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Status Update

As usual, my attempts at updating regularly are foiled by bothersome things like reality.

The three latest updates (The Fortress, Pamela's Arietta, and Kafei's Dream, all redux'd) were following a schedule of updates I believed I could keep up from August onwards, with a new demo or instrumental every two weeks, ending in November.

As it is clearly visible, that steady flow has stopped. The good news is that Demo #5's makeover will be uploaded next week. The bad news is that I don't know when the others will yet. The fact that I depend on finding operatic singers that match standards that have been raised since some years ago (hence the makeovers), and then on their interest and availability, makes it so that predictions are impossible.

I will attempt one anyway, because it's fun. After next week's Stock Pot Inn Trio makeover, I believe the order of releases will go along the lines of something like this: Giant's Aria (makeover), Deku Palace Choir (makeover), Council Room Fugato (makeover), Quartet (final demo #9).

That will complete the opera's digital showreel (or portfolio), and allow the next phase to begin.

I'd love to have this done before the year is done.

While I'm at it, I'd also love to have a billion dollars.

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Demo #8 - Majora's Aria

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4T1NQ6pgyEA This footage was taken in July 2012. Took us long enough.

Big big thanks to Allegra Durante and Inês Quaresma.

Also, special thanks to Sofia Galvão, Billy, Mom0ki, Natasha Silvestre, Princess Rizu, Rachel Hillman, Siomara Zendejas, and Verónica Fragoso.

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"Are you still working on Majora?"

Yes. Yes I am.

The Clock Town demo keeps being pushed forward simply because each element of our team keeps bumping onto other issues that delay its release. This has been happening sequentially, instead of all at once, which makes it so that we end up have to wait for each other longer than usual.

I apologize for the lack of interaction with the public, but as part of the team I am also experiencing issues. I am, however, taking advantage of the times in which I am not directly writing to expand my portfolio in other musical genres and experimenting with new musical samples while the demo is being prepared. There is never a time at which no part of the Majora project isn't moving somewhere, it's just rarer when every single one is.

Worry not, this is not dead. Far from it.

I will come back with more news when they arise. For now, I can say that the vocals are all recorded, the soloist is fantastic, the footage is recorded, and all that is missing is the fine-tuning of the last part of the choir, along with the assembly of the footage into an edited whole.

Don't overhype it either, it's still just a demo that is taking long. :P

I'll see you soon.

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Signs of Life and Q&A #24

Hello, internet.

No, we're not dead. We and other people needed for the project get caught up in other stuff and things sometimes keep being out of sync. I thought I'd pop by to tell you something.

I came across a lovely cover of Pamela's Arietta by Elizabeth DeLoria who, despite the low quality of the hardware, delivered quite a character! You can hear it here. She, and I quote, "REGRET(s) VERY LITTLE." Well, I regret nothing! :)

Remember that we are searching for both singing and monetary support! If you don't know about it yet just visit to the two previous posts.

Also, thank you to all of you who have supported us, your help is invaluable. We urge you to spread the word further so we can reach the adequate number of resources to keep working on this.

Speaking of which, a very pertinent question seems to have been left behind, and I apologize to f(x)=12/x for that.

f(x)=12/xSo many inconveniences, and still active, if not going strong. Sadly it’s not the norm (in so many artistic fields). Imo the delaying of the demos is not a problem as long as the writing goes on. Which leads to the following question(s): considering you’re “quite past” the 67% claimed by the bars on the right, is act 2 completed (on paper)? Has 3rd act/ouverture/prologue been started (on paper)? And is it right to assume that more paperwork means faster digital transcription? I hope the questions (not to mention their quantity) don’t seem too…intrusive.

Due to terrible issues of focus and of other kinds, I tend to have a hard time with just paper, and the best ideas for timbral composition come along when I have a more solid feedback, such as from digital samples, to give a clearer idea of what an orchestral blend can provide. They do not replace or evoke in the slightest the real depth of an orchestra, mind you, but it became my best way to develop things musically.

Because of this, I have been writing on paper all the ideas and sequences that I think must not be forgotten. It's been a work in bits, spread all over and not joined yet. Some ideas are even conflicting, as they are options to be tested later on.

Therefore, I cannot say that any act is complete (save for the first one, if you don't count the large amount of corrections and additions that need to be made), as the paper needs the (pre-)final judgement of orchestration to be considered definitive.

There are parts of the third act on paper, indeed. Such as the tribute to renaissance music with Igos du Ikana's aria, and the arrival of Kafei at Clock Town as the moon draws close.

More paperwork just means less pain for the wall, as my head will hit it less trying to come up with ideas.Whenever the resources are enough, the writing will enter turbo mode, so...

