Kikujiro no Natsu (菊次郎の夏) is a 1999 film by Takeshi Kitano(北野武). The movie tells the story of a young boy searching for his mother during his summer vacation. The film is mostly divided into smaller chapters, listed as entries in the boy's summer vacation diary. It's really a great movie in every aspect but it presents a very different mood from other Kitano's movie due to the absence of the usual "gangster" or "Yakuza" theme in this one.
The score for the movie was composed by none other than Joe Hisaishi (久石譲), frequenter of the Japanese music scene. Joe has also been known for writing some of the best scores for movies such as HANA-BI (which is also another great movie by Kitano), Laputa and Nausicaa.
The track featured here is a piano solo of the main theme from the OST.
Kikujiro no Natsu Piano Score
[Page 1] [Page 2] [Page 3]
Check out Kikujiro no Natsu's page on internationally renowned Japanese director Takeshi Kitano's site here.
Japan's Mono are a peculiar group. They are another post-rock band which was recommended to me by my friend. They are one of the most passionately aggressive rock bands of the last decade, with their soaring crescendos, titanic sheets of distortion and dark melodies executed with the delicacy and precision of a paper crane.
I've taken a listen to their 3rd album released in 2004, entitled "Walking cloud and deep red sky, Flag fluttered and the sun shine" and I find that its pretty cool. The mood of the music can be calm and soothing and changes at the drop of a key. A track worth listening in this album is "Halcyon (beautiful days). The track can also be download from download.com.
Walking cloud and deep red sky, Flag fluttered and the sun shine
2. mere your pathetique light
3. halcyon (beautiful days) (mp3)
4. 2 candles, 1 wish
6. The sky remains the same as ever
7. lost snow (mp3)
8. a thousand paper cranes
Link to Mono's official site.
Here's a popular flash game inspired by the popular genre of Tower Defence, which is a custom game in Warcraft 3. Wave after wave of "creeps" pour out from various spawning points in increasingly more challanging forces and numbers. You have to build towers and upgrade them in order to keep the monsters at bay. If the monsters managed to get through your defences, you lose. The flash is pretty cool, but the map Element TD is much much better IMO.
Warcraft 3 (Element TD) based Flash Game:
Play it now
Inspired from the Warcraft 3 Tower Defence custom map Element TD.
If you enjoyed this game, you might also want to try out Flashcraft, which is also another tower defence game based on Warcraft 3.
This piece is a really delightful piece by Mozart and is part of his Piano Sonata No. 11 in A major, K. 331. This theme is really unique in style and mimics the style of Turkish Jannisary military music. The track was also used as the soundtrack for "My Life as Mcdull" but Cantonese lyrics were included for the movie. This track is another manifestation of that pure musical genius that many believe found its supreme embodiment in Woifgang Amadeus Mozart.
Mozart - Turkish March (mp3)
Credits to Malek for providing the download for the track above.
And here's the piano score to Mozart's Turkish March by free-scores.com
Turkish March Piano Score [Download PDF]
Essential Listening List, stuff that I'll probably be listening for the next few weeks. Might write up a bit on them if I can find the time:
my little airport
Here's a track by Japanese ambient electronic artist Gutevolk. As always, she's incorporated various different sounds and melodies to produce that distinct sound that's clearly Gutevolk's. This track features interesting use of a simple electronic synth loop as the background while she sings over it.
1. twinkle star's cycling bolero
2. light parade (mp3)
3. little girl, little star
light parade lyrics:
speed o agete dokomade yuku no daro
bokura no kotoba o kimama ni tsunaideku
sekai no hajimari o tsugeru yo ni
oh where is my bird?
mune ni hikaru diamond melody no parade
onpu ni michibikarete samayoi tsuzukete iru
hora imagoro boku nado wasurete
sekai no dokoka eto
oh where is my bird?
Do check out Gutevolk's official site for more mp3 and lyrics. Here's the link to another track by Gutevolk that I've listened to previously:
Gutevolk - Sora
Stick Soldiers is a really cool game that I've played for some years now. Version 1 and 2 of the game was developed by WhiteSpace Unlimited. Version 3 of the game is under construction as well, but this time under Andrew Rusell Studios. The game is truly unique in its concept and is highly customizable and comes with a level editor as well.
While the game lacks in graphics, it makes it up in terms of gameplay and interface. Gameplay is highly addictive and interface is downright simple. In Stick Soldiers, you control a pencil-drawn stick soldier with various weapons (uzi, grenade launcher, etc.) to destroy other stick soldiers in your attempt to reach the specified frag limit
Download Stick Soldiers 1
Download Stick Soldiers 2
from their official site.
Stick Soldiers 3 is currently a work-in-progress and will be shareware, rumored to cost roughly $20 USD for the full version. However, a definite price has yet to be announced; the only official price range up to now is between $15 USD and $20 USD. The free, shareware version will not have any time limits for playing, but those without the full version will lose out on some features.
Isao Sasaki is a Japanese pianist and singer. He is famous for his piano works which are both highly emotional and heart warming. He embarked on his musical career in 1972, and over the years, he has written numerous scores for various dramas, movies, and anime series. Most notably he composed the scores for movies and anime series such as Science Ninja Team Gatchaman, Shinzo Ningen Casshan, and Superman.
Featured here is one of Isao Sasaki's more recent albums entitled "Forever". Do feel free to download some of the tracks and have a listen at his works. The track "Water Color Heaven" is truly amazing and relaxing music.
It is essentially - heaven painted in water colors.
1. Water color heaven (mp3)
2. oh...you're beautiful lady
(From 'Bungee jumping of their own')
3. You only love it twice
4. Great fear
5. Manha de carnaval (mp3)
6. The letter of soldier (From "J.S.A")
7. Between love and fascination
9. I'm just dreaming (mp3)
10. peace of mind
11. The celestial river
Do remember to visit Isao Sasaki's official site for more news and mp3 downloads.
Explosions in The Sky is a post rock band recommended by one of my friends Armand Tanzarian. Their album "The Earth is Not a Cold Dead Place" released in 2003 is considered as one of the genre-defining albums of its time. Similar to the likes of Mogwai, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, and Sigur Ros, the band plays concise and progressive music, both instrumental and distinct in style.
The track featured below, "Your Hand In Mine", feels constantly in flux, growing and transforming with every note. Using a simple combination of guitars and drums, it is upbeat, progressive and hopeful, yet not having too much of a joyful mood to it. The track is great in the sense that it manages to conjure up feelings and imagery of hope.
The Earth is Not a Cold Dead Place
1. First Breath After Coma
2. The Only Moment We Were Alone
3. Six Days At The Bottom Of The Ocean
5. Your Hand In Mine (mp3)
If you like their track, don't forget to check out their official site for the latest news and more downloads from the band.
Temple City is the intercontinental and Internet collaboration of Dietmar Quistorf and Christoph Kolodziej. They produce mostly downtempo and ambient stuff.
Shady stuff, that is.
Working over a 6,000-mile wire between L.A, California, and Frankfurt, Germany,
Kolodziej and Quistorf pass songs back and forth until they reach the sound that's
Temple City's own a unique cross of Kraftwerk and Mother Nature, with a dash of sci-fi.
The track begins with a dark voiceover intro of a spaceship arriving at Europa, one of the Galilean moons of Jupiter and then continues with an eerie intermission of the synths. Not much variation in the entire mood and rhythm of the track but it produces a calm and chilled out feeling with the seamless interwining of the synths and drum beats. It's pretty much chilled out that some of my friends say that this is good music for smoking weed.
Temple City - Europa [yur-ROH-pah] (mp3)
Do check out their official page on Download.com for more of their good stuff.
The soundtrack for the cult movie "Requiem for a Dream" was composed by reknowned composer Clint Mansell and performed by the Kronos Quartet.
The trailer for The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers used a remixed version of the track "Lux Aeterna", re-recorded with a full orchestra and choir. The song, named "Requiem for a Tower", was made just for the trailer (it was not featured in either Requiem for a Dream or The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers) and was composed by Simone Benyacar, Dan Nielsen, and Veigar Margeirsson.
The track "Lux Aeterna" has been remixed numerous times by notable artists such as Paul Oakenfold, Josh Wink, Delerium, and even a psytrance mix by trancemaster GMS (Growling Mad Scientists). The track "The Last Stand" from The Myth OST by Nathan Wang was also clearly influenced by Lux Aeterna.
Download previews of the tracks below from Clint Mansell's official site here.
Requiem for a Dream OST
1. Summer Overture (mp3)
3. Coney Island Dreaming
5. Chocolate Charms
6. Ghosts Of Things To Come
9. Dr Pill
10. High On Life (mp3)
12. Crimin' And Dealin'
13. Hope Overture (mp3)
15. Bialy And Lux Conga
16. Cleaning Apartment
17. Ghosts - Falling
20. Marion Barfs
21. Supermarket Sweep
23. Sara Goldfarb Has Left The Building
24. Bugs Got A Devilish Grin Conga
25. Winter Overture (mp3)
26. Southern Hospitality
27. Fear (mp3)
28. Full Tense
29. Beginning Of The End
30. Ghosts Of A Future Lost
32. Lux Aeterna (mp3)
33. Coney Island Low
A common problem that have been troubling cantonese-speaking Windows users is the inability to input special cantonese-only characters in their systems. Characters such as "乜","喺" and "冇" cannot be typed used Microsoft's Chinese IME and also using other euqivalent software such as NJSTAR and Chinese Star. These software can display most of the fonts with GB encoding but there's simply no easy way to input them. Furthermore, written Cantonese contains many characters not used in standard written Chinese in order to transcribe words not present in the standard lexicon. In 1990 the Hong Kong Government introduced the Hong Kong Supplementary Character Set (HKSCS) in use for electronic communication as an attempt to standardize written cantonese. The HKSCS is a prerequisite for many of the softwares and IMEs featured below so download and install HKSCS before install the IMEs.
Download the Hong Kong Supplementary Character Set (HKSCS) from Microsoft.
To solve this problem of typing cantonese on the computer, a wide plethora of software and IMEs have been developed. Most people today use ChangJie, Jyutping or handwritting recognition pads.
I've tried and tested many alternatives to allow me to have the ability to type Cantonese on my computer. Many of these software are commercial but I didn't want to pay anything for it, so I decided to do a bit of googling for the proper tools and after a bit of testing, I've come up with a list of some of the best and free software for this purpose.
1. ISO 10646 version of HKSCS-2001 reference font and input software (ISO 10646 版本輸入法軟件)
This is the official software for typing cantonese with is developed by the Hong Kong Government. It uses the ChangJie input method, Quick Input method and Stroke Input method. Its pretty decent but only downside is that ChangJie is the main input method. The learning curve for the Changjie input method is pretty steep and if you don't know Changjie then its better to use other easier methods such as cantonese romanization (e.g Jyutping or Yale). Check out the official site here.
Download ISO 10646 version of HKSCS-2001 reference font and input software
2. Red Dragonfly Chinese Input Method (紅蜻蜓粵語拼音詞語輸入法)
This nifty piece of software is developed by Dr. K.K. Luke, Department of Linguistics, University of Hong Kong.This Input Method can thus be used to type characters from the HKSCS. It uses the cantonese pronounciation method for the input of the characters. This software is pretty good, except that it is limited to run on native Chinese version of Windows. If you run an English version of Windows XP, you can download Applocale from Microsoft and display this software in Traditional Chinese (GB) encoding. Check out more info for this software on their official site from The University of Hong Kong.
Download Red Dragonfly Chinese Input Method
3. Cantonese Input IME (廣東/粵語拼音輸入法)
This is the best piece of software I've come by so far. It uses the Jyutping (粵拼) method for input. This software is installed as an IME and is highly cuztomizable as you could change the pronounciation of the characters to suit your own typing habits as well as also add new characters to the list. You can find a step by step tutorial to setting up and customizing the software on their official site here.
Download Cantonese Input IME
This software is developed by Jim Burket and is a Unicode-based cantonese input IME. Both the Yale and Jyutping methods are supported. A Mandarin Pinyin mode is also available. CantoInput will run on any operating system with a relatively recent Java runtime environment. You could run it on Windows, Linux and even on Macs. I haven't had much time to try out this piece of software but by the looks of it it seems pretty fine. Check out CantoInput from their official site.
