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Video Q&A #2

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8BeEDVMCXc8 I need to exhaust the pool of old questions before proceeding to any new ones people might post on the comments. So ask away!

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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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On the Next Demos and Q&A #26

After several months, we finally have set dates to record with the singer we wanted for Kafei for the Clock Town Choir and Quartet demos. The first half of September will be dedicated to those recordings (as the choir part has been recorded for well over a year), along with the remaining footage for the Clock Town Choir demo. The completion of that demo will then depend on the time it takes to finish resampling the old instrumental and edit the video.

As for the Majora's Aria demo, singers are still being evaluated, and submissions are still welcome. We prefer to take the time we can to make sure we have as many entries as possible so we can choose from a wider pool.

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And now, to your questions:

Collin V.Just wondering… when you finish the opera, will you make the libretto available to the public? I love reading movie/play/opera scripts in my free time, and since Majora’s Mask is my favorite Zelda game, I’m very interested in reading this.

It's something I would like to do, yes, at least with the score (which includes the libretto). I even considered making an annotated version.

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MaraHi Miguel, I was just wondering. I made a fan poster of sorts for your opera. How can I get it to you? I will post it soon on deviantart, but I would like for you to see it very much. (Also, do you answer all these questions yourself? Or did you take the monkey from the Deku King, and now he answers all your questions?) xD

That's cool! :) You can e-mail it to me at mbulteau@gmail.com or just include the link in a comment here.

I do answer these questions myself, and as for the monkey, he's right next to me sipping on a coke. He's on a break from bursting out of closets and pointing menacingly at people.

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Chris JohnsonIs that Jesus in the background of the team photo?

We already have one Jesus, and that's the third guy in the photo. The guy in the far back is Liam Greenough, 4th member of the team, mentioned here. From front to back, you have me, Aaron Kline, Miguel Jesus and Liam Greenough. There is another photo with better focus on Liam, and I should probably post it around here. The latest interview has a black and white photo of us (at 15:14, if your browser doesn't like my timed link).

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Q&A #25

Crazy: I have a question. Are you considering making a musical or opera for any other Zelda games? (I think an OoT musical would be amazing!)

It's not something that I haven't thought about, but let's not go crazy here. :P One thing at a time. Ocarina of Time isn't really fit for an opera, IMO, but I think a ballet would fit it rather well. So would a cantata fit Wind Waker well.

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ChuIf you had to guess, when do you think the draft will be finished?

I honestly cannot tell about the complete draft. I've had things that theoretically would have been done in 4 months and took a year instead, and then I've had 40 minutes done in two weeks. It's really hard to tell. An optimistic prediction for the finishing of Act III is around the end of this Fall. The keyword is optimistic.

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AWWhen the opera is finished would you allow it to be a public opening such as people getting together to perform this in public as a fundraiser or a school performance? I have sung these songs for my friends  who have all said we should perform this.

The ultimate fate of the opera is unknown for now. The ideal objective is an actual professional staging, with everything. It's scored for a very large orchestra, choir and many soloists.

The support or permission of Nintendo is a big factor, and a good professional proposal can only happen once the first draft is completed and minimally revised. The progress bars on the right sidebar show where I currently am in the writing of the draft. No revisions have been definitive yet, as that phase can only begin once the drafts of the 3 acts + ouverture and prologue are done. The expected final length of the work is 3:30 hours.

There are no plans for an alternative fate as of now, because the focus must first be on the writing. Optimistic predictions for finishing the draft of Act III place it at the end of this Fall. This takes time, but no matter the final fate, I will finish writing and revising the full score. Even if its only fate ends up being a drawer in this room.

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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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Short and to the point, Q&A #23

Why I thought the beginning of fall would make it easier to advance in everything at a decent speed is beyond me.

We're cycling through singers to find the best available match for Majora's Aria. As far as other demos go, Clock Town has probably finally found its ideal filming place, and we're waiting for an answer from a tenor for the quartet.

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Vihqtor095: Just asking, but where would this be performed? I would love to go see this.

A bit early to know, don't you think? If it were up to me, I would gladly have this tour as many places as possible.

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Louis M: The other masks will have any play on the opera? And are you going to use Kamaro's song? That song is just AMAZING.

