Too lazy to transcribe and arrange my own 😉
This time, let take a shot listening to New Age genre with one of the most favorite of Jim Chappell’s compositions, Gone.
Jim Chappell, an evocative melodist with the hands of simplicity but elegance; a melodic creator with the need of dynamic fusion of performer’s soul.
Gone and Heartsong are my most two loved Jim Chappell’s composition and I used to longed to play these two on my own when I first listened to them. The flowing melodies can blow all of pressure and stress from normally bored life.
Gone is basically a easy piece to play. However, without dynamic execution of every single note, the piece easily become souless and emotionless even though the tempo and notes are followed correctly. Due to these reason, Gone is actually a hard piece to play.
When I recorded the song countless time and endlessly review it, I felt something crucial was missing but didn’t really figure it out what the missing piece was. I listened to my own recording when driving, sleeping and eating for 1 day. Bang, it was the reverberation.
Yep, enjoy Gone with extra reverb, my fellow audience.
Ever since my hardest transcription was finished, I have always conflicted myself about my ability: my transcribed skill and my level of piano playing are not in sync. That is normal totally, I admit. Composers may not sing well. Singers may not compose a single song in their lifetime. Pianist may not compose themselves but only cover others’ compositions. I know my unbalance. That’s why I try to avoid compete with other, rather, I choose easy song with low tempo and relaxed melody.
I ask myself whether it’s a good thing to go on that path. Thinking back, I always know the answer but I decide to live in denial. Ever since I make my performances public, my attitude somehow has changed: from admiration to slight jealousy, from enjoyment to competition, from acceptance to rejection.
From admiration to slight jealousy: lot of YouTube pianists out there are better than me. I admire their skill, love them but also jealous their talent. Is it because of my or my fate that I could not reach to where they belong to?
From enjoyment to competition: many years ago, I was so happy each time somebody covers my favorite songs in piano but now, each time I listen to those, I carefully analyze in detail and have attempted to replay myself.
From acceptance to rejection: I have became pickier in selecting and rating music.
Ever since when I accept request and public my video on YouTube, my perception has changed. I am contributing music to the world which means that I can no longer perceive music as years ago. I am no longer a normal audience. Music may not heal me anymore but rather I may hurt myself for it. Such a bittersweet pain.
If some of you reading this post, enlighten me and tell me why so many artists are in hiatus (Utada Hiraku, Shunichi Miyamoto…) or even quite their careers??
This time, I will risk myself again: this is going to be one of my finest arrangement ever (along with Sakura Nagashi and Mischievous of Alice)
Seventh heaven (from Garden of sinners) by Yuki Kajiura/Kalafina
And I forgot to mention my latest cover “One Form of Love”
First of all, let look at my 2 month old blog.
My initial was not as I expected.
Why am I doing this blog and Vangakuz’s YouTube channel? I am not neither even a music professional or someone who get a single musical award or recognition. To put it simple, I am a nobody trying to get attention by my amateurish tricks.
My 2 month YouTube channel doesn’t look so interesting enough to attract people attention and obviously, I am not quite satisfied with such result. I had been thinking about how to increase subscribers and views and here is my final conclusion:
1. Transcribing currently airing anime OP or ED:
At the time a new anime is being broadcasted, people have tendency to go to YouTube and search for anything related to that particular anime and they may end up encounter the piano cover of OP or ED. Those covers have a high chance for viewing and subscribing. For doing so, the transcriber will choose a OP/ED that no one attempt to piano cover hence, increase his/her popularity.
For this strategy, I rarely watch currently airing anime because I hate the waiting time each week for one episode. I rather wait for the whole show is complete and watch them all at once.
2. Transcribing currently airing movie/series (same as 1)
3. Performing a stunning piano cover such as Jarrod Radnich (this is out of question for me)
4. Transcribing a song on the Oricon chart or Billboard chart. Those songs are popular and good piano covers of them has higher chance than others.
For this strategy, I don’t really know why but those popular songs has little attraction to me for a long time. I have encountered the experience is that I drop to arrange a song due to losing interest, not difficulty.
5. Transcribing requested songs for free.
For this strategy, very few songs catch my attention.
For only 2 month experience of transcribing, I realize that at some certain points, I am sacrificing for music. I have experienced despair for my incompetence in the case Hitomi wo Tojite when I struggled with it. I have experienced vehement heartbeats and pressure when I record because simply, I want to produce the best footage and I never do anything good in front of a crow physically and virtually. I have experienced sorrow when I received some negative comment. I have experienced unfairness of life when I saw some others pianists. I have questioned a lot myself whether or not I am incompetent or my life environment is not optimal for music.
But I do know one thing: I will never ever repeat one huge mistake again: quit playing piano and leave the world of music. Ironical, isn’t it? I find myself contrary each time I think about music and my music. It’s painful and sorrowful but I crave for it.
And now, I finally and painfully understand that someday someone will care for my works and he/she may master them in the better way than their arranger, Vangakuz. Music helps me forget how bored life is. And it is time I sacrifice for it, desho? I will cry in peace for someone who play my sheets perfectly because he/she appreciate my works and I will cry in pain because I might not achieve the level.
“Sakura ga satai yo さくらが咲いたよ” (composed by Joe Hisaishi), please define my music. At this time, you can download the complete sheet and midi. For YouTube, I may release next week.
“Sakura ga satai yo さくらが咲いたよ” is my best Joe Hisaishi composition favorite. I wonder why this masterpiece is not so popular in the US. I love Sakura flower and this time will be the time “Sakura ga satai yo さくらが咲いたよ” expresses its beauty on piano.
It has been a long time since my last video. Before resenting you a surprise, let hear over my sad (not bad) story first.
Mar 3 2013
I excitedly ran around my house and joyfully scream after finishing the sheet of “Mischievous of Alice”.
