Call the Doctor! Emergency of Iryou Kei!

 

Call the Doctor! Emergency of Iryou Kei!

You are in a Visual Kei rock show in Japan and suddenly the band appears all full of gauze strips, bandages, eye patch and bloodstains? Calm, calm, calm.

They are not hurt. It's just the Iryou Kei.

The Iryou Kei is a genre of Visual Kei with appearance that refers to medical atmosphere, like hospital suits, gauze, nurse or medical suits, eye bandages and surgical equipment. Yes, it's scary. The genre is based on horror works of literature and film that take place in almost haunted hospital environments.

As might be expected, the musical compositions of Iryou Kei are obscure and refer to dark and humid places, usually accompanied by a chorus of voices. The lyrics are extremely melancholic, mostly on the subject of loneliness and the corruption of the soul. No, these bands do not sing about gruesome things, despite the sad tone, the letters have romantic connotations, but of lost loves.

The main bands and hits of Iryou Kei are "Nocturnal Romance" and "Pessimiste" by Moi-dix-Mois, "Beast of Blood" and "Garnet" by Malice Mizer, "Torikago" and "Sepia" by Pierrot and "Sweet Enemy" and "Knife" by La'Mule.

How about leaving Iryou Kei make a musical surgery in your ears?

May the Force be with you, ladies and gentlemen  

Karen K. Kremer

Keep Calm and call Soft Visual Kei

 

Keep Calm and call Soft Visual Kei

With the name of the Visual Kei of this time is not hard to guess what it is Soft Visual Kei, is not it? As the naming suggests itself is a less aggressive aesthetics and style musically.

The Soft Visual Kei (ソフト・ヴィジュアル系) is a subgenre that emerged in the 90s, side by side with the pioneer of Japanese musical movement Visual Kei, the Kote Kei. As we saw in previous posts, the Kote Kei is subdivided into two categories, Kuro Kei, the dark side and Shiro Kei, the white side. 

Soft Visual Kei is a result of the deepening of the light and festive style of Shiro Kei, however, unlike its original genre, Soft Visual Kei does not focus solely on theatrical and visual appearance, usually composed of white clothes or light colors, but also musical. Taking the experience of joy and lightness to the songs.

The subgenus was also mainstream on Japanese music industry, but began to disappear along with the Kote Kei in early 2000. The main exponents were the bands Siam Shade, Janne Da Arc and Sophia.

Unforgettable genre songs are "Life" and "Dreams" by Siam Shade, "Gekkouka" and "Feel the Wind" by Janne Da Arc and "Strawberry & Lion" and "Hard Worker" by Sophia. Time to get up from the sofa, sing and dance to the Soft Visual Kei!

May the Force be with you, ladies and gentlemen  

Psychedelic Violence: the Visual Shock

 

Psychedelic Violence: the Visual Shock

We talked for months of different genres of Japanese music strand entitled Visual Kei and this month we continue to special posts. Today we'll talk about Visual Shock, an almost musical version of Blade Runner (Ridley Scott, 1982).

Certainly, the question marks must have arisen over their heads. What a Ridley Scott film starring Harrison Ford 1982 has to do with the subgenre of a Japanese musical style? For I say... everything. Visual Shock emerged in the 1980s, heavily influenced by film/literary genre of cyberpunk that gained worldwide fame with the acclaimed film starring Harrison Ford. With this, the Japanese bands of Visual Shock are marked by their visual punks and colorful, with long, frizzy hair.

As well as the typical futuristic punk style from the original genre.

The musical genre was inaugurated by the band X Japan, with which the members called Psychedelic Violence Crime of Visual Shock by be considered an aggressive and rebellious look aesthetically. Many Japanese bands of the era were included as Kamaitachi and Genkaku Allergy. Some major songs and genre performers are "Neurose" and "Shinkei Suijaku" by Kamaitachi, "Kurenai" and "Tears" by X Japan and "Noise Gencho" by Genkaku of Allergy.

How about trying to hear Visual Shock as you remember Blade Runner scenes? You will be amazed.

May the Force be with you, ladies and gentlemen  

Kotevi Kei

 

Indie Visual Kei: Kotevi Kei

In recent months we did a great tour on the main genres within the Japanese musical movement Visual Kei, however, now is the turn of Kotevi Kei, an indie strand within Visual Kei, unlike the mainstream genres we know in past posts.

Prominent genre in the 1990s, Kotevi Kei acts in the indie scene Visual Kei with more emphasis on stage performance than the musical. The genre was originated in the city of Osaka and was successful at the same time that the Soft Visual Kei - we will know next month.

Within the Kotevi Kei there is also a division between Kuro Kei and Shiro Kei. Kuro Kei is characterized by a heavier and dark sound attached to heavier and dark clothes and makeup. The Shiro Kei is the opposite, has a lighter and harmonious sound.

Great Kotevi Kei artists are "Wings Flap," "Seventh Heaven" and "Flower" by L'arc en Ciel. "Uroko" "Obscure" and "Unraveling" by Dir en Grey. "Lucifer" and "Missantroop" by Madeth Gray'll. 

For those who like indie music scene, the Kotevi Kei is an option in Visual Kei for those who support independent bands and stays away from the musical mainstream.

May the Force be with you, ladies and gentlemen  

Oshare & Kotevi: Koteosa Kei

 

Oshare & Kotevi: Koteosa Kei

Do you remember our conversation about Oshare Kei and Kotevi Kei? Well then, it is time to remember the lesson because today the genre is a fusion of these two styles. Genre very recent and very popular in Visual Kei, the Koteosa Kei turned success since 2005, as main influence the Oshare Kei and Kotevi Kei.

The Koteosa Kei has a colorful look with elegant and showy clothes along the lively and happy songs. In growing expansion, Koteosa Kei is one of the most popular genres in the Visual Kei and represents a portion of fans that see represented themselves on the joy and purity of the letters that talk about overcoming, love and friendship.

Artists and songs featured Koteosa Kei are "Virus", "Mikansei Sapphire" and "Gokusaishiki Castle" by Lolita 23q. "Melody", "Cubic" and "Parade" by Ayabie.

"Punky Heart", "Oh My Juliet" and "John" by LM.C.

If you enjoy a colorful visual and happy songs, if you want to go out singing and jumping around the house, if you wish dancing alone when no one is looking, Koteosa Kei genre is perfect for you, a musical style that highlights the good and fun side of life.

May the Force be with you, ladies and gentlemen  

Karen K. Kremer

Oshare Kei

 

Color and Joy: Oshare Kei

After a walk through the dark world of Eroguro Kei, this time our stop is in the most lively and colorful genre of Visual Kei, the Oshare Kei.

Oshare Kei means "fashion style" in Japanese and gained popularity after 2002 with the fall of the popularity of Kote Kei and their subdivisions. Are bands with a cheerful and childish sound, with lyrics about subjects like high school and teens situations.

This strand of Visual Kei is influenced by the already discussed Shiro Kei, subgenre of Kote Kei. However, rather than be restricted to focus on the colorful and festive look, Oshare Kei extends their appearance to their music. Although the music side has recently welcomed more pop musicians, a lot of Oshare Kei is composed of a mixture of hard rock with punk rock, but it is not unusual to find dance influences, techno and even jazz.

Some of the major bands and genre songs are "Natsu Koi ★ Natsu Game", "Escapism" and "Smile Ichiban Ii Onna" by An Cafe; "SweeToxic", "B.A.B.Y." and "Gr8 Story" by SuG; "Karasu Tama" by Milphinne; "Yokohama Love Story" by Charlotte and "Sakura Seven" by Irokui.

Oshare Kei is one of the Visual Kei genre fastest growing currently, characterized by an optimistic and positive rock with artists that highlight their cute, bright and colorful life aspects.

May the Force be with you, ladies and gentlemen  

Eroguro Kei: Decadence and Horror

 

Eroguro Kei: Decadence and Horror

We already know the Angura Kei, Kote Kei and Kurofuku Kei, this post will introduce you to one of the darkest styles of Japanese musical movement Visual Kei, the Eroguro Kei.

Adaptation to the Japanese of the English words 'ero' of "erotic" and  'guro'' of "grotesque", the Eroguro Kei has its roots in the movement Eroguro Nonsense, Japanese artistic and literary movement between years 1920-1930, which focused on human decadence, sexual corruption and violence. The art of Eroguro Nonsense was very influenced by Japan's situation in World War I, so much of its illustrations and speeches refer to torture, death and the grotesque.

The look of Eguro Kei is composed of pale skin, black shadows, bizarre contact lenses and paintings on the skin that resemble injuries. The clothing includes both ordinary clothes stained with artificial blood as something more elaborate like straitjackets. The lyrics talk about the sexual decadence, shocking horror and sadistic mood.

Bands and main genre hits are "Sinner" and "Sorrow" by Deathgaze, "Belial" and "Muen" by The Gallo, "Maguro" and "マ グ ロ" by Cali Gari. This musical genre complaint of contemporary reversal values and quips aspects of today's society as immorality and bizarre sexuality. Eroguro Kei is terror itself in musical version.

May the Force be with you, ladies and gentlemen  

Kurofuku Kei

 

80s Visual Kei: Kurofuku Kei

Gender Kurofuku Kei (黒 服 系) means 'black clothes style' and is the visual kei that marked the dark musical style and black genre in the following years in Japan. This music genre is responsible for the striking aesthetics of Kei Movement, being a fundamental part of all genres this musical current.

The Kurofuku Kei was the first manifestation of visual kei in the late 80s and came to the early 90s. A musical aspect very influenced by British post-punk and death rock American, both from the late 70s, and after punk rock peak on the world music scene.

Visual Kei bands of Kurofuku Kei consists of black clothes, big hair and dark and feminine makeup. The lyrics are marked by gothic themes like morbidity, sorrow and insanity.

Luna Sea was the forerunner of the genre and some of their main songs are "Rosier", "True Blue" and "Storm". Other bands and successes of Kurofuku Kei are "Funeral Procession" and "Nocturne" by Die en Cries, "Dreamin '" and "Justy" by Boowy, "Cry Heart" and "Light & Shadow" by Silver Rose and the successes, part even of the soundtrack of the acclaimed game series Final Fantasy, Gackt with the hits "Redemption" and "Longing".

May the Force be with you, ladies and gentlemen  

Karen K. Kremer

Black & White: Kote Kei

 

Black & White: Kote Kei

Continuing our series of posts on the Japanese musical movement Kei, the subgenre of visual kei this time is the Kote Kei (コ テ 系) in Japanese means 'main style' or 'flagship' style. It was one of the musical precursors of Kei Movement, one of the first genres to enter the Japanese musical mainstream scene.

Singers with colored hair of all shapes and sizes, extremely worked clothes and performances influenced by theatrical art and music. The Kote Kei is divided into two other subgroups: Kuro Kei, the dark side and Shiro Kei, the white side.

Kuro Kei bands are giving more emphasis on music and use an obscure and simple visual as black social clothes. Bands and hits of this genre are "Re: plica" by Dué le Quartz, "Hypnosis" by Shiver, "Level E" by NéiL and "Flowers" by NOi'X.

Shiro Kei is the opposite, are bands that give emphasis on the theatrical aspect and have a more festive and worked look, the main mentor of this style is the band Malice Mizer and one of his greatest hits is "Beast of Blood", other bands and music the genre is "Suicide" by Alienate Ma'riage and "Eternal Silence" by Phantasmagoria.

So, which of these genres you are adept? Black or white?