I don't think it is relevant for Kafei to obtain any mask except the one he cares about, so I would say no.

As for Kamaro's Song, it has already been used. Check my YouTube channel for Kafei's Dream.

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tokutei: [about Demo #4] This is brilliant. <3 Literally the only thing I dislike about it is how long the intro is. I wish it segwayed into the lyrics at 0:23 or even 0:31 rather than going through the entire melody.

The reason for that is that what is shown in the video is not how it is meant to be staged. The Deku come onto the stage, setting it up with the required details as they do, then there's the monkey yelling he's innocent, being held and dragged in by two stronger Deku, and also the king being carried by his subjects on a throne. A lot of the videos' layout is secondary and known to be not definitive even before they are made.

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Massussu7: [about Demo #4] Can we download this?

As far as quality mp3s or videos to be directly downloaded, not at this point, no. Although I have released an mp3 of Kafei's Dream, as a token of my appreciation for 1000 likes on Facebook. The fate of these specific videos is still uncertain beyond their being on YouTube.

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Adam: I know it's a bit late into your production, but i thought you may be interested in this page I found on the artistic styles of Majora's Mask. I hope it can help you with your so far excelent theatrical reindition of the story.

Thank you, that's an interesting read. I had already portrayed Majora as she is represented in that article, and it will probably be the greatest match between the opera and those thoughts, but I hadn't read that specific one. Isolation is in fact an important characteristic of Majora, and not only related to hatred, but to insanity.

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Thomas Maresh: As an aspiring music student and Zelda fan, I have greatly enjoyed your work on the Majora opera. I believe I could learn a great deal from your work.  I was wondering if you would mind sending me score(s) of your work on the Majora opera.  I don't want all of it, I will not perform it, and I will not take any credit or reproduce it in any way. I just want to study it for the sake of improving my compositional skills. I am particularly interested in the postman-anju-mother trio, although I would graciously accept anything and everything you would give me. Thank you very much for your time.

First of all, the score is in no decent shape. It's going through the first of many careful reviews by hand, and it's not even in its final state. Secondly, I do not plan to release the score just like that, especially not at an embryonic phase of the project. Depending on the fate of the opera, the score may or may not be released, either paid or for free. Now is too early a phase to know. I thank you for your appreciation of my work, and am honored that you see it as material to be studied. At this point, however, there is nothing I can do for you except asking for your patience. It's a laborious process (and I don't mean just the writing), and I can assure you that the score will reach its completion, regardless of the remaining outcomes.

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On writing and revisions, and Q&A #22

I just feel I should reinforce what had been said before, that EVERYTHING is subjected to revision and that what is being written is a gigantic first draft of the entire work. Once it's done, I will be able to grasp the full picture and revise and re-revise everything until it all satisfies me.

What already satisfies me from the beginning will stay the way it is, and what doesn't won't. I will only be sure of that when the first "coat" of writing is over. The entire process is and will be tiresome and long (and I do mean LONG), since this must be treated as the embryonic phase of the project.

Speaking specifically about Demo #6, it should actually be called some sort of "recitataria," since the lack of clear pacing is indeed intentional. A lot of the opera behaves that way, and much of it doesn't rhyme at all. It spasms as much as a dying world does. Most of act (day) III is also designed to be completely anti-flow and harsh on the ears. If the giant made some say they "didn't know what to think of it" (apart from the things to revise), then the cryptic appearance of a strange guardian of old, disconnected from any known occurrence in the life of a Terminan of that age, has had its effect.

Also, I forgot to mention that the very beginning of the Giant's Aria, while he approaches, has lyrics by other characters on stage, including the Monkey, Kafei and the Deku about the approaching silhouette.

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And now for your answers!

ElFrijoleroMang: Have you put this on Kickstarter?

No meddling with monies until a definitive kind of officiality has been attributed to the project. Then we'll see what we need to do.

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Rebecca: Do you know what Nintendo thinks of this? Are you afraid they won’t be happy that you plan on making an Opera that will make you money? Or do you plan on this not making any money at all?

Related to the above question. All else I can say for now is that there is work in the direction of making this official. It's delicate and requires as much time as necessary.

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AGentofVillainousSo will the Deku Princess appear, or will it be that since Kafei is here and not Link she'll go unsaved?

I'll let a later demo answer that.

