In Tune | The Rock of Ages Broadway Soundtrack

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By the time I was born, the 80s were far gone, and today, they seem lightyears away. But they really were a defining decade, complete with their music, culture, and questionable fashion choices. I recently had a chance to get a taste of that when my younger sister’s middle school put on the play, Rock of Ages, this past April, modeled off of the Broadway play (not the movie- don’t worry.) I have to say, I really got into it, having seen all five or so shows.

Even now, I still find myself ‘rocking out’ to some of the music from the play, and it reminds me of the times when my mom and I would set up 80’s radio stations and she would be able to name literally every song that came on as I stood in awe of the stark contrast in music taste.

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In Tune: The Pop Instrumental Genre

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Since In Tune began, I’ve covered an extremely vast area of musical taste, from the most classical to musical soundtracks to pure pop. Each of these have peaked my listening interest, but given how different they are, I’ve found a particular liking for pieces that combine aspects of each style. In particular, this includes renditions of modern-day songs in highly instrumental, stylistic forms of playing.

My favorite musical group in terms of this type of music would have to be The Piano Guys. First of all, their music videos are phenomenal. Titanium would have to be one of my favorites (and also one of the most famous), but I also love this really amazing and creative take on a One Direction song (just look at the way they play the piano). Of their most recent music, they did a really beautiful cover to one of my In Tune features, Niall Horan’s Flicker.

What I love about this genre is that you still get the recognition of much of the pop music you hear today, but instead get to hear it in a completely new light and perspective. Image result for piano guys album coverEspecially as pop songs start to die out and get old, it re-sparks my interest in a particular piece, if not even improves it.

The bass-heavy, auto-tuned modern style is removed and replaced by music that is purely instrumental and true. It’s absolutely wonderful to listen to, and I love being able to appreciate the authentic musical qualities that brings a piece of music to life.

In all, this sub-genre blends the very formulaic methods of both pop and the style of classical music and improves on each in such a way that creates a beautiful medium between the two, and my exposure to this music brings me so much enjoyment and joy.

And it’s not just the Piano Guys who do such a thing- even acoustic versions of songs on the radio really put a new and unique perspective on the music that surrounds us in this day and age, and I would encourage you to explore the intricate personalities of the genre further.

In addition, you can view the playlist filled with every previous In Tune feature on my YouTube channel to get a very general idea of my true musical taste.

Thank you so much for reading!

Gabe

In Tune: The Les Misérables Collection

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Les Misérables has held a tremendous presence in my life over the past several months, and the experience was incredible. As a member of the pit orchestra for my school’s production of Les Miserables, we held our finale performance this past weekend.

One of the things I loved most about the pit was being able to play and listen to every song in the soundtrack (all 2 1/2 hours of it), an advantage you usually don’t get in the cast. Within the music, there were plenty of defining moments (usually in the main melodies) where I found so much confidence and triumph, and would get very expressive and joyous in my playing. That feeling was amazing.

And even then, I could really appreciate playing the smaller melodies that serve as the backbone of the play, especially with the accompanying vocals (which were phenomenal). The soundtrack as a whole is wonderful.

So, I’ve chosen a few of my favorite songs from the play, all for various reasons. Here they are:

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Dimitri Shostakovich’s Piano Trio No. 2 | In Tune

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I’ve always had a love for music- whether it be the repetitive, over-played pop music on the radio, or the soothing piano melodies that I listen to at night, but especially for the tunes that I can play myself. I have been playing both the piano and viola, and have a tremendous appreciation and love for both instruments.

However, while I enjoy playing classical melodies on my own instruments, I’ve never really taken a moment to step back, listen, and admire the beauty the genre is. That is, until I met my best friend, Liam.

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Daniel Hart’s ‘Little Notes’ | In Tune

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Over Holiday Break, my family and I watched countless movies. We tend to gravitate towards movies that get considered as ‘Editor’s Picks’ or get nominated for Oscars, though we threw in a few comedies as well. A few notable ones that we watched were LION, Life of Pi, and The Outsiders, but my favorite would have to be A Ghost Story, a low-budget movie that grapples with our perspective on life, touching on the idea that life goes on after death, while also making the audience consider the magnitude of their choices in life. It’s a very mysterious, thought-provoking film, but definitely not horror as the name would suggest. This mood is, of course, complemented by a phenomenal soundtrack. Naturally, it differs from the what you’d expect from a soundtrack, especially given that A Ghost Story is so slow-moving.

The entire soundtrack is wonderful, so I decided to choose just one song to represent it:

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Les Misérable’s I Dreamed A Dream | In Tune

New In Tune LogoGood morning! The Holiday season has begun on 12 and Beyond, and I thought I’d transition back to more traditional, more instrumental music from pop.