The term "Disco Volante" actually means "flying disc" or in some cases, "flying saucer" but the band featured today is far from being "saucy".
Disco Volante is Oliver Achatz, Marko Pelaic, Janis Guckes, Paul W. Taylor and Soeren Frickenschmidt. The band is from Frankfurt, German and produces electronic styled post rock and progressive rock. Their music is extremely experimental and is influenced heavily by post rock and laced with electronic sounds that seems to blend seamlessly in each of their tracks.
I don't listen much to rock, but heck, I guess this track is one of my fewer exceptions. They may not be really famous, but they do sound similiar to the likes of Jaga Jazzist and Sigur Ros though. They are GOOD.
Download one of their tracks here:
Disco Volante - Golden Psycho Flower(Layout) (mp3)
You can get more of their tracks and photos from their official site below:
Gaim is a popular multi-platform instant messaging client that supports many popular protocols. Gaim is open source and is released under the GNU General Public Licence. It runs on UNIX/Linux systems, Microsoft Windows, FreeBSD and Mac OSX as well. It is currently used on many distributions of Linux such as Knoppix, Ubuntu and others.
Here are some of the protocols that Gaim supports:
Google Talk (Through XMPP)
The best part about Gaim is its ability to allow users to log in to several IM accounts simultaneously. For instance, I could be chatting with someone using MSN and with a second person using ICQ and chat with a third person using Google Talk! Although there are some other multi-protocol clients such a Trillian that offer similiar functionality, I find that Gaim is the best in terms of ease of use and also due to the fact that its FREE!
In my opinion, Gaim is an extremely well-written piece of software. It is lightweight and ad-free. Gaim is also highly customizable through the use of downloadable plugins that add loads of functionality to this nifty piece of software. Only downside about Gaim is the file transfer function in MSN gives you really slow speed as Gaim cannot establish a direct connection between the 2 peers as of now. As of now, all connections are routed through Microsoft's servers.
I got to know about this software through using Linux systems and I've been using it on all of my machines ever since, even on my Windows boxes!
Download the Gaim instant messenger client complete with GTK+ from their project page at Sourceforge here:
Gaim Downloads (All Packages)
Gaim Downloads (Version 2.0.0 Beta 5)
Rhapsody is a Malaysian band I've listened to for a couple of years now and I've gotta say I really like their style. They play mostly jazz and instrumental sounds. The duo, Ywenna Carolin & Nicole Foo who makes up Rhapsody, met in a dusty piano room when they were still clad in high school uniforms, Nicole was mesmerized when Ywenna started tinkling Chopin's 'Nocturne in E Flat". After 7 years of dreaming, Ywenna and Nicole have finally got off their asses to start making their dreams come true.
Rhapsody is a frequenter of the Malaysian Jazz scene and have been featured on events such as Starbucks Music Series, Moonshine, Penang Island Jazz Festival, the Xmas Sofa Party @ FrangiPani, which is really popular bar in KL. Their quite well-known among the underground music community in Malaysia as many of my friends in KL have attended their gigs.
With Ywenna playing the piano and Nicole as the vocalist, the duo sound like a match made in music heaven. Their music is very calm and soothing. The gentle sounds of Ywenna playing on the piano blends perfectly with Nicole's voice which tailor-made for singing jazz. One of my favourite tracks by them is "So Scared". I've been puting the track on loop the entire time I'm writing this article. ~Sweet
Download the track here:
Rhapsody - So Scared (mp3)
Do visit their page on i-bands.net for more info and downloads and visit their blog here for their latest events and gigs.
岩岩聽My Little Airport既新歌《我愛官恩娜，都不及愛你的哨牙》，覺得好搞笑，成個FEEL好cute好唔同，不過聽落又幾好聽bor。歌中有段用法文來唱，感覺有D似UTADA HIKARU首《ぼくはくま》- Boku wa Kuma
On partage la musique
Dans la rue, sur le lit
On n’a besoin de parler
et la main dans la main
comme ca, juste toi et moi
You can download the track here from their site:
My Little Airport - 我愛官恩娜，都不及愛你的哨牙 (mp3)
My Little Airport is one of Hong Kong's music scene's best-kept secrets. The indie band, consisting of a female vocalist, Nicole, and a male songwriter, P produces some of the most special sounds in the Hong Kong music scene today. Their music style is casual and comfortable to the average listener, similiar in style to some of Tsuji Ayano's tracks. The lyrics the write about are both witty and light-hearted. Their adventurous spirit and playfulness can been observed through their selection of song titles and lyrics. Definitely a much welcomed change to the songs you hear on radio everyday.