May the Force be with you, ladies and gentlemen  

Musical Movement Kei in Japan

 

Musical Movement Kei in Japan

If you hear the Japanese rock must have come across bands like X Japan, The Gazette, LM.C or L'Arc-en-Ciel, what they all have in common? The visual. And this is not by chance, they belong to the Japanese musical movement called Visual Kei (ビジュアル系), mixing various styles of rock.

From this month, we will visit the various facets of Japanese musical movement. Visual Kei emerged in Japan in the late 1980s and had the peak 90s and the first visual kei bands were X Japan, D'Erlanger, Dead End, Buck-Tick, Kamaitachi and Color. The movement is characterized by elaborate costumes, striking make-up, colored hair with unusual hairstyles, extravagant performances and in some cases, an androgynous aesthetic.

However, what about the music? Although Visual Kei has various aspects, the lyrics of their songs are geared towards dark soul and death, but not so pessimistic about life, many songs make a direct criticism of society, human falsehood, hypocrisy, addiction to materiality and superficiality of the contemporary world.

Visual Kei is mostly young movement, however, there adherents of all ages.

Songs like "Born to be Free", by X Japan; "Punky Heart" by LM.C; "The Invisible Wall" by The Gazette or "Dive" by An Cafe are anthems of a generation kei and represent all who hear and agree with the ideals of Visual Kei.

May the Force be with you, ladies and gentlemen  

Angura Kei

 

Angura Kei: Traditionalism and Modernity Musical

The first part of Visual Kei to know better is the Angura Kei. The term means "undergroud". These bands are influenced by the Japanese culture, especially traditional or archaic. They avoid foreign influences and adopt a simple visual with Japanese costumes, like kimono.

The Angura Kei is mainly based on the coexistence of traditionalism of feudal Japan with the modernity of today. This musical style mixes music with traditional musical instruments of Japanese culture with contemporary rock or punk, maintaining tradition amidst the modernity of the twentieth and twenty-first century.

The makeup is usually in black and white tones. The main objective of Angura Kei bands is to create something as much Japanese as possible, with minimal foreign influence. It has its origin in the cultural movement of the 60s entitled Angura, which consisted of alternative artistic expressions and little media exposure performed in Japanese theaters as a counterculture, opposing the US cultural invasion that began after the Second World War.

Many are adept bands Angura Kei, as well as their musical hits. To cite some successes, there are "千本桜"  by Wagakki Band; "Castle In The Sky" by Orochi; "Utakata" by Kagrra; "Honto Honto ni ni Gokurosan" by Inugami Circus-Dan; " 天 照" by Kiryu; "青天の三日月", by Onmyoza e "悲哀" by Zin.

May the Force be with you, ladies and gentlemen  

The Return of the Bluegrass

 

The Return of the Bluegrass

Bluegrass is a popular music and its traditional American with roots in the traditional music of the British Isles. This is one of the characteristic musical genres in the southern United States. Based on acoustic instruments such as banjo, acoustic guitar, acoustic guitar, acoustic bass, dobro and fiddle; bluegrass has a rhythm that mixes country, blues and folk. 

This musical style is dated 1939, inspired the name of the Blue Grass Boys band, their leader Bill Monroe is considered the father of bluegrass. The musical genre was very popular between the years 1940 to mid-1960. Great hits bluegrass du root were "Doing My Time" by Flatt & Scruggs, "Walking in My Sleep" by Bill Clifton, and "Penitentiary Blues" by Charlie Monroe.

Since 1980, the third generation of musicians brought musical technological innovations into the genre, this phase is considered as the "bluegrass mainstream". The new bluegrass brings a mix of traditional style to a high-definition sound and diverse musical styles, making bluegrass side by side with rock or rap for example.

Despite his new face, bluegrass suffered a tiny glare of their music because the rise of new musical styles like hip-hop and electronic. However, in the middle of the first decade of the 2000s, bluegrass has experienced a return to the music scene by bands like Whosoever South and Dorothy.

Let’s sit and listen the sweet sound of banjo and the bass of traditional music from southern United States.

May the Force be with you, ladies and gentlemen  

Karen K. Kremer

The contemporaneity of Christians Traditional Hymns

 

The contemporaneity of Christians Traditional Hymns

The hymnal is part of the Christian church tradition from the beginning, whether Catholic, Orthodox or Protestant, Christian churches have a musical culture that protects their memory.

Within this scenario, many of these traditional songs are still popular today. Singers and bands bring them in new musical genres or shed root collections that bring these songs in their original musical forms.

"God of Our Fathers", by Daniel C. Roberts and George W. Warren nineteenth century, as well as "Go, Tell it on the Mountain" by John Wesley Work Jr., "Safe in the Arms of Jesus", by Fanny Jane Crosby and William Howard Doane and "Jesus Paid it All", by Elvina Mabel Hall and John Thomas Grape are some examples of songs that linger in Christian churches.

Singers such as Michael W. Smith, Mandisa, TobyMac, Amy Grant and others periodically launch music collections or individual songs from certain albums that are part of traditional hymnals Christian, which makes for a rereading of his musical style of the early Christian church.

With a memoirist tradition, the Christian church seeks to preserve and spread its culture in this way, music is no different. Religious leaders and musicians continue with the maintenance of these songs for convey this Christian music culture to new generations.

May the Force be with you, ladies and gentlemen  

Karen K. Kremer

[AWARDS SEASON] Music on the Golden Globe 2016

 

[AWARDS SEASON] Music on the Golden Globe 2016

Beginning of year is the time for season awards of TV and film. In January we had the 73rd edition of the Golden Globe Awards and, as it should be, the nominees for Best Original Score and Best Original Song!

In the instrumental category we had the American composer Carter Burwell by Carol (Todd Haynes, 2015), the French Alexandre Desplat for The Danish Girl (Tom Hooper, 2015), the British Daniel Pemberton with Steve Jobs (Danny Boyle, 2015), the Japanese-German duo Ryuichi Sakamoto and Alva Noto for The Revenant (Alejandro González Iñárritu, 2015) and the winner of the night: the Italian composer Ennio Morricone by The Hateful Eight (Quentin Tarantino, 2015).

In singing category, we had David Lang for "Simple Song # 3" in Youth (Paolo Sorrentino, 2015); Max Martin, Savan Kotecha, Ali Payami, Ilya Salmanzadeh with "Love Me Like You Do" in Fifty Shades of Grey (Sam Taylor-Johnson, 2015); Brian Wilson, Scott Montgomery Bennett with "One Kind of Love" by Love & Mercy (Bill Pohlad, 2014); Justin Franks, Andrew Cedar, Charlie Puth, Wiz Khalifa with the beautiful tribute to Paul Walker "See You Again" in Furious

Seven (James Wan, 2015) and the winners Sam Smith and James Napier with "Writing's On The Wall", music-theme of Spectre (Sam Mendes, 2015), new James Bond adventure.

No doubt the competition was strong, however, the statuette went to Ennio Morricone for Best Original Score, well earned for the master behind the musical compositions of the spaghetti western classics like the works of Sergio Leone. As well as the Best Original Song went to Sam Smith and James Napier singing the song that packs all adrenaline and action of Spectre, by the famous and loved spy James Bond.

May the Force be with you, ladies and gentlemen  

Karen K. Kremer

Music on the Academy Awards 2016

 

[AWARDS SEASON] Music on the Academy Awards 2016

Ah! The Oscars! Every year we renew our hopes of seeing the actor Leonardo DiCaprio take the deserved statuette for his talent, but this year the scenario seems to indicate that such a miracle is about to happen. The Relevant (Alejandro González Iñárritu, 2015) won the Golden Globe 2016 as Best Motion Picture and DiCaprio won the Best Performance an Actor in a Motion Picture, the feeling this year is hope.

But what the Academy Awards 2016 reserved for the music? The nominees of Best Original Score are: the winner of the Golden Globe 2016, Ennio Morricone by The Hateful Eight (Quentin Tarantino, 2015), the American composer Thomas Newman for Bridge of Spies (Steven Spielberg, 2015), Carter Burwell for Carol (Todd Haynes, 2015), the Icelandic composer Jóhann Jóhannsson by Sicario (Denis Villeneuve, 2015) and the legendary and epic John Williams for the seventh episode of the saga also legendary and epic Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens (JJ Abrams, 2015 ).

In the category Best Original Song nominees were: David Lang with "Simple Song # 3" in Youth (Paolo Sorrentino, 2015); American-British dual J. Ralph and Antony Hegarty for "Manta Ray" in Racing Extinction (Louie Psihoyos, 2015); The Weeknd, Belly, Jason 'DaHeala' Quenneville, Stephan Moccio to "Earned It" in Fifty Shades of Grey (Sam Taylor-Johnson, 2015); American duet Diane Warren and Lady Gaga with "Til It Happens to You" on The Hunting Ground (Kirby Dick, 2015) and the winners of the Golden Globe in 2016, Sam

Smith and James Napier with "Writing's On The Wall" in Spectre (Sam Mendes, 2015).

As always, the Golden Globe gives a preview of how it will be at the Oscars, but this is no guarantee of victory. For this 88th ceremony of the Academy Awards we have new nominees on music, so, is up to you. What is your favorite at the Oscars 2016?

May the Force be with you, ladies and gentlemen  

 

Vocaloid: a new type of music

 

 

Vocaloid: a new type of music

If you are a fan of oriental culture - manga, anime, tokusatsu, j-pop, among others - certainly heard of Vocaloid songs. Japanese voice synthesis software, the Vocaloid is a program that makes a computer voice from the human, i.e., a person sings and this program converts in editing music in various ways.

In Japan, Vocaloid became a success with its launch in 2004, openings and anime closures are sung with this tool, fans who popularized its games and favorite animes making their own musical versions and even shows with thousands of people listening to Vocaloid.

But the question comes: "Nice! But someone is famous with singing Vocaloid?" the answer is yes! There are many famous vocaloids among Asians, in the case of Hatsune Miku, Megurine Luka, Kagamine Rin, Gumi, Kagamine Len, Gakupo, Meiko, among others. Each has a digital avatar representing them, video clips and several songs that have become hit among Vocaloid fans, such as "Tell Your World", "World is Mine", "Odds & Ends", "Meltdown," "Melancholic" and "Crystalline".

This kind of music has an aesthetic and unique sound, which refers to Japanese music more electronic, so it may seem strange at first for those not to hear this sound, but maybe two or three songs more and you will consider Vocaloid a good choice in your repertoire.

So how about starting 2016 hearing something completely different? Try Vocaloid.

May the Force be with you, ladies and gentlemen  

Karen K. Kremer

Indie Games, Pro Music

 

 

Certainly 2015 was the year of independent games and in this new year, better indie games are expected. For an indie game to be successful not just good in the charts, interesting story and simplified gameplay, an essential element is the soundtrack, and many of these games have given us a chance to hear true masterpieces in the past year!

So let's list a few games whose soundtrack deserves to be heard by any fan of music. To the Moon, RPG by Freebird Games account with R. Gao music to give all the emotional and sentimental tone of a story full of fantasy and reflection. Dear Esther, from The Chinese Room has Jessica Curry's music to acclimatize the experience of exploring a deserted island as we found letters from a woman named Esther. Journey, produced by Thatgamecompany has Austin Wintory music as we travel through the wilderness and, the acclaimed indie game Ori and the Blind Forest, produced by Moon Studios, gives us a sublime experience to the sound of Gareth Coker, telling the story of a young orphan who do the impossible to save the Nibel forest, his home.

With songs that take us from the full adrenaline and mystery to the thrill and apprehension, indie games have become an important source of great composers yet unknown of the mainstream media. It pays to know the work of these musicians as fabulous as any famous composer on industry.

May the Force be with you, ladies and gentlemen  

Star Wars: Battlefront, the classical music of John Williams 38 years later

 

 

Many Star Wars games have been launched since its creation, all with the soundtrack of the George Lucas films. Super Star Wars (1992), through Lego Star Wars: The Video Game (2005) and Angry Birds Star Wars (2012) to the Star Wars: The Force Unleashed (2008). However, in 2015, one game of the franchise drew more attention than any other: Star Wars: Battlefront (2015).

Game of the new generation consoles, Star Wars: Battlefront brought, coupled with incredibly realistic and immersive graphics, the classic soundtrack of John Williams. Not only that, the game also has a great sound effect that allows the player to enjoy the sound of lightsabers and blaster of the characters.

The fantastic job with instrumental music of the game culminated in full acclaim of Star Wars: Battlefront by fans and by the game industry. Classic songs like "Star Wars Theme", "Imperial Attack," "The Asteroid Field", "The Battle Forrest," and others epics by John Williams give the sound of battles of Star Wars: Battlefront.

More than three decades later, John Williams continues to prove that his music is unforgettable and worth resumed, heard and known by the new generations.

How about taking your lightsaber and join the countless battles of Star Wars: Battlefront?

May the Force be with you, ladies and gentlemen  

Star Wars: The Force Awakens, a retelling of the best saga of cinema

 

Jedis from around the world, unite! The Sith threat came roaring back, but the masterpiece of George Lucas, now in the hands of J.J. Abrams calls padawans and Jedi masters of the universe to be moved and fight alongside Han Solo, Luke Skywalker, Leia, Chewbacca and other legendary heroes of the Rebel Alliance.

            This December, Christmas will be filled with Star Wars fans crowding movie theaters and reliving the greatest saga of the Seventh Art to the unforgettable sound of the classic soundtrack of John Williams. That is right, the seventh episode of the franchise started in 1977, Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015) is a retelling of the epic instrumentals of the six previous films and brings a sound with nostalgia and emotion.

            Continuation of Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi (1983), the new Star Wars renders a beautiful homage to the original work by bringing not just renowned actors and actresses of the series in the 70s and 80s - Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher... - but a new version of the epic soundtrack that sets the sound for adventure and battles between spacecraft and Jedi in the worlds created by George Lucas.

            This Christmas, keep the Christmas tree and cookies with milk for the jolly old elf aside, now is unsheathing your lightsaber and join the Jedis in this new generation of intergalactic warriors.

May the Force be with you, ladies and gentlemen

Karen K. Kremer

Korean Music: Trot

 

The trot is the oldest musical style in South Korea, derived from the Japanese enka during the Japanese occupation in Korean land in the 2nd World War, its name comes from the dance hall called foxtrot, which has the same kind of simple and lively beat.

Described as a traditional musical style South Korean, the trot is based on two rhythmic beats or a double rhythmic beat, with seven to five syllabic stanzas and a unique vocal style called Gagok.

Unfortunately, the popularity of trot declined seriously in the 90s with the arrival of Korean pop music combined with stage choreography. However, the old musical style survived and made his comeback in the 2000s through groups and popular singers of South Korea as LPG, Super Junior (Super Junior T), Epik High and DaeSung (Big Bang) that launched sung work in trot style, in order to preserve this traditional music style.

The song "Rokkugo" launched in 2007 (and in 2008 in the Japanese version) by the male group Super Junior, subgroup Super Junior T opened the door for the resurgence of trot. After that came "트로트 (Trot)" from indie hip-hop group Epik

High; "Cotton Candy" by the member of the boy group Big Bang, Daesung; "King of Sales" of rock band Norazo and many other songs and albums on the trot style produced by groups and contemporary singers.

May the Force be with you, ladies and gentlemen  

 

[SPECIAL] 10 years of Super Junior!

 

 

On November 6, 2005 was born the South Korean boyband Super Junior, one of the greatest icons of Korean pop music. Formed initially of 13 members: Leeteuk (leader), Heechul, Yesung, Kangin, Shindong, Sungmin, Eunhyuk, Donghae, Siwon, Ryeowook, Kyuhyun, Han Geng and Kibum, the last two left the group.

By the record label SM Entertainment, Super Junior originally supposed to be a male group of regular members without specific training, but whose members were changed from year to year. However, everything changed as early as his first hit, the hit "Twins (Knock Out)". The public acceptance was huge and the fans love for the boys would prevent the record label to exchange for the new members.

The second hit of success was "미라클 (Miracle)" with a video clip that thanks to the fans and from then on the group follow a ladder to success year after year. Recognized in South Korea, just lacked international recognition, which came in 2010 with the album “미인 (Bonamana)”. The single title figured in the first place on the charts around the world and music video choreography became a mania among fans.

Not only that, the group of 11 members had the addition of two new members: Henry and Zhou Mi, belonging to the subgroup Super Junior M - dedicated to the Chinese music market -. Similarly, there are subgroups Super Junior K.R.Y., Super Junior T, Super Junior Happy, Super Junior D&E, as well as jobs and solos of Henry, Zhou Mi and Kyuhyun.

In 2015, the ELFs - fandom of Super Junior - has a lot to celebrate worldwide. 10 years of Super Junior!!!

May the Force be with you, ladies and gentlemen  

DJs: the Instrumental Music of Century XXI

 

 

Previously restricted to certain spaces of sociability that includes electronic music, the DJs came out of the shadows of clubs and young and teenage parties to take the tops of music charts around the world, winning a new audience of fans and giving a new face to instrumental music of the XXI century.

In this contemporary time, DJs not only remix famous songs, but they have become music producers with his own compositions. Initially focusing on the remix of music known to the public, as soon, remixes have become more famous and played among fans as the original songs, creating a new type of instrumental musician.

