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Monday, September 20, 2010

Grandia III Soundtracks

I've always love to play RPG games and of course RPG such as Square Enix's Final Fantasy series and Kingdom Heart series in the previous post were my all time favourites. Grandia III wasn't really an outstanding and impressive PS2 game however its intro together with the soundtracks were really good that I can't refrain myself from watching the intro again and again.

The intro of Grandia III started interestingly with a young boy (whose name is Schmidt) built his own manually operated airplane in order to reach the sky but eventually he failed. Without giving up his hope and ambition, he continued his journey in order to become a world class pilot and he did it. All the glorious moments of grown up Schimidt were all seen by young Yuki through the video tapes and Yuki aimed to become a great pilot like Schmidt. So here's the intro video clip thats been uploaded in YouTube.

The songs of Grandia III are mostly said to be very ear soothing. Most important of all, I think Noriyuki Iwarade did a good job in composing the theme of Grandia III. Similar to Yoko Shimomura, Noriyuki Iwarade is one of the popular music composer for tons of games. His style of music is slightly different from that of Yoko where Yoko's music tends to sound new age and mystical where as Noriyuki's music is more catchie and happy.

DOWNLOAD & LISTEN TO GRANDIA III SOUNDTRACK: Apparently there are two versions of the theme song. This is the one that is heard from the intro video clip and its title is Legendary Pilot King. As for the second version, which is also the completed album version is called Theme of Grandia III.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Kingdom Hearts Dearly Beloved By Yoko Shimomura

'Dearly Beloved' is a lovely soundtrack taken from the popular PlayStation 2 role playing game 'Kingdom Hearts'. The song started with a series of simple tuned piano melody playing repeatedly and somehow when I listened to it, for its beauty, innocence and pure emotion, this song always reflect all the joyful memory throughout my whole life.

The instrumental music 'Dearly Beloved' is composed and written by Yoko Shimomura and apparently there are two versions that she produced. The first version was used in the title page of Kingdom Hearts game as well as a few parts of the game. This version is the version that makes me and my brother got so hooked on Kingdom Hearts game. The second version is my very favourite of all time and I don't even know this version existed. It is composed in the orchestral version, playing along with the strings, woodwinds and trombones.

In case there are people who don't know what Kingdom Hearts is: Kingdom Hearts is popular RPG game developed by Square Enix (previously known as Square Soft). What makes it special is that it is a collaboration between Square Enix and Disney. Therefore you can find many characters from both Square Enix and Disney such as Cloud Strife and Sephiroth from Final Fantasy VII, as well as Mickey and Donald from Disney.

Kingdom Hearts is truly a great game to play. Although I didn't allow myself to touch this game initially (because I knew I'm definitely gonna get addicted to it if I do), however simply watching my little brother playing on it everyday somehow made me hooked to it indirectly. Maybe instead of me telling the whole story, why not spend some time reading the storyline here?

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Sagittarius By Suemitsu & The Suemith

Piano has been a classical, yet one of the very prime instruments in the modern musical world. No matter how drastic the musical era has changed from ballad to jazz, from jazz to rock, from rock to metal, piano is always there.

This is a post that I'm going to talk about an interesting pianist whose name is Suemitsu Atushi from Hiroshima Prefecture, graduated from Nagoya Music University.

SUEMITSU & THE SUEMITH is the solo project of his. Suemitsu began experimenting with rock and music theory while in college. Apart from playing rock music, he also traveled to Paris for a year to polish his skills as a classically trained pianist.

He became well-known when he participated in Disney's 2004 project. This collaborative album was a collection of Disney song covers from various artists and Suemitsu was one of them. On that album he simply went by the name, The Suemith, and performed a cover of “Part of Your World” from The Little Mermaid.

Recently, one of his song with the title "Sagittarius" really attracted me so much. Simply by listening to its piano intro blending along with the strings and bass guitar in B♭, and then followed by the drums, these combinations really make the whole intro sounds so perfect. I have to admit that I've never heard such perfect and wonderful music intro in my whole life before. However I think the chorus and the ending of this song can't match the perfectness of the intro.

Suemitsu's has shown his great potential via piano and I think he'll be the next eye-catching pianist vocal in future. Although his style of playing the piano is so much different from my all time favourite Joe Hisaishi, his unique way of expressing his feeling through piano really has made him a pianist who differs from the others.

Related post:

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Jazz & Bossa Nova By Olivia Ong

Olivia Ong (王俪婷) is a Chinese Singaporean singer, born 1985. She sings mostly in English but developed her career singing in English until she further her study in Japan and she set up her own J-Pop band known as Mirai.

