Single Status Update
Gregory Wang is a cousin of mine. We live on opposite sides of the United States so our relationship is pretty distant, but occasionally we get to meet up during family events and such. He's a pretty cool dude.
He's also an extremely talented pianist. He's been practicing piano since he was in second grade and has since performed in many concerts, was a four-year winner in music competitions in his school, performed with Johnson City and Maryville Symphony orchestras, competed in the Russian International Music Competition, presented with scholarships to various schools, and is currently studying at Indiana University Jacobs School of Music
I wasn't able to find any videos of him playing online but I've seen DVDs of him performing and it is jawdropping. I'm not even one to listen to classical music but his performances are completely outstanding. During holidays, he will occasionally sit down play requests on my grandparent's piano, from Charlie Chaplin to Lady Gaga. He has an amazing gift of being able to play music by ear.
I haven't contacted him recently, but I've been contemplating the idea of getting a piano keyboard, and some midi recording software and abusing his talents to record music to use exclusively in my Doom levels so I don't have to be concerned about people not liking the music in my maps ever again.
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I've thought about abusing my dad in the same way. The thing is: once your musical skill and appreciation reach a certain level, you lose interest in the sort of repetitive, looping electronica that works well in games. I don't know your cousin, but I'm betting that if he's willing to give you something it won't be what you want.
A fuckload of trance musicians have a classical background eg Infected Mushroom.
Yes, most of the midis by stewboy, Jimmy, you and some other currently active Doom musicians are not repetitive/simplistic enough, they feel more like ballads or something rather than music to listen to while shooting monsters. (not that it matters for me personally, all I need from a doom song is to be enjoyable to listen to, whether it fits to the mood or not isn't really important) I think only PRIMEVAL does it right currently, his songs are very Doomy. imo.
I do actually have this problem when writing midis. I can't stand making them too repetitive. I know there's a difference between so repetitive it's annoying, and just repetitive enough so that it's effective as background music, but I'm never really sure of it. So I tend to err on the side of non-repetitiveness, although I do try and keep the same mood throughout the piece. (Map20's music from the plutonia midi project, once it gets released, is probably my most simplistic recent midi.)
Another issue which might separate me from other musicians from a classical background, is that I play (as a percussionist) in several ensembles weekly (and have played in one of them since I was 10). Wind bands, brass bands, orchestras. I'm very much an ensemble player, as opposed to a solo player. And the music that these ensembles tend to play is generally very non-repetitive, as well as the music that I have to listen to for my uni work (I study music). All (or most of) these pieces are quite dramatically different to video game music. New material is introduced every ten seconds (Brass composers like Philip Sparke*, Peter Graham etc do a lot of this, if you've heard of them). Material is rarely reused in the same way that video game music material is.
Also I'm aware a lot of video game music is actually quite varied and interesting. But different video games will require different forms of music, and possibly music fitting a game like Doom (which is what we're talking about, I assume) needs to be more simplistic than music for a game like Civilization.
*Do listen to this piece, by the way. It's fantastic. Part two is here. You can also watch the brass band I'm in play it (I'm the timpanist on the right). We're pretty good, although we came 5th (out of 15) in that particular competition.