For those of you that don’t know, I play the viola in school. I recently had the opportunity to participate in the Orchestra pit for the Spring production of Les Misérables at my school, and I gladly joined. We’re several weeks into practice, and while the music is insanely difficult, I am loving the experience.

I haven’t actually seen the play myself (though I would love to at some point), but one of my friends described it as so heartfelt, and there were parts that made him cry. Having listened to the soundtrack, I can see why. As with most productions, it’s the soundtrack Related imagethat really defines the play, and this is no different. Today, I am highlighting the Broadway version of the song, “I Dreamed a Dream”, arguably one of the more iconic songs in the soundtrack. I want to ignore the vocals, though, as exceptional as they are, because in my case, I came to appreciate the orchestra behind it.

There is something about being in an Orchestra, and for me, that’s being able to hear the melodies taking place all around you, both from the cellos and violins. In my case, you get both the high sounds and the low sounds, while the violas are sort of in the middle. And you appreciate those melodies, and it begins to really take the form of a song- and being a part of that is such a great feeling. I’m so excited to play for the actual play, because you now have an actual purpose for playing- and once you really get into it, being part of something so powerful, it’s amazing.

The soundtrack in itself is just so beautiful. My favorite part of the song, “I Dreamed a Dream” is when it goes, “duh-duh-duh-duh, duh-duh-duh-duuuuuh” towards the end of the song, if you know what I mean. When combined with the strong brass section, it sounds phenomenal.

The emotion provoked by every song in the album, my favorite being ‘I Dreamed a Dream’, is so amazing. I’ve become so attached to it, and the end performance, combined with vocals, story, and Orchestra, will be a beautiful experience.

And you can share that experience, too. Having seen a Broadway play last spring, I was so inspired to further explore the world of theater, and this is my opportunity. I realized how amazing theater was too even at a local level, when my sister performed in a play over the Summer, and I was truly moved.

I encourage you to have a listen to the Soundtrack however you prefer to listen to music (I use Apple Music), or you can listen to the individual track, “I Dreamed a Dream”, by clicking here.

Thanks so much for reading! Check out the Post Calendar on the Sidebar to see when special Holiday editions release towards the end of the month!

Gabe

Linkin Park’s One More Light | In Tune

Image result for one more lightChester Bennington, Linkin Park’s lead singer, an outstanding rock/pop musician, committed suicide on July 20, 2017.

I was heartbroken having heard news of his death. Today, I want to honor him by highlighting a song from Linkin Park’s new album: One More Light.

If you haven’t already, watch the Official Video for One More Light. Please, take in the audio and visual.

I remember first being introduced to Linkin Park through an episode of Good Mythical Morning, and then I began following their music with the song “Heavy”. The song One More Light has only recently been ‘released’ onto the radio, yet it’s moved mountains for me.

“Who cares if one more light goes out? Well, I do.”

If nothing else, that line speaks volumes about the importance of life. I always remember the quote: “To the world you may be one person, but to one person, you may be the world”.  It’s so true.

The way Chester sings the song, embodies the song, is so heartbreaking, yet so beautiful. 

“We saw brilliance, when the world was asleep.”

This line of the song draws upon how amazing the world we live in is- how amazing Chester was- how amazing we all are.

Chester, we all miss you incredibly, and your music has and will inspire generations of music listeners today and to come. As I look back upon your life, your greatest achievements, your happiest of times, Chester- that’s what is most important: the positive, the most beautiful aspects of us as humans.

“Just ’cause you can’t see it, doesn’t mean it’s not there.”

-Gabe


Suicide isn’t something that should be taken lightly. Most often, we never understand a person’s struggles until it becomes too late. If you need help, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. You are not alone.

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Macklemore’s Glorious | In Tune

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Back in 2012 (was it really that long ago?), one of my favorite songs was Can’t Hold Us by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis. So, when I was browsing around Apple Music and found out that Macklemore was releasing a solo album, I was very interested.

After doing some more research, and listening to a few of his new songs, it is clear that Gemini, the name of his new album, is on the happy side, and I thought to myself, I’m now really in the mood for an album like this.

And so, I was quick to determine the song I wanted to feature on In Tune this week.

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Louis Tomlinson’s Back to You | In Tune

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First there was Zayn. Then there was Niall. Then there was Louis. Then there was Harry. Now, Liam’s on the charts too.

I never considered myself a Directioner, but that’s not to say I didn’t enjoy any of their songs. And, now that each member has gone solo, I love listening to each of them just as much.

Harry’s Sign of the Times was so different, but it fit his style so well. Niall’s This Town was great, too. And I did listen to Louis’s Just Hold On for a bit, but it never really caught on. But when I first heard Louis’s new single on the radio, I was just like, whoah. 

If I haven’t made it obvious enough, press “Continue Reading” to read this week’s In Tune highlight.

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