Tuesday, September 26, 2023
Game Reviews

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

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. ♪