Friday, November 21, 2014

All Alone With You

I've been watching this Japanese anime called Psycho-Pass lately. I ended up not only liking the anime. But also loving the ending theme songs of the series. Both ending theme songs are from an artist called Egoist. I remember this artist from their theme song in another anime called Guilty Crown.

As always when my head is in a dark place, music always somehow carries me through. So I will share one of the two ending theme songs that really hit me. I found and downloaded most of the band's music just a while ago. I keep listening to this particular song over and over for some reason. Call me a hopeless romantic, or someone who needs to take his skirt off and end this sap fest. But this is me.

I can enjoy music unconventionally. I can enjoy how a song sounds and appreciate the lyrical meaning behind the song even if I don't understand the language it's in. Here's the lyric video with English subtitles from the anime, as well as the Egoist music video of the entire song. I've put both the English translation and original Japanese lyrics below the video. So you can read along while listening to the song. The English translation is a tad crude. But I got the gist of what the song is trying to say.







All Alone With You (English Translation)
Vocals: EGOIST
Lyrics: Ryo
Composition: Ryo
Arrangement: Ryo

There’s no way
that I can love someone
But I want someone to love me
Even if yesterday stayed unchanged forever
We couldn’t go anywhere
You and me

Dear God, where did you go? Hey
But there’s no answer; it’s always like this
Are you still here?

You’ll never walk alone
I’ll go with you
Bearing
any sin you’ve got
I’ll walk
down the uncharted path
All alone with you

Come over here
Touch me and kiss me
You may
mess me up even more, okay?
If everyone is going to die
and be forgotten someday
Then I’ll only believe in what’s certain now

Dear God, those who are pretentious say
that people are strong
But that’s a lie
Do you agree?

I will stay with you
Hug me
with your hands
and with all your heart
Don’t be scared
I’m all better now

Even if your hands
ended up getting dirtied
I’d still want you
to love me

You’ll never walk alone
I’ll go with you
Bearing
any sin you’ve got
I’ll walk
down the uncharted path
with you

I will stay with you
Hug me
with your hands
and with all your heart
Because I desire
any and everything that you have
All alone with you


All Alone With You (Japanese)
Vocals: EGOIST

Dareka o aisuru koto nante
Dekiru wake naku tte
Dakedo dareka ni aisaretakute
Kawaranai kinou ga zutto tsuzuita to shite mo
Doko ni mo ike ya shinain da
Watashi to kimi

Kami-sama   doko e itte shimatta no   nee
Henji wa nakute   itsu datte sou da yo
Are you still here?

You’ll never walk alone
Anata to yuku
Donna tsumi mo
Seotte ageru
Michi naki michi o
Aruiteku no
Anata to futari de

Kocchi ni kite
Watashi ni furete   kisu o shite
Motto mechakucha ni
Shitatte iin da yo?
Itsuka dare mo ga shinjatte
Wasurerareteku nara
Ima tashika na mono dake o shinjiru wa

Kami-sama   kidori no hito ga iu no
Nee   hito wa tsuyoi tte
Sonna no uso da yo
Do you agree?

I will stay with you
Anata no te de
Dakishimete yo
Omoikkiri
Kowagaranaide
Mou daijoubu   watashi nara

Sono te ga yogorete
Shimatta to shite mo
Aishite hoshii
Watashi no koto

You’ll never walk alone
Anata to yuku
Donna tsumi mo
Seotte ageru
Michi naki michi o
Aruiteku no
Anata to

I will stay with you
Anata no te de
Dakishimete yo
Omoikkiri
Nozomenai mono wa
Nani mo nai kara
Anata to futari de



END OF LINE...

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Jack Versus the Crab Album Launch



Long overdue blog post about one of my bands' album. I was originally going to blog about SunDownMuse's album launch. But remembered that I haven't casted into the proverbial stone any details about Jack Versus the Crab's album launch last year. So I better do it now, before it complete escapes my memory into the blur of all the gigs since last year.

Our album launch was held in a place called Purgatory. The place actually was called Peligro eons ago. And was resurrected as Purgatory. The place is much bigger than when it opened as Peligro back in the day. When we scoped the place out a few weeks back, I was actually wondering how we can manage to fill up the place come our album launch.