Throughout the years of her singing, her beautiful voice and skillful singing not only captivated the audience in Japan, she is also a highly adored singer in Korea, Thailand, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Indonesia and others.

Recently in year 2010 March, her album known as 'OLIVIA' is released under HIM music. Most of the songs are in the Jazz and Bossa Nova genre. If you love these genre, I think you gonna love all the songs in her album.

I was on the way back from Kuala Lumpur towards Kuantan and I was searching for some radio FM to listen. While doing so, my search ended by her song 'You And Me'. I didn't know what radio station was that but what I remember was that it was a Chinese speaking radio station. This song is particularly good because firstly, I always love Bossa Nova and secondly, unlike any other Chinese singers who sing English songs, her pronunciation is very clean and clear. Her style of singing somehow reminds me of Reifu. Click here to listen to Olivia Ong's You And Me.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Cry For The Moon By Epica

If you like metal music but not to the extend of hardcore, then you might like Epica. Epica, also known as Sahara Dust is a Dutch symphonic metal band formed in year 2002.

The band members includes Simone Simons (vocal), Mark Jensen (electric guitar and distinguishable screaming), Isaac Delahaye (guitars), Coen Janssen (synthesizer, keyboard and piano), Yves Huts (bass guita) and Arien van Weesenbeek (drums).

The unique part about Epica is that many of its music are performed in the style of symphonic metal involving classical strings orchestra that make their music more soothing to listen to compared to other metal music.

The song "Cry For The Moon" is one of their first masterpiece in late 2002 after they formed Epica. Click here to listen. I'm pretty sure you'll get attracted by Mark Jensen's scream in the video.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

The Islander By Nightwish

"Memories can be a burden that prevents you from taking your steps, or they can shine a light on your life while the tears fly by."

"Islander" is a great song written by NightWish with a total different style of performing compared to other songs of theirs.

The music video of this song really impressed me as it has a steampunk (a subgenre of fantasy and speculative fiction that came into prominence in the 1980s and early 1990s) theme with flying ships, and features the old sailor walking along a beach through the fog dragging a boat behind him and haunted by ghosts of his past. Later we see him in a flashback as a young man playing the uilleann pipes, with trees blossoming after he ends his life by dropping anchor and being relieved from his burdens.

I find the lyrics of the song is very well written and the music video has appropriately suits every lyrics of the song.
An old man by a seashore... At the end of day...
Gazes the horizon... With seawinds in his face...
Tempest-tossed island... Seasons all the same...
Anchorage unpainted... And a ship without a name...

Sea without a shore for the banished one unheard...
He lightens the beacon, light at the end of world...
Showing the way lighting hope in their hearts...
The ones on their travels homeward from afar...

This is for long-forgotten... Light at the end of the world...
Horizon crying... The tears he left behind long ago...

The albatross is flying... Making him daydream...
The time before he became... One of the world`s unseen...
Princess in the tower... Children in the fields...
Life gave him it all:... An island of the universe...

Now his love`s a memory... A ghost in the fog...
He sets the sails one last time... Saying farewell to the world...
Anchor to the water... Seabed far below...
Grass still in his feet... And a smile beneath his brow...

This is for long-forgotten... Light at the end of the world...
Horizon crying... The tears he left behind so long ago...

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Steven Curtis Chapman: Speechless

Steven Curtis Chapman rulez! His songs are truly atypical or I would rather say differ from any other music I've listened to.

One of the very first songs of Steven Curtis Chapman I've listened to was Speechless. This song started-off humbly with a great guitar strumming and then followed by well-synchronized strings playing at the background before the drums and electric guitar banged in majestically.

There are a lot of guitar strums involved in Steven's song and personally I think his song can be a good practice foundation for many guitarists who wants to practice their strumming.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Heart Bursts Into Fire By Bullet For My Valentine

This band is known as Bullet For My Valentine and I think I'm lucky to have managed to search their song from Aimini.net.

This particular song is one of the greatest among songs performed by them with the title "Heart Bursts Into Fire". It has a super good guitar intro that makes me attracted so much to this song. Click here to listen.

Bullet for My Valentine's music has been described as melodic metalcore. And I strongly agreed that their element of metal is kinda fusion and rather differ from the normal metal music that I've been exposed to.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Gackt & J-Rock

I never was a fan of Gackt (ガクト, pronounce as ga-ku-to) until I listened to this particular song of his: Returner. This song has a really good intro especially when the traditional flute blends together with the heavy metal background, it some how attracts me to continue listen to this song.

This is the one of the live concert of Gackt's Returner. This concert really gave me a big shock as I see Gackt and the whole band crews dressed up in the form of samurai, playing their gothicly-decorated instruments. What an amazing view when I see the audience (soldiers) shouted and responded to Gackt's song. Its like Gackt was the captain of the troops and he was giving his battle cry to the soldiers.

