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Topics - daj

Pages: [1]
Request / [N64] Zelda: OoT - "Dodongo Boss Battle"
« on: April 15, 2017, 01:52:05 PM »

Pretty sure this one isn't on-site, which is kinda weird. No results for "dodongo", "volvagia", and "stallord". Hmm.

I really love this theme, but it's not so straightforward to arrange as copying the bass and melody. Will give cookies to anyone who arranges this! ^^
(and, well, probably a recording too ahaha)

Help! / How do YOU transcribe your music? ^^
« on: February 12, 2017, 04:12:13 AM »
...and do you have absolute pitch or relative pitch? I'd just like to gather some info from experienced arrangers, haha.

Eventually I'll be doing a little tutorial series on how to start arranging, so more people can get past the initial barriers and do arrangements of their own. And the first step of that is to, literally, transcribe everything. So yeah, I'd like to know how you guys transcribe so I can teach this better in the future ^^


Music / daj talks VGM! ^^ (warning: nerdy)
« on: December 26, 2016, 04:17:09 PM »

I write analyses about vgm stuffs. And because I'm me there will be theory. Yeaaahhh.

Wanted to save the OP for a glossary post or something but oh well i won't update it after a while anyways so here's the first entry :p

daj's top ten Sun and Moon tracks! :)
(might get turned into an actual video someday haha)


- subject to extreme personal bias (go ichinose yeah <3)
- theory analysis was used to make it all sound more legit but it's all in the name of fun k ^^

10. "Battle! (Hau)"
Hitomi Sato and Go Ichinose

Kicking off the list is the most energetic battle track of any game ever, composed by the two rhythmic geniuses who handled most of the DPPt soundtrack.

Hitomi Sato's "Hau's Theme" is brilliant in itself, because it essentially uses only one rhythmic idea in its melody throughout the track, yet still succeeds in sounding fresh and awesome. "Battle! (Hau)" opens with the complicated rhythmic layering which gives Go Ichinose's music its flavour, along with a melody that...basically recycles-and-extends Sato's idea for most of the section.

And the first section transitions suddenly to a perfect re-interpretation of the middle section of "Hau's Theme", and here we have it - the happiest battle track ever. It's hyped and cheerful as hell, and it's complemented perfectly with Hau's cluelessly happy pose in the background. Love it <3

9. "Mahalo Trail"
Minako Adachi

All the classic cinematic harmonies, with a nice little mallet ostinato and wonderfully programmed ambient textures. Honestly, it's not anything special - it's just a perfectly executed atmospheric piece that matches the mood like a charm. Minako Adachi's technical mastery in sound programming shines in this simple, clean track.

8. "Battle! (Gladion)"
Go Ichinose

Out of all his masterpieces in the DPPt soundtrack, Go Ichinose's "Galactic HQ" surfaces as the most rhythmically complex and most hyped-up track. I think it's his most well-composed track in the OST too (and then there's Hitomi Sato's "Eterna Forest" haha).

When it comes to the Sun and Moon OST, the Gladion Battle Theme falls in a similar spot. Without question, this is the most rhythmically complex track in Ichinose's Sun and Moon arsenal. The distorted bass guitar never stops moving until it plays in homorhythm with the other parts, rhythmic stabs punctuate the beat all over, and above it all floats an expressive, continuous melody. All of which, interestingly, are elements shared by the DPPt "Galactic HQ" track.

It is a technical masterpiece. The sounds are harsh and bright, the aggressive bass guitar cuts through tastefully, and the drum beat punches hard. When all the rhythmic elements come together, the track sounds amazing.

7. "Lively Lillie!"
Minako Adachi and Hitomi Sato

Not really a spoiler or surprise, but yes, there's another Lillie track coming up further down on this list. And we already know which one it is.

"Lillie's Theme" is a perfect reflection of her character. It struck me quite quickly that the  chord progression was reminiscent of Ravel's "Pavane for a Dead Princess" (IV7 - I7 twice, then naturals, yay), and the melody of the Lillie theme shares the mellow darkness and vulnarability of Ravel's Pavane too. Um, yeah.  Digressed a little there, not editing it out. Point is that Lillie's Theme paints the image of a dainty princess. Which is pretty accurate.

Lillie remains a passive character, getting lost and being useless for most of the story, and then she meets her mother and realises that the world seriously could use one less useless princess around. So she gets into action, and the "Lively Lillie" track plays as she reveals her Z-Powered form (cringe-y but cute so welp) for the first time.

The melody and harmony of this track is similar to the original, and the daintiness of the original melody is preserved through a brilliant choice of mellow instruments. But an upbeat drum pattern, some rhythmic fixes, and some hat shimmers breathe life into the track; the dead princess comes to life. I think most of us only got to love Lillie after this turning point, and the track really bought me over.

