Post-Pandemic Check-in: Orchids, tin whistle, and video game music! ♪

6 comments

Hey, friends! It’s been ages and I hope you have all been well. While I’m still not in the writing mood very often, I wanted to show readers what hobby activities I’ve been up to this past year, which is mainly growing a LOT of houseplants, and also playing the tin whistle and making nerdy video game, anime, and film song covers!

Like many, I got into houseplants during the pandemic and it’s honestly just so pleasant, peaceful, and rewarding. I especially like to acquire rarer species and propagate them to sell as a side hustle. I keep a ton of them in my office. All this green has turned my office into an indoor, magical fairy garden and I just love it. Turns out I had no idea I had such a green thumb. What a pleasant surprise!

Check out some of these breathtaking orchid blooms from the last few months! There’s a lot more I’ve sharing on my Instagram too.

About halfway through the lockdown I got the urge to play music again. I haven’t played an instrument since college, at least 6 years ago. So I asked for some suggestions from friends and ended up settling on the tin whistle, which is an instrument you’ve 100% heard before but may not know the name of. It’s a type of 6-hole flute, an Irish folk instrument also known as the Irish whistle or pennywhistle. It’s super easy to learn and a delight to play!

Remember that episode of Star Trek: Next Generation where Picard get mind zapped into that memorial probe and lives out the memories of a scientist on that dying planet, during which he learns to play a flute? That’s actually a tin whistle and the episode is The Inner Light, one of the most well know episodes of Star Trek and considered to be some of the best pieces of Sci-fi ever written.

First I learned a ton of traditional Irish music and then I started doing some covers of songs from film, anime, and games I like, and, well here, why don’t I just show you some— The beaauuutiful credits track from Okami:

And on my YouTube you can find my covers of:

Pokémon Routes 1 and 101 Themes
Everything Stays (Adventure Time)
Brothers (FMA: Brotherhood)
Morning in the Slag Ravine (Trumpet solo from Castle in the Sky)
Kaer Morhen (Witcher 3)
– and a lot more in that vein, as well as some other types of songs

I have quite a few more ready to do recordings for when I have the motivation. Which of the below songs would you like to hear recorded first? I also may do some blog articles to accompany future video game song posts if that appeals to anyone, so let me know about both of those things in the comments. I always include the a printed tablature (AKA “tabs”) page in the description of my videos, so if you play tin whistle too, you can learn them. 🙂

– K.K. Lucky (Irish jig from Animal Crossing)
– Shelter by Porter Robinson
Valheim Mountains theme
– Argent Tournament Theme (WoW: WOTLK)
– Fodlan Winds (FE: Three Houses)
– The Launch (Jim’s heroic leitmotif from Treasure Planet)
– Inner Light (the flute theme from the Star Trek episode I mentioned above)
– Echoes of the Void (Harry Kim’s clarinet solo from Star Trek: Voyager)
– Tidecaller (Nami’s theme from League of Legends)
– Wolven Storm (Witcher 3)

I’m always looking for good OST tune suggestions that would sound awesome on the whistle to put on my to-learn list, preferably ones that haven’t been done to death before (Concerning Hobbits, any Zelda Ocarina Songs, etc.), so feel free to send me any of your ideas!

The view from my PC desk

Anyway, on a more serious note, I’m pretty sure music saved my life. Seriously. I had no friends for most of my childhood, was very lonely without siblings, and I’d hate to think of what might have happened to my mental health if not for all the wonderful people I met in the world of music. I played the French horn for around 10 years during school and university and almost all of my closest friends, some I still have to this day, I met in marching or symphonic band.

Our high school band director used to tell us at graduation every year that he hoped we would all stick with music, because once you stop playing after school years, statistics show it’s highly likely you may never play an instrument again in your entire life.

After college, I sold my horn to a family with a new horn player just starting their journey and didn’t play for years until I stumbled across the tin whistle. It reignited my passion for music and I could barely believe I hadn’t played for so long!

Captain Jean-Luc Picard:
…And when I awoke, all that I had left of that life… was the flute that I’d taught myself to play.

Lt. Cmdr. Nella Daren:
Why are you telling me this?

Captain Jean-Luc Picard:
Because I want you to understand what my music means to me… and what it means for me to be able to share it with someone.

Even if I’m not writing much anymore, I want to at least share something meaningful with you in the form of my music. I’ll never make the mistake of stopping again and if you play something that makes you happy, I hope you don’t either! Thanks for reading. ♪

6 comments on “Post-Pandemic Check-in: Orchids, tin whistle, and video game music! ♪”

  1. Just listened to your rendition of Okami’s “Reset” tune, it was beautiful (and wow super cool Ammy figurine!), and huge props for providing the tabulature for it and other tunes! As someone who played the flute throughout my childhood and college, I’ve got the urge to pick it back up again, thanks for the encouragement.

    Onto suggestions for OSTs to play, my mind immediately jumped to the tracks in the Okami Piano Arrange album (there’s even a transcription of those into classical score/notation online! Search for “Delldongo’s Transcriptions”) …not sure how exactly you’d adapt them to Tin Whistle, but I did enjoy attempting to adapt “Shachimaru’s Theme (Orca’s Theme)” and “Cursed Shinshu Field” back when I did play!

    I also thought of the Tangledeep OST, by Andrew “zircon” Aversa – the game is an indie dungeon crawling title that uses soundfonts and motifs remniscient of certain SNES JRPGs! Aside from some of the faster-paced battle themes, almost all of the OST is pretty adaptable. My favourites are definitely the dungeon themes (in particular “Exploring the Shifting Stones” and “Mysteries of Time”).

    Really liking the greenery and overall vibe of your office too. Thanks again for updating us!

    –Rel

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow what a kind and thoughtful comment! I’m glad you like my music. 🙂

      A real life friend of mine used to play flute during college too and got the tin whistle bug from me, and now she and her mom are both learning haha. It’s a lot more intuitive than flute, she says, cause it’s simply more fingers down to go lower and less to go higher, versus flute (and any other wind instrument) which doesn’t have a very consistent fingering pattern up the scale. Clarke Sweet Ds are cheap and sound great if you wanted to try it. Only $15 or so. It’s also more casual cause you don’t have to sit up with good posture.

      I actually put together a little community discord for like minded whistle players who enjoy geeky cover music. You’re welcome to come hang snd see what people are up to if you want! Another user actually just posted a whistle version of Orca’s theme this week. 😀

      Link for yourself or anyone else who might be interested:

      https://discord.gg/bShQgmUfq3

      Like

      1. I see, glad to hear that the tin whistle is so versatile, affordable and accessible! I’ll definitely take a look around for models available locally. Will keep the Discord in mind if I ever pick the instrument up, seems like it might happen sooner than later, haha~ 😄

        Liked by 1 person

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