Archive for June, 2012

Exams and Q&A #15

Posted in Q&A, Text Updates, Updates with tags , , , , , , , , on June 27, 2012 by mbulteau

Oh, exams… Why don’t you let my mind rest?

I am overflowing with extra classes. No surprise there. There is, however, the issue that Majora’s Aria has suffered an important setback, so the trio is once again the likely next demo. It has, however, not progressed much yet. But a lot can change in a couple of weeks!

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Sasori of the red sand: Will we get to see The Indigo-Go’s perform?

Kafei has no access to Zora Hall, so I’d say no. Even if he did, how would he get Lulu’s eggs back, especially those underwater at Pinnacle Rock?

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TheGameInformer: If this full project (hopefully) ever comes to fruition, would you be posting the entire thing on Youtube?

That would depend entirely on how it would come to fruition. Imagine it gets supported to become commercial to pay for all the artists, or instead it gets reduced to the state of fan effort, severely limited and unable to gather enough of a budget to match the vision?

These are two of many different outcomes. There is no way of knowing anything about such a far-off situation at this point. Remember, I’m still writing.

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Gregory Smith: Have you ever read this (lengthy) article?

I most definitely have read that masterpiece. The theological background of the opera is strongly influenced by it. Before Zelda Informer changed layouts, I had commented on the article, thanking Hylian Dan for that inspiring jewel and mentioning directly that it would have a massive influence on my work. I should do it again, in fact.

I encourage everyone to read that brilliant article.

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malionx: Ok, final question from me, and I know it is on every single person’s mind. All of them biting their nails awaiting the precious answer… Tingle… in or out?

There is no solo part for Tingle. However, the Clock Town choir will include all current inhabitants of Clock Town. Tingle is in Clock Town, therefore he will appear as one of the voices in the choir.

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Gustavo Belmontes: You gonna make one about Igos Du Ikana?

One… what? An aria in the opera? Yes. I have already mentioned that in the last Q&A. A demo? If you read the list of planned demos, you’ll find that there is no demo planned for Igos. All demos are from Act I, except for Pamela’s.

Q&A #14

Posted in Q&A with tags , , , , , , , , on June 20, 2012 by mbulteau

The Wolfess: I don’t remember having seen anyone ask about this yet, and I’m sure you’re not releasing much information about the Ikana region yet, but I was wondering if the Ikana Castle (and its resident talking Stalfos/dancing Redeads) will make an appearance in the opera? Also, will they play a big part or small part if they are included?

Ikana Castle and its king will most definitely make an appearance. He plays an important role, but no longer in duration than that of most denizens of Termina Kafei meets. I don’t think his guards will appear, though, neither will the dancing Redeads. Act III is rather focused on the uneasiness of the valley, and having Redeads dance like they do in the game wouldn’t fit.

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Josef StylinDoes Odolwa play a big part in the story? Will anybody need to fight him, considering he’s an evil force made by Majora? And is he the only boss to appear/be mentioned?

Odolwa is crucial for the giant to be revealed. The Deku end up accidentally confronting Odolwa due to Kafei’s intrusion in the monkey’s execution. I do think that he is the only boss to appear, especially because no other is either humanoid (for staging purposes) or as easily accessible (Kafei cannot possibly reach Snowhead, for example).

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BowserTheSecondWill Kotake and Koume appear in the play?

I tried! I love their theme and I can hear a duet for their voices fitting it so well! But there is no way that could happen without extending Act I too much for something that isn’t even plot-related. Sorry, but Kotake and Koume have to join the unused cast.

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Jan Philipp Emanuel: [regarding Kafei’s Dream] Just AMAZING! Is this the opening music? From the tone and quality, it could very well be!

Nope. This is from Act II. Kafei passes out after being thoroughly exhausted in the pursuit of another fruitless lead on Sakon, and dreams.

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BlodhArget: [regarding Kafei’s Dream] The end transitions a bit into Sakon’s leitmotif. I wonder what that means for the plot?

Listen again. The moment Kamaro’s Dance is over, Sakon’s theme appears in full! So it’s not just the end. In fact, the entire dream is riddled with Sakon’s theme in all shapes and forms. Kafei is dreaming of his thief, along with other things.

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Oscar Suncin: Amazing, Kafei will be a tenor or a baritone? Please let him be a baritone!