6. "Paniola Town (Night)"
Hitomi Sato

Chills. So much of them ran down me when I heard that whistling sound, and I instantly went weak. Everything about this track speaks "human", in the sense that it's raw and imperfect. Both melody sounds are never in tune, the guitar and melody don't agree on the chords sometimes, and those whistle slides are bone-chilling. Dang.

I won't be surprised if some people are turned off by the imperfection, but I find it beautiful. It's hard to describe, and it's the only track I won't do a theoretical analysis for, ahaha. I just love it.

5. "Battle! (Lusamine)"
Minako Adachi

This was the first track of the OST I put on repeat. Unlike the Lusamine-Nihilego theme, which is a huge, beautiful, distorted mess of sound, this track is pretty clean and structured. Yet, with the elegance of Lusamine's theme and Minako Adachi's harsh drum sounds juxtaposed like Team Skull and Aether's black and white, the track is a perfect reflection of Lusamine's main-bad-guy-with-a-story character.

The introductory flourish propels into a possessed soprano motif (D-Eb-A, shostakovich would eargasm), Lusamine's theme is sung in a bold piano solo in octaves, and then a beat drop shifts the music to a breakcore section which puts a clean melody-and-extension of Lusamine's theme against the syncopated breakbeat. The space between the powerful melodic phrases is filled with statements of the Aether theme in a harpsichord part (yes, really, and it's brilliant). The melody is classy and the accompaniment is grungy - Lusamine's stereotype in a nutshell.

A dissonant piano flourish calls in a "piano solo section". The low strings play a chromatic, subverted version of the Alola theme, and the piano responds with dissonant madness. So extrapolate a bit, and this ties Lusamine's mad ambitions with the peril of the Alola region. Hey, that's not far-fetched at all ^^

A new melody with a characteristic chromatic descending tail enters in the trumpet part, and the high strings respond with a similar line. The beat intensifies until the breakdown - an inversion (ascending, basically) of the chromatic scale plays in the background and a dark, minor version of the Aether theme floats in the foreground. And then the music explodes in rhythm, kicks and crashes smashing aggressively - above it all, a grainy, round drone sound imitates the chromatic rising passage. And that sound alone is probably one of the most well-programmed sounds in the whole OST.

It's a track that's brilliantly designed and chilling to the core, and it probably holds a solid spot in anyone's Top 10 Sun and Moon track list.

4. "Alola Region Theme"
Minako Adachi

I arranged a 4/4 version of this theme in September, upon the release of the Japanese Gameplay Trailer. I sang it every time it came on playback, and that made transcription a lot easier...at the cost of cementing the Alola melody in my head for the months ahead. Even before I started checking out the Sun and Moon OST I knew this was the first track I would arrange.

It's a simple melody with a simple harmony. But amidst the slew of brilliant ambient electronica tracks that would define the Sun and Moon journey, it sounded like a charm. Alola is, after all, a simple Hawaiian paradise, once you look past the misguided teens and corrupted corporations (ok to be fair aether isn't that bad but still).

And beyond that, there were some sweet moves pulled on the music-nerdy side of things. It's the first time a Pokemon series had a central "region theme" which came back several times throughout the journey; in fact it's the first time a Pokemon soundtrack used common themes (less so leitmotifs btw cuz theory) in such an extensive way. It warrants some good discussion, but that's for another article in itself ^^

Anyway, about the Alola Region Theme - to cite some examples, we hear a bouncy and lively version of this theme in Ula'ula Island's "Route 10" track, "My Home" uses a clean acoustic guitar rendition of the theme, and the Credits track presents a heartfelt 4/4 interpretation of it that really got me. It was a theme I knew through-and-through, yet I still broke out in smiles and warmth every time it played. The Alola Region Theme was a stroke of genius, in a macro sense above all,  through the Sun and Moon OST.


So at first I wanted to only put the top three in spoilers but dang these spoilers look good <3

3. "Lonely Lillie"
Minako Adachi, Hitomi Sato and Go Ichinose

It's honestly one of the best piano solo pieces I've heard in a video game OST. I thought the Xion final boss track in KH 358/2 Days was beautiful and melodramatic (though not strictly a piano solo), but this piece, with its cold piano sound and weird sustains, captured me in a much more profound way. Xion was just sad and sad and sad, and then whoa! A sad KH main theme. But Lillie wasn't just lonely - she was accepting, she was happy for Nebby, and more than that, when her theme played, it signalled that she was ready to walk on towards the world outside.

The opening is turbulent and confused, with weird rhythmic and melodic jumps inserted between phrases. The mood is tranquil, but the syncopation keeps it kinda upbeat and the music always moves forward. An ascending sequence leads to a rhythmic build in the middle register, and Lillie's Theme emerges from the turbulence, accompanied by a bouncy accompaniment that drives the music ahead. It's a beautiful transition - it's dainty and vulnerable. Anyone who isn't feeling something by the time Lillie's Theme comes in really needs to listen closer. Or, y'know, just start listening.

