Sunday, February 22, 2009

My oldest and most frequented playlist

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It's a pretty comprehensive cross-section of my experiences... here're the songs in order, plus a little backstory about each. When I was organizing this list, I placed the songs so they kind of "naturally" flow into the next one... took a little bit of experimentation in the beginning, but the later songs I found places for them pretty quickly.

"I Want It That Way"
(Backstreet Boys)

When that song was still a hit in 1999, I was at a math camp with high school students and getting a preview of hormonally-charged adolescence. During one of those rowdy party nights, a group of people started making up funny lyrics to the song, and one version was about a chicken. (e.g. Tell me why / Are you so delicious / Tell me why / Are you so nutritious... )

Barring that, it's not a bad song at all, upon closer listening. There's something about a [i-vi7] progression that intrigues me, and the intro has a hint of that. And it's a lot of fun to hum in thirds above the melody, especially during the development section. :-)

"Time to Lounge"

I came across this song on CD101.9, back when it had a good mix of classical jazz, smooth jazz, electronica, and New-Age songs. From about March 2003 to early 2004, I recorded the songs I liked on magnetic tapes and listened to them in school. That was before I got my iPod Shuffle.

Somehow the [i-VII-i-v] progression really sticks in my head. And the echoing synth. Okay, I have a soft spot for it.

"The Piano Duet"
(Danny Elfman, Corpse Bride soundtrack)

I actually have not watched the movie, but I will get to it one of these days. My brother sent me this track, during his pensive-piano-music phase about 2~3 years ago. It's a nice minimalist piece that is reminiscent of some Joe Hisaishi moments.

"The Sounds of Silence"
(Simon & Garfunkel)

A little less than two years ago, I found this song through a flash animation. They complement rather well, and that prompted me to seek out more songs by S&G. I found their rendition of "Scarborough Fair", which also became a favorite.

"The Dream Within"
(Elliot Goldenthal, Final Fantasy XII soundtrack ending theme)

EP gave me this song, and lent me the FFXII DVD also :-) I shall explore more of Goldenthal's work, as it seems to be rather fascinating. Somehow I found the song by itself was more compelling than when I heard it after watching the FFXII movie (end theme) :P

(Yoko Kanno, Macross Plus soundtrack)

I got taken with this song after watching this flash. Both the animation and the piano/orchestral rendition are well-done. Then EP identified the song and gave me the MP3! I like the backbeat and the background arpeggios in the vocal version :-)

"Sayonara wa Ashita no Tame" [full version]
(Tackey & Tsubasa, Inuyasha soundtrack)

The version of this song in Inuyasha is played at a particularly poignant moment, though when I searched for the MP3 online, I found the unabridged version that sounds a lot happier, haha. This is another one of the songs where I like to harmonize a third above the melody, but only when I'm by myself... wonder if there's a pattern!

"Night Wind"
(David Arkenstone)

Classic [i-v-i-v] with lots of ambient synth and effects, mmm... I can really groove to this one when I'm doing something routine, like copying and pasting...

(Josh Groban on voice, Troy soundtrack)

My bro was really into Josh Groban's singing a couple of years ago. I can sort of see why - it has a magnetic quality...

"Radical Dreamers"
(Yasunori Mitsuda Chrono Cross soundtrack)

Accidentally found this song. An excellent find, I must say! I'm a sucker for guitar music, background or otherwise.

"My Personal Moon"
(Madison Park)

Found this on the computer where I was working at a music/software company. It has a nice techno groove, so I incorporated it as the start of the "fast-beat" section of this playlist.

"A Song of Storm and Fire"
(Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicles soundtrack opening theme)

Epic with pulsating synths, and I was imagining scenes with erupting volcanoes like in Lord of the Rings or Star Wars III: Revenge of the Sith. That's why I was less compelled by the actual animation sequences in TRC that went with the music. I find that the film score contributes at least 1/3 to any movie/animation that might become one of my faves.

The chord progression goes [i - VI - VII (or V/III) - III (relative major) - V], and repeats. The development section features a gorgeous oboe melody that goes along the line of [i - (VI?) - i - (a spot that hints at VI7) - V] with a whole bunch of micro-tonicization that I can't readily identify.

"Touch and Go"
(Megumi Hayashibara)

This was an embedded song from one of my friends' blog. It was catchy so I asked her to send me the MP3 :-)

"Wind" [English]
(Toshiro Masuda, Naruto soundtrack ending theme)

This song beats a curious 5/4, and that intrigued me. It's a tongue-in-cheek reminder of the main character's brazen awkwardness and boundless energy, I think. This is the only song I like from that anime.

"Je Chante pour Passer le Temps"
(Giovanni Mirabassi)

This is the song that Tite Kubo (the creator of Bleach) considers to be a defining theme for Kuchiki Byakuya, one of the characters in the series. I agree with his choice here. The song is a pensive though jazzy piano piece, like the European Jazz Trio's interpretation of "Scarborough Fair".

"T'en Va Pas"

Theme for Inoue Orihime, another Bleach character. There seems to be more about her than what meets the eye, but I lost interest in the series just as it was starting to develop that aspect. The light hip-hop sort of goes with her apparent sunny disposition and semi-absent-mindedness.

"Wing Stock"
(Ashley Mac Issac)

Yet another theme for a Bleach Character (Kuchiki Rukia). She's one of the more awesome female anime characters I've come across. The slow piano breaking into the Irish riverdance is very fitting.

"I Talk to the Rain"
(Yuki Kajiura, Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicles soundtrack)

Gorgeous orchestration. This anime/manga saga has a mystical aura and scintillating beauty, especially around the middle (post-vol.10 and before the drumroll to the final showdown with the archvillain)

"Rhythm of the Forest"
(Diane Arkenstone)

I like the steady beat. Like cruising along the canopies on a giant banana leaf or something.

"Om Shanti"
(Diane Arkenstone)

The vocalization here feels like Enya. I <3 this style. I need to re-rip my Enya CD... but there's also my Enya playlist on Pandora, so I might be okay.

"River of Creation"
(Diane Arkenstone)

Glittering synths. I'm a sucker for echoey and glittery synth effects.

"Voice of the Sea"
(Diane Arkenstone)

This is like 20. + 21.

"Chosen Voices"
(David Arkenstone)

24. When the First Leaf Falls (HouseMasta, Newgrounds audio ID:48289)

25. Nothing Can Be Explained (Mike Wyzgowski, Bleach soundtrack)

26. Michi (Kitaro)

27. Pyramid (Andreas Vollenweider)

28. Belladonna (Andreas Vollenweider)

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