Song Commentary Friday! Except it’s Saturday!
Sorry about not getting around to this yesterday. I did, after all, move from Michigan to Maryland (DC Metro) on Thursday and got everything unpacked yesterday.
Let’s have a bit of history before we jump into things with this song.
A Bit of History
I’ve been writing music among the longest out of all of the team members (9 and a half years now), but definitely not the longest. However, I definitely have to say I’ve improved more over the past two years than the seven years before that just from working with so many talented people.
But the difference in improvement between then and now is a story for another day. Let’s zip right just before I joined the team. While Skaia (Incipisphere Mix) is my first official Homestuck song, Doctor (Deep Breeze Mix) is my first Homestuck-related song, which you can download here.
The reason I’m mentioning my Doctor remix is because it very much helped put Incipisphere Mix on Volume 5. From what I was told, it turned a few heads on the team. Kind of hilarious to go back and look at the thread, because multiple of my chums posted just after I did and I wasn’t even aware of who they were at the time. Then again, I was still VERY new to the community at the time. My very first post on the MSPA Forums was of a WIP of my Doctor remix.
Blueberry eventually put me in contact with Radiation, and I was told not to release my Skaia remix anywhere. That made me very curious! And then not too long after that (a few days, I think), I received a message from Andrew Hussie himself on the forums saying he wanted the lossless master of Incipisphere.
“Oh snap! I’m a guest artist on Volume 5!” … And the following day I see a new subforum sitting there and I found out I was invited to join the team. Exciting times, indeed.
The Song Itself
Now, I’m sure people are wondering why I went with doing a remix of Skies of Skaia. Well, simply put, I really liked the chord progression, and I really enjoyed one of the remixes that was formerly in the discography. Because of both, I decided I wanted to do something with a bit of a heavier sound to it, but keeping consistent with the light and vibrant tone qualities.
The bassline and drums definitely helped give the song a much heavier feel than the original, showing an earlier example of what I feel has become my typical contrast in music. I very much enjoy contrasts in all art forms. Unexpected contrasts that are executed well just really made me happy. I can’t say I’m particularly happy with the bassline now, but back then that was pretty appropriate for my skill level, plus having an arpeggiating sound that I really used to do too much.
There’s also this really amusing sound effect which is actually this sample played backward and faded in.
Of course, the comments I see the most on this song are on the improvised piano part. Before I was on the team I started doing a regular broadcast on the skaia.net internet radio, and I’d improvise over this song pretty often back then. I eventually figured out a few parts that I wanted to keep consistent, and I did a bunch of takes to finally get to what you hear in the final song. Of course, MIDI never seems to record very accurately, and I’m not actually the greatest at piano (!!!), so I had to do some fine-tuning on the note timings to make them actually sound precise. But those really fast runs were definitely real, and, no, don’t ask me to play it again. I won’t be able to. It was a really good day for me.
Until next time!