I'd heard the track many times before I reached the cutscene where it was played, because everyone seems to love this track and want to arrange it. But I didn't expect the cutscene to sync so well with it, and yeah, I probably cried. Whoops.

Definitely learning this one.

2. "Showdown! (Lusamine)"
Minako Adachi

I'd be surprised if this track doesn't make it to everyone's Top 10 (or even Top 5) list, because it's a masterpiece through and through. The alternating 4/4 and 2/4 time signatures, along with a bass drum rhythm that doesn't quite match the beats, makes for a huge distorted mess of layers that sounds absolutely frikkin awesome.

Minako Adachi shows off her mastery in sound design here, juxtaposing heavy electronica textures and distorted drum beats with raw piano sounds. The sounds alone are genius, and then there are the harmonies - holy crud, that distortion.

Analysing the harmony reveals minor 2nds (eg. C and C#, a pretty horrid-sounding interval) all over, yet they're so carefully woven in that the distortion doesn't cut through too much. Then there's the piano, which cares a lot less about subtlety. When the piano plays a dissonant flourish, it slams it, because that's the idea - Lusamine has gone mad. And she's a jellyfish thing. So things are pretty chaotic.

It's not that easy to create organised chaos in music - the Lusamine-Nihilego battle track is full of subtleties. Many layers exist for textural effects, and every element - melody, rhythm, harmony - is distorted in some distinct way, then crammed into simple 4-bar phrases. From the analysis standpoint, this track is a creative masterpiece.

But y'know, you didn't need to listen that closely to know that the track was amazing :p


honourable mentions!
"Battle! (Solgaleo/Lunala)" and "Battle! (Elite Four)"
They're actually really similar. Their structures are essentially identical. But they sound epic as hell, so go Jun'ichi Masuda, you're still great as ever <3

"Po Town"
Creativity could never be this simple: dark key, sharpened 4ths, drown in reverb - here's a dark track! :D Yet it's this simplicity that truly portrays the loneliness and emptiness of the Team Skull grunts, and I love it.

"Ancient Poni Path"
The last time I heard oboes used beautifully in a VGM track was "Gusty Garden Galaxy". And that was released a pretty long time ago. Also, those were real oboes, so they had an advantage. Another tear-worthy track.

"Acerola's Trial"
Now -this- is creativity. And stereo madness. Technical mastery on the programming end too. also was legit creepy, 11/10 <3

Which brings me to my number one favorite track of Sun and Moon...

1. Battle! (Island Kahuna)
Go Ichinose

I don't know if it's a personal bias towards Go Ichinose - he did write my all-time favourite VGM track, after all - but when I shuffled to this track during my first listening I died all over inside. Go Ichinose doesn't have Minako Adachi's extraordinary talent in sound design, but he arranges parts and organises rhythms like a god. And this track shows it all.

The introduction is what you'd expect a boss fight theme to sound like - both sides priming for the fight, tension rising...and then a flute flourish explodes the track with energy, with low string ostinatos and rhythmic patterns in the upper mids filling the atmosphere with suspense. The introduction section builds towards a powerful climax, and you'd expect the most epic track ever...

But nope. The dominant chord stabs cadence to the "A Captain's Trial Begins!" melody, in a single bright flute part, in the chirpy parallel major key. I associated it with the Trial Victory track, but it's more or less based on the same plot idea, so ^^

It's Go Ichinose's rhythmic mastery that makes this anti-climax work - the percussion layering, complete with trumpet stabs, give the section a distinctive "song and dance" feel which got me captivated to Ichinose's style when I first heard Route 216.

And when I heard the Captain's Trial section begin on my fight with Olivia (cutiefly swept hala too quickly i think), I saw it as the representation of the Trainer's journey. The track undoubtably happy and victorious, but more than that, the Trial melody is a reminder of what the Trainer's journey is for. You're fighting the big boss of an island, and it's an epic fight, but at the end of it the only thing that matters is that you had fun. After all, you can always try again ;)

So I guess that's why this track takes my number one spot, past the genius of the Lusamine-Nihilego theme. It's well composed and creative, but more so than that, it holds meaning that goes beyond the basic plot ideas. To me, at least :)


And that concludes my Top Ten Sun and Moon Track List! :)


Thanks for taking the time to read this if you did, hehe. I'll probably be posting some deep analyses and other nerdy stuff like this in time to come, so yeah! ^^ This thread's going to be a nerdy dump. yaaayyyy

Home-Made Compositions / daj's dumping ground of compositions! :D
« on: October 14, 2016, 10:09:04 AM »
So um, yup! I compose stuff. I just keep them kinda secret because they could be used for competitions and stuff, but some of them just won't ever work out, so I'll be posting them online.

