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

VyseLegendaire

Roses at her doorstep
#21
Yea, and the song does this V-I backwards thing in a circle beginning from G as it ends up in G is what I remember. It may have some execptions for certain sections which bridge others together and pad them though. I just glanced at the score and first three changes are C - F - B
 

Atlas Star

Yuki is lord of heaven and earth
#22
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!
Wow, thank you so much Puddle Boots! Sorry it took me so long to respond -- I was in the process of getting a new computer (my previous one I had since 2009... yeah.......)

Yes it is me on piano! Thank you thank you.

Wow this thread has taken a life of its own -- @Westkana it's giving my album exposure so I say let's keep going with this thread!!

I studied music theory as part of my ABRSM music training, but only basic stuff so I can grasp what you all are saying -- I just can't put it in my own words :p

I think for me, Kajiura style is (as some of you have already mentioned) the super dramatic ritardandos coupled with diminuendo that happen at the end of piano ballads (i.e. Mahiru, Gloria). Most often if it's in a minor key, it would land on the major version of that key at the end (i.e. Gm --> G major) -- this is where the "I can't put music theory into words" part comes in.

As far as the harmonies, I don't think third-apart, fourth-apart, or fifth-apart really matters - it changes dramatically from song to song, and honestly that's true for a lot of songs out there. But what I find to be very intriguing in Kajiura's music is when the steps up and down of the melody do NOT match with the steps up and down of the harmonies. Examples include: Ongaku ("boku ni mienai monoga kimi niwa miete ita no"), into the world ("sokoshirenu aoi IZUMI WO SAGURU.....akirametakute naiteru tokimo daremo soba ni WA TATENAI NE"), and many more examples.

Another thing that strikes me as Kajiuran style is UNEXPECTED HARMONIES or KEY CHANGES (Hikari no Senritsu -- the transition from prechorus to chorus; Yane no mukou ni -- transition from prechorus to chorus, and also when WAKANA sings "[natsu no] Yane no Mukou ni" at the end of first chorus; and DOOR - OMG DOOR. HIKARU'S LAST LINE. "FURUI UTA WO NOKOSHITEEEE". WHEN THE SONG FALLS BACK ON A MINOR. OMG)
 

Westkana

HA! I live in her CLOSET!
#23
DOOR - OMG DOOR. HIKARU'S LAST LINE. "FURUI UTA WO NOKOSHITEEEE". WHEN THE SONG FALLS BACK ON A MINOR. OMG
I haven't taken a good look at this song in a while, but I thought that chord was a major? Iirc, the song at that point was borrowing from Cm, and there it went to a C major chord (could be Am though, but I think she's singing an E). Either way, I agree that line is SOOOOO GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOD :love:
 

Atlas Star

Yuki is lord of heaven and earth
#24
I haven't taken a good look at this song in a while, but I thought that chord was a major? Iirc, the song at that point was borrowing from Cm, and there it went to a C major chord (could be Am though, but I think she's singing an E). Either way, I agree that line is SOOOOO GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOD :love:
4/4 F | Eb-D C-D-Eb-|---Eb-D -F --|-E-----|
4/4 fu| ru-i u-ta wo-| - no-ko-shi-|-te----|
4/4 --|AbM-Fm------|Bb------------|Am---|FM|GM|CM| Am-FM-GM-CM repeat
 

VyseLegendaire

Roses at her doorstep
#25
Your observations are spot on, atlas star. Kajiura music analysis is a whole master class unto itself. She follows conventions very well but at the same, makes mincemeat of them.

I imagine there are lots of things to be gleaned from a thorough harmonic analysis of her songs. While you can listen to the music and feel it 'flows' intuitively, the harmonic structure is off the wall and often seemingly out of the blue. Thus I want to look at the songs and put together a scheme of how and why that is, and Gougatsu was just an easy example of that. Ring Your Bell is another one I have meant to look at more, where you have this unbecoming melody belying a grand harmonic structure.
 
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#26
Wow that's so cool! I'm curious, are you all doing that chordal analysis by ear? If so, I'm extremely impressed! If not, where are you finding these chords?
I'm also curious, @Atlas Star about the lyrics for Skies of Tomorrow: Did you write them yourself? Are you a native/heritage speaker of Japanese? If not, how did you go about writing in an acquired language?
I realized a while back that I (who almost universally can't stand music with English lyrics) really shouldn't be trying to write lyrics in English, because no matter how good they are, I'll never like them. My Japanese is very good, and I've written some lyrics, but inevitably there will be some mistakes that I just won't be able to catch. What was your approach to that?
 