Looking at the lyrics presented in the video clip, I feel that the lyrics are rather painful and depressing. Its like about the feeling of a woman waiting upon return of her samurai husband but it seems that her husband didn't turned out.

Well, this particular song of Gackt is a must to listen, at least this is what I'm thinking. It might not suit your taste but there's no harm listen to it right?

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Hillsong United Rocks The Heaven

Hillsong United is one the best groups that produces good Christian rock songs for the youngsters. I've been listening to Hillsong's worship song since the age of 14 and their songs are really revolving in a drastic manner.

Hillsong United is a part of Hillsong Church's youth ministry and the music band was originally known as 'Power House'. They used to play other Christian singer's song in a rocker version and their style of music was pretty famous among the youngsters who attended their concert. The name 'Hillsong United' arise after many youth ministries in Hillsong Church joined together as one, and started to call the nights, "UNITED" Nights.

Hillsong United travels around the world quite frequently and the audiences really enjoy their music, especially the younger generation.

One of the songs that I admired so much is 'All About You' from one of their albums. I was quite impressed with the song's guitar intro. Its just simply awesome!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Joe Hisaishi & Studio Ghibli

Joe Hisaishi (久石譲), also known as Mamoru Fujisawa (藤澤守) is a great composer and director known for over 100 popular film scores and solo albums. I'm sure many of the shows were so popular that you won't miss them out such as Studio Ghibli's Totoro, Spirited Away, Howl's Moving Castle, Princess Mononoke, Naustica of the Valley of the Wind, The Sky City and etc.

So how do I come across Joe Hisaishi's songs? Well, I've always been watching Studio Ghibli's cartoons since very young but I didn't realize those wonderful songs were actually written and composed by Joe until I watch Howl's Moving Castle's trailer and the background music caught my attention.

One of my favourite songs by Joe Hisaishi was 'Oriental Wind' introduced by Chris. This song started off gently where strings played along with Joe's soothing piano. It was then a drastic transition occurred at the middle of the song where the tempo became catchy enough to make my eyes widened for a while. From the video clip of the live concert, you can see various kind of instruments were used including ethnic percussions, er-hu, xylophone, saxophone and strings.

Joe Hisaishi is truly a great music composer. Whenever I listened to his songs, it always gave me the impression that he's so deeply in-loved with music and that is why all the songs he produced were so popular not only among the shows and cartoons, but also in many orchestras and concerts held in Japan.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Remembering Singaporean Pianist Reuben Kee

Reuben Kee (紀恩鋭), born July 9, 1984 (same age as me O_o), was a Singaporean dragon-boat paddler, composer and part-time model. He was also known for contributions within the M.U.G.E.N community, serving as one of its most recognizable names. As for his music, a large amount was based upon remixes of video game music.

I've been listening to his music for a few years until recently discovered that he died on November 23, 2007 as the result of a boating accident in Cambodia. What a sad news. Reuben played around with the piano since a very young age, but it was when he was 12 that he decided to pick it up on his own. Although his piano training stopped at grade 3, the skill he displayed with despite imperfect techniques at the piano always impressed and won crowds. Drawn to music which he heard in games, he started to play his own arrangements and variations based on them.

Here's a lovely song by Reuben Kee, with the title "To Far Away Times", is always my all time favorite.

To Far Away Times
Somewhere/Beyond the rain and autumn plains, the snow/That litters the countryside/I find a piece of you
And somewhere/Beyond the frozen fields, I clearly see/The end of our misery/A part of the place we knew
And slowly down through the fire, burning/Into this darkness I fall/

Your presence right here beside me, yearning/Through it all

dokoka/ame to aki matsu no mukou/inaka no yuki ni/anata mitsukeru
(Somewhere/Beyond the rain and autumn plains, the snow/
That litters the countryside/I find a piece of you)
dokoka/kotta hara no mukou, atashi/mijimesa musabi/shiteta dokoro ni
(And somewhere/Beyond the frozen fields, I clearly see/The end of our misery/A part of the place we knew)

And as the shadow dawns upon us/All I seem to think about is/Where our hope has faded away/Into

kage wo miedashitara/kangaeru dake wa/shioreta nozomi
doko ni...
(And as the shadow dawns upon us/All I seem to think about is/
Where our hope has faded away/Into)

And somewhere/Beyond the hills below the horizon sun/A life that has just begun/A life we’re meant to know
dokoka/ame to aki matsu no mukou/inaka no yuki ni/anata mitsukeru
(Somewhere/Beyond the rain and autumn plains, the snow/That litters the countryside/I find a piece of you)