Hope you guys enjoy! If you've got any feedback I'd really love to hear it ^^


"Two Flying Ducks" (2015)
for horn solo and piano accompaniment

a clear wordplay, in case you guys don't get it.
also considered titling it "two flying effs", but that was too obvious.

so um, this makes it kid-friendly.



"mortis." (2016)
for oboe, bassoon, violin, viola and cello.

well, it was premiered somewhere outside my country.

so that's cool.



"walk." (2015)
a very empty solo piano piece.

the piece that got me started with the whole "small caps and period" title thing.

of course, there's melodrama and sadness.


Music / The Official NSM Collab Thread! :D (for vgm stuff, obviously)
« on: September 02, 2016, 04:57:15 AM »

"Darling...when two people with very similar interests trust in each other very much and put their laziness aside for a common project, a collaboration is born."

The Official NSM Music Collab Thread
endorsed by braix.
bwahahaha aww yeah i get to slap on an "official" in the title

Welcome to NSM's Official Music Collab Thread! ^^ Here you can put yourself up for grabs, buy some friends, and publicise your personal ships, not necessarily in that order <3

Eventually, you and your team will be proud collaborators of a wonderful music project ^^

Searching for Collab:

To open up a potential collab, start by putting yourself up for search in a clearly written post. You should probably include these, among other additional details, in your entry:

- the track/sheet/OST you intend to collaborate on, links are nice
- the part you intend to play (eg. Primo, Piano II, Drums, Cowbell etc.)
- OR the skills you have to offer for the project (eg. i can piano, i can guitar, i can edit videos, i can dance for a camera)
- samples of your past performances to show off help others gauge your skill

Here's an example from a request I'm about to put up, with an old format I stole from a particular forum I'm not on anymore ^^

Username: dajwxp
I want to do: Any VGM piece with a simple-to-moderately-tough piano part ^^
I can do: Quite tough-ish piano parts, audio production (editing + mixing).
Samples?: Did a Tree of Life: Roots duet with braix recently! Recorded and edited my own part if you'd like a preview. Here's a link: https://toolazytofindit.com

Code: [Select]
[b]I want to do:[/b] (your intended track/sheet/ost)
[b]I can do:[/b] (your skills)
[b]Samples?:[/b] (optional. do provide links if you've got them)


There's no need to follow this format - as long as the post is clear, we are good :)


Once you've been put up for search, other users can express their interest to work with you by posting here. And once you've both agreed on working together, I'll add your names and project to the "in-progress" section, just so everyone knows that awesome stuff is coming :)

I'll probably be following this thread quite closely, but if you guys don't get your names updated, drop me a PM and I'll get to it right away~


All finished projects will be added to the "completed" list for future browsing! ^^

Once you've done your recording and a video/audio track is up online somewhere, post some links or drop me a PM, and your collaboration will be eternally crystallised on the boards of NSM :)

If you've done previous collaborations with NSM users/using NSM sheets and would like them featured on this thread, feel free to post them here! :) They will be duly updated ^^

As a side note, it'll help loads if you include the details that I'll need for updating in your post (see "completed" list for the format i use), but it's okay if you don't feel like it! ^^ It just might take some time to go up. Not because I'm lazy.


Enjoy your collaborations peeps, have fun! ^^

please do not try these at home.

there's a whole bunch of deep stuff as to why i decided to do this, but i'm currently laughing at what i'm seeing on my screen because the whole writing process was filled with high and stupidity and stuff.

#1    Battle (Champion)!    Pokemon DPPt       Youtube Release (310716)
#2    Title Theme and Victory Theme    Overwatch       Youtube Release (131116)

Feedback / Official Projects and Main Site updates! ^^
« on: July 30, 2016, 03:35:20 AM »
So, I totally approve the idea of "official projects" and I kinda dig the idea of uploading sheets for an entire game OST at one go...but something tells me that it'd be better if official projects got their main site updates at regular intervals or something.

Short version: I think it'd make more sense to have monthly/some interval updates for official projects.

Long version:
This is all from my point of view, haha.

I think the main site is a fantastic platform for browsing sheets. It's simple and intuitive. I remember that I checked up the site once in a while for site updates once in a while just to see if -that sheet- from -that game- popped up. A Google search would have solved it, but if there were accepted-and-ready sheets on official projects on the forums I probably wouldn't have found them. Plus, I kinda wanted PDFs then, sp the raw mus files didn't mean much.

Fast forward a little, I got interested in the Undertale OST and I kinda wanted to browse through for nice sheets on the main site, but none of the new ones were up yet...and that's for a project with - I assume - pretty high demand from non-members.

