Tempo of this Slope || By Soulfully (☄)
｢ I don't have any... because my "favorite thing" is just this moment, right now.」
As a tribute for Sakamichi no Apollon, I tried my hand at making this jazzy and playful piano solo with a bit of cello and music box sounds. It’s a nonsensical and boisterous tune to illustrate the essence of Kaoru, Ritsuko, and Sentarou’s friendship altogether. Because through all the conflicts and mishaps in this story, you learn that when words aren’t quite enough, music will say the rest.
The jazz soundtrack of “Sakamichi no Apollon” is composed by Yoko Kanno, my favorite Japanese animation composer that I’dspazz over for just a few hours about why I like her. (; o ;) I know I’m pretty much a chicklet in hatching compared to her masterful music, but here’s brief look at some things that I learned this time around:
This would be one of those songs where the idea of it initially sounded very good, then it turned out very different when executed. My confidence took a sharp drop with this song, but regardless of that there’s still some interesting, worthwhile things I learned.
Kyoto Serenade » Journal #26 ♫
Notes: I tried building this simple melody to a great sweeping, sentimental atmosphere. It was based off a haiku I read a few weeks ago about a man waiting for a loved one. It’s also my attempt at creating a fictional romanticized scene from 17th century Japan: imagine somewhere in the humdrums of Kyoto, a haiku poet rests quietly below wind-blown cherry blossom trees, carefully painting several words of poetry into parchment paper. But ink spills, his brush nearly slips out of grip; he’s caught by surprise.
This tune illustrates the stirring feeling of joy and anticipation of meeting someone after a long wait; a moment where poetry doesn’t matter quite as much the person in front of you.
Fall or Fly || Soulfully
half written melodies
stars without their wings
below withered blossom trees
that’s where you will find me
but where were you
in expanse of solitude
where were you
in deep depths of blue
I spent nearly all of this month working on “Fall and Fly”. Making this exerted more mental energy than anything else. Whether the end result sounds awful or awesome to you, I’m glad I tried new stuff, and in no way does it take away what I learned. (OTL I don’t like my voice all that much) In summary:
The past four days have been sort of productive, I’ve been taking small steps to write out a song. So far this is how I’m approaching this songwriting process, it may also give you an idea on how to start writing:
On my first day, I started out with writing out one verse, each line containing five syllables of rhymed words. There was no melody at this point, just a basic structure and an overarching theme.
In a nutshell:
Definitely a good checklist for songwriters — the full article here.
↳ Marbles and Mirrors || Soulfully
The biggest breakthrough in this song is definitely this fluttering “sparkly marble”, or “cascading waterfall of coins” atmosphere — which sounds really pleasing to the ear, I think. I wanted to give a very enchanting, magical vibe, and experimented around with that effect. When I put “marble” as one of the instruments I used — I’m really happy since I just mean a customized sound I created. :O The other milestone was using vocoder, copy + pasting the melody, and giving this warped industrial drum beat in the background.
Interesting trivia about the introduction: I’ve been keeping that melody as an idea since November last year, I had over five versions of that part. Then I realized it fit with a melody I thought of yesterday. Really happy moment, it’s like putting together a jigsaw puzzle. As a last note, I was reminded of some magical scenes in Harry Potter, so it’s also a HP tribute. As usual, the art credit is by Nibi, a wonderful work and a favorite artist of mine.
A compiled list of 25+ online resources or nifty tools to aid your learning in music — piano, guitar, songwriting, producing, and music theory:
I made a hip hop & Nujabes inspired tune for today’s journal, using a rhodes melody as a base. The instruments kind of represent a continuity and process of a thought. So hopefully the ”vibes” you get are really chill, the kind of feeling when you’re driving on an open freeway. My friend also asked for an R&B song, but I hope they don’t mind me grouping both together for this one. Here’s what I learned this time around:
↳ Drip Drop Thoughts || Soulfully
This is a growing master post for all little technical songwriting advice, inspired by Beatles’ songs. So far there’s 60 ideas, but here are some that I like from it: