As you may have guessed from the inactivity, the arranger in me went into hibernation again after HtTYD2. But rest assured that I’m still making music!
Shortly after completing the arrangements, I moved out west to take up my graduate studies. Being without a piano for the rest of the summer really limited the amount of useful things I could make for this site. So in the meantime, I started a collaboration with Silfimur, transcribing his prodigious piano covers into sheet music. If you haven’t done so, check out his collection of sheer epicness!
As I settled down at the new school, I joined a group performing music at senior homes. It really helped me brush up on my classical repertoire. I met some talented young musicians in the folk/acoustic/alternative scene and we’ve been jamming, going as far as doing an open mic together. (Imagine playing the piano like a banjo along to Little Lion Man!)
With the arrival of a new keyboard, the creativity bug suddenly got me and I whipped out my first two ever compositions – a rondo and a march. Nothing too whimsical. I adhered to classical aesthetics at every given chance, though some soundtrack influence may have slipped in there as well. I’ll put them up shortly for your own amusement.
However, enough of that for now. Let’s get to the real reason why I’m writing this:
Winter may still be coming after four years, but it’s never late for music!
After turning down several requests for additional HtTYD 2 arrangements, I came across this video. Now, I don’t usually dig into other arrangers’ work, but Silfimur’s amazing ability to weave melodies together so coherently persuaded me to fulfill his open invitation for a transcription. It was a lot of fun to see how a fellow musician arranges. The arpeggio bridges posed an interesting challenge for engraving, while the end bits include a wonderful take on the Test Drive theme. Overall, the frank, freely interpretive style gives the arrangement a lovely personal touch that I am afraid even proper engraving cannot entirely capture.
The transcription includes corrections by the arranger himself and is accessible via image on the right. A painstakingly fine-tuned MIDI file is also available here. Be sure to check out some of his other works with film soundtrack and Two Steps from Hell!
Please kindly direct all comments to Silfimur, who deserves every credit for creating the wonderful arrangement.
Looks like John Powell did have a few new tunes up his sleeves after all.
There you have it: three short quickies in time for opening night. While previewing the new soundtrack, I had almost abandoned the thought of making arrangements when the new melodies came up. If John Powell is not trying to paint the Vikings more Celtic than in the first film, then I have no idea what he is up to.
The rest, being largely replicated from the first film, is nevertheless just as well-orchestrated. Anyway I won’t bother with it. For those looking for a challenge, you might consider rearranging from the twenty-five solo scores up here.
Note: I’m leaving on a long vacation, so consider me out of commission for the next little while!
I think – strong emphasis on think – we’re in for a real tear-jerker moment on the 13th.
I won’t say exactly what it is. It might be a far stretch to predict a film’s plot by music alone. But as someone who’s spent three years digesting the previous soundtrack, I feel I can claim to know when something is afoot. Anyway, there’s only one way to find out if I’m right!
Ever wondered what the whole 72-minute HtTYD sountrack sounds like on piano? Find out here:
Three years ago, I would never have dreamed to put this up with less than a month before the sequel comes out. That’s how long this project lasted!
Due to school and various commitments, I only managed to record ten of the 25 tracks (plus Zorsy’s amazing interpretation of Test Drive). The rest is completed with enhanced MIDI, in addition to preview snippets. That being said, if you have recorded or plan to record one of the arrangements, don’t hesitate to let me know and I can update the playlist.
Speaking of the sequel, I had a look at some of the released tracks plus the first five minutes of the film. Despite the equally epic atmosphere, it seems that John Powell paraphrased his previous score quite extensively. I only hope that, for promotional purposes, they have concealed some awesome new melodies!
As a culminating finale to all the soundtrack arranging over the last four years, I present to you the epic combo of what is better known to fandoms as The Big Four – Tangled, How to Train Your Dragon, Brave, Rise of the Guardians – four of the most popular recent animation films all rolled up into a 15′ piano suite.
The thought of arranging a suite was conceived shortly after RotG. With two of the soundtracks already in my repertoire, the main difficulty was not so much arranging the rest. Rather, it took me over a whole year to organize the various themes and motifs in a logical progression – more like a plot, if you will. Almost everything had to be rearranged to accommodate smooth key changes. Then I took things a bit further:
True to the fandom spirit of mishmashing, I tried combining motifs (colour-coded) down to the bar-scale and was quite happy with the result. As such, I entitled the piece a suite instead of the often-seen medley. Now, I remain impartial over what people have to say about putting unrelated characters together in any setting. But, at least, I proved that the music blends together more than splendidly!
If you familiar with my HtTYD scores, all themes included in the suite are newly-arranged and probably my favourite takes (e.g., Test Drive, Forbidden Friendship) compared even to the recent revisions.
And if you’re looking for a nice cover to go with your score, click here.
All final revisions of HtTYD are now published. Score preview videos will be up in coming weeks. So, how do these full revisions differ? More organized layout, unified notations, metronome marks and, where possible, better-arranged passages. If you aren’t so much after the quality as the music, the rough solo scores (via Sheethost) would suffice. Keep in mind, however, that tracks 18-24 are published in full only as revised scores.
In other news, Tintinpiano now supports direct purchase using credit cards. The site administrator has kindly considered my suggestions and created a more streamline interface for international users. This includes a much-simplified registration process and direct credit card purchasing (in US$), eliminating the complicated point system.
Here’s a sneak peek at what I’ve been really up to these past few months:
This is just the opening to the best musical feat I think I’ve ever pulled off, far above everything I’ve arranged combined. Sounds familiar? An epic air-five to you if you manage to spot all the music references!
First off, congratulations to Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez for winning an Oscar for Let it Go!
Here’s a little quickie on the Defenders of Berk theme to celebrate today’s season finale. If you still follow HtTYD these days, you’ve got to be a die-hard fan. I can’t believe I’m still finding HtTYD material to arrange four years later.
Another big news: I’ve been making one last round of revision of all twenty-five HtTYD piano solos. It’s been more than a year since the project officially wrapped up, but I’m finding some of my early formatting and arranging styles disagreeable. In addition, there’s still the need to publish the last few scores in their entirety. In most cases, there won’t be major changes and you’re unlikely to notice them unless you’re as picky about my arranging as I am. Nevertheless, considering these are more complete and playable copies, I’m putting them up on Tintinpiano for those who wish to pay for the extra effort at perfectionism after long toiling hours of work. Links will be added to the HtTYD page over the next couple of months or so.
Also, stay tuned, for there’s a big, BIG thing coming up!