[Movie/Music Review] Black Panther

In short, this film encapsulates African culture and creates a engaging story, integrating with a modern style. This film successfully creates a story that is not preachy, but it delivers a powerful message to all people.

The music was filled with wonderful colors, mixed with beautiful percussion instrumentations and a soundtrack that is fitting, but also very unique.  I noticed that the instrumentation changes depending on who sits on the throne of Wakanda. When the King T’challa is in command of Wakanda, the music is more traditional with percussion that harkens back to traditional African culture. But when Warmonger sits on the throne the music turns into a more modern sound with synthetic drums and hard hitting beats. I really appreciate how the composer and music director make each scene meaningful with each music that they choose.

I am very glad to to have seen this film and I hope to see Marvel make films that are more than just the spectacle superhero flair but also encapsulates characters and their unique relationships.

~LL

[Movie/Music Review] Phantom Thread

Although, the movie ended not being my cup of tea, I appreciated the artistic risk that the Phantom Thread was amongst all of the flashy blockbuster superhero and multibillion dollar franchises inundated in the movie industry.  I love how it illustrates the life an artist obsessed with his craft and how his life is affected by it. However, I wished I could see more the art of dress making instead of mostly focusing on his romance life. As a fellow artist I feel like I could have seen something more. Daniel Day Lewis claims that this is his last movie, and he has certainly acted spectacularly; however, I wish that this won’t be the last.

That’s pretty much I have to say about the movie. As for the music, I love the approach of a minimalistic orchestration approach of only piano and strings. The theme is very strong and is played many times, so it is easily recognizable when it happens again. The playful jazz harmonies are soothing and suited the mood of the film very well.

A few criticisms I have about the music is that it is very safe. While the main theme is pleasant, it is just that. Many of the emotional points of tension about Woodstock’s various relationships should have been addressed with the score to show the warped mind of an artist. Although I do not condone using stock music (for example, using Ravel’s String Quartet and other pieces). I believe a more variety in the soundtrack should have been used. Miscellaneous include a mixing issue in which the piano sometimes had too much reverb and often covered the quiet dialogue in the film.

I will be honest and say, despite the ravings of all of the critics about the move, I was okay with the film. Despite all of this, I am very happy to see a different kind of film that is not just a simple superhero film. I hope to see more of these in the future.

~LL

I will be attending GDC

After deciding for hours on end. I have finally decided to attend GDC. Although, it’s quite pricey, I believe it will be worth to effort to connect with acquaintances and hopefully make a more solid friendship with all of the people I have met last time. Hope to meet some of you there!

~LL

Musical Journey I [January 14, 2018]

Hello all. I decided to start a series of blog posts titled “Musical Journey”. After graduating from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music (SFCM) I figured it would be good to share a musicians journey on how to make a living and also most importantly, a life with music. I’ll be sharing what has been going on in my life.

Currently, I am involved in two small companies and working remotely. These include the Azzy Project with Celtic Dragon Studio. We have made some progress and have featured out game in a convention in Ireland. I hope the project kickstarts and we can start seeing success soon.

Although I love composing music (in fact I actually prefer to do that), I have been hired as a Sound FX artists for Fenrir Studios for their Darkstorm Project. Although I have acquired much Sound FX knowledge with the professors at SFCM (especially the wonderful Dren Mcdonald), this will be my first time doing Sound FX for real, instead of just class exercises. Hopefully, my work turns out satisfactory. I look forward to improving through this project.

As a musician, we always have the inevitable day job. Although I would love to just hole up in my studio and compose all day, it’s important to make a steady living. I’ll be teaching in the Santa Clara area for piano with a few fellow musicians who are world class. Although I have confidence as a piano teacher, I am looking forward to learning more in not just maintaining my piano skills, but also teaching children a skill they can take pride in, whether or not they choose to use it as a career or hobby.

Well, that conclude Musical Journey I. I hope you all have enjoyed reading this post. If there are other topics you wish for me to discuss I am glad to share with you all. Until next time!

~LL