Our call time as decreed by our fearless band leader, Waxie, was 4:00PM on the day of the launch. I thought that was way too early. But Waxie had all these elaborate plans for the launch. So who am I to question his schedule choices.

When I got there, there were a few band members already there. We checked out all the gear onstage. And ran a few rather painful sound checks. There was bad feedback coming from the mics for some reason. Perhaps it was the placement of the speakers or perhaps the monitors themselves. We eventually got it sorted out. But it meant that some mics had to be lowered in volume. And thus the entire band had to tone down a little. I realized then that a 4:00PM call time to sound check was definitely a good idea.

I don't own any of the pictures that I will embed on this post henceforth.

Waxie had us his sister and Dad take photos of us around the venue. Impromptu photoshoot it seems. They got us to go to this or that corner of the venue making weird poses and stuff. I was just glad that I didn't have to wear make-up (I horridly had to wear make-up for a photoshoot when Jack Daniel's was still sponsoring the band. Que horror.)


After all that, we went out to eat dinner and reconvened in the small part of Purgatory that seemed to be the VIP area. As expected with this band, we can't help but start drinking when we hang out together. So as early as 7:00PM. The beers started coming. Take note, the launch itself starts at 9:00PM. Typical Filipino behavior usually means people won't start coming in until around 10:00PM onwards. So we were drinking straight until people started arriving.

Waxie apparently arranged for press to interview us. So they all gathered around us in the VIP area, asking us questions about the band's backstory, from the meaning behind the band name to musical influences and experience of each of the members. A few of press people were pleasantly surprised to find out that our drummer is Fritz Barth (Dr. Stix). One of them even came out and asked Fritz directly, "You mean Dr. Stix of Spy and Pinikpikan?" When Fritz said yes to the question, all of the press people immediately wrote it down in their notes. That was amusing.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

New Handpan Composition: In Her Travel Shoes

My latest handpan composition that I played in between sets with my band, Jack Versus The Crab. I was meaning to make a video of me playing the piece at home. But this came out decent. I do need to play it a little tighter next time.

The piece was inspired by a girl that I know. She was brave to take a solo trip to Vietnam for vacation. She would tell me about the places she's headed to and all the tasty dishes she's tried.  She would run into glitches in her plans. But would somehow find solutions for them.

So I thought about how it would feel to breathe in the air over there. How it would feel like to see all the places she went to. And to taste all that sumptuous food. Hence the title of this handpan composition.

I initially zoom cropped this video while I was editing it. But I decided not to in the end. The little girl dancing around while I was playing was too cute to cut out.





I also pasted the first part of this post on the YouTube video's description. But I'll continue my thoughts here in the blog. Hopefully you weren't too distracted with the baby walking around everywhere, that you actually noticed my playing. Haha

I feel pretty good about the piece. There's this kick ass Australian handpan player named Adrian Portia that I've come to befriend on Facebook. I always admired the speed and precision of his playing. And of course as all other handpan players that know him, we all want to learn his techniques. It so happens one of those techniques I already knew; right handed triplets. All I had to do was to play 3 different notes instead of just 2 notes, with one note repeated twice. Varying the 3 notes like you would with chords and tadaaaa, then came out the starting and ending parts of the piece.

I'm not a learned musician as I always say in this blog. But it feels good to know that I can still slightly improve even with what little I know.

All of my handpan compositions so far were about what I was going through or what I was feeling. So this marks the first time that I wrote a piece about someone else. I'd like to thank the girl I mentioned someday. It got me out of my creative rut. And even though there are still things weighing heavily on me, she sure made it a little lighter to carry. If I don't get to thank her, I'll just smile to myself and be glad that for a while, she helped me peck a hole in this thick shell of mine.


END OF LINE...

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Handpan Diary #9 - Trials and Tribulations (Chromatic Spacedrum, August 10, 2014)

I was in a creative drought for quite a while. I had gigs every weekend for the last two months. Work has been bogging me down. But I still hang in there. So I have very little free time these days. All that prevented me from completing a composition I was working on with one my Bali Steel handpans. I was slipping into a rut. So I decided to write something for my Chromatic Spacedrum instead. Fortunately, I got a point where I think it's finished.