... SUPPORT US!

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The World Isn't Over and Majora Is One Year Old

Well, the project's public genesis is actually almost a year and a month old. I first posted about it on Hyrule.net on November 28th 2011, and the first instrumental, Deku Palace, came out on December 9th, so the post before this one would actually be a more accurate birthday post. I just... kinda forgot.

I'd suck as a parent.

So, the project's official birthday is November 28th. Let that be written in stone.

Also, me and Miguel Jesus recorded today a little thing for you, regarding some things we need your help with. Sadly, Aaron Kline, our video and VFX editor, isn't around, so we will have to wait for him to be back in order to post the video online, hopefully before New Year's.

Meanwhile, we will soon proceed with the recordings for the quartet demo, along with planning the new visual layout for Clock Town's.

Other items of interest are still classified. Be patient! Time flies. It's already been a year, after all.

P. S: Majora's Facebook page is almost at 2000 likes! 1000 gave you a free mp3 download of Kafei's Dream. What will 2000 likes have to offer?

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Clock Town's Power Bill

Hello, internet. I haven't written here in a while, and I find that to be rude.

The project is moving, fear not, it's just that life piles up all sorts of complications we're supposed to sort out one by one. For those who look at the progress bars on the right, you'll be happy to know that I'm actually quite past the point at which they have been stuck for a while. Thing is, I only advance those things when the score is actually in a digital format. The opera's progress has been mostly on paper for some time, now. But you will be briefed on that later on.

Right now, I have a massive headache and feel like a short rant on today's lighting test for the Clock Town demo.

So I got up, see? Got all ready and stuff, and left for the train station carrying a heavy bag full of lights and wires and things. My destination was one hour away, give or take, and I was right on time. It's just that there would be no trains today...

... until one hour later.

The trains were on strike. Again. And this time they didn't even bother to warn, you know, the people. They probably figured we're all a bunch of rich bastards who would never ride a train anywhere on a Sunday. Rich bastards don't usually take the train, mind you, but they didn't seem to care about the inherent flaw in their logic.

After finding a scapegoat in the form of a scrawny man at the ticket booth to yell at, I grabbed my bag and prepared to declare this weekend wasted, having no other way of reaching my destination on time, or even an hour late, when my future in-laws, thanks to my future wife, came up with a brilliant idea: the impromptu ride.

Whaddaya know, it worked. I got to my destination half an hour ahead of schedule. I need to note this stuff down. Miguel was waiting for me there, and so in we went to the room he had found met our needs.

In the paraphrased words of His Eminency Dr. Walken PhD: NEEDS MOAR LIGHT.

We still need the final verdict from Aaron (the film dude, in case you're too little of a human being to read the credits in the video descriptions, like me), but from what I could see Clock Town will need yet another lighting test to make sure we can assemble all the people (oh lawd, another ordeal) and film the damn thing already.

The audio's been ready since Summer, and I can't believe it's December already.

So yeah, we're alive, we're going, and you'll hear from us again soon in what concerns the writing process.

P.S: My MIDI controller got lost in the mail and I got a refund. Yay... >_>

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Song of Storms Poll

Alright, where do I start?

I've been having health issues for the past weeks, and it all culminated in a very painful experience last Wednesday which is fortunately over.

The animation of demo #4 has been slowed down again, so I think it better not to try and state another deadline just for it to be postponed again. I'll just say it will be ready soon.

That Act II progress bar on the right has been stuck at 27% for quite some time, and I intend to finally go on with it, but first something must be solved. I finally noticed why the writing of Act II was bugging me:

In the beginning of Act II there's a sum up of the issues of a bunch of characters. It's a long section that lasts for about 20 minutes mixing the Clock Town theme, the Song of Storms, the Song of Healing, Kafei and Anju's love theme and remnants of the Mayor's theme, interrupted at some point by a section on Majora.

We have, at Clock Town, the carpenters who keep working under the rain, Anju and the Mayor who miss Kafei (for entirely different reasons, mind you) and the Happy Mask Salesman who, seeing all the sorrow around him, wonders where Skull Kid is so that he might attempt the retrieval of Majora's Mask. Also, tricked by Sakon and thinking that he is following a good lead, we have an exhausted Kafei trying to climb the snowy mountain pass, along with Skull Kid who stalks him just for fun, to "play" with him.

Every one of these characters expounds their current state, and all the themes that are mixed together have a common denominator: the Song of Storms, which accompanies the second day's rainy skies.

I thought myself retarded when I finally noticed what was probably making this section not up to par with the rest: The sketches for this have lyrics set to the exact theme of the Song of Storms. Now think of that theme, and have in mind the first three notes. Any singer can do an octave leap (from the 1st to the 3rd notes), but I have found that the 2nd note makes it awkward. Maybe, if I leave the theme as an instrumental and have the singers variate on it in a more lyrical fashion, it won't sound so awkward.

