Category Archives: Music

Barcarolle by Offenbach

The Offspring and I were talking last night, about some of the loveliest arias in opera, and neither of us could remember the name of this one, so I looked it up [thank god for Youtube].

This glorious version is sung by two, young sopranos with amazing voices…and tiny waistlines! The days of girth are gone. πŸ™‚

As you listen to this video, please bear in mind that this is a rehearsal….

The mezzo with the warm, deep voice is Elina Garanca. The soprano with the soaring upper register is Anna Netrebko.

So happy to have found two new [to me] opera singers.

cheers

Meeks


Alien 3 ending and music

I have always loved classical orchestral music – think Chopin, Beethoven, Tchaikovsky etc – so the soundtrack of Alien 3 was a real departure for me, and in many ways it paved the way for the music I love now.

My favourite piece in the whole soundtrack by Elliot Goldenthal is the Adagio. It’s the score for the final scene and it’s very powerful :

Part of the reason this piece had such a profound effect on me was definitely visual – the themes of The Cross and The Mother can’t help but resonate, even with an ex-Catholic.Β  But I believe those themes would not have been half as powerful without the music that gives them their emotional context.

And now for the reason I was reminded of this music in the first place. I’ve had the following track on repeat for over an hour. It’s by Max Legend, and it’s called Adagio for Strings:

The two tracks are nothing alike and yet…they are both beautiful and uplifting in a way I can’t describe.

Happy Sunday,

Meeks


Say hello to Max Legend!

In case there was any doubt, I’m in love with a new composer, and his name is Max Legend! Raw, driving, powerful yet lyric, ML’s music is not gentle. It doesn’t yearn, it stirs…no, it doesn’t just stir, it kicks arse. And that is the exact feel I’ve been looking for all summer.

Many writers use music to set the mood for their storytelling, but for me, music is not an optional extra, it’s a necessity. And not just any music. It has to be the right kind of music for the story I want to tell. Without it, I write words, but they’re not connected to my heart. Does that make any sense?

Yes? No? Maybe? This is why I dislike writing about the writing process. Every writer is different so something that makes sense to one person may make no sense at all to another. For me, music acts like a portal that carries me straight past the logic centres of my brain to the weird, messy, parts.

But the right music doesn’t just take me to my ‘creative side’. It also helps to translate all those messy, nebulous thoughts and feelings into a linear progression of words that end up telling a story.

No two people will ever experience a story the same way, and no two people will ever respond to a piece of music the same way. But sometimes, if I get it right, they may share a feeling, for a little while. To me, that’s what real communication is all about.

So…I’ve finally found my way into the next story. I won’t publish excerpts on the blog because I’ve learned not to make anything public until its well and truly done. But I will post the odd bit of music, and for the forseeable future it will all be from the brilliant mind of Max Legend. πŸ™‚

cheers

Meeks

p.s. ML is another composer who writes for trailers, games and movies.

 


New #music – Valkyrie by Jo Blankenburg

Valkyrie is big, epic music but with Blankenburg’s iconic melodies woven through each track. This Youtube link is to a 20 minute collection and well worth the listen:

Jo Blankenburg and Thomas Bergersen [Two Steps From Hell] both have the ability to write achingly beautiful melodies. I love these guys. Great music to edit by. πŸ™‚

cheers

Meeks


A.C. Flory Author Page

meeka thumbs upForgive me, me, me, me, me!

For a very long time now, I’ve been ashamed of my Amazon Author Page because it looked so sparse. Now, at last, I can point to it with pride. It’s a real body of work, and I’m so chuffed it’s not funny.

[Chuffed means proud and happy].

acflory-author-page

At some point in the very near future, Episode 5 will go up to complete the series and then, maybe for my birthday in January 2017 [if I can manage it] I’m going to put all five episodes together in one doorstop of an omnibus Γ  la Hugh Howey and Robert Chazz Chute. They’re both brilliant science fiction authors, they’re both Indie and they both wear their mantles of creative freedom with pride. -cough-

I have no idea how many pages my Omnibus will be, but I doubt I’ll ever be able to make it available as a print book. Doorstops simply cost too much to print, unless you happen to be George R.R. Martin. I think he gets a special discount in order to supply deep sea tankers with anchors. πŸ™‚

Kidding. I adore A Song of Fire and Ice, and I’m not talking about the HBO production either, although that is quite good too.

And now a track from Miracles, with actual lyrics. Enjoy.:)

 


High C’s – from Vanquish #TSFH

This is my next favourite trach from the new Two Steps From Hell album – Vanquish. It’s called High C’s, and it hits them, effortlessly. πŸ˜€

Music to make me smile. πŸ™‚

-hugs-

Meeks


New #Music from Two Steps From Hell -dance-

What a great way to start the day. This is ‘Enchantress’ :

As I discover more new ‘favourite’ tracks I’ll post them.