From a business point of view, it makes sense to do an update once in a while just for these official projects, I think - something like "here are some accepted sheets from X project, expect more to come!" can really draw in non-members to the site. It helps even more if the updates are at consistent intervals (months are nice) because people tend to like consistency. In simplicity, releasing OST sheets in intervals can build hype and build our audience :)

Though, I'm assuming that NSM wants more members; perhaps that isn't the case, because more members doesn't translate to more quality arrangements - or to be more blunt, quality arrangers. Building hype can draw in people who aren't really that into the whole arranging art and NSM becomes more of a community-building site than a semi-professional online publishing house.

That, and maybe it's infinitely easier for the updaters to just do it all at once, haha. Confirm that for me? ^^;

Anyway, fun suggestion to rope in a little more non-members. We're currently doing Undertale and Pokemon DPPt, and those are pretty popular games with decent demand for good arrangements. Think now's a pretty good time to build some hype~

Feedback / View sent messages...?
« on: July 20, 2016, 06:48:20 AM »
Erm, this has to do with the "My Messages > Sent Items" feature we've got. Everything else is working nicely except that, hehe.

The sent items box is always empty even though I've definitely sent a bunch of messages out. Yeah.

Is this a problem that only I'm facing? Or is there any way around it? ^^

Much cheers :)


full releases!
i.e. my more serious full release/proper recording thread~

the channel!

Latest Full Release: Six Generations of Pokemon Home Town Themes: Piano Mashup

Next Full Release: Pokemon DPPt - Eterna Forest, Two Pianos.

Full Releases
big music projects.

Full releases involve taking a pretty complicated arrangement and taking it all the way to a polished live recording. It involves finalising the arrangement, doing up some nice art, publishing a nice score+audio video with a finalised pdf, and finally, releasing the live recording, which is properly recorded and edited, then mastered to a kinda-commercial standard.

I'll mostly, if not always, be doing two-piano arrangements for full releases. It is really tough. I need to lock your parts as exactly to the click as possible, so that I don't have to play too many funny moves during the editing stage, and those who have recorded know how tough it is - just imagine recording a part locked to a click. Holy crud, it is tough. The parts aren't exactly easy too, so the total practice time for each part can go up to around eight hours or so. The Route 216 took about fourteen hours in total to bring up to recording standard.

But big projects are challenging because they test so much more than your solo technique. And hey, challenges are good.


Released 060716
Pokemon Diamond - Route 216, 2 Pianos.


Released 140816
Six Generations of Pokemon Home Town Themes: Piano Mashup



the ol' electronic music collection.

There was a point of time when I thought that Classical music was stupid, electronic music was really cool, and practicing piano was the worst thing ever. So I spent quite a bit of time and energy doing electronic tracks. I messed around for most of 2013, did one digital album release at the end of the year around the time I joined NSM, messed around with it for two more years, releasing two albums in the process, before I decided to focus on school. It was also when I backed off from the electro-music-generating-machine that I realised how awesome arranging was, and how a passion for composition was the reason why I even bothered to venture into electronic music.

Anyway, chances are I won't be doing any new tracks at least until 06/11/17 (I'll be discharged from the military on that golden date, whoopee). Too much commitment is required, and I kinda want to arrange Pokemon tracks more than anything now. But hey, here's what I used to make, and maybe if things work out I'll go make some more stuff ^^

Free downloads by the way!

Simplicity (2013)
8 tracks, ~40 mins playtime

The GarageBand album where all the crazy shite started.
I told myself one day that I'd release an album by the end of the year, without any fancy gear and equipment.
What you see on the album cover is literally the setup I used to arrange and mix everything.
Except, you know, I did it in more comfortable places.

The tracks are mostly chirpy and light-hearted; mostly no textural layers were used, and the sounds are pretty raw.
It's a pretty simple album.

*note: in this album preview i edited the tracks such that they could be played continuously. that involved changing the key and bpm of some of them. just a heads-up.

BANDCAMP LINK (click below):

The Introvert's Universe (2014)
4 tracks + 1 instrumental reduction, ~27 mins playtime

The best evidence anyone has that school drove me crazy for some time.
It's an emo album. It also comes with a 7000-word document of album notes in case you're interested.
Some bits of the concept have left me, but this album's still pretty close to my heart.

All the tracks in this album belong in the ambient genre - they are dark, haunting, and sombre.
Made for quiet listening. Especially the last track.

Oh yes, there's a piano arrangement of the Alone and Unjudged included in the album download.


BANDCAMP LINK (click below):

Stuff You Don't Leave Behind (2015)
9 tracks, ~65 mins playtime

It begins with dubstep cows and ends with a raw piano solo recording. Yep.
After I got better acquainted with the art of electronic music and familiarised with my software, I decided to revamp some of the old tracks I had.
Because they had good, but unrefined ideas.