Or maybe I'm just underestimating the ability of good opera singers to do those vocal embellishments.

The thing is, it's already hard to understand the lyrics in operatic singing, maybe a more comfortable line along with the original Song of Storms in the instrumental would both allow for better understanding and enrich the whole setting.

What do you think?

Here is a poll on which I would like you all to vote. If there are other reasons for your decision, please speak your mind in a comment on this post.

[polldaddy poll=6263806]

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Promises... Promises can go but so far...

That's an actual line from the Happy Mask Salesman in the opera. :P

He came in the form of fate to punch me in the face, all while keeping that grin of his.

I came here to tell you that demo #4 cannot be the trio that was promised, due to factors ranging from the constant re-recordings to make sure it's good enough for a demo (I write some complicated melodic lines, I'm sorry) to the unfortunate fact that a singer had to drop out of the demo's production.

However, I do like to keep to schedules, so I had a plan B: Demo #4 will instead be a short choir that got ready way sooner than we thought it would.

As for being ready on Tuesday... Well, we can't have everything, can we?

The demo will be a simple animation, as it is too complicated to try to assemble all it needs in front of a screen as shadows, and it will serve as a (n awesome) placeholder for the music.

I don't expect it to come later than Sunday.

Apologies again.

Meanwhile, I have corrected serious issues with act 2's writing, and I am now struggling with Darmani with such tenacity that I'd punch him to death again if he ever crept on me, just for being such a pain.

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Delays and Q&A #5

Sorry for the lack of updates. After a long battle against software issues, I'm back on track. The thing is that trouble never comes alone, and the production of the demos has also suffered delays, as you might have noticed. To clarify that and other questions, here's Q&A #5:

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Vincent Laberge: We are at April 16th. When do you think the Demo 2 will be released?

Right now, April 17th where I live. Even worse! Yeah, as it was said above, delays, delays, delays... As I'm working with volunteers from work/music school, stuff gets late when week-long holidays get in the way, although that's good for composing (17 minutes of act II got done before Finale decided to bug on me). The primary reasons for the delay, however, are that we not only have to re-record one of the demo's audio, but the means for the recording of the video have been temporarily made unavailable due to a bad case of "oops."

That said, my first expectations were to have a new demo every two weeks or so (FAIL). Once everything is back together in the filming/recording department, we can proceed. I don't like to predict what I'm not 100% sure of, but I would very much like to have a new demo to show next week. Let's hope the Rolling Stones are wrong this time.

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gabriel: Do you think Nintendo will support this project even if Link is absent?

Only time will tell, as regarding that detail I cannot be sure of anything. I highly doubt it would be a major issue, though, compared to issues of copyrights and the like.

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Rick: Are you going to include most of the story? Like the aliens, and the pirates, and creep replicas that follow you around?

Technically, I won't include much of the story per se, since Majora's Mask's story, as you play it, revolves around Link's deeds. Since he's not there, this takes a different perspective. If you mean characters, yes, I have built it in a way that allows for Kafei's pursuit of his goal to show as much of the world as a Terminan like him can reach without stretching the rope too much. As I have said before, he cannot become a professional explorer like Link. That would just be the same thing, and we would go back to the dispersion issues discussed in this post.

Referring to the specific characters you mention, I am sorry to say that, although I love those aliens, the optimized story arc I've built would make any incursion to Romani Ranch a massive tangent. So, sadly, they will not appear, and neither will any inhabitant of Milk Road. Cremia and Romani fans can have at the sledgehammers now.

The "creep replicas" as you call them will not appear, simply because they are the empty shells of the souls Link has healed. No Link, no healing, no replicas.

The pirates will most definitely appear, as they are an important part of Act II as the key for Kafei to know where to find Sakon (after all, there's no honor among thieves).

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Navi: I’m a costume design major and huge fan of LoZ (MM in particular: I have a handmade skull kid plushie sitting on my bed, no lie). I was wondering how/whether one could apply to do the costumes when the time came? To work for a project so close to my heart would really be a dream come true. I was just hoping that somewhere down the line I’d have a chance. :)

I answered a summing up of similar questions before, but they all referred to the present state of development of the opera. You mention "when the time came," and that's an entirely different deal. If everything goes right, when this project gets to the actual staging phase, I will most definitely take into account every offer of help that has been proposed. I am very glad to see that this project sparks so much interest in those who have contacted me with questions like this, and all I can say so far is thank you for applying and that I hope to see you as eager as you are now by the time this reaches the phase in which you can physically help.

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