Have I Been Doing It Backwards?

Over the past 5 years I’ve been arranging all my songs using MIDI. And the goal was to grow it enough to be able to hire a full orchestra. With that, we could finally all leverage that for the ultimate goal: getting enough support for live performances in orchestra halls.

But we never got there.

I’ve tried everything, even so recently as hiring dancers to branch out the idea, but it didn’t work out as I planned.

Then last week it hit me: rather than writing orchestra music from the start, I should be growing into it.

Meaning, I should start small - string quartets - and slowly grow that over time. Maybe adding 1 or 2 musicians every few weeks as the idea grew (if it does at all).

So that’s what I’ll be doing for now on. So now “ForOrchestra” isn’t the weekly music you’ll hear, it will be the actual goal: to get the string quartets to be for orchestra!

It’s the dream. And dreams don’t die. Dreams are about telling stories, they’re about going on adventures, and they’re about bringing us together.

We have no time to worry about how we were doing it backwards, it’s time to look forward. Troops, to forward!

Why I’ve Been Depressed And Quiet

I could do an epic orchestra cover of Taylor Swift “Shake It Off” and make good money by riding the S.E.O. train - as outlined in my “Cover Sales vs. Original sales" blog post. But after the wave crashes then all I’m left with is a few dollars and a memory. I can never sell that sheet music, remix it again, release stems, or claim it as my own. I never went to school to be a cover artist.

Back in 2007 I had one of the biggest Youtube channels in the world at 25,000 subscribers. 25,000 subscribers was unheard of back then, crazy - right? But I wasn’t happy because after 400 music lesson episodes I didn’t want to be a guitar instructor - my passion was always with the orchestra.

So I pivoted and started ‘ForOrchestra’ by releasing a few originals but on week 5 I released my 2nd cover song: Lady Gaga ‘Poker Face’. It went viral and was even featured on Perez Hilton, so it hit me - only do covers!

Fast forward to 2014 and my income has dwindled, mainly because I can’t do anything with my arrangements. Sure, I can sell them on iTunes for a $0.50 on each $1 sale but how is that happiness? How is that even remotely what I ever wanted 6 years ago?

It’s not. It’s not what I want. And it’s not what you deserve. I want to have the freedom to sell you sheet music so tomorrow’s children can learn violin, release the stems, have Spotify listening parties, grow the orchestra’s live performances, do music giveaways, and so much more with you.

But I can’t. I’m a prisoner at the hands of the publishers. But it’s not their fault because I dug my own grave knowing which copyrights I had to follow before each song release.

I even wanted to do a treasure hunt recently - where I split a song into 10 pieces and hid each one on a different corner of the internet. Then YOU would have to find them and combine the music.

Basically, virtually anything else other than what I’m doing right now is exactly what I want to do going forward.

So I think ForOrchestra has to change, and fast. It was fine when I had a few dozen songs, but now that I’m at 200 it seems that every week I face the same story and imprisonment of working with other people’s property. Cease and desist letters, royalties, DMCA counter claims, and worse of all: a creative exodus to do what I want with my music.  

The past 6 months haven’t been good. I was creatively empty and going down a road that I didn’t want to go down. When I get older I don’t want to be a 50 year old cover artist. I have 5 cover songs that I’m uploading this week, and then after that I’m done with it.

I have so many original songs that are 10x better than any cover song I’ve written. the issue is that my covers sell 10x as much as my originals. But I’m just going to do it - spearhead it.

TL;DR: All originals from here on out.

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.

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.

Coming soon once this recording is figured out.

ArtistWalt Ribeiro
TitleFrozen 'Let It Go'
AlbumWalt Ribeiro

Here’s “Down With The Sickness” For Orchestra before my computer crashed. It’s my best piece but I’m getting upset that my computer can’t keep up and I don’t know how much longer I can wait :(

ArtistWalt Ribeiro
TitleDisturbed 'Down With The Sickness'
AlbumWalt Ribeiro

Attack On Titan ‘Guren no Yumiya’
String Quartet and Percussion by Walt Ribeiro

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ForOrchestra T-Shirt Holiday Sale

The ForOrchestra T-Shirt store is all in stock and available to arrive by the holidays.

Since I give away my music, T-Shirt purchases (and music downloads) support my work as I hope to keep doing this for you. Thanks!

my next arrangement is going to be a stomp. i hope you like heavy percussion. #hatsunemiku #worldismine #fororchestra #comingsoon #stomp

my next arrangement is going to be a stomp. i hope you like heavy percussion. #hatsunemiku #worldismine #fororchestra #comingsoon #stomp

Change my Tumblr name from @ForOrchestra to @WaltRibeiro?

On more than one occasion people have been unable to find me, and now that I’m starting to branch out onto other things (other than ONLY orchestra music) I’m considering this very strongly.

My concern is that it breaks my brand (my Youtube, Twitter, etc. are @ForOrchestra ).

For example, Tumblr people tell me “I didn’t realize it was your music across my dashboard. I’d have known if I saw @WaltRibeiro instead of @ForOrchestra though”.

So, the @ForOrchestra alias was started because my music lessons from 2006-2010 were made under my @WaltRibeiro alias. Separating them was the right decision, but I knew I’d face this concern in the future if my orchestra ever grew, which it has.

In a perfect world I would:
1.) make @WaltRibeiro my main orchestra/music site
2.) retire @ForOrchestra
3.) move my music lessons to @WaltRibeiroLessons or something

Thoughts?

ForOrchestra T-Shirts are live! Unisex with $11 intro price. You’ll be the most fashionable Symphomaniac in the world.

May The Fourth Be With YouBeethoven SelfieBack To The CodaFor Orchestra LogoYou + Me = Us Forever 

The direct URL is http://fororchestra/store

I hope you all love them. Let me know any suggested shirt colors, problems, etc :)

ForOrchestra T-Shirts are live! Unisex with $11 intro price. You’ll be the most fashionable Symphomaniac in the world.

May The Fourth Be With You
Beethoven Selfie
Back To The Coda
For Orchestra Logo
You + Me = Us Forever

The direct URL is http://fororchestra/store

I hope you all love them. Let me know any suggested shirt colors, problems, etc :)