Sunday, December 24, 2006

Just Got Ys Origin!!!


So thrilled to finally have it in my hands!! And on Christmas Eve!! I'll post my thoughts on the game as I play it!

Saturday, December 16, 2006

MUSHI.NET UPDATED!!

Mr. Atsushi Fukai, a freelance game music composer and Doujin CD Artist I GREATLY admire, has updated the English portion of his website Mushi.net. More good news is that otaku.com has restocked his CDs, and is also now selling three more of his latest works! Mr. Fukai has kept the Ys Doujin CD scene alive almost singlehandedly over the years, and his musical compositions and various arranged albums are among my personal favorites. Below are some links that will help you get to know Mr. Atsushi Fukai.

Mr. Fukai's website:
  • Mushi.net in English
  • Otaku.com:
  • The works of Atsushi Fukai at otaku.com
  • More updates soon!
  • Friday, December 15, 2006

    New Arrivals 12/15/05

    Dragon Spirit: Lead into Genesis (Top), and Romancing Saga: Last Testament (bottom).
    Produced by the Magical Trick Society Doujin Circle. These CDs are excellent and feature outstanding arrangements from these games. I have been after them for some time, and they are very hard to get. My heartfelt thanks goes to cocoebiz for helping me obtain these. YOU ARE THE BEST, THERE IS NO ONE ELSE OUT THERE LIKE YOU!!

    Thursday, November 30, 2006

    Coming soon, a guide to collecting Ys soundtracks!

    It's a little project I'll have ready soon. Hopefully it will prove useful to those of you out there who are hunting for every last Ys soundtrack like me.

    ACTRAISER AT PLAY! IN HARTFORD!!

    Music from the classic Actraiser by Yuzo Koshiro will be performed at Play! in Hartford Connecticut. This is exciting news, the concert is scheduled for Thursday, March 29, 2007 at the Bushnell Center. More info as always at the Play! site:
  • Click!
  • Wednesday, November 22, 2006

    DANCING MAD TO BE PERFORMED AT PLAY!

    That's right, the masterpiece of a final battle composition by Mr. Nobuo Uematsu from Final Fantasy VI will be a part of Play! A video game Symphony when it returns to Stockholm Sweden next Summer! Two concerts have been announced for Stockholm on June 2nd, Saturday 2007! One will take place at 3:00pm and another at 7:30pm. Tickets go on sale Monday, November 27th, 2006. So far no guests have been announced, but I'll post any news as soon as more announcements are made. Since it has been my dream to see Dancing Mad performed for a very long time, I will undoubtedly make the trip to Sweden, and report on my experiences just as I have done in the past. Please read more at the official site for the event!
  • Play! A Video Game Symphony
  • Keep the game music revolution going!
  • Tuesday, November 21, 2006

    Wonderful Rinkya!

    This is for those who are looking for a reliable way to bid on Yahoo Japan items. Rinkya is an excellent company located in Japan that allows you bid on Yahoo Japan auctions in real time, and in English! I highly recommend using Rinkya, as many sellers on Yahoo Japan will not ship to other countries. Rinkya handles all of that for you! Just click on the link below to find out more about this great company!
  • Rinkya: Yahoo Japan Auction Service
  • Thanks for reading!
  • Sunday, November 05, 2006

    Spotlight on The Skies Symphony

    So you've heard game music arranged in a rock style, but I would like to introduce to you Kiesca!! Just check out the website The Skies Symphony at the link below. Click on Game Arrange. There are five incredible arrangements of some of the role playing realms most classic game songs, all in a very heavy speed rock style. If you like S.S.H. or Moabi (OPUS XERO), you will love The Skies Symphony!!
  • The Skies Symphony
  • As always, keep listening!
  • Saturday, November 04, 2006

    NEW PLAY! CONCERT ANNOUNCED & MORE!

    They just announced it, another Play! concert is happening on Thursday, March 29, 2007 in Hartford Connecticut! More good news is that an onine shop has opened at the official Play! website. Lots of great stuff there! Tickets go on sale Monday, November 6th. All the details are right here:
  • Click
  • Will I be there? That's a secret!
  • Friday, October 20, 2006

    Rie Sugimoto ON YOUTUBE!


    I just finished a little project I'm hoping Falcom fans will enjoy. It's a picture/slide music video of Rie Sugimoto, who Falcom fans also know as "Miss Lilia". The song is Sorrowful Angel-Those Were the Days, from Rie Sugimoto's Falcom CD entitled "Krelia".I hope you like it, and I will do more if requested.
  • Click!
  • Sunday, October 15, 2006

    NEW LINK ADDED, COMPOSER NETWORK!

    New to the links section is a link that will take you straight to cocoebiz's network of game music composer's official English web pages. I think you will find this to be very helpful to learn more about some of the best & brightest in the industry.
  • Click!
  • More Soon!
  • Monday, October 02, 2006

    Play! In Toronto!!

    Well, I actually made it up to Toronto this weekend for my fifth Play concert. It was quite amazing and rivaled the premiere show in Chicago in terms of quality. Arnie Roth conducted again and the show took place at the Hummingbird Center in Toronto.

    Thanks as always to Jason Michael Paul Productions for making this tour happen. Following this tour all year has been a dream come true for me!

    Here is the guest list:

    Nobuo Uematsu
    Takenobu Mitsuyoshi
    Jeremy Soule
    The creator of the game "Prey". His name escapes me at the moment.
    Chris Tilton (from the game "Black").
    Rony Barrak (percussionist)

    Here is the set list (which may be slightly out of order)

    1. Play theme
    2. Liberi Fatali
    3. Mario Medley
    4. Shenmue
    5. Aeris' Theme
    6. Sonic Medley
    7. A surprise performance of Sega's "Daytona USA" by Mr. Mitsuyoshi.
    He played piano and sang English vocals. This was awesome and his performance stole the show. An unforgetable moment.

