobe light imaginable.

But back then, when I watched it as a 15 year old, it was the best. It was just so authentic and human. 

And once again, the bar is raised incredibly high on Youtube when compared to the Youtube of 2007.

In the ultra hi-speed race that we’re all entering, let’s not forget that we’re all bad artists and singers, even the best ones. In fact, bad singing and playing is what makes us sound human. Perfection is actually the uncanny valley.

What I don’t want is to go to another indie concert and overhear someone say the singer was horrible. The singer was amazing - it’s your bar that was unrealistic. Meanwhile, that Youtube video or live performance you watched was all smoke and mirrors re-edited 100 times until every note was perfect.

Which is perfectly fine for the entertaining factor, but completely loses the emotion we’re all yearning for in the first place…

to be human.

My Smosh Debut

My music plays in Smosh’s latest Pokemon video from 5:26 - 5:29.

They felt bad it got cut down. But I can assure you - these will be the best 3 seconds of your life.

asker

comic-sans-because-fuck-you asked: I hope you know how excited I am for your Spark Mandrill stage remix.

Yea it’s one of my favorites. I’m pretty stoked for it too man. I feel great to be back.

fororchestra:

No return celebration is complete without my next Mega Man Orchestra: Spark Mandrill !!!! Comes out this week, and it feels good to get back into the swing of things - everything is improved so now I’m not only faster but I’m also better now.
Every note in this orchestra arrangement screams happiness. You can just feel it. You know I’m back, you know Mega Man is about to kick some ass, and you know the cover art screams “dsakfjhsadjkf!”.
I’ve been thinking a lot. I’ve been thinking about stories, faces, and eyes. Those 3 things have been the difference of whether I really connect with something anymore. Stories give me a theme to follow - something to hold onto and think about. Faces give me an identity - something (or someone) I can see myself as. And eyes give me an emotion - a feeling I can center everything around and communicate through.
I really wanted to capture those 3 things with this next piece. I wanted it to be thematic, relevant, and hit you right in the feels. For the video I’m going to use my eyes a lot because I want the music notes to “speak” to you somehow. This video will not be a dance but instead use my face because I want to try a new idea with the story-telling aspect - speaking through the eyes.
As you listen you’ll hear improvements in my trumpet and brass writing, and you’ll hear the quick percussive drum fills perfectly closing after the big brass phrases. Over the years as much as I’ve loved to pair the flutes with the basses I’ve also always loved the combination of snare drums and brass. To me, it just sounds so aggressive to create a march-like emotion that leaves the listener on edge.
And what an edge it is. The solo is joyous and crushing. It’s one of favorites, right up there with my Final Fantasy or Wooden Toaster arrangements. The violins perfectly punctuate the fast melody while the basses answer their calls. And the clarinets and oboes bring it all to a close as the two instruments dance alone… together.
Can the hero in blue save the world from the wrath of Spark Mandrill? We’ll all find out soon enough.

From Askspeedy’s comment:
Ah, isn’t that the wrong Mega Man, though..? Spark Mandrill is Mega Man X’ opponent, not classic Mega Man’s.. :3… But still, looking forward to the release of this soundtrack!
I can’t believe this. I was studying so hard and then totally used the 8-bit instead of the 16-bit Mega Man. Oh well, I messed up haha. I still love the cover art - perhaps even more now because it feels so… exclusive!

fororchestra:

No return celebration is complete without my next Mega Man Orchestra: Spark Mandrill !!!! Comes out this week, and it feels good to get back into the swing of things - everything is improved so now I’m not only faster but I’m also better now.

Every note in this orchestra arrangement screams happiness. You can just feel it. You know I’m back, you know Mega Man is about to kick some ass, and you know the cover art screams “dsakfjhsadjkf!”.

I’ve been thinking a lot. I’ve been thinking about stories, faces, and eyes. Those 3 things have been the difference of whether I really connect with something anymore. Stories give me a theme to follow - something to hold onto and think about. Faces give me an identity - something (or someone) I can see myself as. And eyes give me an emotion - a feeling I can center everything around and communicate through.

I really wanted to capture those 3 things with this next piece. I wanted it to be thematic, relevant, and hit you right in the feels. For the video I’m going to use my eyes a lot because I want the music notes to “speak” to you somehow. This video will not be a dance but instead use my face because I want to try a new idea with the story-telling aspect - speaking through the eyes.

As you listen you’ll hear improvements in my trumpet and brass writing, and you’ll hear the quick percussive drum fills perfectly closing after the big brass phrases. Over the years as much as I’ve loved to pair the flutes with the basses I’ve also always loved the combination of snare drums and brass. To me, it just sounds so aggressive to create a march-like emotion that leaves the listener on edge.

And what an edge it is. The solo is joyous and crushing. It’s one of favorites, right up there with my Final Fantasy or Wooden Toaster arrangements. The violins perfectly punctuate the fast melody while the basses answer their calls. And the clarinets and oboes bring it all to a close as the two instruments dance alone… together.

Can the hero in blue save the world from the wrath of Spark Mandrill? We’ll all find out soon enough.

From Askspeedy’s comment:

Ah, isn’t that the wrong Mega Man, though..? Spark Mandrill is Mega Man X’ opponent, not classic Mega Man’s.. :3… But still, looking forward to the release of this soundtrack!

I can’t believe this. I was studying so hard and then totally used the 8-bit instead of the 16-bit Mega Man. Oh well, I messed up haha. I still love the cover art - perhaps even more now because it feels so… exclusive!