Category Archives: Composition

Song Cycle: The History of Video Games

Audio preview of SONG CYCLE: THE HISTORY OF VIDEO GAMES

I couldn’t be more proud as I write this.

Yesterday, “Song Cycle: The History of Video Games” was released on iTunes and Loudr. It will soon be available on Spotify and Amazon as well.
I am the creative director of this album. I also produced all of the tracks, arranged one, and sang on several. And I guided the making of sheet music – so now all of these songs can be performed live.
26 songs now exist, merging the worlds of classical and video game music. Each song is for voice and piano, and covers an iconic video game tune. Some of the games represented include Tetris, World of Warcraft, Angry Birds, Mario, Pokémon, etc…
If you want more information about the album, here’s a website link:
If anyone wants to perform these songs, let me know. The sheet music is currently being licensed, and songs will be published once licenses are in place.
A year ago, I hadn’t released a single thing on iTunes. If you’d have told me I’d be the creative director of an entire album, I would have laughed, and said it was impossible. Life moves faster than our daily eye can observe, and I feel incredibly lucky to be a small part of it.

Cinematic Cover Song? Check.

A couple of weeks ago, I came across an opportunity to compose a “cinematic” sounding cover song.

Mind you, I don’t normally do covers of pop songs.

But, there was this one song, which I remember haunting me as I grew up. “Endessly”, by Muse.  I always had wanted a more melodic, and surreal version of it.

So I made it.

2 Piano Cues

I recorded and produced these two lovely piano pieces.  They are among my favorite songs I played as a child.

The part I’m most proud of, is that this isn’t a simple recording of a live performance. I didn’t mic my piano. Rather, I performed the pieces on my midi keyboard, then edited the files and spread them across 3 different sample piano tracks. Then I put a different eq and reverb on each track, to make various frequencies shine. Then I mixed them all together, and slipped-in a couple of finishing plug-ins. I know that’s a lot of jargon, but you get the drift.

It’s incredible what musical training and software capabilities can now create together. I’ve been playing the piano for 26 years, of which 15 were dedicated to intense lessons and competitions. And I can’t tell the difference between a live recording and the mp3s below.

Magniibots: Global Game Jam 2016

My good friend and founder of Drop Pod Games, Samuel Hum, sent me a note in January asking if I’d like to join his team for Global Game Jam. Obviously, I said yes. (This is the same guy that I’ve loved working with on projects like Roshamboroo and Saplings)

The results: a fun and intriguing game called Magniibots, which was so good, we’re targeting a Steam release for later this year.

I didn’t get to actually be on site with the team, but I did jam with them from my home studio. Posting a snippet of the audio below:

SUCCESSOR: Final Fantasy VIII Remixed

Whelp. You can now find my music on iTunes. And Loudr. :-)

Last year, I joined a group of video game musicians, called the Materia Collective. Together, we released a massive six-disc collection of covers from Final Fantasy VIII. I worked on three of these, and you can find all of them on iTunes.

The one I personally worked hardest on is an all-vocal cover of Under Her Control (renamed, smartly, Under Her Vocal Control). I arranged, recorded, and produced this all in my home studio. ALSO, I made my very first music video, so you can watch it on YouTube:

I also created a new age, all-vocal cover of Blue Sky, which really challenged my production skills and pushed my to consider how ELSE the voice could reach new heights.

The last song I worked on was in collaboration with John Robert Matz, an extremely talented composer, musician, and voice-over artist based in Chicago. We had a ridiculously fun time reworking the Galbadian National Anthem to include lyrics and a full choir singing. He did all of the production (which is 90% of the work!), and I’m very grateful for his expertise. It’s TERRIBLY funny – so don’t miss Galbadia, My Home.

Hush-A-Bye: an all-vocal arrangement

I started writing this arrangement in the Cincinnati airport last July. Completing the arrangement, recording all of the vocal parts, editing them all, and learning a ton of new production tools… my site ip . 3 months later this is the result. And I’m hugely proud of it.

Note: most of this happened during Pearl Fisher rehearsals at Seattle Opera. This just goes to prove, that opera and composition and sound production CAN and DO work beautifully together.

Some recent compositions

I’m currently enjoying a peaceful retreat in the middle of Washington state. I’ve set a whole month to be near family and work on music – both composing and voice. Every day I prepare audition repertoire and practice Leila for Pearl Fishers at Seattle Opera this fall. And I also sit at a little desk looking over a pond with great blue herons and dwindling goldfish, and write music.  Here are three songs I completed within the past two weeks. domain names search australia Hope you enjoy!

“Requiem” – I always wanted to write my own version… : (this one has great vocals!)

 

“Affinity” –  This one feels like magic happened.

 

“Easy Optimist” – Because every day should start with a bounce.

Multimedia Composition Demo

I just completed the final course in my professional certificate with Berklee Online! The courses were mostly focused on modern production and composition for video games, with a little bit of music business thrown in.

As part of the final, I put together a demo reel of various compositions I’ve made over the past 9 months. Keep in mind- I only learned how to use Logic Pro X a year ago. I think this reel shows how fast I’ve assimilated years of education in classical education with modern styles and technology. site generator . Imagine what it will look like in one more year… ::grins::

I especially love the ending. Has an epic feel to it. Hope y’all enjoy!

ALL of this music was composed, performed, and produced by myself.

InnovoxVR

Innovox_Title

The past month, I’ve worked with programmer Keith Kaisershot and artist Samuel Hum to develop an awe-inspiring VR experience. I combined both composition and vocals into 360° surround sound. I really believe this is one of the most incredible ways to experience being inside a voice.

Short Description:

InnovoxVR is an interactive music/art experience inside virtual reality.

It was created during the 2015 mobile VR jam by opera singer/composer Elizabeth Zharoff, programmer Keith Kaisershot, and artist Samuel Hum.

The user appears inside of a dark sphere, which has 12 surrounding vertices. Each vertex corresponds to a unique vocal track. When all tracks play simultaneously, the user hears one voice weaving into a song. The audio projects from each vertex, so that the user is encompassed, and can experiment with auditory perception.

There is no directional movement inside the experience other than turning the head. To trigger a track on, the user taps once on the Gear VR headset. To trigger the track off, the user taps once more. Thus, the user can select different layers of the track, choosing which to hear. We used Unity 4 to develop the experience.

The art perfectly complements the audio, also flowing once a track is triggered. When a vertex is activated, an image resembling a galaxy spirals outwards. As the music intensity increases, the spiral speed also increases, making the entire sphere seem to pulse faster and brighter. Floating creatures also emerge and float around the user. At the end, the creatures and galaxies all explode with light, as the screen fades to white and the music ends.

 

Sneaky, quirky, and maybe in a Tim Burton film

I wrote this last week, while working on some music for a independent developer. Was given two main adjectives: sneaky, and quirky. I think it turned out really well. I was looking to combine the feeling of a Tim Burton film with the magic of Harry Potter… and somehow Grieg’s Hall of the Mountain King hopped in too.