Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Midweek Music Box: Pilotwings

High Flying Excitement-ish-ness

It doesn't just help me to "pass the time" or only function to enhance game play when I listen to it; for me, video game music has helped me during the times I clean house, have a long commute, and most importantly, helped me to refocus my mind while writing.  From creative writing, to writing stories for the t shirt site CaptainKYSO, to countless college writing assignments and more; video game music has helped my mood by helping to shape my mood.  Everything from remixes of Mega Man, Super Metroid, Super Mario Bros, and too many others to name form the background of my everyday writing experience.  So to that end, I thought I would share some of the various tunes that I've listened to over the years, talk about why I like them, how well (or in some cases not well) they worked in the game, and how they helped me to get my writing done.

Rather than kick things off with something bombastic and hard rockin', I wanted to talk a bit about the smooth jazz and light tunes offered up in most of the Pilotwings soundtrack.  Yeah, I know that's pretty obvious by the title, but hush!  This is my blog thank-you-very-much.  Now, obviously when it comes to the final helicopter stage and rescue operation the music takes a turn for the dramatic so as to help emphasize the seriousness of the situation.  But I don't really listen to that particular tune all that often unless I'm doing a bit of story writing and need music that conveys a serious tone, but still with an enjoyable elevator music-like quality.  Yes, you heard me right pal, I said enjoyable elevator music!  I sure as heck would would want something mellow playing if I were about to jump out of a plane or go rocketing with who-knows-many-pounds of flammable propellant strapped to my back!  So if my mind is buzzing with dozens of things that have to get done and I feel like I'm plunging out towards deadlines at terminal velocity, I need something mellow to help keep me on an even keel.
Putting Tom Petty's "Free Fallin" on my ipod was a mistake...

I have a number of writing projects and jobs that I am working on right now in addition to this blog, and while I love them and love the art and craft of writing--it can get downright stressful at times!  Not every night calls for my old stand by 10 hour loop of Daft Punk's around the world, and not every night calls for Metroid Prime's Phendrana Drifts.  Sometimes, I just need jazzy elevator music to relax my mind, sooth the soul, and help keep me focused on the task (or tasks).  The wrong music for the wrong time can totally kill the flow my writing, and as such, I need to know what I need to keep my writing going.  I can and probably will write several articles on music I use for different writing moods in the future, but for right now Pilotwings is my bread and butter for when I need to de-stress and focus.  Just listen to few minutes of this for example:

Not the music that comes to my mind when jumping out of a plane, but then again, I've never jumped out of an airplane so maybe it is just right.  Does it get any more intense with the Rocketbelt Music?

Not really.  Just some nice, soothing "blah, blah" and "wah wah" sounds.  I guess I could hunt down an orchestral version of this on Youtube if I wanted, but I prefer the original sounds.  Not just because I'm a purist at times when it comes to game music, but because I think I'm so familiar with this soundtrack (as is the case with so many games for Nintendo and Super Nintendo) that I would be focused a little too much on what the orchestra did differently than the beloved original.

If you haven't listened to the soundtrack or played the game in a while, I would recommend pulling up one of the videos I linked to here and having them play in the background if you have to get things done, but need to not freak out about it.

Khaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaan't make my deadlines under this pressure!

Who needs generic jazz or Girl from Ipanema?  Soyo Oka has you covered.  Now get to work dang it!  Move! Move! Move!

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