The Swedish DJ Avicii accumulates career hits as "Levels", "Hey Brother" and "Waiting For Love". The French David Guetta is in all over the radio of the world with "Titanium". The Dutch DJ Tiësto is a reference in electronic and unforgettable music with "Olympic Flame". And these are just a few, the number of DJs grows every day as well as the interest in electronic music.

The success of this musical genre reflects the new music scene, opting increasingly for electronic sounds and modern beats, but at the same time has transformed and reinvented classics, bringing to 2015 songs from the 70s and 80s.

Contemporary history goes through a process of reinterpretation of classic songs using the new modern features, rescuing the old through the new.

May the Force be with you, ladies and gentlemen  

The Traditional Music of Final Fantasy

 

The Traditional Music of Final Fantasy

Ah Final Fantasy! Their worlds full of color, magic and battles bring with them much more than the powers of crystals or the beautiful countryside of the various kingdoms can show, but an unmistakable and unforgettable soundtrack.

Be the games, be the manga, be the anime or any other type of media platform… The Japanese game Final Fantasy keeps your music major themes, unmistakable by fans to command the trip between friends of Noctis, Gladiolus, Ignis and Prompto or in the toughest wars of Cloud Strife against Sephiroth or Ace and the Class Zero. The familiar sound of the series carries with it a friendly tone that unite fans of the saga, whether from old or new games.

The various games in the series have several soundtracks, however, the compositions of Nobuo Uematsu, Masashi Hamauzu, Hitoshi Sakimoto and Junya Nakano, that became classics of games, are always present, be the first games released in the late 80s or for upcoming 2016 releases.

"Prelude", "Aerith's Theme", "Price Of Freedom", "To Zanarkand", "Terra", "Loss of Me" among others, are some of the songs of the series that are always present. With new arrangements but keeping their essences, the soundtrack to Final Fantasy values the memory of the game and enter these features in a contemporary context that embraces the cause and keeps alive the memory of the music of one of the greatest and most loved games in the world.

May the Force be with you, ladies and gentlemen  

Karen K. Kremer

 

The New Age of Christian Music

 

 

A few decades ago, it was unthinkable that Christian electronic music would be playing in the pulpit of Protestant churches. The rigorous and careful character of traditional hymns, were previously only performed with the use of traditionalist’s instruments and without extravagance, like the piano and the guitar.

However, with the arrival of the 2000s, Christian music evolved. The first remixes emerged in the 90s, it was only a decade later that they started to become popular among Christians musicians and their audience.

Musical groups such as the British dance group LZ7, the US band Press Play and Family Force 5 and the DJs of Capital Kings have dominated the Christian music charts everyday and they are gaining more fans and recognition within Christian music.

With this technical breakthrough, the introduction of traditional hymns played on electronic beats or other genres such as rock, pop or metal, now appear in Protestant services, creating a new generation of musicians and singers in dialogue with the technology that makes worship services.

Traditional hymns like "When The Saints Go Marching In," "Oh Happy Day", "Above All," "Agnus Dei", among others, are now reproduced in various genres, pleasing both Christians and non-Christians.

May the Force be with you, ladies and gentlemen  

Sing Along with Disney!

 

Sing Along with Disney!

An increasingly widespread practice in the Disney Channel is the section called "Sing Along", where the film or TV series has its lyrics on the screen while the singer performs the musical performance.

Through the new musical activity, fans can sing and dance along to their favorite artists. A romantic dance on beautiful gardens with Troy Bolton? Sing the edge of a campfire with friends and next to Mitchie Torres and Shane Gray? Go through great musical confusion on Hollywood with the pop star Christopher Wilde? All this is possible!

The new Disney musical education tool has raised more fans and followers every day, until even the Disney Junior channel made his "Sing Along Version" putting children to dance listening the soundtrack of Sofia the First (Craig Gerber, 2012), Jake and the Never Land Pirates (Bobs Gannaway, 2011) or Junior Express (Diego Topa, 2013), from Disney Junior Latinoamérica.

Going even further, the Disney Channel does not display the Sing Along Version only for the original channel productions, but open to other musical films like The Muppets (James Bobin, 2011).

Therefore, you have no excuses not to get off the couch. It is time to enter The Muppet Show and dance and sing as a child.

May the Force be with you, ladies and gentlemen  

 

Lindsey Stirling, from Cover to Professional Career

 

 

Lindsey Stirling, from Cover to Professional Career  

Ah, covers! Those people - professionals or not... - singing their favorite songs with their own style. Big stars of the music world – like Shakira, Maroon 5, Big Bang and Taylor Swift - tend to have their songs sung in various genres and have all types of fans. However, do you know that cover not only refers to singing music?

There Cover (songs sung), Cover Dance (do choreography - very popular with Korean music fans) and the Instrumental Cover (as the name implies, instrumentally playing a song). I introduces to you the American violinist Lindsey Stirling.  

With millions of hits on her YouTube channel, Lindsey Stirling started her career making instrumental covers of the greatest hits of the moment. From this work came her fan base, which opened the doors to her become a professional in the music industry.  

Today, the American violinist has a great career with dozens of original songs and especially soundtracks games. "Zelda Violin Duet" has more than 7 million hits, "Halo Theme" more than 12 million visits, "Assassin's Creed III" with over 22 million views and "Skyrim" has overwhelming 49 million views!  

Stirling shows that often the love for our idols can open our eyes to something that can become our profession.  

How about starting with a cover of your favorite song?  

May the Force be with you, ladies and gentlemen  

Karen K. Kremer

Anime and Music

 

 

Anime and Music

Japanese music has always been very popular, especially in Asia, and even if you never have been devoted to know it better, certainly their music plays in your ear every time someone touches the subject. Small characters and large eyes to the sound of traditional or electronic beats. Well... Forget all these stereotypical views and prepare yourself for the real Japan.

To fans of anime, manga, tokusatsus and other elements of Japanese pop culture - known as Otakus - Japanese music is not only sung, but it is also instrumental. A practice that owes much to Japanese culture's famous karaoke. With this, it is very common for Japanese songs always to be accompanied with their instrumental versions.