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AGentofVillainous: You know, Sakon's theme sounds a bit like it has Middle-Eastern themed tunes. It reminds me a bit of stereotypical snake-charming music (which I guess is Indian...). Was this intentional or was the music supposed to be more "sneaky stealy"?

Sakon's Arietta is the exact theme from the game (the Curiosity Shop's), the only changes were timbral in nature. What you recognize as stereotypical middle-eastern are the harmony and the melody themselves. By attributing different instruments to it, I gave it a shadier timbre to adapt to the nocturnal scene and feel more "sneaky stealy" indeed, as you said, instead of the eccentric "glittery trinket shop" feeling of the original.

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HighPriestFuneral: A question for the Q&A, what does Kafei take away from this meeting with the Giant? Since this scene occurs when he is accidentally released, I would imagine that meeting one of his own gods would have quite an impression as well as the story told to him by their very mouths.

The giant's appearance feels like a big non-sequitur to everyone who witnesses it, and most of what he speaks about is of such magnitude that it has practically no direct weight or immediate influence on the actions of the characters. There are, however, indirect references to it later on.

I also want to keep the ambiguity of whether the giant's words were at all understood (remember Tatl has to translate their language) and if the meeting actually took place in a temporal dimension, since all action will freeze as if in a mix of awe and time-stopping. It's a very vague section.

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Russ: You've told us before that Link's not appearing, and that Kafei is no Link; he's not gonna stop the moon. So... where does this all come in? Does he awaken the giants? Do they free themselves? Are they going to stop the moon, or are he and Anju crushed together like in the game? I'm really curious.

Well you've seen one giant free already. I choose not to answer the rest at this point, sorry.

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Gregory Smith: Did you base the Skull Kid’s theme more off of Holst’s “Jupiter” than Saria’s Song?

You're gonna have to elaborate on that. I know Holst's Planets Suite, but I really don't know what section of Jupiter you're referring to. If I did do something similar, it was unintentional.

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Gregory Smith: When writing your score, do you have sheet music from the game to work off of, or are you basing everything based off what you learned from ear? And if you have sheet music, would you be willing to share where you got it from?

I get the themes by ear and work from there. Most aren't very hard at all, they have a lot of modal harmony or just stuff with fourths. The biggest headaches are stuff like the Indigo-Gos' theme with all its jazzy goodness.

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Peachy: Will the Great Fairies be in the opera at all? Their role was fairly significant in the story as well, I would love to see at least one!

They were significant to Link. With Link's absence, I cannot find an appropriate situation in Kafei's path to include a Great Fairy. Sorry.

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yenny: You mention that “The Fortress/The Pirates Give Chase” actually has lyrics, even though you uploaded it as an instrumental. How many of the other instrumental pieces that you’ve uploaded have lyrics in the final version?

As you've already seen, the Deku Palace's instrumental got lyrics as Demo #4, and Victory and the Giant as well, as Demo #6 (except for the beginning fanfare, which is sung by the Deku after the defeat of Odolwa). Apart from those, Stone Tower will as well, but that specific upload is just a test with ancient instruments, not the opera's intended orchestra.

The Instrumental Snippets upload has orchestral bits that occur immediately before or after sections with lyrics, such as the Mayor's Council Room Fugato (Demo #1), Anju's Trio (Demo #5), the Clock Town Choir (demo to come) and Majora's Aria (ditto).

Also, the Fisherman's Intro. The full instrumental of his arietta and duet with Kafei can be requested and heard exclusively at Radio Hyrule.

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Cerulean: I may have overlooked it but I have not seen anything for the Zora yet. I am very excited to see what you come up with. Also do you allow online contributions to your choir? I will gladly try out if you do. I would love to be part of this.

The Zora will only appear as dancers in Kafei's Dream and as Mikau, since Kafei has no access to Zora Hall.

I thank you for your offer, but as it has been said before, so far we are working with close resources to minimize logistics problems (of which, believe me, we've had quite a bit).

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wolffoxin: [on Demo #2Do you by any chance have the instrumental of this song?

Why yes, yes I do.

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A snail just zoomed by, and Q&A #21

You might have noticed that the September deadline wasn't met. Who would have known that writing the right thing would take so long...

The Giant's Aria is finally nearing completion, and it will be out around Monday!