Sorry. Kafei’s voice is way more suited for tenor. You already heard him sing in Demo #4.

Kafei’s Dream

Posted in Media Updates, Text Updates, Updates on June 18, 2012 by mbulteau

Instrumental for the longest dance sequence in the opera, a pot-pourri of several themes. Some harder to find when it gets dense.

Kafei succumbs to exhaustion after another fruitless effort and passes out. In the moments between sleep and wakefulness, he hears a strange melody, right before drifting into a confusing dream.

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As for progress, tomorrow I will be recording more of Majora’s Aria, and if it works out well it will be the final recording. So the audio will be ready to be mixed, and the next step will be the video.

About the recordings to come, and Q&A #13

Posted in Q&A, Text Updates, Updates with tags , , , , , , , , on June 13, 2012 by mbulteau

Writing on the opera will resume tomorrow, as I will try to finish Kafei’s Dream in order to proceed. What will it resume from, you might ask? Well, I’m also part of a choir who’s in a stage production of Purcell’s opera on the story of Dido and Aeneas, and it has been eating up rehearsal/recording time from Majora. This Friday (the official recording day of the week) will once again be occupied by another performance, instead of Majora’s delightful screeching.

Speaking of which, Majora’s Aria is nearly recorded, and I am still in need of a dancer to be Skull Kid. The latter isn’t a problem yet, because without a recording to dance to, it doesn’t matter whether I have one now.

Majora’s Aria will probably come first, so the promised trio might in fact become Demo #6 for the same reasons explained in the first paragraph. Also, it will soon be exam season. The good news is that we found a fitting tenor for the trio, to replace the one who had to leave, so things might speed up quite a lot in the recording department after these first weeks.

Some of you might remember the first demo was supposed to be the Clock Town Choir, intended to be released last January (oh, the naiveté). That has also been slowly in motion since April.

Long story short, the behemoth is moving!

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Now, Q&A!

Josef Stylin: Does Kafei wear the Keaton’s mask throughout the opera?

Only in Clock Town, where he’s afraid of being recognized.

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malionx: I’m surprised nobody has asked about Tatl and Tael yet. I assume they are with the Skull Kid, yes? Though I suppose having two little lights like Tinkerbell in the stage version of Peter Pan might not be the best source of character development.

Your last sentence basically says it all. If there is a way to have realistic balls of light following him around without it looking ridiculous, it might be an interesting visual addition, but there will be nothing further than that. They are not speaking characters in the opera, especially since Link did not split them apart, and Skull Kid is completely entrapped in Majora’s mind control. He is a dancer, remember, nothing in him speaks. Majora does, as a separate singer invisible to every other character. Remember it’s a stage work.

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black-leg: The Song of Healing better be in this. I imagine you could do really good things with it. Also is the Happy Mask Salesman in this?

The instrumental snippets do have remnants of the Song of Healing, and yes, of course, it will be included. It is also a majorly important motif that appears TONS of times, symbolizing the fulfillment of promise (or the will to do so).

The Happy Mask Salesman is in this, yes, for the millionth time, I see you people are lazy readers. :P

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Kevin: This may seem weird, because you’ve answered the question about Viscen being female before (for contrast), but, did you just do it for the Demo, or are you actually planning on casting a woman as Viscen in the actual play?

If it is the latter, would you be willing to consider a male if the timbre of their voice (and their range) significantly differed from the person portraying Mutoh?

I am actually planning to cast a woman. Firstly because in the eventuality of the available singers being fewer than the characters, the role change will fit actual female mezzo-soprano characters

I will not consider a male because the issue isn’t Mutoh, it’s the Mayor. Mutoh is a bass, and the Mayor is a tenor. If Viscen were a man, he would definitely be a tenor. The thing is, in order for the fugato to work well, I really needed three independent voices that all had their own ranges and comfortable zones. A tenor is a tenor, they all have tenor ranges. If I used two tenors, the separation of the timbres wouldn’t be as clear, their voices would have to remain very close to each other to avoid straining or rendering one of them hard to hear just for the sake of harmony, which would simply make the diverging opinions even harder to understand.

If the character actually fits the operatic definition of a young man fit to be played by a female singer, why complicate what’s already hard to hear in an actual opera?

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Gregory Smith: Do you have any plans for Kafei to interact with the Salesman prior to each traveling the world?