    After that Mitsuyoshi threw a few stuffed Sonic plush dolls into the crowd.
    8. Theme from "Black". I liked this a lot.

    9. Metal Gear Solid Theme.
    10. Castlevania Medley
    This medley had two parts, the first part was basically the title track from the Dracula New Classic CD, the arrangement was exactly the same.
    The second I believe was from Curse of Darkness, it was quite good, and featured a Keyboard for the organ and slamming drums. I felt it was a good mix old and new Castlevania.
    11. Kingdom Hearts
    Intermission
    12. Elder Scrolls III Suite
    13. Theme from Prey.
    14. Swing de Chocobo
    15. Chrono Trigger/Cross
    16. World of Warcraft Suite
    17. Silent Hill 2 Theme of Laura So far, I feel no one has matched Akira Yamaoka's performance of this in Chicago. The various guitarists for the orchestras have been outstanding, but seeing Mr. Yamaoka do it is more electrifying.
    18. Halo Suite
    19. Zelda
    20. One Winged Angel
    21. Encore: Blue Dragon Theme

    There was a pre show discussion on game music hosted by the guild of Canadian film composers. Basically the topic was the growing worldwide popularity of game music and how newer games were similar to movies.

    It was pretty cool. In attendance were:
    1. Paul Hoffert (guild of Canadian Film Composers Chairperson)
    2. David Logan (Composer for pitfall 3D, X-Men Mutant Academy).
    3. Simon Pressey (audio director for Ubisoft Montreal)

    Mr. Hoffert also stated he is writing a book on how to compose music for games.

    After the show was the meet and greet event with the composers.
    I felt lucky for having gotten a combined total of over forty items signed at previous Play concerts.

    I had drawn a litlle SD style picture of Mr. Uematsu which I was very happy to get autographed by him. Here it is:


    Pictures of the Hummingbird Centre soon!

    Wednesday, September 27, 2006

    New BGM Added!

    Hope you like it, I'll always have something different playing on this page, so check back often!

    BEHOLD... YS ORIGIN!!!



    Subscribers to Falcom's News Express are getting a sneak peek at the latest Ys game, Ys Origin!! It's definitely a prequel. The female character with the axe is Yunika Tovah, and the male is Jugo Fact. They must be related to the six legendary priests of Ys, like Sara and Jevah Tovah and Dark Fact. I will miss Adol, but this game could really be interesting! Check it out, the release date is 12/21/2006.
  • MORE HERE!!
  • Monday, September 18, 2006

    LEGEND OF XANADU II BOSS FIGHT VIDEO UP!!

    I just put up a video of fighting the first boss in Legend of Xanadu II! Feel free to check it out, and you'll see why I love this game!
  • Click!
  • Saturday, September 16, 2006

    LEGEND OF XANADU II GAMEPLAY VIDEO

    Hello everyone! I just put up a gameplay video of Legend of Xanadu II on Youtube! There is more to come!
  • Click!
  • Thursday, September 14, 2006

    Upcoming Manga Project!!

    That's right, I'm going to put out this manga even if I have to do it myself, in my art gallery, or another blog. I have a good concept for it, and I'm comitted to getting it done. There will be lots of room for all my loves, like action, fantasy, and superhero. The following page is my first ever sketch of the star of the book, and her loyal pet.
    Anybody reading this blog, I hope you will check it out when it's ready. I do have a name for the book, but I won't reveal it yet. She may go through a couple minor changes, but I like starting simple:

    COUNTDOWN TO PLAY! IN TORONTO

    I am so excited to be able to attend the next Play! concert in Toronto! It's only about 16 days away now. This will be my first journey outside the U.S., and it's going to be great! I can't wait to hear the Castlevania music, I hope it's a medley with some of my favorite tracks in it. Another milestone is that this will be my fourth time meeting Mr. Nobuo Uematsu!

    Tuesday, September 12, 2006

    NEW ADDITTION TO GUEST LIST FOR PLAY! TORONTO!

    Good news, Mr. Jeremy Soule, now the award-winning composer for the Elder Scrolls IV, has been added to the guest list for Play! in Toronto on September 30th. Two additional guests have been announced thus far, Mr. Nobuo Uematsu and Mr. Takenobu Mitsyoshi. Any additional news regarding the next Play! show in Toronto will be reported here.
  • Play! Official Site
  • Monday, September 04, 2006

    CONGRATULATIONS TO JEREMY SOULE!!

    I am happy to see Jeremy Soule picked up the MTV award for best game music score with Oblivion. My only wish is that it had not come from MTV, which knows so little about game music it is staggering. I want to work on setting up an organization of people that not only loves and enjoys game music, but one that can give game music composers the respect they deserve.

    Saturday, September 02, 2006

    FALCOM'S LATEST YS PROJECT

    Well, Falcom is hard at work on what will probably be their most interesting Ys game yet! I am a certified Ys fanatic, so saying I was a little shocked at the screenshots that have been released is an understatement! Where is Adol? What does Falcom have in store for their beloved franchise? It is killing me not knowing what is up with this game! The good thing is we'll know soon enough won't we? Just don't kill Adol, Falcom, and I'll be happy. No doubt the music will be masterful in the Falcom tradition. Enjoy the puzzling, but beautiful screenshots:


    I'll keep posting any additional information I get too!

