“Development of a writer” – A retrospective by Jeff Copperthite (Part 2/3)

Originally posted 2009-04-02 22:40:20. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

One of the things that anybody who knows me well is that I am into a very special type of music.

No, it isn’t anything mainstream.  In fact, I can think of only 3 other people who enjoy this type of music as much as I do.

Quite simply, it is soundtracks from video games.   Especially Role Playing Games.

I have what I feel is a very impressive collection of OST (Original Soundtrack) from a variety of games.  One reason I think I enjoy the music so much is because I did grow up listening to the music from these games almost entirely.  When it comes to my favorite activity both now and then, it certainly is video games.

More so than any of my other hobbies.  It even surpasses the playing and writing of music.

So I have an ingrained affinity to the music.  I always had a great auditory memory as well.  I can still hum music from old Nintendo games I haven’t played in over 15 years.  If you say “Flash Man from Mega Man 2”, I will hum it in tune and on key.  You may even get some of that terrible synth drum channel that NES was notorious for.

But the ones I latched onto immediately are the Final Fantasy series’ OSTs.  I have them all.  And not just some remixed versions or user-generated remixes.  Just like I was playing the original version of the game.

Why do I enjoy listening to the music so much?  Plain and simple – it is something for me to listen too, and I can do almost any regular task while I listen.  Simply put, many papers got written while I listened to “Dancing Mad”, the final boss music from Final Fantasy 6, and other songs from those series.

As I discovered the fact that some more uncommon OSTs existed, I found as many of them as I could and got them.  I have the OSTs for such obscure games as Emperor: Battle for Dune (a favorite actually), Dune 2000, StarFox, Perfect Dark, Super Mario RPG, Secret of Mana (and all of it’s prequels and sequels), Ogre Battle (and it’s derivatives), and the F-Zero series.  Simply put, there’s a soundtrack for all kinds of moods.

Actually, now that I mention the “Emperor” soundtrack, it reminds me of a story.

About a year ago, I did something that I was always a bit afraid of, but knew I had to do – I donated blood.  I’ve always been a bit squeamish about things like this, but I knew it was the right thing to do.  To get me through it, however, I popped up the Emperor Soundtrack because the music had such a driving beat to it, and the tunes are so engrossing overall (I even asked the Phlebotomist to cover the donation bags so I couldn’t watch my blood being drawn).  I looked up at the ceiling of Sacred Heart’s Field House for a while and enjoyed it.  Hey, it got me through it.  I may even do it again in the future.

Well anyway, point is I have always enjoyed VG music.   I downloaded MIDI tracks as well.  But then I found a game that had a great soundtrack, but very few MIDI files for its music.

And so, I began the Final Fantasy Tactics Battle Music Project, which at the time was a regularly updated website with the files that I created using various implements, most notably a program called Noteworthy Composer.  My methods were this easy.  I used an audio recorder to tape the particular song of interest off of the TV while the game was playing.  Then I systematically tried to pick out the different instruments and parts, then try to transcribe them on the keyboard.  Once I had figured out one or two instruments, usually the rest were easy to pick out as well.  This method certainly wasn’t the best, but at the time I was very mad that these files didn’t exist, and I wanted to change that.

I ended up transcribing quite a few of the songs from the game, and within the next two years, I noticed lots of fan sites posting my MIDI files.  I also got lots of great comments, emails, and requests.  I did the majority of the work for files in this game within those two years, but I would go back periodically until I was done in college to update some of the songs that I knew better.

I also at one point in college (~2000 I think) did a similar site for Final Fantasy 9 called (how original) the FF9 MIDI Project.  Similar to FFT, I transcribed select songs due to not many being transcribed at the time.  I still find both of the MIDI files from these games around the internet.

It wasn’t long after this that I began composing music similar in style.  There will be more on that in the next edition of this series.  Stay tuned for that next month!

“Elderly Woman Behind the Counter in a Small Town” (Pearl Jam Cover)

Originally posted 2008-02-11 19:45:02. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

By Jeff Copperthite:

Welcome to Monday’s Laptop Session, and I’m back with another Pearl Jam song, this time going back to their 2nd album “Vs.”

This song also earns the title “Longest Song Title ever”, as I couldn’t even fit it into the Title field on YouTube (however, here it’s fine).

