Thoughts On Tomorrow’s Daft Punk ‘Something About Us’ For Orchestra
"It might not be the right time"
This song and lyrics mean so much to me, that I continually postponed arranging it. A few months ago I met someone incredibly special - and I kept thinking how it’s ironic, because after 4 years of living in NYC I met this person 2 months before I had to move. Why couldn’t I meet them 4 years ago? Why now? Or why not in 5 years?
Maybe you’re familiar with that feeling? It’s difficult, nostalgic, familiar, and strange - all at the same time. And that got me thinking, about how many times I’ve grown in my life, and how many times the timing just wasn’t right. Applying to college, meeting someone, a job opportunity, how you met your best friend…
…It’s all timing.
In this arrangement I knew its power wouldn’t be from a loud crescendo or fortissimo passage, the power would be from the silence and space between notes. The vibraphones were perfect for that, and layering the violins on top allowed me to emphasize the lyrics.
As I sit here I’m thinking about how I bumped into a good friend across town last month. Had I brushed my teeth 2 seconds longer or turned a different street corner, then I wouldn’t have saw them. How crazy is that?
But I’m gearing off topic. The idea is that ‘timing’ is really starting to make sense to me, and I’m beginning to get comfortable with the reality that you can’t micro manage fate or serendipity. All you can do is just enjoy life, see where it takes you, appreciate every moment that’s given to you, and grow from those experiences.
Thoughts On Daft Punk Aerodynamic
I just spent the past hour staring at my wall. This is my 96th arrangement (wow has it been that many weeks?!) But this past week has been super rough, I just left my job, and things are just crappy. I can’t tour, rock radio won’t play me because I’m classical, classical radio won’t spin me because they say I’m rock… and so all I have is my music in my head, the hope that this somehow works out, and all of you guys. Then again, what more could I want, right?!
I love this composition because it’s as if it’s 3 entirely separate pieces. There’s even that big silence in the middle, which really brings out the beauty of this piece when it leads to the flutes and violins for the lush ending. It creates so much tension, uncertainty, and feeling.
And that’s what I drew from this - that sometimes there’s a long pause in the middle of things. While uncertainty in life is scary and can get you down, I’m learning that if you keep going you’ll see it leads to a beautiful melody. The trick is to just keep on going. As a result, I wanted the violins to really take charge in this arrangement while the Xylophone played the melody. To say I’m proud of this piece is an understatement, it turned out exactly how I heard it. I even gave the basses a melody that wasn’t in the original, but I heard it in my head over and over again, so I added it.
Note: I’m trying to allow commenting on posts because I want to open up a discussion and say hi to everyone. Right now I’m depending on messaging (but there’s a message limit, so that’s pretty unfortunate). So feel free to say “Hi!” on Twitter. Let’s keep this thing going, because Daft Punk Orchestra Interstella 5555 is turning out to sound pretty cool.
You guys are amazing - more to come!
Thoughts On Daft Punk Around The World
When I was younger I can remember running home every day to watch MTV. As I grew older, it transitioned from latenight music videos, then TRL, and now Youtube and Pandora. I can remember coming across this song, sitting in my kitchen with my brother and sister watching music videos as our 15″ TV sat on the counter. The video introduced me to the power of interarts and it’s contributors – having every artistic medium being part of a whole.
The lighting, the song, the costumes, the editing, choreography, the timing. It was the perfect storm, and boy did it grab me.
It wasn’t until years later when I studied with Andrea Clearfield and Manfred Fischbeck did I learn more about this first hand. When everything comes together, magic happens. Nothing is ever a solo act. Nothing. A movie integrates the arts in the sense that film editors, musicians, actors, marketing directors, fashion designers, lighting specialists, and more all have to come together. Even a pen wouldn’t be possible unless different mediums came together – the ink suppliers, artistic designers, supply chain, etc. All the things we have today is a product of someone before us. It’s at that moment that I realized we’re all simply adding to other’s lives – both in the present and the future.
That’s what this piece says to me. If my ‘orchestration of Harder Better Faster Stronger‘ taught me the power of sharing and remixing video, then this piece taught me the power of collaborating and realizing that the song is a part to something beautiful, not just something on it’s own.
I love this song, and spent a lot of time on it. To this day, it’s one of the best music videos I’ve ever seen – with each melody and harmonic texture of the song being acted out through each synchronized group. Such a simple idea, and such a powerful result that I was eager to capture with my arrangement.