Category Archives: Recordings

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!

An Ill Presence (orchestrated)

Hi, everybody!

This week I have an orchestrated version of one of my previous compositions, An Ill Presence. I was working on it before I had to flee Kyiv and finished it recently. Rather than posting a video of my recording software playing through the track, I asked my wife to draw an image for it – a tree that has unnatural colours. I think what she produced looks really good!

Piano arrangement of ‘All That I’m Living For’ by Evanescence

Hi everybody!

Today I’d like to announce the release of a new video – this one is a piano arrangement of All That I’m Living For by Evanescence, based on the 2006 AOL Music Sessions performance. It was originally made for one of my pupils, who wanted to learn how to play it. That version was a little simpler, but also quite repetitive – I added a few things to create this version. Let me know what you think of it!

In the future I might do an arrangement of the song ‘Hello’, my favourite by Evanescence. I also have some other videos in the works, including some performances of my own music and some new compositions that got delayed due to the war in Ukraine.

Piano arrangement of an excerpt from Metal Gear Solid 3 Main Theme

Hello, everybody. I glad to post a new video – the first since having had to leave Kyiv due to the war. This one is a piano arrangement of the music from my favourite scene in the Metal Gear Solid series of video games.

I hope to have some more performance videos up soon, though you can imagine, a month without access to a piano for regular practice slowed me down with that.

Piano arrangement of The Landing from Final Fantasy VIII

Hello, everybody!

This week’s video is a piano arrangement that I made of The Landing from Final Fantasy VIII. It’s one of my favourite pieces from the game and I feel that it captures the chaos and excitement of the SeeD exam wonderfully!

Let me know what you think of it! I’d be glad to hear your thoughts.

Clockwork Sanctuary (orchestrated – variation 1)

I have a third new video this week! Another orchestration, this time of my piano piece Clockwork Sanctuary.

This is a location theme for the game that I’m making. As the player moves deeper into the level, the piece will change, with more instruments and sounds related to clocks and industry getting added in. This is just the first version that will play upon entering the area.

It took me a while to settle on instrumentation for this version – I had a rough sketch of it recorded about a year ago but wasn’t happy with my choice of instruments at the time, or with my ability to make them sound good. I’m much happier with this version, especially with the string quartet at the end of it. All of the instruments are physically modelled and thus can be played in a very expressive manner (they’re the Audio Modelling SWAM Solo Strings and the SWAM Flute, Oboe and Bassoon, for those interested in specifics).

Here’s the original piano version for comparison. Please let me know what you think of each version! If you enjoy my music, please consider subscribing to my channel!

Innocence – orchestrated (variation 1)

I decided to release a second video this week – something I’ve been working on and was too excited to fit into my usual schedule of one video per week!

I’ve been working on orchestrating some of my piano music recently (the first ones were Theme of Oppression and To Arms!, though the latter is a rock arrangement rather than an orchestration. I’ve got a few compositions in progress and have been figuring out what works when it comes to combining instruments and learning a little about how they’re played as I go along. I’ll make a more thorough study of orchestration when I’ve experimented more by myself, as I’m a firm believer in having some practical knowledge to stick the theory to.

The video this week is an wind and strings version of ‘Innocence’. I say version, as I believe that it’s worth making multiple versions of the same piece of music to explore the many different ways that a melody or harmonic progression can go.

This is done often in soundtracks, to give a sense of coherency to the story and characters and is particularly effective in video games. I remember Jak II adding an extra layer of rhythmic elements over the existing music whenever you drew a weapon and finding that really raised the tension. More recently A Hat in Time impressed me with just how many versions of every piece of music it has – as you move around the levels and encounter different characters, the instrumentation changes to reflect the mood.

I’ll link the original piano version of this composition, so you can easily compare the two. I’d be glad to hear what people think works in each version, ad whether people have a preference for one or the other. If you use YouTube, please consider subscribing, and let me know what you think in the comments.

To Arms! – proof of concept video

I’m excited to announce that I have a new video on my YouTube channel! This one contains a rock arrangement of one of my earlier piano tracks, titled ‘To Arms!’. For anyone that prefers rock to solo piano, this is for you! If you’re a fan of epic (in the original sense of the word) guitar solos, please have a listen. The solo in this piece was written by the fantastic Ainsley Stones, (who plays in the band Girl Gone Bad), and is the first of two collaborations we’ve done recently.

I’d also like to thank Thomas Slimm for writing the drum part and James Aldred for listening to the track a great many times and offering mixing advice.

If you want to hear the track without the sound effects from the game, there’s a Soundcloud link in the video description.

Theme of Oppression proof of concept video

I’m happy to announce that I have a new type of video up on my YouTube channel. I suspect anyone that played video games in the 90s might be interested, and anyone who wants to see how music does a lot of work to create atmosphere for old 2D games should check it out as well.

It’s a proof of concept for an early area of a game that I’d like to make. It’s in the style of old JRPGs (Japanese Role-Playing Games) like Final Fantasy and features the piece of music that I wrote back in 2013 that has inspired almost all of my recent musical projects. It was made in RPG Maker MV and was a chance for me to learn how to loop a track correctly from specific points and design a level and dialogue to fit with the music.

I’m really interested to hear what people think about it – do you feel that the visual design matches the mood of the music? Is the atmosphere as oppressive as the track name suggests?