Nope. Kafei and the Salesman will only meet in Ikana, and the Salesman will only leave Clock Town to go to Ikana.

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LegendKillerII: So I guess that if you’re wearing the Keaton’s mask, the dekus guarding the entrance can’t tell that you actually aren’t one of them? I love all of your demos, but I just thought I should mention that tiny plot hole (unless in your version, the guards aren’t at the deku palace’s entrance).

If I had to make every single location in Majora’s Mask, there wouldn’t be enough sets, room, or any sort of practicality in the matter. I say this because in the opera, the Deku will come onto stage, as if making a public execution in the swamp. This doesn’t happen for any specific reason, it’s just that it’s already hard to cram two complex sets into one act. There’s a swamp set, which can suffer transformations, but building a specific set for the interior of the palace would imply building specific sets for every single interior in the story. That simply cannot happen. Only vital interiors must exist, and this is not one of them.

That said, imagine Kafei running off-stage to find the source of the Deku drums he hears in the distance, the Deku coming from the other side, gradually, a mob who cheers for the execution, two stronger Deku dragging the monkey, and the King being led or perhaps carried into a comfortable place to watch the show. Kafei would come in from the same side as the Deku, as if having covered a certain distance after them, and the cauldron would be dragged in later, as in the demo.

Some details of the game must be set apart, or else we end up being too literal. It’s precisely what I avoid in this opera. See it as a story being told from mouth to mouth. Everyone has their own version, and no one sees the world exactly the same way. As long as the events are there, in a simplistic way, it’s the same story.

Q&A #12

Posted in Q&A with tags , , , , , , , , on June 8, 2012 by mbulteau

kram1032: [referring to Demo #4] How many people are in the choir in actuality and how many virtually?
I have the feeling that you might have made people sing multiple instances and mixed it together into one choir?

Indeed. The poor man’s solution to everything is improvising! You can see the list of people on the video’s description. Apart from the sopranos, who were a complex matter, we used two people for each part and used three takes of each person with different intonations. Basically, you have 11 people (the sopranos break the rule of being just two, but we didn’t use the same for the same segments), and 24 simultaneous voices.

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Jakeyseverus Hütz Twyman: Any songs from other Zeldas gonna make it in there? maybe like in between set changes or something you could have the warp songs from ocarina (well the depressing ones i.e. shadow temple).

Well, that doesn’t really make much sense, now, does it? Why would tunes from Ocarina of Time be present in Majora’s Mask, especially if Link isn’t present? Also, the opera is built so that set changes happen while scenes are going on, so every action inside one act flows seamlessly.

I am aware I am in violation of the theatrical notion of “act,” that usually implies the same location, but I never really liked that that much, especially when many places nowadays have the means for a smooth set change.

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SolidLink64: It is just a hunch but why would this not be the events “before” Majora’s Mask? But I could be overthinking this.

If it were the events before Majora’s Mask, it wouldn’t occur during the last three days. Which it does. Every act is one of the last three days.

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PieStealer: I will support this project until the end! At 1:22 [in Demo #4], is that Kafei’s voice we finally hear? :D

Yessir.

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Insayneable: Can you upload a longer version of the music, please?

The music goes on in other terms after this, into the constant development that the opera is. The numbers very rarely have a clear defined end, many blend into each other. This bit was what was intended to be shown as a demo.

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Caleb Hughes: I have a question. Will Majora be portrayed by a female? I hope so. It seems very fitting. I say this because of the feminine screeches and appearance made by Majora when in her non-mask forms.

Yes. Majora will be a female singer, a coloratura soprano. Skull Kid will be a dancer. Majora only comes onto stage when her presence is very strong, and she is invisible to all characters. Other times, she sings from off-stage, giving her voice a haunting echo that Skull Kid hears in his head.

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DoubleEyeTwins: Why is Kafei in this demo [#4]?

After a month of searching for his mask, Kafei grows desperate and begins following any clues that hint at any sort of criminal activity. The juggling brothers in Clock Town mention the kidnapping in the swamp, just like they would have told Link if he were there, and that’s one of the leads Kafei follows, albeit weak and probably unrelated, he doesn’t have much to lose after a month of fruitless search.

Kafei will witness the decay of all four corners of Termina in his search for the Sun Mask.