The anime, Japanese animation, is one of the main diffusers of this type of music. Always having famous soundtracks among fans, especially the opening and ending songs, the anime singles and soundtracks often have instrumental versions of the main songs.

Like, "名前のない怪物" from Psycho-Pass or "美しき 残酷 世界" and "Starting Line" from Attack on Titan. So even if you think Japanese is a hard language... Think again and start listening and singing to the sound of instrumental music from your favorite anime and you will learn to love a new style of music.

Dattebayo!

May the Force be with you, ladies and gentlemen 

Music and Cinema in Brazil

 

 

Classical music in Brazil is not just a music genre but also a vital element when the cinema started to take its first steps in the late century XIX.

In the provincial town of Ponta Grossa, in the state of Paraná, the cinema was the root of the technological and cultural growth in one of the most important cities in Brazil. Formerly an entertainment center and example of modernization because of its large and luxurious cinemas, Ponta Grossa, since 1879, with the Theater Band, a City Philharmonic dedicated to musical performances that included the soundtrack to silent films of the period - in this time is still transmitted in theater.

With the arrival of the city's first movie theater, Cine Recreio in 1906, the Theater Band became Aurora Pontagrossense, Philharmonic conducted by Manoel Cirilo Ferreira that began to devote it time exclusively to making musical accompaniments in film sessions.

However, another very important factor was the rival of Aurora Pontagrossense, the Lira dos Campos band. Tired of boycotts of his band - which was marginalized by the elite - the merchant and Russian-German musician Jacob Holzmann built the cinema Renascença in 1911, only to allow Lira dos Campos band to play, however, his act has taken with great proportions. The Lira dos Campos band grew with the cinema and brought to the city and Brazil the dawn of classical music, becoming the most famous and renowned philharmonic of Ponta Grossa and an example for Brazil.

May the Force be with you, ladies and gentlemen

The Classic Brazil

 

 

The Classic Brazil

When you hears about Brazil and music, musical genres that comes to your mind are samba, pagoda, axé and other rhythms of Carnival. But what many people are unaware of is the true face of Wonderland… Hip-Hop, Rock, Pop, Country, Dance, Electronic, and Christian are just a few of the genres present in Brazilian culture.

The Brazilian Symphony Orchestra has 75 years of history and is the most traditional symphonic ensemble of whole country, with emphasis on baroque music and also contemporary. The Brazilian Symphony Orchestra performs concerts in and out of the country, and performs with renowned gallery musicians who have collaborated in the seven decades with José Carreras, Zubin Mehta, Leonard Bernstein, Martha Argerich, Mstislav Rostropovich and the current, David Fray.

From Mozart to John Williams, the incorporation of movie soundtracks to musical productions of the symphonic ensemble in the last decade has raised more fans and drawn attention to Brazilian classical music. Concerts with the main trail of Indiana Jones's and the Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981), E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982), Star Wars (1977) and Jurassic Park (1993) are already common in the presentations of the Brazilian Symphony Orchestra, which renders homage to this great music and the world of the Brazilian talent in classic music.

May the Force be with you, ladies and gentlemen

Karen K. Kremer

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt and the Medieval Music

 

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt... the question is: how to create the epic adventures of Geralt of Rivia? The answer is through composers Marcin Przybylowicz, Mikolai Stroinski and Percival Band.

If you are familiar with previous games, the last chapter of Geralt's story bet on a melancholy and dramatic musicality, which sometimes gives way to more upbeat songs, with sounds of the medieval period.

Highlighting the dramatic songs "Fate Calls" and "After the Storm" as well as the dancing "Commanding the Fury" and "Silver for... Monsters", the composers showed us their musical diversity.

This game creates a feeling of walking in the medieval cities, looking for the merchants in the streets, children playing, and the dangers that are around us... The angry or judgmental looks from a village of bandits, the feeling of freedom, and the blue skies where dragons fly freely.

May the Force be with you, ladies and gentlemen

Karen K. Kremer       

Steve Martin

 

Tranquility, Banjo and Steve Martin?

You know him as the mariachi Lucky Day, the reckless film director Robert K. Bowfinger, the father fumbling Tom Baker or as the French detective Jacques Clouseau... The King of Comedy: Steve Martin!

However, what you are certainly unaware of is the comedian's musical career. Skilled with a banjo in his hands, Steve Martin released his first album as a musician in 2009 with The Crow: New Songs for the 5-String Banjo with lovely 16 instrumental songs - 19 in the Deluxe Limited Edition ... - to rescue the sound of a simple country life.

Banjo player from an early age, Steve Martin has inserted his musical talent into his shows and comedy albums, however, it was only in the 2000s that actor and screenwriter decided to take the banjo more seriously and explore the musicality of this instrument that is rarely used in contemporary musicality.

The uniqueness of a banjo has caused positive reviews and created a select audience to this kind of music. Enjoyable for all ages, Steve Martin's banjo music creates in the listener the feeling of tranquility, peace, and life in nature. This type of music is ideal for those looking to escape the stress of urban life.

May the Force be with you, ladies and gentlemen

Karen K. Kremer

 

The Revolution of TV Series Music

 

The boom of the modern TV series was in the year 2000. With so many new platforms and technologies, film isn't unique.  We now have television, and not just talk shows, soap operas, reality shows and others, but something more powerful... TV series.

In the beginning, TV series focused on family dramas with a sweet and almost hidden instrumental music, but after Prison Break (2005) everything changed. The dark and intense music of composer Ramin Djawadi created an evolution of  the TV series soundtrack.   The music became more intense and audible for the people, who do not just care about the plot of TV series, but the soundtrack too.

An icon in the revolution of TV series music is the American composer Dave Porter, who wrote the opening theme of the most epics and popular TV series of today: Breaking Bad, The Blacklist and Better Call Saul.

