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Music Monday: Retro hour August 27, 2018

Posted by thejinx in music.
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Lo and behold! I haven’t forgotten about my “weekly” feature. I’m just terrible at sticking to it.

This week, I wanted to share some arrangements with a retro, vintage, even old-fashioned flair. I’m always amazed at the imagination of arrangers, and these songs in particular impressed me.

HyperDuck SoundWorks – Punk Hairdo Kid (download)

We’ll start back in the ’80s with this synth-pop arrangement of “Chrono Trigger” from the SNES classic Chrono Trigger. This one delighted me on first listen, both for the kitschy-ness and the quality of the arrangement, and I can totally picture this music to the opening of a cheesy 1980s cartoon about Chrono Trigger.

 

Cyril the Wolf – Dancing in the Jungle (download)

Going further back now with this arrangement of “Brinstar Green Soil” from Super Metroid that makes me envision a ’70s cop show in which Samus Aran hunts down aliens while driving a muscle car and wearing an orange and yellow pantsuit with padded shoulders. In fact, listening to this song spawned an entire novel idea just a couple months ago, which took over my mind and made it awfully hard to focus on anything else for a few weeks, at least.

HyperDuck SoundWorks – Yearnings na Gaoithe (download)

HyperDuck SoundWorks delivers again with this gorgeous ’60s ambient rock style arrangement of “Longing of the Wind” from Chrono Trigger. The mellow beat, lo-fi instruments, and added record scratches are expertly woven into an authentic-sounding tribute to early synth rock and smoothly transforms this classic tune into something almost timeless.

Brandon Strader – Terra in Jazz (download)

Now it’s time to go way back, as Brandon Strader arranges “Terra” from Final Fantasy VI in a Prohibition-era jazz style that feels so real, you can almost smell the cigarette smoke in a dingy little speakeasy. Once again, the arrangement is so smooth, it feels like the original song was made for this style.

Scrab Cakes – Silent Film Partita (download)

And I’ll close out this week with another completely unexpected yet brilliant arrangement, a piano solo of “Wood Carving Partita” from Castlevania: Symphony of the Night in the particular style of ragtime used in classic silent films. What else can I say? Like the other tracks, it’s an ingenious transformation of a singular original song, and it was a well-deserved win for the March 2017 Dwelling of Duels.

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New art! March 10, 2014

Posted by thejinx in art, enduring chaos.
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Well, hi there! Long time no write. (Of course, if you’ve been a viewer of this blog for very long, this should come as little surprise.) There is plenty that I should write about – like the fact that I never mentioned that Enduring Chaos is now on sale – but for now, I’m going to deflect attention by showing off some new art.

The latest, completed yesterday:

trapped

This one’s been a while coming, as I originally sketched it in 2010 or 2011, then updated the sketch, inked, and started colouring it last summer before finishing it over the past few days.

ffvi-quilt-square

Terra and Sabin from the video game Final Fantasy VI. For my friend’s wedding, her mother put out squares of cloth on a table at the reception with fabric markers for guests to write messages to the newlyweds, which she then planned to sew together into a quilt. Unfortunately, I had to cancel my plans to attend the wedding last minute, but the mother of the bride shipped me a square so I could contribute to the quilt.

2013-pumpkins

The Avengers, my jack-o’-lanterns for last Halloween. Original art not by me, I only converted the images to pumpkin format and carved them.

And some progress images from the cover art for Enduring Chaos:

enduring-chaos-back enduring-chaos-characters enduring-chaos

The complete background of the cover art, painted from a photo I took a few years ago; the characters, before effects and some fine tuning done after combining the two; and the completed front cover sans text.

Final Fantasy VI: Remix – Chapter 1 January 17, 2009

Posted by thejinx in ff6, writing.
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A few months delayed in posting, here is chapter one of my rewrite of the Super Nintendo classic Final Fantasy VI.  In the previous chapter, a mysterious girl with the unique ability to use magic encounters an ancient creature of legend, frozen in time from the war that tore magic away from the world a thousand years ago.

In chapter 1, she awakens.

(more…)

Guitar tab – Celes’s theme October 14, 2008

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Well, I signed up for one Game Tabs to share a guitar tab I transcribed, but I happened to come into this hobby while the site’s submission process is down, so I’ll share it with all of you instead.  This is the first song I noodled my way through on guitar, Celes’s theme from Final Fantasy VI, and as I wasn’t satisfied with the tabs I found when I started looking for them, I decided to transcribe my version.  While I wasn’t particularly fond of the performance of her theme song in the game, I loved the tune, and I think it makes a lovely guitar solo.  I wasn’t particularly, well, particular with my timing, so for those unfamiliar with the song, feel free to grow acquainted with a MIDI or the original song.