The song is “Elderly Woman Behind the Counter in a Small Town”, and is a song that Scott & I have played for a long time. Usually, we’ll swap instruments and he’ll play the bass to it while I do my half-ass guitar part (well, compared to him. He is the guitarist in the band after all).

This song is very sweet and easy to listen too. I hope you enjoy it.

Stay tuned for Jim’s new session tomorrow, and see what Chris brings out of the woodwork for Original Wednesday.

Oh, and I’m ever so close to the 3,000 view mark! Thank you everybody for making the Laptop Sessions such a success.

Please visit http://laptopsessions.com/ for a new session per day in 2008. Also, remember my new EP “Greenlight” will debut on February 24th.

Editor’s Note: Unfortunately, Jeff’s acoustic cover song music videos are no longer on YouTube, but we decided to keep his cover song blog posts up.  We figured these music blog entries would be good for posterity’s sake and because Jeff always gave such insightful posts each Session.  We hope to see Jeff’s impressive catalog of acoustic rock songs here on the Laptop Sessions cover songs and original music blog again in the future.  But, for now, please make sure to check-out hundreds of other acoustic cover songs from all of your favorite bands here on the Laptop Sessions music blog!

“Spies” (Coldplay Cover)

Originally posted 2008-03-27 17:50:46. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

By Jeff Copperthite:

Welcome once again to Thumpin’ Thursday. It’s Jeff today bringing you the next video in our ongoing series.

I’ve got a real cool tune coming your way today. It’s another new band here on laptopsessions.com, and the band is Coldplay. While Coldplay is among one of the more critiqued bands out there, it is hard to deny that they come out with great sounding songs. I’m always impressed by the guitar work on the two albums I own from them. The song I have chosen to play is “Spies” from their album Parachutes.

The song itself is not in standard tuning, and I at first tried to figure this song out. However I picked it up quickly once I learned the alternate tuning that is used in the song. It has a cool feel along with a unique sound.

As far as my performance, the bridge was the hardest part in this take, but despite mis-fingering two chords in the bridge, the rest of it is quite solid and brings out the spirit of the song.

It also translates well to acoustic, since the recorded version is also heavily based on acoustic.

Also, remember that I will be playing w/ Masters of the Universe this coming Wednesday @ the Southern CT University talent show. If you are in the area and want to hear a great free show and some great talent, please join us! More information can be found on http://www.jimfusco.com

Check back tomorrow for Jim’s latest video!

Editor’s Note: Unfortunately, Jeff’s acoustic cover song music videos are no longer on YouTube, but we decided to keep his cover song blog posts up.  We figured these music blog entries would be good for posterity’s sake and because Jeff always gave such insightful posts each Session.  We hope to see Jeff’s impressive catalog of acoustic rock songs here on the Laptop Sessions cover songs and original music blog again in the future.  But, for now, please make sure to check-out hundreds of other acoustic cover songs from all of your favorite bands here on the Laptop Sessions music blog!

“Pack Your Love” (Indie Music – New Music)

Originally posted 2008-03-12 18:30:06. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

By Jeff Copperthite:

Welcome to your latest version of Original Wednesday. Today I am playing a song from Jim Fusco’s album “What About Today?” called “Pack Your Love” (please visit http://jimfusco.com for more info).

This song is usually played as the back end of two songs in live shows, being preceded by another Jim Fusco-Chris Moore duo-penned song “Where Are We Now?”.

I have always liked this song because it has a great set of lyrics, and the chorus and chord progression are very addictive.

I am also looking forward VERY much to Jim’s upcoming album “Halfway There”. Knowing Jim as long as I have, I know it’s going to be a great work, and I know my future self is already tuning out in the office to the title track.

As always, Laptop Session-a-day continues! I just broke 5k views today in record time! I expect 6k to come even faster! Thank you to everyone who is watching and supporting our series!

Editor’s Note: Unfortunately, Jeff’s acoustic cover song music videos are no longer on YouTube, but we decided to keep his cover song blog posts up.  We figured these music blog entries would be good for posterity’s sake and because Jeff always gave such insightful posts each Session.  We hope to see Jeff’s impressive catalog of acoustic rock songs here on the Laptop Sessions cover songs and origianal music blog again in the future.  But, for now, please make sure to check-out hundreds of other acoustic cover songs from all of your favorite bands here on the Laptop Sessions music blog!