    Thursday, August 17, 2006

    Tuesday, August 15, 2006

    MTV ADDS GAME MUSIC CATEGORY TO VIDEO MUSIC AWARDS

    Yeah, apparently it is true. Why am I not excited? Because I don't want to see a bunch of "Hollywood Heads" who don't know a thing about game music suddenly acting like it's their pride & joy. Sure, everyone is familiar with the Nintendo classics, but MTV can't handle it. You want proof? This is the first time they're doing this, and I don't see any classic game music nominated for an award.

    It's too late now to be jumping on the band wagon. The video game music world has already had some of it's biggest hits, and you were nowhere to be seen, MTV. Some of you may think of some of the older game soundtracks as "bloops and bleeps", but there were real, honestly composed, strong and vibrant masterpieces there.

    Will Yuzo Koshiro ever win a MTV award for all his efforts, like Ys, Actraiser, and Shinobi? What about Nobuo Uematsu with his Final Fantasy work seemingly over, and those countless scores of his? Will they ever get the credit they deserve? I could go on and on. My point is, it seems only now that since many games have full orchestral scores, the music is "acceptable" for an awards show. Based on what was nominated, that is. It is thanks to projects like Play! A Video Game Symphony, Video Games Live, and the support of a loyal fan following that the classics are being kept alive. The fans are being allowed the opportunity to show their respect (in person, on many occaisions) to the founders of this wonderful art form. Not by MTV, which should just stay out of it. They know nothing about game music. It just really upsets me that a network that has shown zero support for game music in the past is suddenly a judge on it.

    Now, two sites have opened up where you can vote in two categories: best soundtrack and best score. Jeremy Soule's work on the Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion soundtrack is among the nominees for best score, and he deserves it. As does Jesper Kyd for Hitman in the best soundtrack category. Just not from MTV. These guys deserve better. One day game music composers will get the proper respect they deserve, from a credible source. I have provided links at the end of this article for you.

    Am I saying not to support this? No way! Support it, and hopefully a real video game music awards celebration will one day be spawned, by people who appreciate it for what it is. Not by a TV network with NO experience, and no prior support for it.
    Where was MTV when Final Fantasy VI hit? Or what about Super Mario 64? Both have outstanding music! Most likely, whoever presents the awards in the video game music categories will be someone who doesn't care about game music. Want to surprise me, MTV? It will be hard. This is your test.

    I encourage you all to vote for those who deserve it at the following sites:
  • Gametrailers
  • and
  • Xfire.com
  • Be well, and thanks for reading!

    Keith
  • Monday, August 14, 2006

    NEW SOUNDTRACKS

    Been a while since I had anything come in. Traveling around the USA definitely put my collecting on hold. I did manage to get the following, which I am real excited about!
    Motoi Sakuraba's Valkyrie Profile Silmeria Soundtrack:


    The awesome soundtrack to the upcoming RPG Ar Tonelico!

    Tuesday, August 08, 2006

    PLAY ROCKED THE WOLF TRAP!!

    The amazing Wolf Trap Filene Center in Vienna, Virginia:


    Hello all! I recently returned from attending another amazing, and my fourth, Play! concert in Vienna, Virginia. The performance was on Friday August 4th, and like the great show in Philadelphia, the Wolf Trap is an outdoor venue. The weather was perfect for an evening concert!! The place was packed, and we had to give two standing ovations for the amazing performance. The addition of all new footage from the featured game scores was absolutely spectacular.

    I am very happy for the opportunity to be there in Toronto for the next Play! concert.
    If you plan to go, the tickets are going fast!! Don't be left out of an incredible event!!

    Here is the set list:

    1. Play Theme
    2. Liberi Fatali
    3. Mario Medley
    4. Shenmue
    6. Battlefield 1942
    7. Sonic Medley
    8. Aeris
    9. Metal Gear Solid Theme
    10. Kingdom Hearts

    Intermission

    11. Morowind Suite
    12. Music from "Prey." Again, this was wicked.
    13. Swing de Chocobo
    14. World of Warcraft
    15. Chrono Trigger / Chrono Cross
    16. Theme of Laura (Silent Hill 2)
    17. Halo
    18. Zelda Medley
    19. One Winged Angel

    Encore
    20. Blue Dragon

    Arnie Roth Conducted again, there were two taped messages, one from Nobuo Uematsu and one from Koji Kondo, thanking the fans. The fans loved it!

    Thursday, August 03, 2006

    SEE YOU AT PLAY! TOMORROW!!

    I'm really looking forward to tomorrow evening's Play! concert in Vienna, Virginia. It's not everyday you get to attend two of your most favorite concerts two weeks in a row. Hope to see you there!! As always, expect a full report afterwards!!

    Keith

    SET LIST FOR PLAY! IN PHILADELPHIA

    Last week's Play concert in Philadelphia was AWESOME! It was at the Mann Center for the Performing Arts, which is an outside venue, with a limited roof.

    There was a storm, and it really added to the atmosphere. The sound of the thunder with lightning and rain, along with the music was very cool.

    Here is the set list:

    1. Play Theme
    2. Liberi Fatali
    3. Mario Medley
    4. Shenmue
    6. Battlefield 1942
    7. Sonic Medley
    8. Aeris
    9. Metal Gear Solid Theme
    10. Kingdom Hearts

    Intermission

    11. Morowind Suite
    12. Premiere of music from "Prey." This was wicked, it really felt like a horror/science fiction score.
    13. Swing de Chocobo
    14. World of Warcraft
    15. Chrono Trigger / Chrono Cross
    16. Theme of Laura (Silent Hill 2)
    17. Halo
    18. Zelda Medley
    19. One Winged Angel

    Encore
    20. Blue Dragon

    Arnie Roth Conducted again, there were two taped messages, one from Nobuo Uematsu and one from Koji Kondo, thanking the fans.