My Little Airport 呢個indie band俾到人一份好輕鬆，好好玩既感覺。My Little Airport的音樂、歌聲和歌詞互構成一種特有的清新氣質，編織出一個單純的世界，迷人可愛。歌詞中寫既係一段段美麗而朦朧的青春烙印。MLA第一張專輯《在動物園散步才是正經事》於2004年8月出街，就登上叱吒樂壇流行榜第10位。新歌《我愛官恩娜，都不及愛你的哨牙》都真係幾好聽！！
01. Coka，I’m Fine
02. 在动物园散步才是正经事 (mp3)
03. Victor，Fly Me To Stafford (mp3)
04. Edward，Had You Ever Thought That the End Of The World
06. My Little Banana
07. Josephine’s Shop
09. You Don’t Wanna Be My Girlfriend Phoebe
10. Dee，It May All End Tomorrow
01. Gi Gi Leung Is Dead
02. I Don’t Know How To Download Good Av Like Iris Does
04. 失落沮丧歌 (mp3)
07. Leo，Are You Still Jumping Out Of Windows In Expensive Clothes？
08. 你的微笑像朵花 (mp3)
10. My Little Fish
Do visit their official site below for more info on them:
Finally its here!! This is the piano score for the track Endless Love "美麗的神話" which is the OST for Jackie Chan's 2005 movie The Myth. The OST was written by Nathan Wang & Gary Chase. Two versions of the song have been produced. One version is in Chinese and Korean and the other version entirely in Chinese. The 1st version was a duet between Jackie Chan and Korean actress Kim Hee Seon who also starred in the movie as the Korean princess. The 2nd version was sung by reknowned Chinese artists Sun Nan and Nan Hong. These are not the official scores and are compiled by the great guys at popiano.net. I haven't really had time to try playing out the scores but they don't seem too sophisticated at first glance. Maybe later this week.
Here you go:
Endless Love Piano Score
[Page 1] [Page 2] [Page 3] [Page 4]
Credits to popiano.net for the piano scores above.
In case you're searching for it, here's the lyrics for the song:
Endless Love I Lyrics
Endless Love II Lyrics
You can read more about The Myth here and here.
Sandy Lam's latest Mandarin album "Breath Me" which was released on the 29th of August 2006 was simply superb! The album features a Mandarin cover version of UK band New Order's "Bizarre Love Triangle". She titled her rendition of the classic hit "One Person" and recorded it in two different versions (Track 1 and 14). Her voice is angelical, crisp and smooth to your ears.
This album is so good that I cannot stop playing it over and over again on in my car and my computer, whether I'm studying for my exams, finishing my assignments, or just reading email. In my opinion, this album is better than her last Cantonese album entitled "True Colours" released in 2005.
02. 面對面 [歌詞 Lyrics] [Video]
04. 詞不達意 [歌詞 Lyrics]
06. 放開手 [歌詞 Lyrics]
10. 呼吸 (Q Mix)
14. 一個人 (不安份 Mix)
主打「一個人」是改編自英國樂團"New Order"的熱播作品，新詞由周耀輝填上，編曲充滿懷舊復古的電子音樂氛圍，顯然又是一首會在迪斯可熱播的歌曲。「詞不達意」旋律譜得好，有一份聽完後仍叫人未能抽離的魔力，小寒的歌詞也填得相當細膩。許哲佩的「放開手」是首佳作，整首歌有一份強烈的生活感，歌詞寫出走出陰霾後的自由自在，憶蓮把那種感受成功演繹出來。點題歌「呼吸」詞曲編俱不錯，更吸 引的是整首歌的氣氛。「相信」是林夕填詞的作品，內容讓人感動，情懷很細致，與曲調也相當配合。這首歌在新加坡的音樂排行榜上取得相當好的成績。其他歌曲方面，「面對面」和「日子」亦值得一聽。
林憶蓮新加坡演唱會06.12.09 Fans Sharing
Foobar 2000 is one of my favourite audio players. It's known to be light on system resources and easily customizable and configurable with the use of third-party components. Best of all, its free!
