Upcoming Projects – August 2022

Hello, everybody!

I haven’t stuck to my usual upload schedule recently as I’ve got a lot of projects in progress but nothing finished. This week I still don’t quite have anything finished, but I made a teaser for some of my upcoming videos! There are bits of three covers that I’m working on (from Tombi, Dark Souls II, and Final Fantasy IX) and also snippets of three original pieces of mine. The video description has timestamps. I hope you enjoy!

Final Fantasy VIII – Balamb Garden (piano performance)

Hello, everybody!

This week’s video will be especially nostalgic for Final Fantasy fans – if you spent part of your childhood in Balamb Garden, this one’s for you! It’s a piano arrangement of the music that plays as you explore Balamb Garden.

This piece practically arranged itself, as the original version is so well orchestrated. It goes on a wonderful journey through several keys – F lydian, D major and B major, before looping back around to F lydian. I hope you enjoy the performance!

Time to Rest – new composition and performance

Hello, everybody!

I wasn’t sure I’d have a video to post this week, as I’ve been re-evaluating my piano technique, so don’t have any performances ready, and things were going pretty slowly compositionally.

That said, I have been working on one composition this week – a new Safe Room theme for an upcoming EP/album (I’m not sure on the number of tracks that will be on it yet). Safe Room themes originated in the Resident Evil games and are designed to make the player feel safe while also creating unease that they must head back out into danger.

I’d noticed with the previous ones that I wrote, I was tending towards similar chord progressions, so I took some influence from Final Fantasy composer Nobuo Uematsu for this one. I actually reworked the whole thing today as it was sounding a bit too similar to the previous ones I wrote. I’d be glad to hear what you think of it – hopefully it’s something relaxing to listen to.

ZERO – Resident Evil Zero (cover)

Hello, everybody!

This week’s video is a piano solo cover of the piece ‘ZERO’ from Resident Evil Zero. I recently started playing through the game and this piece plays in the opening cutscene. It grabbed my attention as it’s pretty creepy and uses a couple of chord progressions that I really like (minor chords moved either a major third or minor third away).

The original has some kind of bowed string instrument playing the melody – I think it still works on piano, but perhaps makes the whole thing slightly less creepy. Let me know what you think!

Evanescence – Hello (piano arrangement)

Hello, everybody!

This week’s video is a solo piano arrangement of Hello from Evanescence’s first album, Fallen. It’s one of my favourite songs of theirs – it’s simple overall, being just piano, one voice and a cello solo, but is interesting enough that it doesn’t get boring. I transcribed just the piano part of this years ago, but decided recently to include the vocal and cello parts on the piano.

It’s emotionally very heavy and I tried to capture that with my arrangement. I didn’t want to harmonise or double the vocal part, as it’s a very personal song for Amy Lee, the writer, and the original has only one vocal track. I found that the song is so well arranged in it’s original form, that this piano solo version practically arranged itself! Let me know what you think of it!

Performance of Loss

Hello, everybody!

This week’s video is another performance of one of my own compositions, Loss. It’s my take on a funeral march/death scene, which I released last year on my solo piano album, Let the Journey Begin!. The slow tempo is pretty standard for this kind of music, but I experimented with using phrases of varying lengths, so as not to have it feel too measured – I wanted the instability of losing someone.

The piece starts off very diatonic, but as it goes on there is more chromaticism and countermelodies are introduced, so although there’s repetition of the main melodies and long sections over a tonic pedal, there’s always something new being introduced to add variety and interest.

If you have a YouTube account and would like to offer your thoughts on the composition or performance, please leave a comment over there. If you like my work, please consider subscribing.

If you’d like to support me, my album is available to buy on Bandcamp: https://nicholasowen-petch.bandcamp.com/album/let-the-journey-begin

If you prefer Spotify, you can find it here: https://open.spotify.com/album/1sSwz4peeRTZPRMprLfhMR?si=KDV21bzASju-Mque8n-IWw

Performance of Innocence

Hello, everybody!

It’s been several weeks since I last posted a video – I’ve been working on quite a few things musically, but didn’t have anything finished. This week’s video is a performance of my composition, Innocence. This is one of my favourite pieces from my album, Let the Journey Begin!, as I feel that I captured the feeling I was aiming for succinctly.

I had to work on my technique for this one, as I discovered that my arpeggiated chords were nowhere near as good as I’d thought previously – I had to thoroughly explore how to play them well enough to be accurate while dropping them into the main melody. There’s still some work to do before they’re really good, but I’m happy with how they developed during my practice.

If you’re interested in buying this piece, it’s available on my Bandcamp page as part of an album. The album comes with sheet music: https://nicholasowen-petch.bandcamp.com/album/let-the-journey-begin

If you prefer Spotify, you can find it here: https://open.spotify.com/album/1sSwz4peeRTZPRMprLfhMR?si=kWK4HGkiRWm54KA7ekeW1Q

An Ill Presence~To Arms! (orchestral and rock mix)

Hello, everybody!

My latest video is a combined version of two of my compositions – An Ill Presence (orchestrated) and To Arms! (rock version). Anyone familiar with my piano album will be used to hearing them as one track, and they were written as a pair. When I was working on the orchestrated and rock versions, I made and released them one at a time, and while I think they can stand alone, I also thought it would be good to recombine them as originally intended.

A big thanks to Ainsley Stones, of Girl Gone Bad, for the guitar solo in To Arms!. Please check out their music: https://www.youtube.com/c/GirlGoneBad

Many thanks also to Thomas Slimm for writing and programming the drums.

The artwork is by my wife, Iryna Zastavna.

Onimusha 2 – Oda’s Army Attacks~Intro (arranged for two pianos)

Hello, everybody!

This week, I made an arrangement of the music from the opening cutscene of Onimusha 2, arranged for four hands. I’ve been wanting to make for a while, but felt like I needed to do some simpler arrangements before jumping into this one. I specifically decided on two pianos rather than four hands on one piano so that one part could use the sustain pedal without interfering with the other.

This is the first time I’ve arranged a piece for four hands. It was a great learning experience but I’m sure that someone with more experience could make an even more interesting version of it. I plan to do more arrangements like this in the future.

Let me know what you think!

Memento Mori – Main Theme (cover)

Hello, everybody! This week’s video is a performance of the piano solo version of the Main Theme from the film Memento Mori. Memento Mori is one of my favourite films – while it’s classified as horror, it’s more of a ghost story. It’s part of the Whispering Corridors series – the films are only loosely connected, but each one deals with the issues that were taking place in the South Korean education system at the time.

The Main Theme is a beautiful piece of music, and I plan on making a piano arrangement of the orchestral version at a later point (including the orchestral parts on piano alongside the piano parts).