Ok, but what do these songs have different from other soundtracks?  This music marks the transformation of the TV series from something soft and in our daily lives, to genres of thriller, action and drama. The power of  the TV series is not just in the story anymore, but also with an unforgettable soundtrack.  

May the Force be with you, ladies and gentlemen Karen K. Kremer

From Movie Theatres to TV

 

From Movie Theaters to TV

Steven Spielberg and George Lucas said that television will be the future of the cinema, and this became true.

TV series have proven through the years they carry power and a great quality.  This created endless possibilities for composers, who, every day, migrates from movie to TV series or both.

Music is one of many reasons for the rise of TV series; composers like Iranian-German Ramin Djawadi,  Americans Brian Tyler and Mark Mancina show the power and influence of this great entertainment avenue. These three composers, wrote music for The Lion King (1994), Training Day (2001), Iron Man (2008), Clash of the Titans (2010), Pacific Rim (2013), Thor: The Dark World (2013) and Furious Seven (2015). As well for the TV series Person of Interest (2011 - present), Hawaii Five-0 (2010 - present), Criminal Minds (2005 - present) and Game of Thrones (2011 - present). 

Movies and TV series are closer than ever. This points to a new kind of public demand. With the growing of TV series, many Hollywood stars are migrating to television, like Kevin Spacey, Kevin Bacon and Jim Caviezel. In addition, movie crews and directors are going to TV... Therefore, composers are walking this path too.

May the Force be with you, ladies and gentlemen

Karen K. Kremer

New Age of Instrumental Music

 

Hans Zimmer and the New Age of Instrumental Music

Surely, you are familiar with the great composers Hans Zimmer and his masterpieces. Trembling with fear as you hear "The Imperial March" from Star Wars, and "Superman Theme", work out and fight with "Eye of the Tiger" from Rocky or the exciting adventures of the "Indiana Jones Theme".  You must have been dazzled  by "Dream is Collapsing" from the soundtrack of the film "Inception."

The melancholy sounds of the German composer's songs have gained new life through "Dream is Collapsing".  The sounds are dramatic and disturbing, like in The Dark Knight Trilogy, especially for Joker and Bane characters. Hans Zimmer arrived with an apparently common music, but that changed instrumental music forever...

The different beat of "Dream is Collapsing” together with the deep and immersive scenes of "Inception" brought the listener into a new set of emotions and sensations. A new kind of music, a new kind of feeling. Really a dream into a dream. An augmented reality.

Strong beats, paused beats and dramatic sounds raise the soundtracks to another level of music. The sound of music "Dream is Collapsing" has been reproduced countless times, whether in movies, series or games. Hans Zimmer brought about a new era of instrumental music.

May the Force be with you, ladies and gentlemen

 

Beyond the Veil of Classical Music

 

Beyond the Veil of Classical Music

Is classical music alive today? There are groups or instrumentalists that keep alive the so-called "classical music."  Not just traditional musicians, but contemporary musicians that combine classical music to pop, rock, and electronic music.

Have you thought about listening to "Moonlight Sonata" in rock? Dance "Ma Dove Sei" in techno? Relaxing in the chair while listening to the violin, piano and cello mixed with techno pop? Now all this is possible and the result is better than you think.

The Piano Guys, violists Lindsey Sterling and David Garrett are successful on YouTube and elsewhere. They sellout show, causing admiration and inspiration where their music is present. Merging classical music to the current electronic music, as well as doing cover of movie soundtracks and games, these classic musicians give a new face to classical music and attract a new audience of admirers to the Fine Arts.

If you have never heard this mix of classical and contemporary music, take a chance, you will not regret it...

May the Force be with you, ladies and gentlemen Karen K. Kremer

Hatfields and McCoys

 

If you are a connoisseur of television, you must know the History Channel's, Hatfield's & McCoy's and certainly you have caught yourself relaxing or reflecting and listening to the soundtrack of this fabulous western.  What you may not know is that the soundtrack of the Hatfield's & McCoy's was created by Kevin Costner & Modern West - that's right! 'Devil' Anse Hatfield is an accomplished country singer - then, how about giving me a dance and feeling as if we are in the 1800's?

The soundtrack features 39 tracks that give life to all the drama and conflict between the Hatfield's and McCoy's.  Kevin Costner is not the only one that makes up the movie's score. The original musical composition also has the talented John Debney (Iron Man 2) and Tony Morales (The Expendables).

Primarily composed of instrumental music, “Hatfield's & McCoy's Theme” (feat. Lisbeth Scott), “Vengeance Train”, “The Long Road Down” and the single “I Know These Hills” (feat. Sara Beck & Kevin Costner and Modern West).  A must have for music enthusiasts.

May the Force be with you, ladies and gentlemen

 

Taken Your Ears

 

 

In January, Liam Neeson returned to finish what he started... and in Taken 3, Bryan Mills distributes punches, shots and kicks to the sound of French composer Nathaniel Mechaly, author of the soundtrack of the trilogy written by Luc Besson.

Having composed 23 tracks, which also have the contribution of the soprano Gaelle Mechaly, English indie rock band Glass Animals, multi-instrumentalist Ólafur Arnalds (feat. Dan Arnór) and the English indie pop band The XX. The soundtrack of Taken 3 follows a single melody that matches the pace of the film's action.

This time with a murder in the family and being pursued by the police, Bryan Mills is accompanied by a softer and more dramatic musical score of which brightens the scenes with its spectacular chords. 

With Forest Whitaker's addition to the cast of Taken 3, the score also focuses on the music dedicated to scenes of Franck Dotzler, as the unforgettable "Dotzler Inspector" and "Fourth Yogurt from the Back."

The Bryan Mills family is not the only thing that the film takes, but the Taken 3 soundtrack also takes our ears. So take some time to enjoy this valuable score.

May the Force be with you, ladies and gentlemen

Karen K. Kremer

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