Tag Archives: video game music

Performance of Loss

Hello, everybody!

This week’s video is another performance of one of my own compositions, Loss. It’s my take on a funeral march/death scene, which I released last year on my solo piano album, Let the Journey Begin!. The slow tempo is pretty standard for this kind of music, but I experimented with using phrases of varying lengths, so as not to have it feel too measured – I wanted the instability of losing someone.

The piece starts off very diatonic, but as it goes on there is more chromaticism and countermelodies are introduced, so although there’s repetition of the main melodies and long sections over a tonic pedal, there’s always something new being introduced to add variety and interest. I’m believe that repetitions are a useful tool when writing music, but I’m not a fan when they’re used unnecessarily or if they don’t add anything new to a piece.

Performance of Innocence

Hello, everybody!

It’s been several weeks since I last posted a video – I’ve been working on quite a few things musically, but didn’t have anything finished. This week’s video is a performance of my composition, Innocence. This is one of my favourite pieces from my album, Let the Journey Begin!, as I feel that I captured the feeling I was aiming for succinctly.

I had to work on my technique for this one, as I discovered that my arpeggiated chords were nowhere near as good as I’d thought previously – I had to thoroughly explore how to play them well enough to be accurate while dropping them into the main melody. There’s still some work to do before they’re really good, but I’m happy with how they developed during my practice.

I learnt a lot about different arm movements that can help or hinder rolled chords and how some of them can be combined to make them easier. Developing a technique that allows us to express ourselves as we want can take a long time and there’s always room for improvement but it’s a fascinating journey!

If you’re interested in buying this piece, it’s available on my Bandcamp page as part of an album. The album comes with sheet music: https://nicholasowen-petch.bandcamp.com/album/let-the-journey-begin

If you prefer Spotify, you can find it here: https://open.spotify.com/album/1sSwz4peeRTZPRMprLfhMR?si=kWK4HGkiRWm54KA7ekeW1Q

An Ill Presence~To Arms! (orchestral and rock mix)

Hello, everybody!

My latest video is a combined version of two of my compositions – An Ill Presence (orchestrated) and To Arms! (rock version). They were originally written as a pair and were released that way on my solo piano album, Let the Journey Begin!.

When I was working on the orchestrated and rock versions, I made and released them one at a time, and while I think they can stand alone, I also thought it would be good to recombine them as originally intended. Music can take on a different feeling depending on the context that it’s in, which is why the original release had them combined into one track, and why I released a whole album rather than individual singles.

A big thanks to Ainsley Stones, of Girl Gone Bad, for the guitar solo in To Arms!. Please check out their music: https://www.youtube.com/c/GirlGoneBad

Many thanks also to Thomas Slimm for writing and programming the drums.

The artwork is by my wife, Iryna Zastavna.

Onimusha 2 – Oda’s Army Attacks~Intro (arranged for two pianos)

Hello, everybody!

This week’s video is an arrangement of the music from the opening cutscene of Onimusha 2, arranged for four hands. I’ve been wanting to make for a while, but felt like I needed to do some simpler arrangements before jumping into this one. I specifically decided on two pianos rather than four hands on one piano so that one part could use the sustain pedal without interfering with the other – this is very important in this piece as some parts are very percussive.

This is the first time I’ve arranged a piece for four hands. It was a great learning experience but I’m sure that someone with more experience could make an even more interesting version of it. I plan to do more arrangements like this in the future, in addition to more for a single player.

Orchestration – An Ill Presence

Hello, everybody!

This week’s video is an orchestrated version of one of my piano pieces, An Ill Presence. As with the previous orchestrations I made, I leant a lot from this. I limited myself to violin, flute and oboe in addition to the piano part. I’m happy with the result, though feel like I need to learn more about the production side of things as occasionally it sounds a little muddy.

My wife drew the colourful tree that I used as an image for the video. I asked her for a tree with unnatural colours and I’m really pleased with the result!

Tormented Souls – Main Theme Tutorial

Hello everybody, just a quick mid-week post.

I had a request on YouTube to create a ‘tutorial’ video for something that I played and I’m looking for some feedback. Tutorial in this meaning was having the notes coming from the top of the screen and landing on the keyboard, as is a pretty popular way of doing things.

I’m curious to know how people find it – the person who requested it said it was perfect for their needs, but I’m going to be making more videos like this is the future and would like to know how easy it is to follow for other people. Does the glow around the falling lines detract from the clarity? Are the colours for each hand easy to follow? That kind of thing.

Main Theme from Tormented Souls (cover)

Hello, everybody! I have a performance video this week – the main theme from survival horror game Tormented Souls. It’s the first thing that plays when you boot up the game and I’ve spent time just listening to it on the main menu before playing the game as it has such a nice atmosphere.

It’s not a complex piece – just four chords: Am – F – G – Em. It loops round those four chords for the vast majority of the piece, but the melody starts off fairly structured and eventually becomes looser and feels more improvisational.

Part of arranging this piece was deciding how to condense the other instruments on to the piano and which ones to miss out. The end of the original track has a build up, with more instruments joining in until it finishes – I decided to fade out once the original melody returns, as I don’t think I could have done justice to all of those instruments with only two hands. A duet or arrangement for two pianos might work well for it.

If you’ve enjoyed the video, please consider subscribing to my YouTube channel!

Piano arrangement of an excerpt from Metal Gear Solid 3 Main Theme

Hello, everybody!

I’d like to announce my newest video – a piano arrangement of the music from one of my favourite scenes from the Metal Gear Solid saga. I’ve had ideas for this going round in my head for a while and finally decided to nail them down to figure out what works and what doesn’t. I hope you enjoy it!

There are some parts which are lower in the original music that I moved up an octave to be playable with two hands, though I did consider an arrangement for three or four hands, but don’t have much experience with duet arrangements. That said, I do have ideas for a duet arrangement of a piece from the second Onimusha game, so keep a look out for that in the future.

To Zanarkand (cover)

Hello, everybody! This week’s video is a cover of one of my favourite piano compositions – To Zanarkand from Final Fantasy X. It’s a great example of economical use of chord progressions – harmonically, it’s pretty simple and uses (for the most part) two variations of the same progression that get moved into different keys.

There’s a brief analysis of the chords involved in the video description, for those who are interested. I’m considering expanding that analysis into a full video in the future.

If you enjoy the video, please consider subscribing to my channel.

New performance and composition – A Moment of Safety

Hello, everybody!

This week I have a performance of my latest composition, titled “A Moment of Safety”. It’s inspired by the safe room themes of the Resident Evil games, which provide a few safe areas in the games. The music reflects this but simultaneously creates a sense of tension, a small dread that you’ll have to go back out into the danger eventually. That’s what I’ve tried to capture with this composition.

The chords used are Am11 and Gm11 – they don’t relate to each other, but being so extended softens the contrast between them as they actually share a lot of notes. I chose them for this reason, as together they sound pretty relaxed.

The sense of unease comes from the rhythm between the hands – only occasionally do they sync up. While they aren’t actually playing in different time signatures (although the left hand sounds like it moves between 6/8 and 3/4), there are enough stressed notes falling apart from each other that some rhythmic dissonance is created, in my opinion. Let me know whether you agree or not!

This exploration of creating certain feelings, atmospheres or emotions is one reason I love composing so much and also why I enjoy teaching composition.