So the Castlevania CD is done…what next? (Hint : It’s Chrono Trigger….How you can make this possible!)

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As of June 2016, I am happy to say that I’ve wrapped up and produced 2 video game music CD’s in less than a year! Not only am I basking in a sense of fulfillment that I have not experpienced ever before, I am honored that people who I’ve never even met have found and enjoyed my music. To those of you who have supported the previous works, thank you very much! It is my hope to be able to continue to provide wonderful renditions of our favorite VGM classics for years to come.

 

However, as I continue to do my work, one relatively daunting prospect continues to haunt me ; the finances required for such endevours is proving to be immense for my rather sparse pocketbook!

 

Which, for me at least, is quite a sad state of affairs, and for quite a few reasons.

 

First and foremost is how much I relish physical releases , such as CD’s. I know that there are many out there that state this is a dying medium, and the evidence and general lack of sales across the world in this area generally speak for themselves. For myself, though, nothing beats having a hard, physical copy of my music that is complete with great artwork and meaningful notes from the artist. I would like the think that the VGM community as a whole is an exception to the global sales trends, but as of yet, I am given rather serious reservations about the future of giving a physical form to my productions. The production costs as of yet for the previous two releases is most definitely in excess of $6000 USD (which includes licensing/royalty fees, cd replication, cover art design, and maintenance of many instruments), I have yet to even come close to recovering these expenses that I might put these funds towards something else…

 

Which brings me to another sad point ; I sincerely plan to make my next project the biggest and best I could ever hope to undertake!

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This time around, it is ALL about Chrono Trigger! (Cheesy pun intended)

 

What makes this project so special is that I would like for it to be a very LARGE multi-disc set, complete with a multi-page art booklet. More instruments! More art! More tracks!

 

“How many tracks?”, you might ask?

 

To elaborate, I recently cycled through my entire Chrono Trigger/Cross collection, and have identified over 80 songs that I would like to record for this project.

 

Yes , I am most definitely insane…and my wife will gladly point this out!

 

However, this is quite possibly the only way that I feel I could do justice to such a wonderful video game series!

 

After receiving several requests to make a Chrono Trigger production, I can only conclude that the compositions by Mitsuda and Uematsu are just as dear to everyone else as they are to me. And the only way to ensure that proper homage is paid to the memories of the series is to make a new arrangement for just about every single track from the original Chrono Trigger / Cross albums!

 

But, oh…the expense of such an undertaking. Truly , it would be enormous.
The cost for obtaining 80+ mechanical royalty licenses (not digital) for each song alone would be roughly $10,000 dollars for every 1,000 CD’s produced. That is not even including the cost of manufacturing or artwork. Or obtaining digital/streaming licenses. Ouch!

 

Big ouch…

 

Despite my reservations that I may not be able to financially bring this project to fruition on my own, I remain cautiously optimistic that it can still happen. Most of my hope resides in the fact that I have seen many game enthusiasts support similar projects throughout the years, so I most certainly know that Chrono fans can be a tremendous support.
If you are interesting in helping to bring about the realization of this vast musical undertaking, the following options are readily and easily available :

 

1) If you haven’t already, please purchase some of my previous works. My first (First Journey : Video Game Grooves) and second (Jazzyvania : Symphonies of the Knight) CD’s are readily available for purchase. If you like hard copies of your music, please support for this wonderful medium. CD’s are available at a variety of sellers, including CD baby and Amazon.com. You can also find them in my Ebay store.

 

2) If CD’s are too cumbersome or pricey for you, the next best thing is to get the music digitally! You can find these songs on Amazon, Apple Music, i-Tunes, and much, much more.

 

3) Even if you’ve already bought the products from sources above…streaming music from Spotify , Googleplay, Tidal, and the myriad of other options out there still helps tremendously!

 

4) Share, share, share! Let your friends and fellow gamers know about this project! Like and follow the project on Facebook! You are an important part of this process, and it simply cannot be done without spreading the word!

 

Lastly, I would like to affirm that while it may seem that this is perhaps the pushiest sales pitch you’ve ever heard, there is a reasoning behind my resolve to focus on sales. “Why”, you might ask, “do you insist on selling your previous works when you can just launch a Kickstarter campaign”?

 

The answer to this is simple : I do not like the idea of people paying money for something that they cannot gain immediate access to. I do not like the idea of people spending hard-earned, precious money and having to wait for an extended period of time for their goods to be received, whether in digital or physical format. By purchasing my previous work, you not only get the benefit of having something to IMMEDIATELY enjoy, you also can help ensure that this Chrono Trigger project gets successfully off the ground. Will it succeed? Only time will tell. But at the very least, you would have something tangible to show for your purchase in buying my music. Kickstarter itself offers no such guarantees if a campaign fails to live up to its original goals.