Also, we might have finally decided how Clock Town Choir will be filmed, but it needs confirmation.

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And now for some questions:

ShadowPersona360: [on Demo #4] You have GOT to tell me how you made this! This is one of the most epic things I've ever seen. Can you tell me what kind of program was used? I kinda want to do something like this at some point.

For the animation? Adobe After Effects CS5.5.

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HighPriestFuneral: [on The Fortress/The Pirates Give Chase] As always, well done. Will this eventually have lyrics added as well, or is this going to be a purely action driven scene?

This already has lyrics, I just chose to upload an instrumental to give an idea of how the project is going.

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PastaHairbrush: The story is about Majora's Mask events without the presence of Link and you already said you don't really appreciate to use kid actors. Does that mean obviously that you will not put a scene about the Moon Children? Please, confirm.

I find it rather unreal that Kafei would ever have access to whatever dimension Link enters when the moon opens its mouth, so no.

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PUSHSTART Magazine and Q&A #20

Although this will only interest the Portuguese speakers, due to the obvious language barrier, it is nevertheless important to mention another interview by Portuguese online video game magazine PUSHSTART.

Thank you very much, Luís!

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We're slowly emerging from the wasteland of activity that August was. The animation for the Giant's Aria is proceeding slowly but steadily, much like a Giant, really.

Personal stuff stood in the way of my intended development, so I wasn't able to advance as much as I expected. As if that's new.

If I'm correct, the next days will vary between scarce updates and the eventual release of the Giant's Aria as demo #6.

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Now it's time for a Q&A:

Technotheif: A question for your Q&A: Will we see the Postman write the letter to himself? I feel that is a powerful and valuable scene that can stand alone, and the postman is already introduced.

Most definitely! I love that scene. It crept me out so much when I was little, yet I only understood the underlying neurosis years later. OCD at its darkest. The last day will have some snippets of the insanity that sweeps through the few that remain in Clock Town.

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Commander Majora: Will there be some way to incorporate time into the final stage product? When i imagine the on stage product, i think that above the stage there would be a clock. I’m just wondering if that will be important?

Time is definitely important, but it moves rather irregularly in the narrative. Sometimes faster, sometimes slower. My approach to time is that, besides each act being a day, you can hear the Clock Tower's bell announcing nightfall and sunrise. So each act is divided into day and night as well, but unlike the division into acts, this day/night division isn't proportional. It instead depends on the flow of the narrative.

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kram1032: Heh, I figured almost every stage work has optional stuff but the way you wrote about difficult staging and stuff felt like you’re concerned to make it work on pretty much any stage. – The whole thing. “Director’s Cut”, so to speak. Most likely, after a while it will be reinterpreted anyway, right? At least that’s what seems to be the fate of most staging works out there (Though what do I really know. I’m not exactly an expert on operas).

Everything gets reinterpreted. As long as I get a last say in terms of control, I'm fine with that. Improvements are infinite.

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Conman21100: I assume you will be using the Clocktown theme for the “Clocktown choir” in Act I (I believe you had mentioned that at one point), but I’m curious if you will be using all three variants of the Clocktown theme (a.k.a.-the Day 1 theme, the Day 2 theme, and the Day 3 theme) throughout the opera. Will each act have a scene in which the people of Clocktown are shown singing (using that day’s Clocktown theme) to express how they are changing in terms of their fears about the moon falling?

In a nutshell, without much detail, yes, that's the general idea. All three variants will be used, albeit not necessarily on the same people all the time. They will portray the emotions of the town as the moon nears, just like the original. Personally, I think it's a brilliantly simple move by Kondo that shouldn't go unused.

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PurplePeachXD: I was wondering, will Tingle be in this opera? Because unlike most people, I actually really like this character and I would find it so awesome if he would make an appearance! =D

I can't remember if I said this already, but since the Clock Town choir is its inhabitants, he will appear as part of it. He has no purpose in the story as a standalone character. Also, I exceptionally chose to use Purlo's clothes for Tingle, because DAMN.

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EponaHat: I realise you’ve answered many, many questions about Romani and Cremia, but I’m curious: have you considered including them in the ending where everyone takes shelter in the ranch (although I guess you may not be able to considering Anju stays in Clocktown)?

I love questions that answer themselves.

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