Materia Collective and Chronicles of Time

New music post time!

While 2015 may have been an awful year for me, I did manage to complete a few arrangements from some very beloved series. First, I’d like to talk about the new-ish Materia Collective album, “SUCCESSOR: Final Fantasy VIII Remixed”. I’m very proud to say that I was a part of such a wonderful and devoted group of musicians known as the Materia Collective. The entire team had three months to arrange and mix a song from Final Fantasy VIII and we ended up making an incredible album of around 93 tracks. However, I wasn’t alone on my contribution! Dan Taylor, who you may know from Yes, Mayhem or Metroid Metal, helped me out by contributing bass! It was really fun and challenging, so please check out the album in the links below! I promise there’s something for everyone 🙂

Available on iTunes!
Check it out here on Loudr!

There’s more! I was also on the Chrono Trigger album, Chronicles of Time. I contributed two tracks as, WARK! If you didn’t already know, WARK is an internet VGM band I’ve made up. The lineup is pretty scattered, but I think these are some of the best covers I’ve ever done. Not without help from some amazing friends of course 😉

Anyway, Chronicles of Time is massive. The entire team together covered EVERY SONG from the original game. Again, there’s definitely going to be something for everyone on this. Here’s some links. Please check it out and give it some love. All profits go towards, Doctors without Borders.

Available on iTunes!
Check it out here on Loudr!

Donkey Kong Country Album and More!

So, because I’m a big dum dum, I haven’t posted here in a very long time. Lots of things have been happening and I’ve just been very busy with work and other projects. Like a flat and warm coke(???) I’ve really just had a general lack of energy and enthusiasm for months on end as well. I wish I could say I’m past this but it is getting better.

ANYWAY.

This came out last winter.

It was again a pleasure to work with James Moats and Stemage on this. We did an arrangement of the classic tune Stickerbrush Symphony(something I’ve always wanted to cover). James Moats provided: acoustic guitar/ukulele/general badassery. Whereas Stemage serenaded us with his introspective “huhhhhhhs”.

Also, SPECTRUM OF MANA CAME OUT! HOLY FREAKING CRAP. I’M REALLY BAD AT POSTING YOU GUYS!

This album was so massive I’m still shocked we got through it. Me, along with a billion other people arranged the entire soundtrack of, Secret of Mana. We couldn’t have done it too if it weren’t for our fearless leader, Nate Horsfall. He came up with the idea to cover the whole soundtrack for the anniversary of the release date. THE GAME TURNED 20! How crazy is that!?

I did two tracks with a different group of people for each one.

FIRST was the Sad Theme(We ended up calling it, Echoes of the Exiled). Since the group was so large I had decided to give us the band name, WARK! I know, I know. Wrong game. Shhhhh. It started out as a electronic house track but after much trial and error on my part it became a kind of bluegrass rock track inspired by Bill Frisell and Pink Floyd.

WARK, includes:
ME-Organ/keys/arrangement
Dan Taylor-Bass
Kevin Lawrence-Drums
Amanda Lepre-Guitar
Jeff Ball-Violin

SECOND was the theme titled, A Conclusion. This started out as a collaboration between me and Ryan Davies but I got the idea to bring in James Moats and Stemage for some OOH’S and AHH’S during it’s production. It took a long time to finish this one but in the end it turned out great!

The personnel for this track includes:
Ryan Davies-Arrangement/Guitar/Drums/Keys
ME-Synthesizers
Stemage-VOX
James Moats-VOX

What’s coming up next is really exciting! Again, under our fearless leader, Nate Horsfall, we will be arranging the entire soundtrack of CHRONO TRIGGER!!! YAYYYY! I’ve claimed two tracks and they’re very near completion. The first one will be a sort of a tribute to Pink Floyd’s, Welcome to the Machine. The second will be a kind of all hands in swing track.

I’m looking forward to sharing these with you all soon because the music is so good and the artwork Nate and the others have been doing for it is just as amazing! There’s more coming soon besides this but I can’t talk about it yet, SO STAY TUNED!!!

Spectrum of Mana

Here’s a preview of a HUGE album project I’ve been working on for over a year with a large group of people. It’s nuts but it’s finally almost done and I can’t wait to show you all the songs I got to work on! 
50+ musicians and 5+ artists to celebrate 20 years of the Super Nintendo classic, Secret of Mana. 

None of this could not have happened without the planning and leadership of Nate Horsfall(FoxxDragon) – http://www.lightningarts.com/  This is gonna rock guys!

Here’s the video and also check out the FB page and website for the free download preview- 
https://www.facebook.com/SpectrumOfMana
http://www.spectrumofmana.com/

The Personal Touch

To kick off a series of posts presented over the next month or so, covering albums I consider important to me. I will start with the mind explodingly amazing album, Strati by Stemage.

In 2006, Stemage released his solo album Strati. Catchy riffs, honest vocals and lyrics were all pieces to this great listening experience. From a collection of amped up songs like: Anosmium and Fabulous Fabulist. To the more introspective tracks such as: Luna and In Dependence. An album that is full of variety, while still retaining its identity is something not to be passed up.

Around the time it came out I was still fairly new to music. I listened to your typical popular artists like: Pink Floyd, Queen, David Bowie, Gorillaz and others I don’t care to mention right now. After hearing the record Strati, my musical cherry had exploded into confetti of crack addicted, rainbow-oozing squirrels. Doing the horns (\m/) in rhythm to the music, while shedding a single manly tear. For the emotions I had experienced in connection to the music were unrivaled.

In short, this album had heart. Something in which most artists now days don’t have or even attempt to bring to the table. It’s cliche, but music can become jaded with with the abuse of post production work. It loses it’s raw feeling. It’s connection to the person who wrote and or performed it begins to wear thin and becomes something distant and unattached. While it is good to have great music sound equally amazing, you know when you’re losing something for the sake of production and perfection. The beauty and complexity of our humanity becomes dominated by machines and is altered to match what is called “correct” and “perfect”. We lose who we are when that happens. I think I ranted, but I wanted to say that.

Anyway, in short this album is a perfect blend of artist and production. Something in which we can actually feel what he is playing and singing. So, do yourself a favor and check it out.  And don’t forget to try and actually feel the words, rhythms, melodies and timbre of his voice wash over you.