Download the latest version of the foobar player from the official site.
Here are some of the foobar components I've tried and used for my own foobar player. All the plugins featured below are recommended for use in foobar 2000 version 0.9 .
How to install the plugins:
1. Download the plugins and unzip them
2. Copy the dll files into your default foobar component folder (i.e C:/Program Files/foobar2000/components)
3. Restart the foobar player and you're ready to go!
1. Columns UI
Columns UI is an alternative user interface for the foobar player. It allows interchangeable elements through the use of panel and toolbar components. It is a prerequisite of many other foobar components such as albumart_ui and track info mod.
Download - Columns UI from musicmusic's foobar stuff
2. Album Art Panel
Another example of customizing your foobar player is to enable it to display a song's album art. Using the component foo_uie_albumart, you can easily modify the desired image's source, height and even configure it to cycle through several images.
Download - foo_uie_albumart v0.045
3. Track info panel mod
Track Info Panel Mod is a modification to the Foobar2000:0.9 Track Info Panel (foo uie trackinfo) panel by Terrestrial. It allows you to display a track's data such as length, artist, album, and year.
Download - Track info panel mod from Hydrogenaudio wiki
4. Quick Search Toolbar
Derived from foo_uie_search and ported to foobar2000 0.9, foo_uie_quicksearch provides the ability to include a search panel in your Columns UI layout, displaying results in a chosen playlist. The search parameters can be customized according to your own needs. I just left to for default.
Download - foo_uie_quicksearch
This is a plugin that allows submission of data of the tracks you've listened to last.fm. It employs audioscrobbler technology to retrieve your listening data. Last.fm's client is good as well, but I just prefer using foobar and this audiosrobbler plugin rather than last.fm's official client.
Download - foo_audioscrobbler
This is a simple dsp plugin that adds crossfading functionality into the foobar player. I don't really bother with crossfading but listening to ambient and instrumental tracks with this feature will take your entire listening experience to a whole new level. Do try it!!
Download - foo_dsp_crossfader at Acropolis' Blog
ProjectM Visualisation is a visualisation based on the ProjectM project, which is a reimplementation of Milkdrop under OpenGL. The version available here is a modification of bleh's ProjectM Visualisation for Foobar2000 0.8. The forum thread for both the original version and the modification available here can be found here.
Download - ProjectM Visualisation
Whitecap is another visualisation plugin for foobar. It features 190 effects, a morphing slideshow, savable and scriptable effects, video file export capabilities, and control over specific effects. WhiteCap is designed to be visually engaging and extremely dynamic, yet flexible enough to allow for customization, control, and scripting. I don't really use this plugin much.
Download - foo_whitecap from soundspectrum
This plugin allows you to search and upload lyrics basing on song's artist title and sometimes album. Lyrics are download from a database and saved to the %lyrics% tag.
Download - foo_lyricsdb
This plugin provides a panel which shows the queue's contents and allows you to remove tracks from the queue. It also allows you to have playback automatically starting when you create a queue.
Requires .Net 2.0 framework. If you don't have it you can get it here.
Download - foo_uie_queuemanager
It's been a while since I visited Tsuji Ayano's blog...She changed her hairstyle!
Recently heard some tracks from this electronic music project "Enduser" - the brainchild of Lynn Standafer. Bearing in mind that he is influenced by several genres such as hip-hop and jungle, the music he produces under the alter-ego of Enduser are somewhat industrial strength drum and bass with a good dose of breaks and rap.
The first time I listened to it I felt that it was too hard on my ears but gradually I got used to it. It's really quite interesting.
Enduser has been collaborating with other notable electronic artists such as Panacea and NYC hardcore band Terror. He currently resides in Brooklyn, New York and frequently performs around the US and around the world. You can find more about Enduser at his official site here.
Enduser - Things to Do in the Queen City (mp3)