The Rainy Nights tracks were the biggest labour of love in this album.
In the Simplicity album, it was the track that contained the best ideas I ever had,
so I took apart all the ideas, developed on them individually, and formed three movements with them.
The first one is a downtempo-cinematic track, the second movement is orchestral and similar to the original, and the last is the most aggressive DnB track I've pulled off, ever.

BANDCAMP LINK (click below):

Music / dajwxp - Performance Diaries.
« on: June 19, 2016, 03:06:44 PM »
Performance Diaries.
possibly the most serious thing i'll ever do on the site

Zero. | Humility. (OP)
One. | (coming soon)


The pursuit of excellence begins with the scrapping of pride.
Let's hold on to that statement for a while.

Big statement here - the arts are about chasing perfection. The funny thing is that you'll never achieve it, but you're conditioned to chase it anyway. Play that part perfectly - otherwise practice and practice that part until you play it perfectly. Familiarise your motions on the keys until your fingers know exactly what they are doing. Learn general techniques and learn them well to help you adapt faster. But your objective at the end of it all is a presentation that is close to perfect; one that will make the audience wonder how you did it. Above all, to achieve the ultimate purpose of the arts - creating that feeling of immense, inexplainable pleasure that we only know as "that feeling", for yourself and as many others as possible. To touch their lives and enrich yours in that unspeakably powerful way.

Let's lay some things about practice down. People can practice for up to eight hours a day because they have this endgoal that they strive tiredlessly towards. This sound that they want to create - this vision of how they'll communicate "that passage" to the audience. This scene of perfection that is usually a far cry from what really happens on performance night. And so they hammer away at the same passage over and over again, reflecting on what they did wrong each time, constantly keeping their eyes on that unreacheable point of perfection.

The good thing about performance is that, most of the time, you don't need to reach perfection to impress an audience. There are so many other factors that contribute to a great performance. But the closer you get, the greater "the feeling" is for the audience. So, put in simple terms, a performer's job is to get as close to perfection as possible.

The practice stage, naturally, is the most pride-crushing part of the process. If you're doing it right, then you know what you should sound like...but if you're human then your run will not, at least most of the time, sound like that.

It gets frustrating; the chase for perfection is draining and repetitive, to reduce all the pain you're going through to a single phrase. So you bite it and stay patient. You try again and again. No one said performance was easy, eh.

Your greatest enemy, among a host of many other enemies, is pride. Pride tells you the point where you're "good enough" and you can stop, because you're better than that guy or, worst case, that you're already at your best and there's no more room for improvement. Pride lets you keep whatever bad habits you choose not to hear in your own playing. It can make you resistant to feedback, even when it's coming from your own silent instincts. And when it comes from others - honest feedback from others is often much more valuable than your own - pride is so much more self-destructive.

In the chase of perfection there is no "I am good enough". There is no space for pride. I've been told many times that it's okay to show off once you're on-stage, but at all other times, remember that you're not good enough yet.

So yes, the pursuit of perfection - we label it as "excellence" to make it sound more attainable - starts with the scrapping of pride.

The foundational block to the magnificent tower, built up towards the unreacheable sky above with your hands, block by block, is humility. Start by accepting your limitations. That you, hopefully, and if you do, then thankfully, have two hands and ten fingers. Accept that no matter how talented you are, hard work and dilligence is your only way to the top, or anywhere close at all. Accept, when you're feeling tired and frustrated, that it's part of the chase, and keep your eyes on the meaningful end-goal ahead beyond the horizon. You're not too good for some pain.

But most importantly, listen. Pride does a good job turning you selectively deaf.

Listen to yourself - the way you play, obviously, but the way you feel about your playing as well. You can talk to yourself; criticise yourself. You may feel good when you've achieved small goals, but you should never feel like you're the king of the world even if you've accomplished the greatest thing you've ever accomplished. Because remember, you're not good enough yet.

And above all, listen to others. Especially the honest ones. No matter how piercing their words are. You know when someone is bashing you just because, and you know when they have a point to make. Don't confuse feedback for senseless flaming. Give space to others for their own beliefs even if they blatantly go against yours, because you probably don't know what's right anyway, even if you feel you do. Try to understand why they believe in such ways, and reflect, reflect, reflect.

I fought pride for some time. It was so much easier to say that other people were nasty and wrong than to find solutions. The years before them were mostly wasted, since I was limited by my own wall of pride. Challenging whatever pride you have left in you hurts, but it's the only way to even get off the ground. That's the single biggest lesson I learned over these past few years - the stay humble.

So we stay humble.

the real introduction:

So, I'm nineteen years old, I have no idea what the heck is going on in the world, and these are ambitious entries about performance philosophies, work ethics and judgments on musicianship which may or may not change over time as I figure out more about how the world works. There's this thing called the "end-of-history illusion", and chances are I'm falling for it.