    The Mann Festival Orchestra and Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia performed the music. Hard to believe they fit it all into two hours.

    Sunday, July 30, 2006

    WELL...

    So I'm addicted to attending the Play! A Video Game Symphony Concerts, and I can't wait to head out to Vienna Virgina for the next one on Friday, August 4th. The news that Castlevania music will be performed at the Toronto Play! Concert is keeping the excitement at fever pitrch for me. Soon I'll have some pics up of my journey to Philadelphia for the performance at the Mann Center for the Performing Arts.

    I have to say it again, if anyone out there has a chance, you have to attend a Play! concert, there is nothing else like it out there. I believe it will be one of your most memorable experiences ever!

    I also mangaed to add a couple more pics to the art gallery, take a look! The link is in the links section!!

    Keith

    Wednesday, July 26, 2006

    SEE YOU AT PLAY! TOMORROW!!

    Lately I can't stop listening to the Tales of the Abyss Soundtrack! Well done Namco!! Well, tomorrow I'm off to Philadelphia for my third Play! concert. I simply can't get enough. Though no special guests have been announced, it will be a pleasure still.
    I Look forward to seeing all the fans there!

    Monday, July 24, 2006

    NEW Rob Liefeld Boards up!!

    AWESOME, my favorite artist of all time, Rob Liefeld, has opened up all new forums on the web, check it out!!
  • Click here!
  • Thursday, July 20, 2006

    PHILLY BOUND!! I'm Attending Play! A VIdeo Game Symphony in Philadelphia!

    I am happy and very thankful for the opportunity to attend the upcoming Play concert in Philadelphia!! It will be on Thursday July 27th at 8:30pm. If you have a chance to attend, don't let it pass, you won't regret it! I decided that I didn't want this journey to end. It's not over yet.....
  • More News Here
  • Monday, July 17, 2006

    REVIEW OF PLAY! A VIDEO GAME SYMPHONY IN DETROIT!!

    Well, more magic happened on Wednesday July 12th in Detroit! The Orchestra Hall was packed, and I met many great people from all over the U.S. Mr. Arnie Roth Conducted again with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and the Stoney Creek High School Choir. Thanks again to Jason Michael Paul Productions for making it happen! Here is the set list for another beautiful Play Concert!

    1. Play Fanfare - Nobuo Uematsu
    The excellent theme for the concert series, written by legend Nobuo Uematsu. It has his signature all over it. They are opening every show with it.

    2. Liberi Fatali - Nobuo Uematsu
    The Final Fantasy VIII Opening. Everyone loves it, and so do I. A wonderful job by the choir!

    3. Super Mario Bros. Suite - Koji Kondo
    So great to hear this live again! Classics like the underwater theme and Super Mario World never get old. One of the great things about the Play Concerts is that there is something for everyone, and people of all ages are in attendance. It really brings people together. There was also great video of Mario throughout his adventures on the monitor screens.

    4. Shenmue - Ryuji Iuchi
    Awesome, I've heard many wondered how Shenmue could be a part of this concert series, being an older Sega Dreamcast game.
    There is little doubt when you hear it, and then you realize the emotional power the game has.

    5. Battlefield 1942 - Joel Eriksson
    Never played the game, but this is incredibly written, very stirring, gripping. It fits the theme of war perfectly.

    Aeris' Theme may have been next, but Mr. Roth explained that it would not be a part of this performance. The crowd let out a big sigh upon hearing the news. That's another piece that captures the imagination. The Suites from Chrono Trigger & Chrono Cross were also not performed this time. I am ok with it, I think there is a time and a place for everything. This just wasn't the right moment I guess.

    6. Sonic The Hedgehog Suite - Masato Nakamura
    Arranged by THE LEGEND Yuzo Koshiro, pieces included are Green Hill Zone, Marble Zone, and Star Light Zone. I REALLY LOVE THIS, I truly hope for a Play CD.

    7. Shadow of the Colossus - Kow Otani
    The opening "To the Ancient Land" was performed beautifully. This is why I flew from Atlanta to Detroit. I would love to see more from this game performed, like some of the battles.

    8. Metal Gear Solid Theme - Tappy Iwase
    This has become a real classic, it's great how clips of the upcoming Metal Gear Solid 4 were shown too.

    9. Kingdom Hearts Medley - Yoko Shimomura & Hikaru Yutada
    There were a lot of Kingdom Hearts fans there, This is great, and unlike the Chicago premiere this performance featured some awesome clips from Kingdom Hearts II.

    Intermission

    10. The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind - Jeremy Soule
    The strong and memorable melodies here are reminding that even though game music has evolved over the years from the old style, the formula is still there: aggressive melodies that invoke emotion. Jeremy Soule is WAY underrated. I hope I get to meet him again someday.

    11. Stella Deus - Hitoshi Sakimoto
    The piece entitled "Alchemy-Man's Theme" was selected by Sakimoto himself for this event. THIS SONG ROCKS, I sad I hadn't played this game yet. Wonderful anime clips from the game were shown.

    12. Swing de Chocobo - Nobuo Uematsu
    From Final Fantasy X. No one can deny it's memorable and energetic, and they also can't deny the cuteness of the creatures it's written for. I have always loved the Chocobo Theme in general. For me it's a demonstration of Uematsu's versatility as a composer and it has become a staple of his trademark playful style.
    Plus, it makes everyone laugh when they see the little critters running around on large monitors.