Wherein I answer your questions for the 11th time

Posted in Q&A, Text Updates, Updates with tags , , , , , , , , , , on June 6, 2012 by mbulteau

I must first thank Zul for writing such an awesome article about Majora upon which I stumbled some hours ago. Check out his blog!

Now, before the Q&A begins, I must tell you that the next demos will get harder to record and film. Firstly because they are more complex, and secondly because this time of the year is a bit complicated for many people who are working in the project.

It has been therefore decided that the intended two-week release schedule can no longer work (yes, because it actually worked like what, once?), and although I’d like it to be no longer than three weeks, I shouldn’t promise what I’m not sure I can deliver.

Rest assured, though, that everything is rolling, albeit slower in the recording department now. The writing is doing great, and it will speed up immensely two weeks from now if everything goes well (a.k.a. if I don’t spontaneously combust). You can always track the little progress bar on the right to tell where I am.

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Right! Q&A time:

Encee37: [referring to Demo #1] Did you make a few changes to this since the first upload?

Rewritings will happen once the opera is completely written first. Errata is noted down to be solved later. If you want details, besides minor orchestration issues, the first demo will have a slight lyrics rewrite to evidence the Mayor’s connection to Kafei better. What was once an easter egg (like the many in the score, in all shapes and sizes) actually needs to be clearer now.

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Worldrescues: This is amazing. Is there any way we can donate to show our support or something?

I can’t remember if I answered something similar already. I like to be fair to you people, and it seems pointless to ask for donations when they’re not going for something palpable as of now (unless you would like to buy me a new PC, I’m tired of this over-a-decade old XP behemoth *HINT* *HINT*).

Seriously though, this is the writing phase of the project, and the demos are meant to raise awareness. All those willing to donate are encouraged to keep that enthusiasm alive until (or if) we actually need donations. Dealing with money officially before contacting Nintendo is asking to be shut down.

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firelegendmushroom: That is fantastic! How do you plan to represent the Deku on-stage?

Every character in the opera will be humanoid (you can already guess at some of those who will not appear from this). Firstly to keep the focus on the characters’ emotions and the human aspects of the story, and secondly to minimize the many issues arising from an already complicated staging.

That said, the Deku will be people, basically. They will, however, resemble their counterparts as much as possible, while avoiding ridiculously forced attempts at getting TOO close to their original anatomy.

The general tone is the important thing in the entire opera.

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Cynthia Mc Cartney: [referring to Demo #4] I hope it won’t end like this. I mean Kafei has to rescue the princess in order to awake the giant, no?

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FrostPuppy9996: [referring to Demo #4] It was really amazing, but the first time I watched this, the abrupt end of the video signalling the torture to commence made it seem like censored death. It wasn’t though, was it??

Haha! If your questions are hinting at the general suspicion regarding the monkey’s fate, I can tell you the monkey isn’t boiled. I actually just found it to be a fitting end for the demo. Simply imagine that same video ending without the splash. Would it sound as conclusive or as strong?

In the game, though, they do dip him in the cauldron, repeatedly, but he doesn’t die. I want to avoid that cartoonish aspect in the opera, so the video was just a crossover of the actual danger of the cauldron with the events in the game.

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Adam: How old do you think Kafei is in this opera?

Do you mean what stature? His age never changed, although Skull Kid did curse him to look like a child in the game. As I have already said before, that aspect is not as important as his shame for having lost the Sun Mask, so his height will be a secondary issue.

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There are more questions queued, I just don’t have the time right now to answer them. They will be answered soon.

Also, feel free to ask more people from the project any specific questions you might have, from the singers to the animator, or Miguel Jesus, mixer and engraver extraordinaire, a man of many talents! Most of them unknown.

He’s also named after a deity, so bonus awesomeness points for that. I mean, how many of you can say you’re working WITH THE SON OF GOD?

:P

Ok, that’s enough for now. Over and out.

Demo #4 – Deku Palace Choir

Posted in Media Updates, Updates on June 4, 2012 by mbulteau

I am not sure whether the trio will be ready for demo #5, so I would rather not make predictions.

I apologize again, for the theme is barely developed on. The good news is that all the demos that have no development have been released. From now on, every demo will develop on its themes.

The visuals were made by talented animator Aaron Kline.

Also, I’m back on track! As you can see on the right, the bar for Act II has progressed. I have finished Darmani’s Aria and am now writing Kafei’s Dream.