But if I'm wrong in these judgments then I can look back next time and tell myself "heh, how noob" and move on. And update an entry or two, probably. If I'm right, then...yay? Though, chances are I won't be right.

Either way, I'm writing these because revealing your own codes of values for others ensures that you follow them yourself. And if you're lucky, you might inspire others and enrich their lives. So yeah, why not?

These entries will mostly be performance-related, though I might throw in some entries on composing and general musicianship from time to time. Reason being that composition is more of -my thing- when compared to performance - writing just comes so much more naturally than live performances. Writing, above all, requires much less effort and hard work than performing. Which is why I love the art of performance - it is tough.

You should be in some position of success to make big claims, and I'm not exactly there. In my portfolio I've got a file of nice-looking sheets of paper, a bunch of plastic boards, and a record of getting somewhere in some national piano competition. Some nice things, but nothing major. So you probably can take these entries with a pinch of salt. But for what it's worth, they've helped me improve tremendously - still not at the level of prodigies, but tremendously anyway - and, perhaps, they could revive some feeling in you that drives you to your best. So, maybe take them with a little more than a pinch of salt? ^^

Though, it's not like I'll be following these philosophies 100% of the time. Because, sadly and amazingly, we're human. And irrational and inconsistent at times. But I'll try really hard to.

Hope my reflections may inspire you to hone your skills in better ways ^^

And here's to more meaningful artistic experiences for all :)


performance thingies!
i.e. my quick-learn funsies thread~

the channel!

the performance playlist!

The Quick-Learn.
me can read your arrangements! ^^

The title says it all. I pick up a piece, turn on 110% focus for as long as required, and polish it to at least 80% performance standard. It is really intense, and I love it. Haha. :p

I used to scavenge Classical collections for easy-ish pieces for this purpose last time, but it happens that I'm in a site that publishes VGM arrangements online, most of which are infinitely more fun to play than Classical stuff. So yes! I will gladly take requests for this ^^

My objective is to give you the best possible rendition of your awesome arrangement using the power of focus and concentration. Aaand it's good training for me, so I kinda benefit too :)

Pokemon DPPt - Route 201 (Day)
70 mins / Quite Tough


Pokemon XY - Route 1
30 minutes / Not Too Bad ^^


Mario Kart Wii - No Trophy For You!
10 minutes / Fun-Read :)


Pokemon DPPt - Snowpoint City
me ^^
75 minutes / Quite Tough


Chrono Trigger - Wind Scene
50 minutes / Moderate


Super Mario Galaxy 2 - Starship Mario 1
90 minutes / Difficult


Chrono Trigger - Ocean Palace
The Deku Trombonist
120 minutes / Difficult


Kirby's Epic Yarn - Green Greens
175 minutes / Difficult


Pokemon DPPt - Valor Lakefront (Night)
105 minutes / Moderate


Undertale - Fallen Down
60 minutes / Moderate


Undertale - Snowdin Town
120 minutes / Moderate-Tough


Help! / Moving notes horizontally in Finale?
« on: June 12, 2016, 04:27:42 AM »
Was working on a little Minish Cap arrangement on Finale Songwriter 2012 just to familiarise myself with the software, and hit a little block.


At bar 7-8 the second layer crosses over the first layer, and as a result the note beams clash; in Sibelius it can be manually fixed, and apparently in Finale there should be some "Note Mover Tool", but Songwriter doesn't have that.

Is there any way to move notes manually if you don't have that Note Mover thinkamajigg?

Art / dajwxp: Sketches from the Live Range.
« on: June 06, 2016, 04:46:42 AM »

eh, might as well.

Sketches from the Live Range.
believe it or not, that is actually not a figure of speech.

Okay, to be fair, I don't always draw in the live range. Most of the time I do it in our barracks.
Still, sitting on some bench in the great outdoors with a clipboard, sketchbook and a mechanical pencil has become a thing.
The clay-mores exploding behind make it much more conducive.


So, being a Singaporean means that I need to serve my country in the military for two years. Oh well.

Disclosing the details of my service would be utterly idiotic, but basically, when I'm not training, I'm drawing, writing, or transcribing music. When you go out into the wilderness (live ranges included, haha), you can't bring your music devices along, so I'm left with writing and drawing. Writing is cool until it gets boring, so this is what I spend the other half of my time on. Yeah.

I'm not a trained artist - heck, I'm far from a trained artist. And being limited to mechanical pencil and paper for so long (the Economics lectures have trained me well), it's become the only medium that I'm kinda comfortable with. But I do want to do my own art for my arrangements (youtube videos need art for awesomeness), so this thread is a pretty sweet dumping ground...because, you know, I might as well :p

Basically, mechanical pencil sketches! Amateur art. Much cheers to all~

cool (and free) stuff!~


Difficulty Meter!

