27 December 2017

Lost Music Found: Destiny - Music of the Spheres

Martin O'Donnell, Michael Salvatori, and Sir Paul McCartney's video game soundtrack masterpiece had been a thing of myth and legend since before the release of Destiny back in September 2014. Completed a year before the game was released, it was meant to accompany the ambitious game but was shelved and locked away due to a spat between Mr. O'Donnell and Bungie over the lack of its use in Destiny's initial advertisement blitz. But thanks to leakers, the musical work is making its way around the Internet, like a Guardian following the Light.

You can listen to and even download the orchestral suite here.

11 September 2013

I Saw Him ...

... tonight. He might not think I did. I was mostly staring intently at my phone as I was walking because of Ingress (go Enlightened!). He might even convince himself that he didn't see me, but I know he did. And I saw him. He was there at the corner of 16th and Scott Circle in his gym-casual clothes and backpack, his almost-shaved head, his mustache and goatee. I saw him.

I normally wouldn't care. He did to me what I saw him do to countless people when we were together... what I never thought he'd do to me... and, as a Leo, I have no problem returning the complement. You wanna cut me out of your life? Fine. You're dead to me. There's no one-upping that. (Good luck with trying to get back in my life.)

Except today is 9/11. The most tragic day in any American's life, especially any American in New York or DC or PA. That day in 2001 was very important to me because I worked near the Nation's Capital and because the one person at that time that I thought I was going to marry, grow old with, and die with was working a block from the Capitol Building. And, as much as I wish it wouldn't, this day brings all of those memories and emotions back.

This is what I wrote.

So I never know how to feel this specific day of the year. I'm glad to be alive. I grieve the loss of my countrymen. I'm angered by the audacity of villains who will never be brought to justice. I'm numb at the loss of a relationship that once was the center of my universe. And I'm incensed at the hubris of ego.

19 July 2012

Album Review: A Tribute To "The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway" By Rewiring Genesis

Before you begin this review, you must know some history. This album is a tribute, song for song, to the Genesis album The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway. If you have never listened to the original album, do so first. Then come back here. Believe me, you will need to know the source in order to enjoy the tribute.

That's not to say A Tribute To "The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway" doesn't stand on its own. On the contrary, even if I hadn't heard the original, I would still love this album. Nick d'Virgilio and Mark Hornsby draw out the soul of the album, sticking closely to the original format while applying some ... dare I say ... inspired arrangements.

You probably don't know, because a good number of humanity didn't buy it, but Nick (or NDV, as he's known in certain circles) was one of the two drummers used on Genesis' last studio album, the Ray Wilson-led Calling All Stations. He also toured with them during that album's European tour. So he knows something about Genesis.

And his affection shows in this album. The major thing you will notice is that the only keyboards used is the piano. No synths. Instead a full orchestra is used in place of the synthesized parts, as well as in place of some guitars and bass portions. The result is actually quite amazing. Some songs are done in a very faithful manner. Others take different, exciting turns (such as "The Colony Of Slippermen", "The Lamia", and "Riding The Scree").

My only big nitpick is Nick's vocals. Yes, comparisons will be made to Peter Gabriel ... and, to a lesser extent, Phil Collins ... and they are comparisons that are wholly unfair. Nick is his own vocalist and brings his own style and coloring to the lyrics. My issue is that his voice gets thin and tinny at important moments; this caused me a significant distraction throughout the album. But, hey, maybe you won't care.

And you shouldn't. As I said earlier, this album is a solid effort. If you didn't like the Peter Gabriel era (because the music was pretentious or muddied or whatever), I'd like for you to know that the use of an orchestra brightens up the heavy moments in The Lamb. Get yourself a copy. You'll thank me later.