    13. World of Warcraft Suite - Jason Hayes
    More greatness from the choir here. It's amazing how popular this game has become. It's no accident Mr. Jason Hayes' work is a BIG part of that.

    14. Silent Hill 2: Theme of Laura - Akira Yamaoka
    I need to get the name of the guitar player here, he did an incredible job on this piece. It rocks and it really moves you. After seeing Mr. Akira Yamaoka play it in person and rock out at the premiere, that is saying a lot.

    15. Halo Medley - Marty O'Donnell & Michael Salvatori
    This music will one day make me play Halo, I swear. Though I primarily play RPGs, hearing this again will change that.

    16. Legend of Zelda Medley - Koji Kondo
    Another one of the undisputed classics of video games and game music.
    Who hasn't heard it and fallen in love with it instantly? Even the Overworld Theme from the Dark World in "A Link to the Past" is included here.

    17. One Winged Angel: Final Fantasy VII - Nobuo Uematsu
    This is almost always the final piece to be played now, and I don't mind one bit. It's a wonder Sephiroth hasn't gotten his own game with how many people love this song. It's usually an encore piece, but tonight the show ended here. After a lengthy standing ovation, those lucky enough to get a pass headed up the stairs in the lobby to meet the guests and get a free Kingdom Hearts Manga! I was lucky enough to be among those.

    Thanks for reading, and if you get a chance attend a Play! Concert! You won't regret it. SEE YOU NEXT TIME!!


    PICTURE TIME!!

    Me with two Legendary Composers, Ms. Yoko Shimomura and Mr. Hitoshi Sakimoto.


    I was able to add Mr. Hitoshi Sakimoto's and Ms. Yoko Shimomura's autographs to my Play! Program Book! I am especially fond of Ms. Shimomura's signature, because she wrote the word "love" under her name. It really meant something that she did that. It shows she was really happy to be a part of the event.


    Final Fantasy XII & Breath of Fire V Soundtracks autographed by Composer Hitoshi Sakimoto.


    Final Fantasy Tactics & Final Fantasy Tactics Advance Soundtracks autographed by Composer Hitoshi Sakimoto.


    Kingdom Hearts I & II Soundtracks autographed by Composer Yoko Shimomura.

    Sunday, July 16, 2006

    MORE PHOTOS FROM PLAY! A VIDEO GAME SYMPHONY IN DETROIT!

    The Box Office of the Max M. Fisher Music Center.


    A full shot of Orchestra Hall. Hard to believe a real marvel of a theatre lurks inside such an innocent looking structure.


    A brief history of Orchestra Hall, part of the Max M. Fisher Music Center, where the concert was held.


    The architecture inside the Orchestra Hall was beautiful, and the design of the building enabled incredible sound quality like I've never heard before. I noticed an "echoing" effect that was really cool!


    Almost Showtime!


    This is Kyle(left)and Keith(right) of Start Button News! It was great to meet and chat with them here! They even interviewed me, it was great. We'll meet again...


    A Picture of me waiting for the doors to open. Thanks to Keith of Start Button News for taking the pic!


    A few of the T-Shirts that were on sale for fans

    Saturday, July 15, 2006

    ART GALLERY UPDATE

    Two new pics added to the gallery today! Feel free to check them out!
    Detroit Play Concert Review soon as well.
  • Click Here
  • Thursday, July 13, 2006

    DETAILS REGARDING THE PLAY GIVEAWAY LAST NIGHT!

    There indeed was a Kingdom Hearts Manga giveaway at the Play show last night! What they didn't reveal in the official Play e-mail was how to get it, or that it was going to be somewhat limited. The fans who got to the concert hall early, when they started allowing the fans inside, received a pass to attend a meet & greet gathering with Yoko Shimomura, Hitoshi Sakimoto, Arnie Roth and Michael Salvatori. As part of this gathering, each person with a pass recieved the Manga just before they entered the room to meet the composers. Here is a picture: Full report soon!

    The Kingdom Hearts Manga, a gift made available to early arrivals at Play! in Detroit last night, if they attended the Meet & Greet with the composers.

    Monday, July 10, 2006

    GIVEAWAY AT PLAY! IN DETROIT!

    Hello everyone! Great news for those attending the Play concert in Detroit! Attendees will receive a free Kingdom Hearts manga! No doubt in honor of Kingdom Hearts composer Yoko Shimomura's appearance, it shows the respect JMP Productions and sponsor Tokyopop have for the fans. I'm leaving for Detroit tomorrow myself, it will be a joy meeting all the other fans again. SEE YOU THERE!!

    Sunday, July 09, 2006

    SHADOW OF THE COLOSSUS ENGLISH TRANSLATED TRACKLIST!!

    After searching around, I couldn't find an English Tracklist for the Shadow of the Colossus Soundtrack. Then I got lucky! Here it is for those in need:

