Daft Punk ‘Something About Us’ For Orchestra by Walt Ribeiro

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“It might not be the right time”

This song and lyrics mean so much to me, that I continually postponed arranging it. A few months ago I met someone incredibly special - and I kept thinking how it’s ironic, because after 4 years of living in NYC I met this person 2 months before I had to move. Why couldn’t I meet them 4 years ago? Why now? Or why not in 5 years?

Maybe you’re familiar with that feeling? It’s difficult, nostalgic, familiar, and strange - all at the same time. And that got me thinking, about how many times I’ve grown in my life, and how many times the timing just wasn’t right. Applying to college, meeting someone, a job opportunity, how you met your best friend…

…It’s all timing.

In this arrangement I knew its power wouldn’t be from a loud crescendo or fortissimo passage, the power would be from the silence and space between notes. The vibraphones were perfect for that, and layering the violins on top allowed me to emphasize the lyrics.

As I sit here I’m thinking about how I bumped into a good friend across town last month. Had I brushed my teeth 2 seconds longer or turned a different street corner, then I wouldn’t have saw them. How crazy is that?

But I’m gearing off topic. The idea is that ‘timing’ is really starting to make sense to me, and I’m beginning to get comfortable with the reality that you can’t micro manage fate or serendipity. All you can do is just enjoy life, see where it takes you, appreciate every moment that’s given to you, and grow from those experiences.


Daft Punk ‘Around The World’ For Orchestra by Walt Ribeiro

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When I was younger I can remember running home every day to watch MTV. As I grew older, it transitioned from latenight music videos, then TRL, and now Youtube and Pandora. I can remember coming across this song, sitting in my kitchen with my brother and sister watching music videos as our 15″ TV sat on the counter. The video introduced me to the power of interarts and it’s contributors – having every artistic medium being part of a whole.

The lighting, the song, the costumes, the editing, choreography, the timing. It was the perfect storm, and boy did it grab me.

It wasn’t until years later when I studied with Andrea Clearfield and Manfred Fischbeck did I learn more about this first hand. When everything comes together, magic happens. Nothing is ever a solo act. Nothing. A movie integrates the arts in the sense that film editors, musicians, actors, marketing directors, fashion designers, lighting specialists, and more all have to come together. Even a pen wouldn’t be possible unless different mediums came together – the ink suppliers, artistic designers, supply chain, etc. All the things we have today is a product of someone before us. It’s at that moment that I realized we’re all simply adding to other’s lives – both in the present and the future.

That’s what this piece says to me. If my ‘orchestration of Harder Better Faster Stronger‘ taught me the power of sharing and remixing video, then this piece taught me the power of collaborating and realizing that the song is a part to something beautiful, not just something on it’s own.

I love this song, and spent a lot of time on it. To this day, it’s one of the best music videos I’ve ever seen – with each melody and harmonic texture of the song being acted out through each synchronized group. Such a simple idea, and such a powerful result that I was eager to capture with my arrangement.

That sounds about right