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「memento」, an original, Kajiura-inspired album by Brian Tong (Atlas Star) [iTunes link]

Atlas Star

Yuki is lord of heaven and earth
#1
iTunes link: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/memento/1384144849
Spotify artist profile: https://open.spotify.com/artist/3L02ZEROC8sZpr9OSJGx0m?si=dH951GeqSGyJJ2qyg71KNQ
YouTube streaming: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=OLAK5uy_khlpoULFbxFebZccFHzsOg2l8lzlwi4Ts
Amazon music: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07D1QWRHB/ref=dm_ws_sp_ps_dp
iHeartRadio: https://www.iheart.com/artist/brian-tong-32169026/albums/memento-57105594/


「memento」was a project I started back in 2011 and finished in May 2016, with a HEAVY influence from Kajiura and Kalafina. It was my musical diary, chronicles of my search for "love" and the resulting heartbreak...

I released physical copies of this completed album at my first concert on May 15th, 2016, and finally... TWO YEARS LATER.. I've ventured to the point of digital distribution online!
I am so ecstatic to share this with you all.... I really really hope you enjoy some of it. Track 1 is basically Kajiura-go, and I was inspired by the theme of opening a Kalafina album with a Kajiurago track (seventh heaven, consolation, far on the water, BEST Red-Prelude). This record also contains the Japanese song I composed with the three Kalafina singers in mind: 「skies of tomorrow」.

Soon, this album will be available to stream on Spotify, Pandora, and Apple Music! Once it does I'll let you all know ASAP so you don't have to pay for the album!! But in the mean time please check out the samples!!! It shouldn't take more than a week to reach Apple Music but I was just way too excited the cdbaby samples were up already :)

EDIT: My album is up on iTunes!!!!!!! If you have Apple Music, you can stream the entire album with no additional cost!!!

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/memento/1384144849
 
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#2
I've just listened to all the samples and read your album notes. 素晴らしかった、Atlasさん。Please tell me if there's a way to purchase your physical album because I really want to support you.
May yet be immature, may yet be lacking subtle polishments, but I thought I could feel your tender emotions flowing underneath those sparkling warm melodies and voices.
Your music is sincerely made (with Kajiuric bits!). That alone suffices to touch me.

I watched your 'Skies of Tomorrow' video for Kalafina back in January while hiding behind the forum bushes as usual, it was gorgeous (*^_^*). Sorry for not leaving you any comments then... was a bit too shy. Kajiurans who are able to open their hearts and express themselves with Kajiura-inspired music are always so adorable. I hope someday I will have the courage and skills to do the same.

I am on my way to find my light and love as well. I have recently started exploring music production softwares and creating things with my instruments. Everything feels like magic, refreshing and wonderful, yet nostalgic - maybe because this is like a dream I longed for coming true.
What I heard from you today gave me a push to continue reaching forward, even if I can only move in tiny little steps for now.
Thank you, Atlas.


音楽は祈りです。ずっとそう思っています。
祈りは、人間が自分で持っている大切なものに気付く道しるべでしょう。

歌声の流れに、祈りのような空へ手を伸ばして ——
未来は優しいだろうか。
ただ「光」を求めていて、ただ「希望」を求めていたいです。

まっすぐに行ければ、まっすぐに泣ければ、
きっと、繰り返す日々の中に、夢を探して抱きしめられます。心が咲き誇れます。

痛みと歓びの甘さに、懐かしさを歌って、
明るい未来へ旅を続けています。




- mushi the caterpillar
 

Atlas Star

Yuki is lord of heaven and earth
#3
I've just listened to all the samples and read your album notes. 素晴らしかった、Atlasさん。Please tell me if there's a way to purchase your physical album because I really want to support you.
May yet be immature, may yet be lacking subtle polishments, but I thought I could feel your tender emotions flowing underneath those sparkling warm melodies and voices.
Your music is sincerely made (with Kajiuric bits!). That alone suffices to touch me.

I watched your 'Skies of Tomorrow' video for Kalafina back in January while hiding behind the forum bushes as usual, it was gorgeous (*^_^*). Sorry for not leaving you any comments then... was a bit too shy. Kajiurans who are able to open their hearts and express themselves with Kajiura-inspired music are always so adorable. I hope someday I will have the courage and skills to do the same.

