BardicKnowledge

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About BardicKnowledge

  • Rank
    Dr. Robotnik (+2700)

Profile Information

  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    Okemos, MI

Contact Methods

  • Website URL
    twitch.tv/bardicknowledge

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  • Biography
    Ph.D Musicology
    Professor of Practice at Michigan State University.
    Awesome breakfast-maker, father, husband, and public speaker.

    E-mail: Thompson(dot)RyanC[at]gmail.com
  • Real Name
    Ryan Thompson
  • Occupation
    Ludomusicologist
  • Twitter Username
    BardicKnowledge
  • PlayStation Network ID
    RTBardic
  • Steam ID
    bardic_knowledge

Artist Settings

  • Collaboration Status
    2. Maybe; Depends on Circumstances
  • Software - Digital Audio Workstation (DAW)
    Finale
  • Composition & Production Skills
    Arrangement & Orchestration
  • Instrumental & Vocal Skills (List)
    Accordion
    Piano
    Vocals: Male

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  1. I'm watching this now! Before seeing it in full, I will note that much like the aesthetic of Wind Waker, there seemed to have been a knee-jerk reaction to BotW's music, and in hindsight many of us are seeing just how smartly the new game's soundtrack is put together. I feel that with time, the soundtrack will only gain more appreciation in the community. I'll edit this post with thoughts on your video after seeing it. Edit: I feel that -- at least among my friends here -- nobody is complaining about Tarrey Town, Rito Village, the Molduga theme, or (especially) the Hyrule Castle theme. All of those pieces are wicked good, and for the most part, scored in traditional fashion. Similarly, few folks hate on Kass' concertina playing. Worth mention since you analyze Hyrule Castle a bunch: there is also a Ballad of the Wind Fish reference right as the A theme loops back around that really makes me feel as if this is the moment I'd been playing dozens of hours for. But many folks would say that the drive and melody behind those pieces only serves to emphasize how stark the landscape and shrines feel with only Debussy-inspired piano for much of the grasslands, forests, and snow areas. Personally I don't mind that, and agree with your argument that the sparseness there makes for a good contrast to the locations that feature more traditional scoring.... ...except for the Shrine theme, which at the very least should be different for "reward" shrines, "combat" shrines, and "puzzle" shrines. The same theme for 120 dungeons is a little ridiculous, and you don't reference this at all. Now, I think that there are some good arguments in favor of the sparse music without having to say "hey, at least it isn't sparse all the time," even if that is a point worth making. For instance, the lack of a strong rhythmic pulse (thanks to short phrases with long gaps between them) helps allow the player to feel independent while exploring rather than as if they're being guided through a shared experience. The gaps also allow for incredibly smooth transitions into and out of variations on the multiple pieces composed in this style -- for instance, approaching the Temple of Time, the piano feels as if it organically integrates the tune into the soundscape rather than loading a separate track. That's not actually the case -- but because of the way the gaps work, it's easy to be fooled into thinking that's the case. Overall, I think it's a fantastic score. The impressionist music fits neatly with the Miyazaki-styled graphics, and the piano lends itself well to the nostalgia that fills the entire narrative of Breath of the Wild.
  2. I'll take a look at this tonight -- thanks for posting here! We don't get a lot of traffic to this subforum, but I do watch it. Alright, I have one main thought as I'm watching: I think that the frame for your analysis could be more consistently expanded to include not merely historic references, but how other media portrays those cultures/periods. Compare the the Cascade Kingdom's music to the Jurassic Park overture, for instance -- that's much more relevant than ancient bone flutes (which, as you correctly note, we know little about in terms of compositional practice). Similarly, the Lake music has more to do with the topic of "water levels" than it does any one culture. You also get right that the Ruins area reference Morricone as much as it does traditional Latin music. Make sure you apply that type of connection for each area, especially when something clearly doesn't fit your model.