#27
Wow that's so cool! I'm curious, are you all doing that chordal analysis by ear? If so, I'm extremely impressed! If not, where are you finding these chords?
I'm a self-taught musician, and I can read music since around 2 years ago, lol. Don't use sheet music much, unless for choral works. So yeah, I can find out chord by ear. Not so good about musical analysis though.

@VyseLegendaire please teach me to realize that kind of subtle thing, senpai. :waii:
I just can't get enough of Circle Progression.:nosebleed:
 

VyseLegendaire

Roses at her doorstep
#28
Wow that's so cool! I'm curious, are you all doing that chordal analysis by ear? If so, I'm extremely impressed! If not, where are you finding these chords?
I am working off the piano scores or vocal scores made by fans or sometimes officially. Analysis comes from studying music theory and music history since forever. While I don't claim to be any sort of expert and I'm always realizing how little I know. I would do more such analysis and go more in depth if I had the time. I like to read her music to get the full picture and it improves my enjoyment, as often the recordings feel 'compressed' and not as pure as the notes themselves.

the best way to get familiar with harmonic analysis is to learn the fundamentals from a course or study guide, but also follow along classical music scores while listening, like JS Bach orchestral works, and also do some composing yourself with a score program to see how things work.
 
#29
the best way to get familiar with harmonic analysis is to learn the fundamentals from a course or study guide, but also follow along classical music scores while listening, like JS Bach orchestral works, and also do some composing yourself with a score program to see how things work.
Thanks! I was wondering more about the ear training thing— I've studied a lot of music theory and can analyze sheet music without too much trouble, but my ears are absolutely terrible... (For example, I've spent endless hours trying to learn to distinguish different types of seventh chords by ear and major/major versus minor/minor is just impossible for me, though I can tell them both apart from the other kinds.) But I guess there just isn't anything for it but to practice...
 

Atlas Star

Yuki is lord of heaven and earth
#32
I'm also curious, @Atlas Star about the lyrics for Skies of Tomorrow: Did you write them yourself? Are you a native/heritage speaker of Japanese? If not, how did you go about writing in an acquired language?
I realized a while back that I (who almost universally can't stand music with English lyrics) really shouldn't be trying to write lyrics in English, because no matter how good they are, I'll never like them. My Japanese is very good, and I've written some lyrics, but inevitably there will be some mistakes that I just won't be able to catch. What was your approach to that?
Haha no I am not a native speaker - I never even took a class in Japanese in HS or college. I started self-teaching Japanese when I was 16 after discovering Kajiura's music, and most significantly, from Kalafina lyrics. I learned hiragana/katakana, kanji was a breeze since I am from Hong Kong, basic grammar and just searching Japanese words online (jisho.org is a great help) from the Kalafina lyrics. I noticed a lot of words being used very often from song to song (i.e. "kanaderu", "yume", "sora", "yasashii/ku" "natsukashii/ku", "todoku", "hibiku", "akogare".... the list goes on. You get the idea. But my song, "skies of tomorrow", which if you didn't know, I composed with Kalafina in mind with HIKARU being lead vocalist at the chorus, is composed mainly of words I learned from Kalafina songs over the years.

The composition process for "skies of tomorrow" was first creating the melody, then recording a piano background track and then singing "lalala" for the vocal melody, then plugging words in... I wanted to paint a picture of hope and aimed to link this concept to the endlessness of the skies above us; fortunately, a lot of the words Kajiura uses has to do with this.

"sora ni kimi no koe ga
yasashiku natsukashiku hibiku
You are the reason why I live for the light of tomorrow
boku wa koko ni matteru"

Looking back, I really wish I had kept a record of exactly what I was thinking as I composed the song.. cus I have NO CLUE how I created an entire 4-minute length song in Japanese. I will very proudly say I adore this song, and that it is one of my proudest works, especially since it is a song I composed for three singers whom I look up to a lot.

By the way @Puddle Boots -- as far as ear training, I highly recommend humming or singing to yourself whilst analyzing the song. How I figure out chord progressions is by humming out the main note of the chord (i.e. for the first chorus of Kimiga hikarini kaeteyuku: F-Db-Eb-Ab repeat). In some bass-heavy songs, humming along to the bass line will also help me with recognizing chord patterns.
 
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