Mar 4 2013
I first attempted to play but terrified that I couldn’t sustain my strength to play. The sheet is dense, my hand got tired quickly and I sweat like I was in fitness room. Something was wrong.
Mar 5 2013
I still couldn’t to play page 3. I didn’t feel a bit emotion. Well, just play it perfectly and record then done with it, I thought.
Mar 6 2013
Hmm….I was right to decide to fix many length of the notes. I sensed just a bit of feeling toward it.
Mar 7 2013
What the fuck was wrong with me? Or the sheet couldn’t carry the greatness of Yousei Teikoku. I calmed down to think thoroughly the reason, to find the exact explanation. I always see myself not an advance piano player. That must be the reason, right?
Mar 8 2013
I was wandering on the Internet to listen to other pianists to find inspiration and of course, I encountered many MIDI file for reference. Wait a minute, somehow, just a very little, I can sense and feel the atmosphere of the song from MIDI (MiDI is not music, it is sound sequence).
Mar 9 2013
I constantly saw my sheet without thinking of anything. For just a moment, I recall all of my passion for piano, all of my love for music and my favorite composer. I fully understand now: my transcription satisfied all musical rule, followed right chords and tempo but you know what, it was robotic and midi-like. What had I done? I arranged music for machine (computer, digital piano, software playback) to play, not for human.
Mar 10 2013
“Arrange for me to play, be compassionate and take full advantages and capacity of piano to express “Mischievous of Alice” in a brand whole new way.”
Mar 11 2013
Major changes/modification and even new creation all together upon. My sheet now satisfies myself. IT REACHES ITS FINEST IN MY CREATION.
Mar 12 to today
“Memmoria, it is time for you to go” Because of my goal, she experienced a huge breakdown [https://vangakuz.wordpress.com/2013/03/25/the-new-era-has-just-begun/]
“Hyades! Welcome to my home” [https://vangakuz.wordpress.com/2013/03/26/welcome-hyades/]
Here I present you, my most insane transcription ever.
With this, I can finally rest in peace and be proud to say “My name is Vangakuz, an Asian advanced piano player, a fine transcriber and a “mischievous” arranger. With “Mischievous of Alice”, I can finally edit my “About me!” page.
P/s: Thank you, Shining-chan, Shiki and Luka-chan for watch me the whole time when I practice and perform giving me courage. Ladies and gentlemen, let me introduce you all of my best companion who always follow me in the path of music.
and my deficient Memoria Celviano for sustaining such many tremendous hits.
and my new companion, her name is Hyades
Yes, it’s here!
I had carried unease feeling since I finished transcribe Paul Carter’s Sakura Nagashi. This piece is so depressingly attractive that I couldn’t let myself to play it. However, I don’t want to replicate Paul Carter’s and his version is actually off-vocal. I thought myself that why don’t arrange a new version that include the vocal part. And here is the result.
Notice that I do not fully arranged this sheet. I borrowed a lot of details from FastMusicPerform (you can search on YouTube).
My version is fairly easy to play. The only difficulty is that you need to follow dynamic direction closely and correctly in order to produce the best effect and atmosphere of this song.
And again, you can download sheet and midi file under the Transcription tab.
P/s: Did I tell you that my 桜流し (Sakura Nagashi) off-vocal sheet music has the highest downloaded times of all my transcription? A lot of people including me had headaches of hopelessly searching all over the place and on the Internet. Yes, problem solved.
Speaking of my transcription and video, I thought that I should speed up my progress but I realized that I have produced 5 sheets and 3 videos in only 4 weeks. So the calculation for this speed is 60 sheets and more than 48 video in a year. Shit, too fast! Some of you recommended that I should slow down and improve that quality of YouTube in term of performing. It goes without saying that I am trying to improve my skill. I eagerly want to produce best footage as possibly in my limited piano skill. However, I do think that my transcribed skill is going to be better day by day. I am not afraid of transcribing but recoding video takes a lot of time and practice. Too bad that I am not a patient person. So, in future, my progress is going to be slower but I ensure you guys that my video is going to be better.
Never give up!!!!!
According to my poll, “Mischievous of Alice” is probably my next project!
Here, One Little Wish:
As always, it’s excited each time I upload a new video. And here now, “One Little Wish” sung by Yōko Takahashi 高橋 洋子, a song from “A Cruel Angel’s Thesis 2009 Version”.
I assume that you all know the famous song “A Cruel Angel’s Thesis”. However, I wonder why no one has covered “One Little Wish”. I think that OP and ED songs will have much more potential for pianists to transcribe. So, I know for sure that other insert songs and soundtracks will hardly catch any attention from piano players to be transcribed someday. I have been wandering on the Internet using English and even translated Japanese to find piano sheets for my favorite songs but always ended up in despair.
I also have encountered a ton of piano player’s blogs and YouTube channels saying that they only do “currently airing anime” OPs and EDs and rarely play old songs.
Well, I decided to transcribe sheets myself with the fear of not being able to play them. As you can see, my skill at this moment is limited. It’s sad to say that my sheets at some points contain parts that I have lot of headaches to practice. Just a few days ago, I wondered myself that whether it’s too soon for me to transcribe and create YouTube channel. Am I useless?
“You have no idea of how your philosophy can lead you to live and how fate can torture your life”
It was hard for me to keep up the dream of musical career. And I had abandoned music and piano long ago. There was no way for me to inspire other people to love music!
So what? Right here, right now, some of you watch my video, practice my sheet and grateful to me to transcribe that song. At the moment, I have 200 views only for “A world without tears” with 18 subscribers. I am confident to say that I have high satisfaction for my piano transcription even though I am not to proud of my playing skill.
Yes, I still can bring music to everybody in a lot of ways.
That is my “One Little Wish”