Thoughts On WoodenToaster ‘Rainbow Factory’ For Orchestra
Comes out tomorrow.
This piece comes at a crossroads for me. I’ve been taking a lot of “me” time in order to evaluate things going on, tackle some adventurous ideas I’ve had, and become my best self.
Rainbow Factory is a song about how things look so beautiful and welcoming on the cover, but deep down you find out the darkness that it can protrude at times. It’s about digging deep to reveal the real story behind the cover.
This arrangement starts off dark as the basses create a powerful undertone while the clarinet softly and mysteriously echoes about the Rainbow Factory.
The piece picks up in aggression as the drums march on and the percussion section enters one by one. The flutes connect the chorus to the interlude, and it’s at this moment that things are revealed. What started as a beautiful flute passage shits into a roaring scream.
When I was younger, I used to pass judgement on people. Who hasn’t? It’s one of the misfortunes of being young - you’re not popular, you’re trying to find yourself, understand things, or choose a career. Ultimately, you don’t understand people or what they go through because you’re old enough to think you know it all, but too young to know anything.
In my old age I’m becoming smarter, happier, and much more understanding of how crazy life and life’s experiences can be. It’s not always happy, and it’s not always understood. But the more I learn then the more I love the obstacles and setbacks. The more I learn about other’s problems the less I judge and the more I can relate.
Rainbow Factory, while it may be my last and final My Little Pony tribute, is a song that has more meaning than melody. The Rainbow Factory may very well be where your fears and horrors come true, but the song is where you realize you’re not alone in having fears, uncertainties, and horrors.
Thoughts On Tonight’s My Little Pony ‘Smile Smile Smile’ For Orchestra
Love makes us laugh, think, stronger, and even dream.
However, we can only choose what to love, not whether we’re drawn to it. Guitar had that effect on me, my friends have that to me, and every piece I arrange has that effect, too.
But most importantly, love makes us smile. It makes all the things in our lives better. It makes our live’s work, sex, appreciation, and friendships better. If I don’t love an arrangement I wrote, then I keep working until I do.
Last year this arrangement didn’t feel right. It sounded off, the instrument choices were poor, and I really wanted it to be a collaboration between us.
If this were a live concert, then naturally the audiece would clap on the downbeats, as if to add another layer of percussion. I didn’t just like this idea, I loved it.
So in the beginning section I layered tons of clapping, singing, and snapping that you all submitted, which was the perfect accent to the gentle pizzicato strings. I left the main “melodic backbone” untouched, and added some heavy percussive and violin sections to emphasize Pinkie Pie’s jubilance as the chorus climbed in the top register.
And I love it.
I often get asked how I know a piece is finished. Like, at what exact moment do I know it’s completed? And while it differs from week to week, there is one constant - I have to love everything about it. Every single note, every crescendo, and every melodic entrance - it has to burn.
So how, then, do we know when we love something?
When it makes us smile, smile, smile :)
My thanks to all the submitters:
All Finished MLP “Smile Smile Smile” As of NOW
I added all your singing, clapping, stomps, and snaps in there, and it sounds glorious as a group collaboration. I must admit, it turned out better than I thought - we should do something like this more often.
You guys rock. I can’t wait. This is how I feel:
I’m Thrilled MLP ‘Smile’ Was Delayed
I’m all done. Everything. And it sounds glorious. But it’s been almost a year in the making.
So why so long? And why am I thrilled about the delay?
As I mention quite frequently, I honestly try to improve at something every day. Some days I learn how to compose better, a new piano technique, or even my basketball dribble (NOTE: I’m horrible at basketball, but I try). And the only way to see how much you’ve improved is to zoom way out and compare the distant past from the present.
This arrangement was completed last year, but sat dormant as I waited for the audio claps. Then it was pushed back, and eventually forgotten.
So when I revisited it last week I couldn’t believe how bad my arrangement sounded. Everything from the percussion to the EQ mix was horrible. Bluntly put, my standards are leaps and bounds from where they sat last year.
Once a piece is published I leave it untouched because I want my archive to be a time-capsule, of sorts.
'Smile Smile Smile' is now something I'm proud to get behind. Who knows, maybe next year I'll revisit it and cringe again as a result of my constant growth.
But that would be something I would look forward to. Growth is to be pursued because if you’re not swimming then you’re sinking. It’s the difference between like and love.
And that’s what makes me smile, smile, smile - and I hope to pass that grin onto you as it has to me.
My Little Pony Orchestra Livestream NOW
From 2:25pm PST (5:25pm EST) until whenever. I’ll add your audio clips into the piece. I suppose there is still time to submit a clap - the song will be available to download this week!
(Update 4:38pm PST / 7:38pm EST) OK thanks everyone for stopping by, we’ll do it again soon!