This particular piece of mine represents all the curve balls that I get thrown at at work. Between dealing with inflexibility, egos, and too many would be kings in one castle, it always feels like water filling up to the brim each day. This drowning feeling that is difficult to shake off. As always, I turn to my handpans to calm down and sort things out in my head. And my handpans have saved me once again.




END OF LINE...

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Gig Galore in June: Prelude

I obviously haven't been blogging for quite some time now.  Given some recent mishaps and disappointments at work, I'm starting to think about blogging again as an outlet.  So for now, I'll give a prelude to some of the things I'll be blogging about.

I've been feeling largely depressed and uninspired the past month or so.  It could partly be about the failure in the pursuit of genuine romance.  It could also be partly about my work preventing me from joining my bands at gigs on weeknights.  There aren't any real problems in my life aside from some paranoia about trivial things or my general lack of life direction.  Regardless of the actual reasons, the net result is a limbo-esque restlessness that I can't quite put my finger on.

Perhaps it's God grace or the universe giving me a break.  This month marks the first time in a long while that I got booked to gig every weekend.  I get to gig with all my bands some time this month, participate in a band video shoot/live recording, and do a few solo handpan gigs to boot.  Below is my gig schedule for the month of June.  Some gig dates have passed already.  I was planning on posting this prior to June.  But never seem to get around to it.

June 7, 2014 - Percussion for SunDownMuse, Last Home, Ortigas Home Depot
June 8, 2014 - Jack Versus the Crab Live Recording/Video Shoot, Blue Light Studios
June 8, 2014 - Percussion for Turtle Club (Guys from White Beach, Puerto Galera), Irie Sunday, B-Side Makati
June 14, 2014 - Solo Handpan Set, Handuraw Sikatuna
June 21, 2014 - Percussion for SunDownMuse, Fête de la Musique, Mod Stage, Society Lounge, Atrium Makati
June 21, 2014 - Percussion for Jack Versus the Crab, Fête de la Musique, Main Stage, Intramuros
June 28, 2014 - Solo Handpan Set, Tago Jazz Cafe

There's a possibility that the set time for my two bands at Fête de la Musique might be overlapping.  So I may very well be only playing with one band.  But all in all, this is such a musical month.  Amongst all the unshakeable woes at work, at least I can find solace in music and bathe in its sweet embrace.

I'll be blogging about each of these musical activities as the month progresses.  Even just to get it all on record in my blog.  So I can remember it for the rest of my life.


END OF LINE...

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Handpan Diary #8: A New Beginning (Chromatic Spacedrum)

This is the first ever composition using the newest addition to my handpan family, 13 Note Chromatic Spacedrum.  This new year, there are a lot of changes and new things that entered my life.  I started my new job at a advertising/marketing production company.  Gigging will be a lot less frequent given my newness to the job and the work shift I have to put in.  My funds have been drained from months of unemployment.  So I have yet to see the light of day with my finances (I don't get a paycheck until the end of the month).  All this frightens me to a certain extent primarily because I'm a creature of habit.  All my past routines and supposed constants from last year have been broken apart.  Now I'm trying to rebuild a new way of life.  We shall see how this year pans out.

Pardon the length of the this particular composition.  I wanted to write something that sounded a little like a music box.  As well as something that I can play over and over again that lightens any weight I would feel in my heart.

Given that I have more than one kind of handpan now.  I have renamed my handpan video series to Handpan Diary instead of Bali Steel Pan Diary.  My next composition will hopefully integrate both my Spacedrum and one of my Bali Steel handpans.





END OF LINE...

Sunday, January 12, 2014

My Book of Tyrael and 13 Note Chromatic Spacedrum have Arrived!



Last Friday, I met up with my friend Kenny for lunch.  So he can hand over to me my copy of the Book of Tyrael.  The book is technically the sequel to the Book of Cain that Kenny previously bought for me.  Both books were hardbound and nicely printed.  My interest in these books is how they depict Diablo lore (Diablo 1/2/3 are Action RPG games developed by Blizzard Games for those of you who don't know.).