Enjoy!  And please let me know what you think.

e------------------2-0-2-3-3-2-0---------------
B--0-1-3-----0-1-3---------------3---3-3-1-0-1-
G--------0-------------------------------------
D----------------------------------------------
A----------------------------------------------
E----------------------------------------------

e---------------------------------------
B--1-1-0---0--0-0-0-------0-3---0-1-3---
G--------3----------3-1-3-------------0-
D---------------------------------------
A---------------------------------------
E---------------------------------------

e-------2-0-2-3-3-2-0----------------------------
B-0-1-3---------------3----3-3-1-0-1---1-1-0---0-
G--------------------------------------------3---
D------------------------------------------------
A------------------------------------------------
E------------------------------------------------

e--------------------------
B---0-0-0------------------
G---------2-0-2-0----------
D--------------------------
A--------------------------
E--------------------------

Because clearly, I’m not busy enough already October 13, 2008

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Jans and I went up to his mother’s place this weekend for Thanksgiving and helped her move in with her boyfriend while there.  As both of them have lived alone for quite a few years, she was feeling very generous with things she would no longer need, and various objects were being given away en masse.

I came home with a guitar.

This was, incidentally, the very guitar Jans had for years and had never learned to play, which I asked him about a little over a year ago when I was feeling inspired to get back into music, but at that point it had gone back to his mother.  Her boyfriend, who seems to have been interested in nearly every hobby known to man at some point in his life, helped me play around with my guitar as well as some of his and set me up with some instruction books and a CD.

I noodled my way through Celes’s theme from Final Fantasy VI and Aeris’s theme from Final Fantasy VII (hah, different as they are) playing by ear and started on the first bars of Johann Pachelbel’s Canon in D before we came back yesterday.  I have since downloaded some more tabs, primarily of more music from FFVI, and thus far am having entirely too much fun learning to play.

On the bright side, it is a very relaxing hobby so far and I don’t need to worry about writing music taking up too much of my scant free time, as composing has always seemed to elude me, even when I was interested in it.  We’ll see how this goes.  I’m looking forward to learning to play this instrument.

16-bit nostalgia October 5, 2008

Posted by thejinx in art, ff6, writing.
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Final Fantasy VI, released in North America as Final Fantasy III for Super Nintendo, has been one of my favourite video games ever since I first watched my brother play it when I was still in elementary school. I loved the characters – well, most of them – the story and the gameplay, little say the music.

Growing up and revisiting this old favourite, I have since realized that some of the characters are inconsistent at times and other parts of the script could stand to be cleaned up as well.  I still love the game, but, well, it could be improved upon – and what can’t, right?  So, I decided to rewrite FFVI.

The events of the game will still happen, though they may not necessarily happen the same way.  Likely much of the dialogue will be different, at least slightly, and some character interactions will be different, some drastically.  There will be scenes added that were never in the game, primarily for more character interaction that I wish had been in the game.  I can’t say how often I will update this story, as it is far from priority in my endeavors, but it is fun and easy to write – after all, the story’s already there.

As this idea has been on my mind of late and I’ve been revisiting the game script – and more recently the game itself – of course I had to add Final Fantasy VI fanart to the collection I’ve begun drawing in the hopes of getting a convention table:

This is a scene from the beginning of the game, when Locke protects Terra from the Imperial soldiers that come after her.

For those familiar with the game, I hope my novelization/rewrite of FFVI does justice to the game and gives you a fond stroll down memory lane.  For those who aren’t, I hope you enjoy my rendition of this classic and well-loved game, as well.

Now, without further ado, here is Final Fantasy VI: Remix. (more…)

Vampire Killer August 29, 2008

Posted by thejinx in art, writing.
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I haven’t had a chance to work on it tonight, but I felt like leaving with a preview of new art to come:

I wasn’t kidding when I said I felt like doing more fanart.

Going for a little different style here.  It’s fun to draw big, ripped muscles.  Incidentally, if any of you know any comprehensive resources for human anatomy, feel free to share links.

And a special bonus tonight, since I’ve actually been writing something of late that I can freely share online, follow the cut for a teaser. (more…)