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Doom on Piano

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I play doom music on piano every day, as video game theme music is really fun and easy to figure out. I don't own a camera otherwise I'd make a video, props to this guy for doing just that.

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I think we have a bit of hometown bias going on here. He can't maintain a tempo, has trouble hitting the right notes, and in places he doesn't even seem to have the melody down in his head. This performance is creative, noble, and interesting. Any compliments beyond that can probably be attributed to gushing fans.

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That guy is so insane. I didn't think it was possible to be that good at piano :(

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I've learned to play a number of songs from Doom on my keyboard...but I will confess that I can play only one or two of them anywhere as CLOSE to as well as this guy can. This is stunning performance here.

He even included a track from TNT :D

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I have to live up to my title on this one. AndrewB made good points, and Tango hit the nail on the head without realizing it; listen to more piano music, and you'll realize where this performance falls short. Now, the house where I was raised by two music teachers currently has no fewer than seven large keyboard instruments (one grand piano, one upright, one player, one electric, a pump organ, a clavichord, and a harpsichord - not to mention the pipe organ we store elsewhere and the other pump organ we just got rid of) so that's your explanation for this current bout of snobbery. What I'd prefer to hear in a piano performance of Doom music is a new arrangement that makes better use of the piano's range to give it a full sound and new supporting lines, so that the transition to piano really benefits the music instead of hurts it. Melodic embellishments and gentle rubato at the right moments wouldn't hurt. And, obviously, the combination of poorly-maintained upright + camcorder + .flv isn't a great one.

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AndrewB said:

I think we have a bit of hometown bias going on here. He can't maintain a tempo, has trouble hitting the right notes, and in places he doesn't even seem to have the melody down in his head. This performance is creative, noble, and interesting. Any compliments beyond that can probably be attributed to gushing fans.


Fanboy response: I'd like to see you do better. >:(

Actual response: I agree with you (and Creaphis by association) that his actual piano playing is decent but I definitely did pick up on irregularities in the tempo and periodic slippage in terms of hitting the right notes. I enjoyed listening to it in that it was Doom music and it's Doom music performed a lot better than I could do, and his playing wasn't horrible, but beyond that it's not the most phenomenal playing ever. When I said it was "stunning performance" that was bias. :P

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Bah you guys are just trying too hard to critique something that is just meant as a fan's interpretation on piano. Like this guy gives a flying fuck if his tempo falters here and there. It's impressive that he memorized it enough to just go from song to song without a hitch and its not like he's butchering them.

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alexz721 said:

Sometimes tempo fluctuation adds to a piece rather than detracting from it.

Agreed. I like it when musicians don't stick to a particular tempo and just play the music as it comes to them. I would expect that he'd miss some notes, as I'd imagine playing 9 minutes of music from memory would be quite a task to do perfectly. For what it was meant to convey, I think it did a good job.

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im actually only impressed that he figured out that many songs and played them in a row and made them sound decent. me, being an avid player of guitar (im a music fanatic), has definitely picked up on the irregularities of the timing and tempo and notes that were a half step too high or even (in an extreme example) on the next octave up. the actual performance was nothing impressive, as it wasnt mastered. still nice though. the part that most impressed me was the fast part of e1m1 music (those little solo-ish parts).

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Creaphis said:

What I'd prefer to hear in a piano performance of Doom music is a new arrangement that makes better use of the piano's range to give it a full sound and new supporting lines, so that the transition to piano really benefits the music instead of hurts it. Melodic embellishments and gentle rubato at the right moments wouldn't hurt.

Creaphis' "Variations on several themes by Bobby Prince"?

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Yeah, right after I posted that I realized that I probably don't know the half of how impressive piano can get. I'd still be proud if I could play like that though :P

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At one college I went to there was a public piano by a student lounge. It would rule if someone just started playing that stuff on it.

I think another college had pianos in soundproof booths in dorms but I guess you could play with the door open.

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VileSlay said:

heh, didn't notice that. too quick on the draw I guess.

Actually, a little slow on the draw in this case. :P

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He is really incredible to do all of this for 9 minutes straight.

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geo said:

He is really incredible to do all of this for 9 minutes straight.


Again, feats such as that are possible for any competent piano player.

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The hypothetical superior piano players don't care about DOOM so they don't do anything about it. What's the practical value of what they won't even do? Besides, I bet that even if AndrewB or someone were capable of a supposedly clean or technically proficient interpretation of the music, a true piano artist or a high-caliber connoisseur may well end up considering it a mediocrity slightly above the music in the video, if that... he might actually end up liking it less for some reason. Other people might too. The ability to avoid common errors and imperfections is not the same thing as artistry. Some uniquely esteemed artists have their share of limitations and flaws.

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I think the real issue here is how much the Doom community in general knows about the piano. The average Doomer could crawl underneath a grand piano and have it fall on him and he'd probably consider that to be a well played song.

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myk said:

The hypothetical superior piano players don't care about DOOM so they don't do anything about it. What's the practical value of what they won't even do? Besides, I bet that even if AndrewB or someone were capable of a supposedly clean or technically proficient interpretation of the music, a true piano artist or a high-caliber connoisseur may well end up considering it a mediocrity slightly above the music in the video, if that... he might actually end up liking it less for some reason. Other people might too. The ability to avoid common errors and imperfections is not the same thing as artistry. Some uniquely esteemed artists have their share of limitations and flaws.

Quoted for truth. IMO, technical perfection is the least important component of art.

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AndrewB said:

The average Doomer could crawl underneath a grand piano and have it fall on him and he'd probably consider that to be a well played song.

Quoted for truth - also given me an idea for a ZDoom stealth monster.

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