I am on my way to find my light and love as well. I have recently started exploring music production softwares and creating things with my instruments. Everything feels like magic, refreshing and wonderful, yet nostalgic - maybe because this is like a dream I longed for coming true.
What I heard from you today gave me a push to continue reaching forward, even if I can only move in tiny little steps for now.
Thank you, Atlas.


音楽は祈りです。ずっとそう思っています。
祈りは、人間が自分で持っている大切なものに気付く道しるべでしょう。

歌声の流れに、祈りのような空へ手を伸ばして ——
未来は優しいだろうか。
ただ「光」を求めていて、ただ「希望」を求めていたいです。

まっすぐに行ければ、まっすぐに泣ければ、
きっと、繰り返す日々の中に、夢を探して抱きしめられます。心が咲き誇れます。

痛みと歓びの甘さに、懐かしさを歌って、
明るい未来へ旅を続けています。




- mushi the caterpillar
Wow... I am so touched by your words... thank you! This is what making music is all about - reaching other souls through this universal language....

I will send you a PM about physical copy...

It took me many many many tries and many failed songs before I got to this 13-track album. It was definitely a journey I will never forget! And it was amazing every step of the way. The most important step is to START. Record something, even if it is 10 seconds long.... you'll eventually find that you have many songs you have created from your heart :)

Again.. thank you so much for your kind words..... <3
 

wat11

Bowl of Yuki-shaped cereal
#4
wow I really like it. so calming. keep up the good work:) (maybe consider calm jazz:)

your voice sounds like a male version of (good) Hikaru-Keiko combo to me :)
 

Atlas Star

Yuki is lord of heaven and earth
#5
wow I really like it. so calming. keep up the good work:) (maybe consider calm jazz:)

your voice sounds like a male version of (good) Hikaru-Keiko combo to me :)
I'm so glad to hear that you do!! Thanks :) I've never really ventured into the world of "jazz", but I'll look into this calm jazz you speak of...

Ahh Hika/KEIKO combo is what I imagine when I did the album!! Thank you I'm glad this concept resonated with you as well :XD:
 

Westkana

HA! I live in her CLOSET!
#8
It sounds really awesome, really relaxing!!! Both the piano and your voice are stellar :dote: I can defintiely see the Kajiura influence, but it still also has your own sound to it.

I also write music, sometime we gotta collab! :goodjob:
 

Atlas Star

Yuki is lord of heaven and earth
#9
It sounds really awesome, really relaxing!!! Both the piano and your voice are stellar :dote: I can defintiely see the Kajiura influence, but it still also has your own sound to it.

I also write music, sometime we gotta collab! :goodjob:
thank you!! “stellar” omg waaay too kind of you hahahaahaa

i’ve heard your stuff! i really admire your instrumental arrangements. yes we gotta do a dreamport-esque collab :p you can bring forth epic sounds with your knowledge of synths-use...
 
#10
That really is remarkably well done! Is that you on piano as well? I'm very impressed.

I'm really excited to see that you're making music that is specifically inspired by Kajiura's style. I had an idea a while back (thinking it quite a shame that Kajiura isn't more recognized outside of the realm of anime) (and thinking that I have a really had time anyone asks me to describe the genre of music I like) that we should make this style into a genre in its own right. Someone over in the discussion about YK leaving Spacecraft and someone else writing for Kalafina that you can't imitate music like this— it would be like imitating Beethoven or Mozart, you could never be good enough. Which is fair, but then also consider that the reason we have such a wealth of Classical repertoire is because people imitated composers like Beethoven and Mozart, and even if they weren't exactly as amazing, they were pretty darn good. SO, we should all do the same. Create music and call it "Kajiuran" until it catches on... kind of a ridiculous dream, I know, but we can try, right?

Congratulations on your album. I've recently been thinking of doing a similar project, so wish me luck!
 
#13
But on that note, actually, I have some more questions... @Atlas Star were there elements you made sure to include in order to make your music sound Kajiuran, or were you going more on feeling? If we're to set about building a genre, we have to know some of its characteristics. (Maybe I should post this somewhere else instead of commandeering your post...?)

