I hope you all had a peaceful Christmas Day -- and there's still more of the season to go yet!
To begin, I want to announce the thing I've been waiting for the most this year, a thing that I've been part of big time.
I and the friends at A Reyvateil's Melody present to you fine folk, COSMOCRYSTAL II ~ clalliss re leat, maya re pat - 映放紡色 (EIHOU BOUSYOKU).
The music that you hear in this video is one of two tracks composed by yours truly, but there's more yet. There's an entire crossfade video as well to go through! And the audio is also previewable on Newgrounds right here.
Our very own @JessieYun has lent violin to track 5 of this album. For my part, I composed the first two, part-arranged the 5th, and sang the 6th.
A Reyvateil's Melody are a doujin circle -- and this album is a fan work, comprising original songs and lore, based on the universe of the Ar tonelico series of games. We work nonprofit -- all proceeds go into a kitty that enables us to produce more stuff in future. Individual members don't earn a penny from this.
If you enjoy what you hear, please consider supporting us! The album is available for preorder via the following links:
- Side Red: https://isukado.com/shop/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=505&products_id=111967
- Hymmnos Ensemble: https://isukado.com/shop/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=505&products_id=111968
So, my Christmas Day has been one filled with wonder. I sang and played at three Masses -- 20:00 on Christmas Eve, midnight on Christmas Day, and 09:00 on Christmas Day. The one at 20:00 was my usual one; I handled timpani and medieval drum. The one at the next morning, I played pipe organ, and did bodhrán and voice for one of the carols. Outside of these, the Masses were fulfilling, and I am always filled with wonder over the celebration of the birth of Christ.
But I'd like to talk a bit about the midnight Mass, because playing organ at that was the most nerve-wracking thing I've had to deal with in recent times.
That Mass was in Polish, a language I understand extremely little of. And I only had one day of practice. Frankly, I'm surprised by how well it all went down.
I was sweating, hoping that I didn't drag things too long. Hoping that I was playing alright enough for people to sing along. Hoping that there wouldn't be another vodka-fuelled catfight right outside the church doors that my beloved Seán would need to break up, like he had to do last year. It went beautifully, for which I am grateful.
Seán got me a 16" deep-shelled bodhrán -- I am extremely grateful, not only for the gift, but that he is stalwartly standing by me and the talent he believes I have. I've not had confidence in my drumming lately, but I've gotta trust him and those who see that which I cannot see in myself.
After many, MANY hints from him (because I suck at picking gifts for people), I wound up giving him a storm glass. You know, those things that have crystals in them that are dependent on the temperature etc. that are meant to predict the weather? We joked between us that it looks like a dildo. XD
But the one thing I'm most grateful for, right now, is that he is by my side, and that I am by his. We got each other through some tough times. I know we're only engaged right now, and not yet married -- but it's things like these that remind me how much we promised we'd be there for each other for the long haul. And that's a promise we intend to keep for the rest of our lives.