Good morning, World πŸ™‚

Meeks


Innerscape promotion – change of plan for Episode 2

Innerscape, Episode 2 goes live tomorrow – November 21, 2016 – and there will still be a competition, but it won’t be based around music. Instead, I’ll be offering one lucky person a $20 Amazon gift voucher as the prize for the next competition.

For those who missed my outraged tweets, I made a most unpleasant discovery when I logged on to Amazon.com to send David and Honie their prizes [for the Episode 1 competition]. Apparently, Australians cannot buy, or even gift, MP3 music albums from Amazon.com. I have absolutely no idea why my country faces such a restriction, but there it is. As a result, I had to do a last minute switcheroo and send the winners gift cards instead of the promised music.

In some ways, this snafu with Amazon may turn out to be a good thing; just because I love a certain kind of music doesn’t mean that everyone else is going to love the same music. A gift voucher, however, is a more flexible prize as the winner can choose their own reward.

I like the word ‘flexible’ so I’m going to try to be flexible in other ways as well. Starting with Episode 2, I’ll be posting the ‘Look Inside’ right in the blog to make it easier to read… and to tempt people to enter the competition. See how flexible I am?

One thing that hasn’t changed is the free download period. Episode 2 will be free for five days as well. At the end of that time it will revert to 0.99 cents until the last episode is published.

And now for some more music. This time, Heart of Courage from the Invincible album by Two Steps From Hell:

Have a great Sunday,

Meeks


Trailer Music – the sneaky classics [2]

I began these posts by looking at my own journey towards Trailer Music, but I was a devotee already. The true surprise is that a whole generation of young gamers and Youtubers have learned to love classical musical without even knowing it. Hence the title of this post.

Of course, the young don’t call Trailer Music ‘classical’. No, to them this music is ‘epic’, ’emotional’, and ‘stirring’ but not at all highbrow. And let’s be honest, if I didn’t tell you that the following video clip is Trailer Music, would you know it’s not one of the ‘classics’?

Or what about this one?

Just for the record, Two Steps From Hell is a production company created by composers Thomas Bergersen and Nick Phoenix. People loved their music so much, they were eventually forced to publish their own albums. This is what I call music for the common man [and woman]. πŸ˜€

And now I’m due for a break. I’ve been editing Innerscape, Episode 2 all day and it’s time to go out and pull some weeds.

cheers

Meeks


Trailer Music – the sneaky classics [1]

I’ve loved classical music all my life, and still do, but nowadays the music I listen to is all so-called Trailer Music. According to the entry in Wikipedia, Trailer Music is defined as:

‘…music [is] to complement, support and integrate the sales messaging of the mini-movie that is a film trailer.’

A little further down that Wiki article, you’ll find a list of Trailer Music production companies. Included in that list are three of my favourites:

  • Jo Blankenburg,
  • Two Steps From Hell, and
  • Audiomachine.

Those three also feature in my Innerscape music giveaway competition. You can find the list of composers and music in the FAQ here. But my love affair with Trailer Music did not begin with movies, it began with games.

Video games have always come with soundtracks and sound effects, but in some games, the music is more than good enough to stand on its own. Nobuo Uematsu is famous amongst gamers as the composer behind the Final Fantasy video game series, and that is where I became a fan too – playing Final Fantasy 7, 8, 9 and 10.

Nevertheless, I did not become a devotee until I played Vagrant Story [another Square video game] and discovered the music of Hitoshi Sakimoto. The video clip is called Truth and it sets the mood for a particular part of the game story:

 

I have owned the soundtrack of Vagrant Story for over 16 years, and I still play it. In fact, it was and is one of my favourite pieces of music, ever.

Another firm favourite is the soundtrack from Final Fantasy XI [the MMO]. Bastok was my ‘home’ on the game, and I still adore the theme that went with it:

Believe it or not, I still get a happy feeling listening to this theme, and a part of me wishes I could go back. Anyway, this track and another favourite – the theme for Gustaberg – were both composed by Kumi Tanioka a lady composer. πŸ™‚

Do you notice a curious pattern emerging here?

Those themes do not necessarily come with ‘mini-movies’, but they do evoke a digital place and time. When I listen to them, I can see the city of Bastok, I can see the road leading to Gustaberg. Pretty amazing given that I haven’t played FFXI in well over ten years. Even more amazing is that I’m not alone. The theme for Bastok has had over 47,000 views on Youtube.

And on that note I’ll have to stop and go to work. I’ll continue this discussion of sneaky classics in the next post.

cheers

Meeks

 


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