    1. Prologue ~ To The Ancient Land ~
    2. Prohibited Art
    3. Commandment
    4. Black Blood
    5. Reurrection
    6. Sign of the Colossus
    7. Monstrous Figures ~ Battle With the Colossus ~
    8. The Opened Way ~ Battle With the Colossus ~
    9. End of the Battle
    10. Idol Collapse
    11. Green Hills
    12. A Violent Encounter ~ Battle With the Colossus ~
    13. Resurrected Power ~ Battle With the Colossus ~
    14. Lakeside
    15. Silence ~ Battle WIth the Colossus ~
    16. In Awe of the Power ~ Battle With the Colossus ~
    17. Wander's Death
    18. The Farthest Land
    19. Creeping Shadow ~ Battle With the Colossus ~
    20. A Messenger From Behind ~ Battle With the Colossus ~
    21. Counterattack ~ Battle With the Colossus ~
    22. Sky Burial
    23. A Closed-off City
    24. Released Guardian ~ Battle With the Colossus ~
    25. A Despair-filled Farewell ~ Battle With the Colossus ~
    26. Prayer
    27. Swift Horse
    28. Gate Watcher of the Castle ~ Battle With the Colossus ~
    29. Sanctuary
    30. Demise of the Ritual ~ Battle With the Colossus ~
    31. A Pursuer
    32. Premonition of Revival
    33. Epilogue ~ Those Who Remain ~
    34. Hope
    35. The Sunlit Earth
    36. Memories
    37. Wilderness
    38. Voice of the Earth
    39. Marshlands
    40. Anger
    41. The Final Battle
    42. The Farthest Land (Reprise)

    Wednesday, July 05, 2006

    NEW ART ADDED TODAY IN THE GALLERY

    Hey everyone, I just added an Optimus Prime art piece in the art gallery section, please check it out!
  • Optimus
  • Saturday, July 01, 2006

    7-1-06

    I have an update coming for the collection page, with all the latest soundtracks I have gotten. Lately time is short. I am getting ready for my fourth Peachtree Road Race on July 4th and I have the Detroit Play Concert the following week! Also, I have to say, now that I'm finally playing Tales of Rebirth, it is all I could have hoped for. More news coming soon.

    Friday, June 23, 2006

    SHADOW OF THE COLOSSUS AT PLAY!!

    They've just announced it! Music from Shadow of the Colossus will be performed at the Play concert in Detroit on July 12th! I just bought a seat for the show, this is awesome!
    1. PLAY! to feature music from Shadow of the Colossus

    The multi award-winning Shadow of the Colossus will be a part of the
    PLAY! concert in Detroit on July 12, 2006, performed by the Detroit
    Symphony Orchestra and chorus.

  • Full Story
  • Sunday, June 11, 2006

    THE PHOENIX PROJECT

    More wonderful game music arrangements! There's some great Mega Man stuff here, check it out!
  • Phoenix Project
  • Saturday, June 03, 2006

    MORE SWEET MUSIC!

    Just check this place out, trust me, you won't be disappointed with the music there or the game music arrangements they have done. I'll add a permanent link in the links section below also. They are so generous to provide their music for free!
  • Black Cathedral
  • Thursday, June 01, 2006

    A REVIEW OF MR. NOBUO UEMATSU'S TOWER RECORDS APPEARANCE AND THE PLAY CONCERT!

    This is part one, which will cover the Autograph event Held by Mr. Nobuo Uematsu at Tower Records, the day before the Play Concert. I will be including many pictures as well. Following this is my full review of the Play Concert.

    Thursday, May 25th: Arrival

    I arrived at my hotel in Chicago, in order to become familiar with the area, I slept most of the day after doing a little walking.

    Friday, May 26th: Nobuo Uematsu signing event at Tower Records

    I hop on the train at 11:00am in search of the Tower Records where Mr. Uematsu's signing event is to be held at 7:00pm. Luckily, finding it is a piece of cake thanks to the directions I got online. I reach the place at about 12:30pm, and now I have 6 1/2 hours to kill! I look around and see some posters on the window promoting the event. I am the first in line! I met a few people a little later but I mainly just browsed the store many times.
    A famous anime/game music cover band, The Spoony Bards appeared later on and took requests for various Final Fantasy and video game songs. They were very good!
    The crowd grows throughout the day and I am allowed by the others there to keep my place as first in line.
    I watch off and on as they set up the stage for Angela Aki's performance inside!

    Uematsu arrives in a limo with Arnie Roth and Koji Kondo!! I had no idea he would be here! I think he was mostly observing. He was not visible most of the time. They enter the building right in front of us as the Spoony Bards play the Final Fantasy Victory Fanfare and the Chocobo Theme. Everyone was smiling. I have video of this as well.
    7:00pm: Time for the main event! Producer Jason Michael Paul recognizes me from the other concerts I attended last year! We enter the Tower Records and I get a front row seat right in front of the stage!
    The producer gives us a preview of what the concert will be like, and he introduces us to Uematsu, Arnie Roth, who is conducting Play, and Angela Aki, who wrote and performs the vocal theme to Final Fantasy XII.
    Angela Aki performs the Final Fantasy XII Vocal Theme "Kiss Me Goodbye" and another original song sung in Japanese. She played keyboard for both songs, and she sang beautifully. She was wearing an AC/DC shirt and jeans, which I thought was cool.

    The Tower Records was now fully strocked with the "More Friends" FF Concert CD and the Final Fantasy XII vocal theme single by Aki. Having previously picked both these up, I had no need to buy them now.
    After the performance by Angela Aki, we all lined up to get items signed by the three of them.

    While in line I was interviewed by gamespot. Evidently the producer may have hinted to them that I was a big fan, or maybe they chose me because I was first in line? I don't know, but it was quite fun and I was flattered. The line was long, but meeting Angel AKi, Nobuo Uematsu and Arnie Roth was something I won't forget, and the Play concert hadn't even occured yet!

    I brought a ton of stuff, and thankfully they were so nice and autographed all of it. Angela Aki is wonderful and she looked like such a happy person. Remember the great band the Spoony Bards I spoke of earlier? They were even allowed to perform "Eyes On Me" from Final Fantasy VIII for Mr. Uematsu, Ms. Aki, and Mr. Roth inside the Tower Records! Mr. Uematsu was smiling the whole time!