  3. First and foremost, this arrangement is incredible. Holy smokes, I'm not sure I'm going to have words to give voice to how much I like the solo soprano part, and the Debussy-esque floating just before the three-minute mark at 2:56 or so. Tremendous work here that everyone needs to experience that reminds me of the vocal stylings of Eric Whitacre and Christopher Tin -- and I don't make comparisons to either of them very often. I agree with the judges that the production brings it down some, however. One of the problems of being compared to the great vocal arrangers of our time is that their work demands great vocal performers, and it's apparent that we don't have that in the choir here (save for the excellent soloists). For me, the bass clef choir voices -- especially the few moments they have to carry us forward -- really stand out as artificial, which brings me out of the experience. I'm a little surprised none of the judges had anything to say about 2:48 (the worst production moment for me after the initial vocal hold that's been discussed elsewhere), but will assume it's because the aforementioned pause is SO GOOD right after that. That being said, it's one of the great vocal arrangements on the site, and we have precious few that make full use of a choir (largely for logistical reasons). Absolutely incredible arranging skills here -- if you ever need voice parts recorded, I imagine that you'll have a number of volunteers (including me, fwiw) happy to step up and help your work shine as brightly as it might.
  4. This is sick, we gave this dude a big shoutout on Twitch recently as we finished a Chrono Trigger playthrough.
  5. @Liontamer You should be aware that this is nearing completion -- I'll be sure to link when it goes public. If you'd like a link to the draft page, I'm happy to PM you one.
  6. I feel like this post might better be served in the general forum rather than the scholarly / history forum, given how any answer I can think of trends toward snarky comedy (which I'm not against by any means, as others can attest).
  7. Wanted to chime in and say that this is a great analysis. That it doesn't contain specific jargon I could care less about -- I'm motivated to track down the relevant stages and listen for myself after reading since I missed out on Super Monkey Ball. From this, I'm reminded a little of the final stage of Katamari Damacy in which the music is particularly less upbeat compared to the euphoric whimsy (visually and aurally) on display in the opening stages.
  8. Wii U player myself, and outside of Kakariko Village the drops are barely noticeable, usually only for very short spurts. Inside the village you're not ever in combat, so it isn't a big deal.
  9. It's on Twitch at twitch.tv/bardicknowledge Thursday nights when enough of us are free. Like this Thursday, at 9 PM EST!
  10. We did some of that, and I'm sure Doug will want to chime in when we hear it again in the World of Ruin. Because they are so similar in both story and music (that is, minor arrangements of the major themes given to their male counterparts), we will probably also return to Rachel when we encounter Daryl's theme probably two sessions from now.
  11. Me, Drumultima, and two scholars not on OCR (Dana Plank and Michael Harris) have begun playing through Final Fantasy VI while we talk about what's interesting in the music as we go along. The first quarter or so of the game is done and posted to YouTube here -- join us Thursday, 2/9, at 9:00 PM EST for the next session (likely to include the opera scene). Any particular things you're interested in hearing us muse over between leaving Narshe after Terra flies off and departing for Thamasa (as far as we're likely to get next time)? Let us know! EDIT: Our second session is up on both YouTube and Twitch -- we got as far as the escape from the Magitek Research Facility. Doug couldn't make it (thanks to the Northeast weather) so we called upon Julianne Grasso to sub for him.
  12. My gift arrived -- thank you, @ProjectSpam for the book! (It's Patrick Rothfuss' Name of the Wind, for everyone else's sake.) I will start it after I get back from break, and am looking forward to it!
  13. My secret santa's present is away! Sadly, it won't get there until after Christmas. It should arrive before the person in question leaves for MAGFest though...
  14. I rarely post reviews -- something that I should definitely do more often -- but holy smokes, this is the best channeling of Debussy I have heard in a very long time, without limiting that qualification to fan-made material. I also love that it tackles what is a very short source, demonstrating that there is a mountain of potential for almost anything given enough talent.... ...and "enough" doesn't even begin to describe what's going on here. The ending is particularly well-executed, giving us the source melody clearly in a way that doesn't feel contrived in the slightest. I'm going to be gushing about this for some time to come.