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Everything posted by BardicKnowledge

  1. 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.
  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. BardicKnowledge

    8-bit music theory

    This is sick, we gave this dude a big shoutout on Twitch recently as we finished a Chrono Trigger playthrough.
  5. BardicKnowledge

    Ludomusicology Wikipedia article?

    @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. BardicKnowledge

    The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

    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 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. BardicKnowledge

    Firefox displaying all italics?

    For some reason, all of the text that I see (including this message as I type it) appear in italics as if an italicized font was suddenly the standard. Firefox no longer differentiates between this and this, despite the fact that only the second has italics for the rest of you. Did I screw up some setting somewhere? If someone could help me out, that'd be awesome -- this is really starting to get annoying.
  12. BardicKnowledge

    OCR Secret Santa 2016

    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. BardicKnowledge

    OCR Secret Santa 2016

    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.
  15. BardicKnowledge

    Ludomusicology Wikipedia article?

    For more reference, Roger Moseley is the person responsible for coining the term "ludomusicology" in the first place, though I don't know when that was (long before the North American conference came to be though).
  16. BardicKnowledge

    Ludomusicology Wikipedia article?

    Feel free to jump on top of it! I got far too busy with finishing my dissertation to take any real action on it, sadly. Might be a good idea to send Tim, Michiel, etc. a draft version before you publish, but you probably wouldn't have to. P.S. I know one ludomusicologist based in Australia -- at the University of Sydney. There's also a film scholar there, both of whom are worth your time to meet...add me on Facebook and I'll put you in touch!
  17. BardicKnowledge

    OCR Secret Santa 2016

    Addie and I know what we are getting our person, but she is gone to Mexico all this week so it won't get sent until the 19th. Worth the wait, we hope!
  18. BardicKnowledge

    Compiling database of games including chant

    Everyone, Karen Cook -- one of my ludomusicology colleagues -- is putting together a database of games that include chant, or music close enough to be thought of as chant (e.g. Halo's iconic opening moments). I thought the community might be able to help her out, so I'm going to throw the list down here and see what we all come up with. After the thread starts to die down, I'll send along all of everyone's additions to Karen, who will put it to good use. I'll start off by including the first additions: Final Fantasy X and Castlevania: Circle of the Moon should have been on here. Games Including Chant or “Chant-Like” Music: A Partial Inventory: (Suggestions and Additions heartily welcomed!) 1. Halo (series) 2. Sid Meier’s Civilization IV 3. Sid Meier’s Civilization IV: Beyond the Sword 4. Sid Meier’s Civilization V 5. Ace Combat 04: Shattered Skies 6. Assassin’s Creed 7. Skyrim 8. Sacred 2: Fallen Angel 9. The Legend of Spyro: The Eternal Night 10. The Legend of Spyro: A New Beginning 11. Lord of the Rings: Return of the King 12. The Hobbit 13. Pandora’s Tower 14. Dante’s Inferno 15. The Da Vinci Code 16. Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince 17. Medieval II: Total War 18. Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition 19. Reign of Kings 20. Bloodborne 21. Phantasmagoria 22. Final Fantasy VII 23. Final Fantasy IX 24. Final Fantasy XIII 25. Super Smash Bros. Brawl 26. Resident Evil 27. Castlevania: Rondo of Blood 28. Castlevania: Symphony of the Night 29. Heroes of Might and Magic III 30. Heroes of Might and Magic V 31. Warcraft II 32. 7th Guest 33. The Talos Principle 34. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 35. The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds 36. Age of Empires III 37. The Binding of Isaac 38. MediEvil 39. MediEvil II 40. Van Helsing 41. God of War 3 42. Slain 43. Eternal Darkness: Sanity’s Requiem 44. Gabriel Knight 3 45. Hexen 46. Zombies Ate My Neighbors 47. Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis 48. Gauntlet Legends 49. Sam and Max, Season 2
  19. BardicKnowledge

    Compiling database of games including chant

    I'll let Karen wander in here, look at all of the suggestions, and decide what counts. I was unsure about Lower Norfair myself...
  20. BardicKnowledge

    OCR Secret Santa 2016

    I'm in -- looking forward to see who I draw this year! In case whoever draws me needs help, Steam games and League of Legends skins are always welcome, but don't feel constrained by that.
  21. BardicKnowledge


    I agree with this. Aside from a couple Payload map spots (Watchpoint: Gibraltar comes to mind), the maps tend to work against her -- this is particularly true of Nepal, in which basically none of the three maps provide her both a clean shot to and a safe distance from the point. Her single best use case in ranked IMO is the Ilios map with the arena at the bottom of a flight of stairs as a hard counterpick to Pharah. Otherwise, whatever you want to accomplish with her can probably be better done with a different character. Keep in mind that for static defenses, Ana is at least as good as she is (turrets) or flat out better (putting Bastion to sleep forces him to stand in movement mode, allowing you enough time to kill him if he doesn't retreat immediately), and she also heals and has one of the game's best ults. This completely kills one of the big use-cases Widow had going for her on release -- and she didn't get any to make up for it. Tom's right that by and large, the people who do play her can shoot -- but they can shoot better with basically any other character right now. Potential changes to help her positioning: (just for fun) -Allow grappling hook to temporarily let her cling to a wall like a spider (say, for 2-3 shots worth of time) -Allow grappling hook to let her descend and ascend in a straight vertical line, like the famous sequence from Mission: Impossible.
  22. BardicKnowledge

    NPR, King of Fighters, and VGM...

    This is pretty awesome -- I'll have to keep my ears open!
  23. BardicKnowledge

    The Marvel Symphonic Universe

    Blake Neely is knocking the entire CW-verse out of the park, and I agree that Supergirl represents his best work thus far. It's hard to sound as uplifting as Williams, and somehow he manages it without sounding like a weak impression. The Flash Main Theme, while not as hummable, is great as well, with both the two-chord choral intro and the ostinato serving as powerful things for the audience to latch onto. Reminds me of much of Hans Zimmer's work where one small kernel can carry an entire scene (think of the four chords that form the final cue to Inception, for instance). See Frank Lehman's chapter in the new Routledge book "Music in Epic Film: Listening to Spectacle" for more: