Whimsically Theoretical is 2 Years Old! + Updates

Hello everyone! I am so happy to announce that Whimsically Theoretical is officially 2 years old! Last year in 2017, a lot of really great things happened, as well as a ton of new challenges… Read on for the 2-Year Anniversary update! 😀

I was on a roll in the first half of the year, completing two series focusing on mobile game music (check out my 30-article “Single-Track Analysis” series on Kingdom Hearts Unchained/Union Cross, and “Double-Track Analysis” series on Brave Frontier and Final Fantasy: Brave Exvius), an in-depth analysis of Breath of the Wild, as well as conducting seven more interviews with fascinating composers from different parts of the world.

In March of last year, I decided to pick up another teaching job, while my other classes were starting to subside for the school year. In August, I picked up another two programs within that new school I was teaching at, and in September, I started teaching at one more elementary school, in addition to the one I was already at for three days a week, and picked up another set of classes on Monday evenings after an already pretty full morning/afternoon… Long story short, I was teaching seven days a week between August and December. I didn’t post for a while on my website here because I was honestly so burned out and exhausted from teaching every single day, seeing over 800 students a week, going back and forth between five different schools…

Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE teaching. I adore children, especially when they are smiling and singing and dancing with me. Nothing has ever before filled my heart with so much joy. But never again will I teach seven days a week. Heck, I don’t want to do ANYTHING seven days a week, other than basic human necessity activities. If you are someone that CAN do something seven days a week, then good for you! It’s simply not something I want to do again.

As my teaching hours start to dwindle this year, and as I am dropping some classes and schools for good, my schedule will be freeing up significantly later next month, which means more time for playing and writing about video games, and composing more music!

In the last few months, I’ve been getting more focused on my own music. As some of you may know, in addition to being a music teacher and video game music enthusiast, I am also a composer! I graduated with a B.A. in Music Composition almost 4 years ago, but got a bit burnt out toward the end of college and haven’t written much music since then, focusing more on teaching and writing.

But recently a small, slowly-growing fire has been lit, and I am preparing to release some music under a new name sometime in the next few months. I have been a composer for 13 years—half of my life!—but only very recently have I gained the confidence in myself and my compositions to finally make the decision to put together a collection of my very personal pieces and release it in an album format. I had posted a bit on soundcloud before, but didn’t really advertise it too much, fearing judgement from others.

This summer, I will be releasing my first album, about 17 tracks total. There will be 13 solo piano pieces, which I’ve written over the last thirteen years, and 4 piano/vocal tracks: 3 of which will overlap/share the same title of solo piano pieces, and 1 which is entirely new (written just last year).

I have been posting some previews of my solo piano pieces that I’ve written over the years on Instagram—if you haven’t watched the videos yet, head on over to my Instagram page and check it out! I will be posting updates on Instagram as well as here on my website, so please stay tuned! ^_^

Sometime later this year, I also plan on combining my compositional, analytical, and performance skills to bring all of you a very special series! ^_^ I’ll only give a two-word hint: theme songs! 😉

This year, I also will not be doing nearly as many interviews. This is not at all to say that I won’t be doing any more at all, but for now I am taking a break! I want to sharpen the focus on my music and my writing.

That’s all for now! Stay tuned for news about my upcoming album, and follow me on Instagram, Twitter, and/or Facebook to get more daily updates! ^_^ ♪

Pokémon Sound Effects on My Phone

Pokémon Sapphire has a very special place in my heart, being the Pokémon game that I played over and over the most, throughout middle and high school. One of my absolute favorite aspects about this game, in addition to the music, are all the sound effects! While the SFX in most Pokémon games are almost identical across the generations, there is just something about Gen III’s sounds that stick out to me. And, for that reason, all of the customizable sounds on my phone are from that very soundtrack! :3

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Interview with Brissette (Bri) Ray

In the world of music, it pays off a great deal to be good at many things. This is certainly the case with multi-talented Bri Ray, who composes, sings, and does voice acting. I spoke with the kind and easy-going composer, where she talked about faith as a main influence, the magic of video games, the importance of following through with projects, and creating things from the heart.

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Interview with Misty Crowd

I was initially intrigued by Misty Crowd‘s beautifully captivating vocals and quite interesting musical arrangements, then completely blown away by the depth of the composer’s insights and the fascinatingly unique lens in which she views the world. Poetry, internal movies, meditation, the role of the composer as a musical filter, and intentionally challenging herself in many different ways… Misty’s philosophical ideas are incredibly refreshing and inspiring.

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Interview with Leila Wilson

With an impressive array of tracks showcasing a variety of styles and catchy tunes, Leila Wilson‘s soundcloud page completely blew me away. I reached out to the incredible composer, admittedly resigning myself to the fact that she may be too cool to respond. To my delight, however, she got back to me, excited to be interviewed! I had a wonderful conversation with Leila, where she shared her thoughts on gaining a fresh perspective and inspiration from new places, tough experiences with trial and error, the importance of having mentors, and writing the story and music for Elancia Chronicles, her magnificent passion project.

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Across the Generations: Bad Guy Team Grunt Battle Theme (Pokémon)

Games currently playing: Brave Frontier, Two Dots, Kingdom Hearts: Union Cross

As a game generally geared towards kids, it makes sense that Pokémon’s main antagonists, the “Teams” (especially the silly Grunts), are never too awfully formidable or frightening. Likewise, their musical themes are not very scary, and can even be fun and whimsical! In today’s edition of Across the Generations, we will be looking at each gen’s Bad Guy Team Grunt Battle Theme. Each “Team” does have its own “Notices You!” theme, in addition to victory tunes, and admin and boss battle themes, but this article will be focusing on the actual battle music that plays when you fight the grunts (the track that you hear the most, relative to other antagonist themes).

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Interview with Brendan Hogan

A multi-talented creative genius, Brendan Hogan has extensive knowledge and experience in the realms of both composition and sound design. I was absolutely floored by his company Impossible Acoustic’s 2016 Demo Reel, and their work on the stunning Native American platformer game “Never Alone“. In our interview, Brendan shared how he got into sound design, the brilliant story behind his team’s work on Never Alone, his breakdown of the idea of music as a universal language, and the idea of transparent music.

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