    My Hotel:


    Tower Records on Clark Street and a window display promoting the event with a picture of Angela Aki:



    The Stage where Angela Aki Performed:


    Mr. Nobuo Uematsu signing autographs:


    After the event gametrailers.com interviewed me about it and they even filmed me! Then the unthinkable happened. I noticed Mr. Koji Kondo, the Mario & Zelda Composer himself walking around, and I kindly asked the producer for a photo with him. Mr. Kondo was very shy!

    Me and Koji Kondo at the Uematsu signing. I was so lucky to get this picture:

    AUTOGRAPH GALLERY: TOWER RECORDS

    Signed by Angela Aki:

    Final Fantasy XII Vocal Theme Single: Kiss Me Goodbye (I love this song!)


    Signed by Nobuo Uematsu:

    Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children Soundtrack


    Black Mages I & II


    Final Fantasy VI Original Soundtrack


    Final Fantasy VI Grand Finale


    Final Fantasy VI Piano Collections


    Final Fantasy IV CD & Final Fantasy VI Special Tracks


    More Friends Final Fantasy Concert CD signed by Nobuo Uematsu & Conductor Arnie Roth

    FULL REVIEW OF THE PLAY CONCERT!

    Here you go! To all of you who read this: Thanks so much for your time! It means a lot. I tried my best to put my memories of the event on paper.

    Saturday, May 27th, Concert Day:

    I line up outside the Rosemont Theatre at 5:00pm, with three hours until the show starts, and two hours until the doors open. A few fans join me in waiting a little later, and as we're all sitting there Nobuo Uematsu and Yasunori Mitsuda walk out of the theater onlu several feet from us and continue walking across the street. I guess I was so shocked to see them I didn't bug them. I wanted to show them respect, after all, the meet and greet would be later.

    7:00pm, doors open:
    I get my first look at the merchandise on sale which includes a program book, Chrono Cross sheet music, Moonlit Shadow, Magic Pencil, and Sailing to the World CDs by Yasunori Misuda, More Friends Final Fantasy Shirts and CDs, and Play T-Shirts in Black and White. I spent $120.00 here!
    It was all worth it.

    8:00 pm: Showtime!
    The concert began just about right on time at 8:00pm, and it was a packed theatre. Almost completely sold out. The crowd cheered wildly as all of the composers entered and took their seats. Once again Arnie Roth conducted, and he also did a fine job as MC for the event. The Chicagoland Pops Orchestra & the CPO Festival choir performed the music, with special guest percussionist Rony Barrak. Here's the set list:

    1. Fanfare for Play! A Video Game Symphony (Nobuo Uematsu)

    The theme for the event, composed by Nobuo Uematsu. I really like this, it has Uematsu's signature all over it.
    You can hear it now by going to play-symphony.com.

    2. Liberi Fatali (Final Fantasy VIII, Nobuo Uematsu)

    The cinematic opening to Final Fantasy VIII, always great to hear live. There was nothing new to the arrangement, but I won't argue, it was fantastic!

    3. New Super Mario Bros. Theme (Koji Kondo)

    Koji Kondo himself took to the stage and gave us an absolutely wonderful rendition of the New Super Mario Bros. Theme on Piano. He looked so happy playing and he was really into it, swaying back and forth as he played.

    4. Super Mario Bros. Suite (Koji Kondo)

    An awesome orchestration of some of the best tunes from Mario's history. The original NES Mario music, as well as the underground and underwater themes were included, as well as others. The opening screen music from super Mario World, and the final lava level from Super Mario Bros. 3 was even played! The monitors showed footage from the NES Super Mario Bros. which garnered much applause, as well as Mario Sunshine and Mario 64.

    5. Suite from Shenmue I & II (Takenobu Mitsuyoshi)

    While I have never played these, I was familiar with some of the music, and this was an outstanding performance. The monitors showed some of the cinemas from the game.

    6. Battlefield 1942 and Battlefiled 2 (Joel Eriksson, David Tallroth, Fredrik Englund, Jonas Ostholm, Bence Pajor)

    My first time hearing music from both these games. Awesome cinemas from them were shown, and I really loved what I heard. What really stunned me was the awesome drum solo by percussionist Rony Barrak. He was incredible, and his face had crazy expressions on it as he performed.

    7. Theme of Aeris (Final Fantasy VII, Nobuo Uematsu)

    Can't go wrong here, always wonderfully performed live. Everyone loves Aeris at game music concerts I think!

    8. Sonic the Hedgehog Suite (Masato Nakamura, arranged for this concert by Yuzo Koshiro)

    This was awesome, and I knew it would be. Sonic arranged by Yuzo Koshiro? His presence here was basically why I came to the concert, hoping to finally meet the man whose music so inspires me. Some included songs were Green Hill Zone, Marble Zone, and Star Light Zone. This had Koshiro's touch definitely, it was unique and jumpy, and the melodies were perfect. Star Light Zone was so soothing. Awesome sonic intros from some of the new games were shown.

    9. Metal Gear Solid Theme (Tappy Iwase, Kazuki Muraoka)

    A truly classic piece of game music. This theme is so memorable, I hadn't heard it in a while, but once I did here, the notes jumped back into my mind. Some FMV from the game was shown on the monitor screens.

    10. Kingdom Hearts I & II (Yoko Shimomura, Hikaru Utada)

    While Shimomura was not here, she will be attending the Play concert in Detroit. This was wonderful to hear!
    Trickles of the frist game were included, but the piece really focused on the theme of Kingdom Hearts II, called Passion. I loved this, and I would love to hear it again soon.