Here are some things I thought of off the top of my head:
Instrumentation consisting of a standard rock band plus electronic elements plus more "classical" instruments
Multiple vocal parts
primarily (to actually literally only, what's up with this?) treble voices
Kajiurago
ending on a minor/minor or major/major seventh chord (Jumping Fish)
Long notes after a chorus held by just one voice while others drop out abruptly (see 3:30 to 3:40 of Samidare ga sugita koro ni)
Unusual rhythmic use of compound time signatures (Lacrimosa, Natsu no Asa)
Syncopation via dotted eighth notes (Kantan katan)
Contradictions or impossibilities in lyrics (「銀色の虹」silent sounds, eternities that end)
Harmonies primarily in parallel thirds but sometimes also fourths (elemental)
Use of melodic and harmonic minor scales (Monochrome, Kantankatan (guess what song I've been transcribing lately?)(Edit: By "monochrome" I actually meant "usumurasaki" Got confused)
Complex, seemingly unique song structures

So there's a start. I'm not the greatest music theorist out there, so maybe you all will have some more.
 
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Westkana

HA! I live in her CLOSET!
#14
Instrumentation consisting of a standard rock band plus electronic elements plus more "classical" instruments
STRINGS STRINGS STRINGSSSSSSSS

primarily (to actually literally only, what's up with this?) treble voices
I agree with this, but in order to fully bring out the harmonies you also need a good bass-y singer, like Keiko. You can tell in lives Keiko sounds noticeably deeper when she's singing a harmony vs. a lead line to bring out the harmony

Harmonies primarily in parallel thirds but sometimes also fourths (elemental)
Occasionally also fifths, see Gaika. Though it seems it's mainly parallel thirds except with fourths on an ending line. I've also noticed sometimes they'll move at different times, though, like in "kanashimi wo koete" and "utsuru mono wa" in Hikari no Senritsu chorus.

Use of melodic and harmonic minor scales (Monochrome, Kantankatan (guess what song I've been transcribing lately?)
Will also add Te to Te to Me to Me and Usumurasaki to the list of harmonic minor. Yami no Uta is also in a weird scale (not natural minor), but I can't tell which

One other thing I will add is the heavy use of piano in lives to set the chords, etc. Even in songs where piano was no where to be found in the studio version (Kyrie, oblivious, believe)

EDIT: Kajiura also loooooves tritone key changes, just see going into/out of (if returning to verse) the choruses of Eden, heavenly blue, One Light, Hikari no Senritsu, etc.

EDIT 2: Also uses a lot of modal mixture (misterioso, Door, One Light verses), especially the bVI-bVII-I progression to help end choruses (Yume no Tsubasa, into the world, etc.).

EDIT 3: common chord progressions I've seen include VI-VII-i (for a lot of rock songs (synchronicity, oblivious, Magia verses)) and i-VI-VII-III (used in many places, but notably in Natsu no Ringo, believe, Kimi ga Hikari ni Kaeteiku choruses)
 
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VyseLegendaire

Roses at her doorstep
#16
Do a tonal analysis of Gougatsu no Mahou if you want to scratch your head. This song seems simple enough in form but the use of key progressions makes it something special. See if you can figure out the meme hidden in there.
 
#17
Do a tonal analysis of Gougatsu no Mahou if you want to scratch your head. This song seems simple enough in form but the use of key progressions makes it something special. See if you can figure out the meme hidden in there.
That song had a lot key changes, doesn't it?
And what hidden meme are you talking about?

*Edit: typo correction
 

VyseLegendaire

Roses at her doorstep
#19
Its been over a year since I looked at the piano score, but I'm pretty sure the song modulates in a circle via backwards 5th-modulations where the final key will perfectly lead into the beginning on replay, like the repeating of the seasons yearly (Magic of May).

By backward what I mean is the antecedent key is in the perfect fifth of the proceeding key, which seems like a pointless exercise unless you look at it as a circular cycle.

The signifigance of this is that V-I is considered the central progression in Western music, and also that May is the fifth month of the year.

heres the score I have http://www.mediafire.com/file/gobasa0uh16ismi/GogatsunoMahou.pdf/file
 

Westkana

HA! I live in her CLOSET!
#20
By backward what I mean is the antecedent key is in the perfect fifth of the proceeding key,
I didn't know the intro was in Cm, huh. I get what you're saying, though. The ending key (Gm) is a perfect fifth above the beginning key (Cm), and the Gmaj7 chord (I think she would've done G7 if she could but it would sound too funky) as the final chord lets it be able to go into the Cm beginning smoothly, which is, like you said, the V-I progression.

Veeeerrrry interesting :ayashii:

Btw @Atlas Star if you want us to take our music theory discussion elsewhere so we keep your thread on topic we can, just say the word :3