When I got home after lunch, I saw a customs notice in my mailbox.  It was a notice that indicated that my 13 Note Chromatic Spacedrum handpan has arrived and was ready for pick-up.  I was supposed to leave for work soon after lunch.  But I decided to speed off to the post office first to pick up my Spacedrum.  I usually came in early for work with over an hour to spare.  Normally, I would burn that time enjoying a cup of coffee at the nearby Starbucks or CBTL.  But I decided to forego the coffee ritual that day.

Upon arriving at the post office, I was surprised that they cleaned the place up a bit.  The inside walls were all repainted.  There is generally less junk in the area.  The process of claiming my new handpan was the same as the last two times.  But I was afraid how much the customs tax would be.  The maker of this latest handpan specifically indicated the amount I paid for the handpan.  So I expected customs would levy a hefty tax on it.  The resulting tax amount was indeed hefty.  But not as hefty as I expected.  So I gladly paid for tax amount and post office fee.  I got into a cab and lugged my Spacedrum back home.


As soon as I put the box containing my Spacedrum down in my apartment, I instinctively headed out the door to head for work.  But I stopped midway through my door, looked back at the large box.  In a split second, I decided to spare a few minutes to open the box and at least take a gander at my new toy.

I opened the box and saw that my Spacedrum came with a blue carrying bag.  The site where I purchased the handpan from indicated a grey/brown colored bag.  So I was pleasantly surprised that the bag was actually a nicer looking blue color.  I unzipped the bag and pulled the handpan out.  The handpan was smaller than what I had imagined.  It seems much larger when I watch videos of people playing with the same particular handpan.  There was a rubber ring covering the edges.  I assume the ring is to dampen the notes when played.  The finish was what I expected; a smooth brownish copper tinge all over.  I did see some minor scratches which I assume was from the last minute tuning they did before they sent the handpan to me.  Overall, it was a very pretty handpan.  I sat my Spacedrum on my bed and headed to work.  I knew if I started playing it, that I would get sucked in and actually be late for work.  So I left for the office, went through my work day, and quickly headed back home to my Spacedrum.

I tried all the notes one by one and notice that Spacedrums definitely resonate differently from Bali Steel handpans.  My Spacedrum has damper sounding notes.  But I still thought the notes would ring nicely nonetheless.  I played around with it for a while and quickly realized that this was indeed a full chromatic scale that I expected; 13 notes from C4 to C5.  My two Bali Steel handpans were each a specific key and scale.  So hitting any string of notes will always relate to each other.  With a full chromatic scale, you can no longer just randomly hit notes.  I knew that I would need to learn actual scales in order to play my Spacedrum well.  I did manage to create the beginnings of a possible composition without learning any scales yet.  But I need to play around with it more before I can complete the composition.  I will try to record a video of me playing that composition when it's finished.

I have a few things to post about from my experiences last year (i.e. My band Jack Versus the Crab's album launch, my recent Cluster Headaches, etc.).  But I felt I needed to blog about my the latest addition to my handpan family first.  My family is now three strong.  One more handpan, and I could give them a name each from the Ninja Turtles. LOL.  I don't have the funds to buy another handpan so soon.  I need to ease into my new job and start earning paychecks before anything else.  But I would like to have another handpan someday.  Here's hoping my 4th handpan would be a Pantheon Steel Halo.  I'm waiting on their lottery for this year, to get a chance to buy one.

Of course, I have to post a family photo.  Below the picture is a list of all my handpans in descending order of when I got them.  I have indicated which one is which on the photo as well.


Bali Steel Pan (Minor Pentatonic) [Lower Left]
Bali Steel Pan (D-Minor) [Upper Left]
Spacedrum (13 Note Chromatic) [Right]

My handpan journey continues with a new addition to my handpan arsenal.  The start of this year is definitely a time of many firsts and new things in life (i.e. new job, less gigging with bands due to work shift, trying to reach financial stability, etc.).  There will be a period of adjustment to say the least.  I admit it does frighten me a little.  The compositions I create will  reflect all these changes adjustments in my life.  Hopefully, that musical curiosity will dampen the slight fear and make this year exciting.


END OF LINE...