    Brief intermission

    11. Kiss Me Goodbye (Final Fantasy XII, Angela Aki, Nobuo Uematsu)

    Miss Angela Aki performed the Final Fantasy XII theme on piano and it has really grown on me. She has a really strong voice, and I can see her becoming a huge star soon. I saw her perform this at Tower Records the day before and had wanted to hear it again. Such a great song.

    12. Eyes on Me (Final Fantasy VIII, Nobuo Uematsu, Faye Wong, Angela Aki as arranger here)

    As she put it herself, this was the "Angela Aki Version" of the classic from Final Fantasy VIII previously performed by Faye Wong. This was incredible, she did an amazing job of transforming the song from a sentimental love piece to something smooth and with a faster pace. Again she played piano and the crowd loved it.

    13. Suite from The Elder Scrolls III & IV: Morrowind and Oblivion (Jeremy Soule)

    Awesome music from Jeremy Soule, man this was awesome, I was upset I hadn't played any of these games. This was my first time hearing music from these games.

    14. Swing de Chocobo (Final Fantasy X, Nobuo Uematsu, Arnie Roth Arranger)

    Everyone loved this. This is the swing version of the Chocobo Theme, and Arnie Roth arranged. This was like at the More Friends Concert, and the piece was jazzed up quite a bit.

    15. Chrono Trigger and Chrono Cross! (Yasunori Mitsuda)

    Oh this was incredible! Songs included "To Far Away Times" and "Scars of Time". Frog's Theme was there too! Finally I was able to hear the openings from both Chrono games live. Rony Barrak joined again and played his drum wickedly for Chrono Cross.

    16. World of Warcraft (Jason Hayes)

    Awesome, Jason Hayes has made an excellent soundtrack to World of Warcraft and I was very familiar with it. A lot of the opening cinemas were shown and you could tell the cult following of the game by the roars of the crowd.

    17. Silent Hill 2 (Akira Yamaoka)

    Akira Yamaoka ROCKS!! He ran onto the stage and really took the place by storm. He really took in the moment, and was really behaving like a rock star. With his guitar, he can do no wrong.
    The melody in this theme was unforgettable.

    18. Halo Suite (Martin O'Donnell, Michel Salvatori)

    One of the things I learned from this show was how wonderful the music is in some games I have yet to play. Halo is one of those games. Despite this being my first time hearing any music from Halo, I must say I was not ready for it. What a treat it was for me to hear an orchestra perform it too! Cinemas from the game were shown, and they fit really good with the music.
    Mr. Arnie Roth remarked that he even played violin on some of the early recordings for the Halo soundtrack.

    19. The Legend of Zelda (Koji Kondo)

    Fans were begging for this long before the orchestra played it, and now it was finally time. The piece started out just like Ocarina of Time, and the Monitors even showed Link riding on his horse.
    The original Themes from Zelda I & II were played, and of course the classic field theme as well. The dungeon theme from Zelda I was in there, and even the overworld theme from the dark world in A Link to the Past. I have wanted for so long to hear an orchestra perform this music, and I felt as if this moment was a gift.

    20. Blue Dragon (Nobuo Uematsu)

    A world premier of music From Hironobu Sakaguchi's upcoming game "Blue Dragon" with music by Nobuo Uematsu. I loved this, especially the cinemas, which were the same ones shown at E3 this year. It looks like an awesome game.

    21. Finale, One Winged Angel (Final Fantasy VII, Nobuo Uematsu)

    I guess they couldn't help it, once again they closed a concert with this piece. I love it, I won't argue with them either. The choirs are always great to watch when they perform it. It's like they are about to actually summon Sephiroth or something! Though this was the final piece of the evening to a THREE HOUR CONCERT,
    as an encore they performed it again mere moments later. What a way to end an unforgettable night.

    11:15 pm
    Meet & Greet with the Composers!!!

    My heart was actually beating fast, I was quite nervous.
    However, after standing in line two hours, I finally got to meet all of the composers who were there. Finally I got to meet Yuzo Koshiro and tell him how much I love his music.
    After I layed several very old CDs in front of him, he laughed, and asked me how I got all of them. I just told him the truth and said "internet auctions". He said he was only 22 when he did the music for Actraiser. It was now about 1:08 am, and every one of those composers was still there sigining for all of us. I was so happy Mr. Koshiro agreed to pose for a photograph with me. I was so starstruck I forgot to ask for a picture with any of the other composers! There was a ton of stuff I got signed. Even though later I heard there was a "one item per composer" rule, no one said any thing to me.

    Jeremy Soule was even giving out free downloads of the complete Elder Scrolls IV Soundtrack, and I took more than a few at his request. They were even giving us free posters of the event too!

    This was a night I will never forget. I made it back to my hotel close to 2:00 am and had enough time to order a room service meal. I was smiling the whole time. Thank you to Jason Michael Paul Productions and all the composers for all of your patience, and for making it happen. My apologies if I got a song or two out of order, it was a long night. I am relying on my memory and the program book for the proper order of songs played!

    Me and my all-time favorite game music composer, Yuzo Koshiro!

    Two children dressed like Mario & Luigi at the concert

    PLAY PHOTOS!

    Here is a photo gallery of the Rosemont Theatre and some other items at Play!

    A sign outside the Rosemont pormoting the event

    The Rosemont Theatre where the Concert was held

    An inside view of the Rosemont Theatre

    The Audience inside the theatre was huge!


    The orchestra prepares to perform


    Some items on sale at Play!

    Moonlit Shadow and Sailing to the World: Featuring music by Yasunori Mitsuda


    T-Shirts



    A poster promoting the event