Instrumentation Buttons!

note: the six digit number is the date in DDMMYY format, and the four digit number is the time in 24-hr format. military style! just to add to the effect.

071115 - The End of Econs

well, at least it's the subject that gave me the most art training.

261115 - Family Portrait

The most impulsive, crazy, unprepared, but totally awesome band ever <3

271216 - Marcy and PB. don't judge.


180516 / 2034 - The Armour Badge.

Fun sketch! Military stuff needs a little life added to it sometimes.

260516 / 2117 - Wake Up.

Because if your wings are clipped, you might as well tie your hands~

090616 / 1044 - Route 216: Cover Art

Cheap instagram filter! Done for the youtube score + audio release~

Draft files:

Eevee Trace:

Basically, I try to copy the original as accurately as possible (some people even use tracing paper for this, therefore the name) so I get all the details.
Did a Glaceon too, but for some reason I didn't capture it on photo. Oh well.


Unfiltered version:



200616 / 1120 - Route 216: Full-colour Cover Art


300616 / 0937 - "that was tough. I loved it!"


110716 / 2345 - Youtube Channel Art!
Channel Logo


Channel Cover Art


more coming soon!

took out the picture because not lazy.

daj's thread of happiness!
(and nerdy music/pokemon jokes that no one really gets)

originally bach's name was a bad pun. and then he burnt the giratina. frikkin dog.
whyyyyy fire fang is 10% burn

An archive! Yay!~


Navigation 101:

These are buttons, and you may click on them.
But, like, once you get to the archive proper. Not now.

   PDFThis is the score of an arrangement.
(links to box.com)

   Score + AudioThis is an awesome way to preview an arrangement.
(links to Youtube)

   Live Recording    This is an arrangement that I cared enough about to practice and record.
(links to Youtube)

   File DumpThis shows all the files of an arrangement project.
Either I had too many files to link to (full releases) or I didn't care enough to do individual links.
(links to box.com)

Difficulty Meter
The more lit-up bars, the more challenging the piece.




Route 216 (2014/2016)
Undeniably the awesomest project I've ever done.
2014 version isn't the best.

TWO PIANOS FULL RELEASE (2016):                 
FOUR HANDS (2014):


Oreburgh City (2016):
Roark's Cranidos is frikkin OP. Headbutt at Level 14?! That's a 70 Power move!
Four Hands on-site as of 070716! ^^

   FOUR HANDS (2016):    
SOLO REDUCTION (2016):       


Eterna Forest (2016):
The most genius-filled track of the DPPt collection. Haunting, calm and distorted at the same time.

must be able to count
TWO PIANOS (2016):       


Snowpoint City (2016):
"This would make a good alarm clock ringtone." ~cashwarrior

   PIANO SOLO (2016):          


Fight Area (2016):
You can show up on weekends to bash up your rival!

   PIANO SOLO (2016):       


Valor Lakefront (2016):
"It's the most flat piece I've done."

but it's in three sharps

   PIANO SOLO (2016):          


Route 210 (Day) (2016):
Dancing in the rain and ultra-tall grass! And tough trainers. And fog. sigh.
A fantastic track that plays along in the most irritating maps throughout the Sinnoh region~

   PIANO SOLO (2016):          


Champion Cynthia (2016):
Virtuoso! Or, at least it is until you reduce a solo part to a four-hand arrangement.

   FOUR HANDS (2016):          


Hearthome City (Night) (2016):
much chill.

   PIANO SOLO (2016):          


Battle (Champion)! (2016):
spoiler: Cynthia gets rekt in the video.

   TWO PIANOS (2016):          



Littleroot Town (2016)
so much nostalgia, ahh.

   PIANO SOLO (2016):       


Abyssal Ruins (2016)
for cashwarrior1, who is awesome.

   PIANO SOLO (2016):       



The Dump of Arrangements (2013)
Welcome to Kalos Region, Lumiose, Parfum, Bicycle, Frost Cavern, Snowbelle, AZ! all in one key somehow, transitions provided.
Not the most accurate transcriptions (at all). Play at your own risk.

   PIANO SOLO (2013):       



BGM of the Japanese Gameplay Trailer! ^^ (2016)

   PIANO SOLO (2016):       

...and then the other stuff.


(GBA) The Legend of Zelda - The Minish Cap:

Vaati's Theme (2016)

   PIANO SOLO (2016):   


Cave of Flames (2016)

   PIANO SOLO (2016):   


Cloud Tops (2016)
On-site as of 070716! ^^

   PIANO SOLO (2016):   


(PC/MOB) Hearthstone - Heroes of Warcraft:

Pull Up A Chair - Main Theme

   PIANO SOLO (2016):   

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