Whip it good!! I'm back from Vegas and we're back on track with an epic 7+ minute solo piano live stream improvisation of Super Castlevania IV's "Chandeliers" from Shnabubula (Samuel Ascher-Weiss):
"I've been doing this weekly thing where, at http://hitbox.tv/shnabubula on Friday, I do an 8-hour stream where people ask me to learn songs, and then 2 days later, on that Sunday, I perform all the songs in a kind of concert format.
Starting with the 3rd Sunday, I've been able to get good quality recordings using a portable TASCAM audio recorder. The only thing is, it's not a real piano, the sounds come from my Yamaha S90. I quite like the sound of that piano. While it's not particularly realistic, I find the timbre pleasing and especially flexible, suited to multiple genres, and oftentimes these setlists can be quite varied. I know in the past piano performances with so-so samples have been accepted. However, the standards of the site are always improving and this might not be up to snuff anymore.
The other issue is, it being a live performance, for humorous reasons and because a part of the source so very much reminded me of it, I very briefly quoted "Für Elise." That composition is in the public domain, and it takes up like... less than 4% of the total song time, but again, I'd understand if this is a violation of site standards in some capacity, though I'd hope it would be okay.
Anyway, the remix is of "The Chandeliers" from Castlevania IV, and I've decided for the purposes of OCR to call it "One Two Three, One Two Three, WHIP!" Also, for anybody interested, here's the video of the performance."
Congrats to Sam for his successful Kickstarter earlier this year for Piano Storybook, which will feature him creating 100 original pieces. A hundred anything of Shnabubula's music sounds like a dream come true, so we look forward to seeing & hearing what he creates. Sam oscillates between classical & jazz treatments of the source, which is one of my favorites from the OST. Since the source is relatively classical and already features piano, to me the more compelling & interpretive passages here landed on the jazzier side of the fence; I particularly liked the bouncing left hand & general swagga circa 4'34". I'd probably prefer this specific section as an expanded, focused, & strictly jazz arrangement as opposed to the more stream-of-consciousness feel this ends up channeling, but that's just me. Judges didn't love the piano tone, which DOES come off a little clinical during sparser passages, but probably works well for livestreaming purposes and which doesn't dampen the mood too much. Palpable writes:
"When this drops down to one hand and not much is going on, you're hyper-aware that this is not a real instrument and it takes you out-of-the-moment. As far as arrangement, I don't think I could timestamp it easily but it sounded pretty connected to me. Lots of use of the chords and melody.
Argh, I can see why this was a tough decision for everyone. I will admit that I skew a little lenient on solo piano production, and I think that is gonna push me towards the YESes. With a weaker arrangement, this probably would have been a NO, but there's only 1-2 short sections in this that really make me consider the realism of it. There's enough good here that we shouldn't throw that away."
I know Sam digs the sound, but it'd be cool to see him record the MIDI and render out to something with a bit more analog warmth, dynamic range, sympathetic resonance, etc., since dated ROMpler piano patches, however charming, lack some of that body & motion. The arrangement ideas & the performance are solid enough to carry things, but ALSO solid enough to deserve some polishing up on minor timing fluffs & to warrant rendering out on a more modern piano emulation. At least, that's how the judges & myself seem to feel :) That caveat aside, this is a relatively unexpected source to hear Sam's brain so fully unleashed upon, and the result is a musical & playful exploration of its nooks & crannies!
Sources Arranged (1 Song)
- Primary Game:
Super Castlevania IV (Konami, 1991, SNES)
Music by Masanori Adachi, Taro Kudo
- "Banquet Hall (Stage 6 BGM 2)"
- Classical, Jazz
- Piano, Solo Piano
- Arrangement > Solo
Time > Duration: Long
- 12,273,215 bytes
- Size: 12,273,215 bytes
- MD5 Checksum: 4448eed65ac7de63343064783d654e5c
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