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Saturday, October 1, 2011

Song of the Week! 1 October 2011


...isn't it nice? Aquabluu created this banner as a cute header for this Saturday article! There will be another rejig in the template for Song of the Week, but let's save that for later. For now let's see what ol' Lokamp has prepared this time!

Since Aqua has featured two picks from the unfortunate Children genre, I wanna pick other two from another (relatively less) mistreated category in this blog... Our past Taiko Time Quiz has also featured one of these songs for pikaby's screenshot quiz! Let's refresh our memories.

Carmen Prelude (カルメン 組曲一番終曲)
Version /
Taiko PS2 3x3 (147)x5 (262) x5 (388)x9 (518)
Taiko 6x3 (147)x5 (262) x5 (388)x8 (518)
Taiko 7x3 (147)x5 (262) x5 (388)x7 (518)
TDM, PSP 1 x3 (147)x2 (262) x4 (388)x8 (518)
Taiko PSP 2x4 (147)x2 (262) x4 (388)x8 (518)
Taiko 8 onwards,
DS 2, 3DS 2, Wii 2, Wii U 3, +
x3 (147)x5 (262) x5 (388)x7 (518)
Taiko 8 onwards, TDM,
DS 2, Wii 2, + (2P)

x5 (262) x5 (388)x7 (390/390) (video)
Taiko 6 to 14, Taiko 0, Medal 1, 2, Taiko PS2 3, Taiko Drum Master, Taiko PSP 1, 2, Taiko DS 2, Taiko 3DS 2, Taiko Wii 2, 5, Taiko Wii U 3 Taiko +

For every genre in Taiko, there is always a song which appears so often and played by so many people that it literally defines the entire genre; Natsu Matsuri for J-Pop, KAGEKIYO for Game Music, and so on. For the Classic genre, it's the prelude of one of the world's best-loved operas: the opéra comique (a genre of French opera with spoken dialogues interwoven with song) Carmen, written by the French composer Georges Bizet (1838 to 1875). While its official name - Carmen Prelude - appears only in the Taiko Drum Master game, all the others name it as Carmen Suite No.1 Finale, referring, of course, to the same song. Bizet suffered an early death in 1875 - just 3 months after Carmen's premiere - and had no opportunity to witness for himself the widespread success of his masterpiece. What a pity.

Carmen's libretto (a text, or script used for long musical performances) is based on the namesake novella (short novel) written by Prosper Mérimée in 1845, and widely influenced by the narrative poem The Gypsies (1824) by Alexander Pushkin, translated to French years later by the same Mérimée. The story is set in Seville, Spain, around 1820, and concerns the eponymous Carmen, a beautiful gypsy with a fiery temper. Free to express her love, she woos the corporal Don José, an inexperienced soldier. Their relationship leads to the rejection of his former love, mutiny against his superior, and him joining a gang of smugglers. His jealousy and anger when Carmen leaves him for the bullfighter Escamillo leads him to murder Carmen.

The Carmen Prelude on Taiko no Tatsujin and in many other forms of media, consists of music taken from act 4 of the opera, which involves preparations for the bull fight and Toreador's Song, one of Bizet's most famous arias. The repeating 7-note streams from the screenshot quiz are characteristic of this song. They may look intimidating in a picture, but it's much easier in motion due to the low BPM, and it has always been a good training for long streams for aspiring players ever since its console debut. Of course, you'll also have to watch out for small parts of 1/12 spacing in the slow portion of the song.Carmen Prelude has had different notecharts for 2 players since Taiko Drum Master.

During its 8 to 9 years of being in Taiko, Carmen Prelude has seen some changes on its difficulty star rating, and just as many, if not more, changes on its title! On Taiko 6, 7, and PS2 3, the name appeared as 「カルメン」組曲1番終曲, DS2 and all arcades from the 10th onwards label it as カルメン 組曲一番終曲, the one we use now. PSP 1, Taiko+, Taiko 8 and Taiko 9 has the same title as on the early arcades, only without separators, and the one on Wii 2 is the same as on DS only without the spacing.

Surfside Satie (サーフサイド・サティ)
Taiko 9, Taiko PS2 7, Taiko PSP 2x5 (193)x7 (264) x8 (542)x9 (781)
Taiko 0 Mu, Taiko Wii 5, Taiko 3DS 3x5 (193)x7 (264) x8 (542)x8 (781)
Taiko 9, Taiko PS2 7, Taiko PSP 2, Taiko Wii 5, Taiko 3DS 3, Taiko PS Vita CD 2008

Among the wide selection of Classic songs in the second PSP game, one of its unlockables have made a significative tribute to the French piano composer Erik Satie (1866-1925). But if you try to Google the words "Surfside Satie", you'll find nothing but other Taiko-related topics about this song. That's because this isn't a song composed by Satie, but a country/rock rearrangement created by Masubuchi Yuuji, which is a mashup of three of Satie's most famous piano pieces.

This "Satie Medley" starts with a re-interpretation of the Gnossiennes No.1, composed in 1860 and made its debut with two other analogue musical experimentations in the grouped publication Trois Gnossiennes. As Satie was trying out new ways to create melodies, he chose a word to define the new style he created. The word appears to be derived from "gnosis", Greek for "work for knowledge", and some published versions claim that the word derives from Cretan "knossos" or "gnossus" and link the Gnossiennes to Theseus, Ariadne and the Minotaur myth.

The next piece of track has its origins in Satie's Gymnopédies No.1, part of another eponymous 3-track collection published in Paris starting 1888. These short, atmospheric pieces are written in 3/4 time, with each sharing a common theme and structure. Collectively, the Gymnopédies are regarded as the precursors to modern ambient music: gentle yet somewhat eccentric pieces which, when composed, defied the classical tradition.

Surfside Satie's last part also comes from a Gnossiennes, coming this time from his post-mortem works: the Gnossiennes No.5 Moderé (French for Moderato) was only published in 1968 with other 3 piano compositions ideally grouped under the Gnossiennes genre, even if it's highly stated among historians that the composer might wanted them to be released singularly, and not as part of a continuation set. Dated 8 July 1889, this was probably Satie's first composition after the Gymnopédies: in any case it predates all the other known Gnossiennes.

Back to the Taiko scene, Surfside Satie, being a remix instead of a regular classical recreation, currently has the highest number of notes on a 9* Oni song, and possibly one of the hardest. The secret lies in its variety of note patterns: from the regular 1/16 note clusters to the occasional 1/12 and 1/24 note stacks, and from the original note streams to the nasty dkdkdkdkdk chain similar to Mekadesu, from the calm parts to the continuous succesion of note clusters, there's no getting bored in Surfside Satie.


    (I'm French)

  2. I love Surfside Satie! But I don't think it's that hard of a 9* song, many are harder. (Family Dondon, Okashi Deka, Wanya World crazy stream, F***ING MINUET)

  3. Requesting Katamari on the Rocks/Katamari on the Swing for SOTW list~

  4. Speaking of which, Katamari on the Swing on Taiko 13's songlist is mislabelled as Katamari on the Rocks.

  5. That's an awesome arrangement. Namco should totally revive it for taiko wii 4.

    Also arranger name is Masubuchi Yuuji not Masabutchi Yuuji..

  6. Oh, and requesting Hello!Halloween for 29 of October's SOTW =3

  7. @Saturn: We've been planning on doing just that since last year orz
    @Living: Geez, no matter how many times I emphasize it Lok alays gets it wrong :/

  8. @Saturn: Of course, it's only natural. lol
    Also re-requesting either Tamashii no Rock or Sports Diges-don as an SotW? Just in case my request got lost in the chatbox.