Okay – I’ve finally had it. I have listened to so many mediocre arrangements of this song that it’s finally time to write a good one.
For those who don’t know (shame on you), Aerith’s Theme comes from quite possibly the greatest game of all time: Final Fantasy VII. The theme is beautiful, and many artists have attempted to arrange it in a variety of styles. Most are terrible; a rare few turn out very nice. I hope that this intermediate-level arrangement fits the latter description… ;)
I hesitated to post this song since it is, as described, an impromptu performance. I haven’t edited the recorded MIDI at all. What you hear is straight how it came outta my fingers, sloppy runs and all. But I feel like it’s important to post a good, original, live arrangement of this piece on the internet since most the amateur versions out there sound like they came out of a Lv3 Alfred Book. Argh. This is certainly a more varied, lively performance than the ones I’ve heard so far. (And no, I haven’t heard the Piano Collections arrangement of this, unfortunately. I imagine it’s quite good!)
It is also worth mentioning that this was arranged by ear, without any source notation. The mp3 and ogg files are soundfont-generated and NOT from an actual piano. I apologize for that, but alas – no recording studio + Yamaha Disklavier yet! Someday!! :D
Comments/requests for additional FF arrangements are welcome.
After reading Eragon by Christopher Paolini, I was struck by the awesomeness of a teenager making the New York Times Bestseller list with his first novel. If that’s not living the “American Dream,” I don’t know what is.
Anyway, the book is quite good and I am very impressed by Chris’s accomplishment. So in honor of him and his first novel, I’ve written a piano tribute to my two favorite parts of the book: the world of Alagaesia and the protagonist Eragon. This piano piece begins and ends with an Alagaesian theme while the middle section is a tribute to Eragon. I hope it does both justice.
This was recorded off my old Roland HP-30006 keyboard and synthesized via a very nice Steinway-based soundfont. Yes, an actual live recording will always sound better, but this will have to do until I can afford an actual Steinway. (Which, according to my calculations, should be sometime around 1 Jan 2135).
Planet Source Code is one of my favorite open source programming sites on the internet. I’ve been involved with PSC since the late 90’s, and still like to drop in every now and then. I was doing this just last week when I came across “Wild Waters” (follow the PSC link above), a freeware 2d game written in VB by Trent Jackson. Trent was looking for music for the project, so I looked around and found this old (but good!) song sitting on my hard drive and offered it to Trent as a theme song for his project. It seems to fit!
Known as “It Begins” back in TGP/TLA days, this song is a simple arcade-style theme song. I based it loosely off “Cold” by matchbox twenty and I’m still fond of it even though it hasn’t been online for several years. I don’t know why I never uploaded this before – it’s a decent theme.
One of my favorite holiday songs in epic video game style. Happy Holidays!
Addendum 30 Sep 2011: this remix was used in a brilliant piece of pixel art by dA artists Ravenswd and Mirz123. I highly recommend watching the animation via this deviantART link or the youtube video embedded below. Many thanks to these artists for their shout-out!
As has become typical in my work, this song relies heavily on its mp3 mix for sound quality. MIDI instruments don’t do it justice. (In other words, please don’t download the MIDI version. :)
I wrote “Familiar Roads” as a simple, catchy town theme – not the typically dull background piece associated with that style of VG music. I like the instrument mix and pace and am pretty damn happy with how it turned out. For better or worse, this is the closest thing to “pop music” I’ve ever written. All it needs are some corny lyrics, like:
Lookin’ in the rearview mirror
Missin’ your face
We were so good together
Why did you leave me for that other guy
Blah blah blah
Ah, it’s nice to have this remix done. While I enjoyed writing the original “Journey” midi, this song has been in desperate need of an mp3 mix for awhile.
There are several noticeable differences between this and the original; I’ve tried to rewrite some of the weaker sections without changing the song too much (it is, after all, a theme song hehe). Also, the change of the lead instrument to a Spanish trumpet turned out as good as I could have hoped… Spanish trumpets are awesome!
Many thanks go out to Kroc for all he’s done to help me out these past few years. This song – as well as Leaving Millie and Retribution are my small way of saying thanks!
“Leaving Millie” is an interesting addition to the theme of Kroc’s life (my source material for this “Kroc’s Symphony” experiment; see also Retribution and The Journey). In spring 2005, Kroc shared with me a series of remarkable stories. One of the recurring characters in these stories was a girl named “Millie,” and she is the inspiration for this song.
My hope for this was to accomplish several things. I wanted a piece that sounded pretty and pleasant (not dark or dreary), but I didn’t want to go so far as “happy,” per se. I wanted it to be the kind of song you could contemplate to. I also wanted it to start simple, then gradually progress into a more complex ending that stayed true to the simpleness of the melody. It’s designed to be a sort of musical conundrum. :) I’m rather fond of it.
Again, thanks go out to Kroc for all he’s done to help me out. This song, as well as The Journey and Retribution, are my small way of saying thanks.
By request, the mp3 version of this song includes a “live piano” track. This version of the piano part was recorded as MIDI through my keyboard and recreated via soundfont – so it’s not entirely “live”, but the notes are an exact replica of me at my keyboard. In my opinion, this version has more grandeur than the all-electronic version, and although some dissonant notes appear toward the end (oops!), I find this to be a nice improvement on an already excellent song.
“King of the Desert” is a new endeavor for me. In experimenting with some new guitar soundfonts, I’ve really wanted to bust out a powerful rock ‘n roll number.
This is what happened. (Note: the epic metal section kicks in around the 1:30 mark. Wait for it!)
This chord progression has been in the back of my head for awhile, but until this song I hadn’t found a good use for it. While I like the melody and structure of “King of the Desert,” the real masterpiece is the countless subtle effects used throughout. The strum of the guitar, the pitch fades on the high power chords, realistic harmonics on the guitar solos – this song is only possible thanks to many subtle, meticulously hand-tuned tweaks. You won’t hear a better hand-edited MIDI guitar track than this.
If you’ve read my explanation/confession/description for “Ominosity“, you’ll know how much I dislike naming songs. I’ve got no inspiration whatsoever for this song’s name, so it will forever exist as “Unknown”. If you can think of a better name, let me know.
This song is a byproduct of boredom in its purest form. Sometimes I find myself in a rut with the direction my composing is going, so I’ll force myself to sit down and arrange whatever comes out of my brain first. I’ve always loved “Hall of the Mountain King,” so I figured I’d slaughter it by converting it into MIDI with a groovy drumbeat and strange background synth instruments.
Grieg would definitely kill me if he heard this.
No offense intended, old buddy. Just trying to get myself out of a rut.