 

To those of you who have supported me in the past, I again thank you. You have been instrumental in giving me the much needed push that I need to go forward to this. Should my fundraising efforts prove successful, we should have a very large production ready for delivery within 2 years (80+ songs is indeed a LOT of work, after all!).

 

But even if the effort fails, I will do everything in my power to at least ensure that at a bare minimum, a digital version appears online somehow.

 

Thanks much for reading! As always, game on!

 

Jazz Paladin

Available in June! Jazzyvania : Symphonies of the Knight (A Castlevania Tribute)

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The wait is almost over! In Celebration of the upcoming 30 year anniversary of Castlevania, I am pleased to announce the latest CD.

Jazzyvania : Symphonies of the Knight will be available for physical and digital releases in all major online music retailers such as i-Tunes, Amazon.com, etc.

Playtime’s over! Here’s true power!

 

What to expect from the upcoming Castlevania CD / Digital Production

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On Facebook, I recently announced the songs that will be making an appearance on the upcoming CD.

I know that waiting for something like this can try one’s patience, so I thought I would elaborate a little about each track that’s up-and-coming. Here’s what I can say about each track so far:
Crystal Teardrop–In some ways this is a very straight forward upgrade from SoTN. Yet, at the same time, it is very, very distinct, with some great jazz overlays of trumpet and tenor sax making it oh-so-much like a jazz club quartet.

Wandering Ghosts –When SoTN first came out, I was in a New Orleans style street/brass band. I think Wandering Ghosts had quite a bit of an impact on my playing style, and left quite an impression on me that lasted to this date, but I think I will always associate the time period I first heard the song with the jazz bands I was in at the time. Consequently, I am rather amused that my take on Wandering Ghosts ended up being a Mardi Gras style featuring tenor sax and blazing trumpets and trombones.

Lost Painting –A very straight-ahead conversion of the original piece, featuring muted trumpet.

Waterfall  Also very genuine conversion, also with muted trumpet for the melody. Makes me feel like I’m watching a smokey, murder mystery or cheesy detective story. ;)

Submerged City — Talk about a tough piece to faithfully convert to real instrumentation! The difficulty in upgrading old midi tunes is that they can be nigh impossible to play in real life given the “perfect” nature in which they are often sequenced with a mouse. Fortunately, I think I managed to do justice to the vibe of the original while also giving a very lounge-like feel. This one is very akin to a traditional jazz quintet with trumpet and tenor sax, and a groovin’ upright bass solo just like in the original. Castlevania fans may also catch hints of another CV IV song towards the end…

Theme of Simon Belmont–Big Band Style Baby!

Pillared Corridor –More of a rock arrangement. I suppose someday I’ll have to go back and do a more “faithful” rendition, but for now, this is how it’s rollin’.

Forest of Monsters  –Highly atmospheric. I had a lot of fun with this one, while at the same time almost pulling my hair out. Playing bass clarinet was easy enough for me, but I never realized how tough it is to record/mic such a beast and still end up with a consistent and natural sound. But it worked, and has some great low-end vibe to it.

Knight Corridor / Entrance Hall — Starts out as a sort of baroque trumpet fanfare, but gradually evolves into something a bit more sinister. And then there’s the big joke at the end…

Opposing Bloodlines — Big Band Style again, baby!

Picture of a Ghost Ship (Rondo of Blood) Electronic Dance Music meets soprano sax and trumpet! Easily my wife’s favorite so far, especially since it’s so much “out” of my usual style of performing.

Bloody Tears / Out of Time  : Slow Techno

Vampire Killer : Bossa Nova jazz quartet with tenor sax and trumpet.

Revenge : This piece sounds so evil and wicked. My wife says this sounds very ominous, and I really like this rendition. Sort of a sinister Big Band feel to this, especially with the trombone fanfare at the beginning…

So when can we expect the CD, you might be asking? Well, the answer depends. Production is indeed starting to wrap up, and while I anticipate the Digital Download and Streaming to commence within a few months, the CD might end up being a bit further down the line due to the large costs associated with CD replication, not to mentioning licensing royalties for 15 songs!

With that being said, if you would like to help contribute to making this CD come more swiftly, you can :

  1. Buy my first CD, First Journey : Video Game Grooves
  2. Stream the heck out of my songs that are on Spotify, Google-play, etc…
  3. Purchase the digital downloads for the previous releases on avenues such as Amazon, I-tunes, etc…

I Hope this helps give a proper feel for things. More to come later, stay tuned, and thank you kindly for your support!