Anonymous asked: How much creative liberty do you take with your arrangements? Are they more straight up covers or do you feel like they're more remixes?

It depends from piece to piece. I’ll give you 3 examples:

1.) Homestuck ‘Rex Duodecim Angelus’ For Orchestra I made it a note-for-note transcription. Cover song.

2.) Street Fighter For Orchestra I combined Guile’s Theme with Beethoven’s 5th Symphony. Cover song + Mashup + some original material.

3.) Gravity Falls For Orchestra the original is 40 seconds long, so I wrote almost all new material to make it 4 minutes. Cover song + all new material.


darkoneelder asked: I noticed you did a orchestra version of Skyfall and it's now a James Bond intro, so why not do one with all the intros for the James Bond movies?

Because if I did an intro for all 23 Bond films then that requires 23 different licenses (one for each film, assuming they’re all different themes). It’s the exact reason why Homestuck Cascade is an issue - multiple licenses/songwriters/etc is a very difficult thing to pull off for just one person.

In addition, I have to pay 9.1 cents per license - so if I made a song with all the Bond intros, I would have to pay $2.03 in royalties (9.1 cents x 23). I only make 0.45 cents per $1 song (iTunes keeps 30 cents, royalties, etc). So after it’s all said and done I would actually lose about $1.50 per sale.

Set up as a loss-leader where I can make the difference up on touring or t-shirts is one thing, but I can’t tour because orchestras only play music by dead composers, and I can’t afford t-shirts yet.

Another option is to do it non-commercially and have as much fun as I want mashing everything together, but non-commercial would mean this would become a hobby instead of a career to me, so the quality and frequency of the pieces would be non existent. I’d only have 1 hour per night to write music after I came home from my construction job.

These pieces, as you can probably tell, are massive (I don’t release crappy content or cut corners when it comes to my work for you guys). It’s not the most efficient way to run a weekly schedule (a simple guitar song would perhaps be easier), but orchestra is my passion, and this idea is important to me. I also answer every email, make every cover album, take song polls, license each piece, etc. And I try my best to release a song per week. Rinse, repeat.

It’s an insane week. To give you a scope of how busy I’ve been with For Orchestra - I’ve released 140 high-quality arrangements of songs since I started, which is almost 1/3 of the entire catalogue that The Rolling Stones released in their 50 year career.

So that’s why I can’t mash things up as much as I would like - it’s because the licensing would make this financially unstable, and deter my goal of keeping this orchestra music going. In the case of Madeon ‘Pop Culture’ it’s a Transformative piece, meaning that it stems so far from the originals that it’s its own copyright (in my opinion). So I didn’t have to pay for 39 licenses.

Unlike other mashups, if you listen to my Madeon orchestra cover you wouldn’t say “wow this sounds just like Black Eyed Peas ‘Gotta Feeling’”. That’s because there’s no part in that song that is objectively “revealed”, so the 39 songs + the orchestration which stripped out the words and remixed Madeon’s remix, becomes sort of a new song completely separate from the 39 that were used. Which is why I I was so excited to tackle it.

Neminem’s 2nd Mashup

If you liked Neminem’s first mashup, He submitted another one:

neminem - Don’t Stop Code Lyoko From Believin’ in Orchestra

Walt Ribeiro - Code Lyoko ‘A World Without Danger’ (For Orchestra)
Walt Ribeiro - Don’t Stop Believin (For Orchestra)

His writeup:
The Code Lyoko song is 100% and very obviously a 4 Chord Song. I’d been wanting to make a 4 chord song mashup since before I’d heard Axis of Awesome’s take, but at least I don’t believe anyone’s made one entirely orchestrally. I was going to add vocals, but then I realized, it really was perfect just like this.

Also, check out neminem’s other mashups too!

Album Art





So I mixed the original Gangnam Style with the Orchestral version and

This is fucking amazing.

Somebody post a download link. NOW.



So apparently this has made the rounds on Tumblr. My orchestra cover mashed with the original.

(via johnhexcarter)

Thoughts On Tomorrow’s Avicii ‘Levels’ For Orchestra

Community. That’s what I loved about this piece. I loved watching the Avicii flashmobs videos on Youtube. Heck, I even wanted us to make one ourselves - I thought it’d be cool to do a “flashmob orchestra” of sorts. But where would we meet up? What day? Would anyone show up?

So tomorrow’s piece will be just the song, but I would love, LOVE, to make a group choreographed video somehow. Maybe we all shoot videos individually, then someone can edit them all together?

Anyway, I love Progressive House - and have wanted to arrange Avicii and Swedish House Mafia for a while. Avicii ‘Levels’ was definitely difficult to arrange. I listened to every possible cover of this song, tore up every idea I had, and started over many times.

There were times when the brass were out of their comfort range, or the vibraphones sounded out of place, or the bells were overbearing.

And after many hours, I decided to go back to my heavy metal roots. The drums are crushing, the violins are aggressive, and the ending brings it all back together. Without a doubt, this is my heaviest song to date.

This song has only 2 melodies, so how could I make that interesting? For me, the answer was the oboes and bassoons, because they make the low end both powerful and beautiful. That’s the perfect blend for progressive house, orchestra, and metal.

This reminds me of when I was younger, realizing that no matter what genre or style, music can bring us all together. The predictable “comfort zones” within music are wrong because that’s what ceases creativity and progression - and not just in music, but in all things - even in ourselves.

So that’s what this piece means to me: it’s about a community, and collectively coming together to break the comfort zone.

If Cyber Bob illegally downloads Digital Joe’s song from the Internet, it’s crucial to recognize that, in most cases, Joe hasn’t lost anything. For starters, we should stop trying to shoehorn the 21st-century problem of illegal downloading into a moral and legal regime that was developed with a pre- or mid-20th-century economy in mind.

Stuart P. Green: When Stealing Isn’t Stealing -

via rugnetta

(via kenyatta)

Digital makes it a different game now.

Gotye ‘Somebody I Used to Know’ isn’t creative commons licensed, but because of WOTE’s cover song Gotye shot to #1 on the charts. That’s how the internet works, in some reality. 80% of my income is from people purchasing my orchestra music, and they tell me they found it from torrents or other outlets. People who love my work and other’s work, understand that if we don’t make money then everything stops.

Everyone “steals”: from video converting, hotlinking pictures, mashups, torrents, sharing music, etc. The internet is a group remix of creativity, mashups, and guerilla sharing. It’s fascinating.

But even if you wanted to make the argument about “digital stealing”, then consider this: the problem isn’t THAT people steal, it’s WHY people steal…

Why do people steal groceries or items from a store? I think it’s because of the understaffed stores, horrible UI of self-checkouts, and insanely slow lines.

The problem isn’t that people don’t want to buy merchandise online, the problem is that corporations have made purchasing entertainment online so much more difficult (and a worse library selection) than getting it illegally within seconds.

(via kenyatta)

Adele ‘Rolling In The Deep’
For Orchestra by Walt Ribeiro

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The Spinto Band ‘Oh Mandy’
For Orchestra by Walt Ribeiro

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Journey ‘Don’t Stop Believin’
For Orchestra by Walt Ribeiro

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AC/DC ‘You Shook Me All Night Long’
For Orchestra by Walt Ribeiro

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