January 2022 – The Grind Continues

Welcome to this month’s diary entry, where I tell you all about what I wish I had ready for this month’s update but I actually don’t!

Now seriously, it’s been a crazy month trying to update all the music I had to the book format I showcased last month trying to meet my self-imposed deadline of end of January. Alas, as I said in December “I’m confident (but not absolutely certain) that most of the videos will bee uploaded before the end of January.” In deed, I have some of the videos ready but not all of them, and while I could upload the ones I have I’d rather just finish all of them together and upload them as one single batch.

The reason is that I am still making improvements with almost every single one I update. In every new theme I work on I find something new I can add in to the format to make it better and I end up going back to videos I had already finished and I add the new features. This takes extra time and energy so a week ago I decided that I should probably change strategies and just focus not on speed but on productivity.

With that said, I am even happier with the new format than I was with the one from December. I have added a whole new section where every leitmotif is presented in isolation from the rest of the music and with an audio cue to help the listener identify it. I have asked a few people what they though about it and the feedback was very positive, as they thought it gave them time to familiarize themselves with the leitmotifs and made it easier to follow along once the theme actually started. It does mean that the actual music doesn’t start until you have heard all the themes but for now it is a compromise I can live with. Plus, it solves the issue of how to show that a note is shared between two or more leitmotifs, which up until now I couldn’t figure out for the life of me. Now every single note is accounted for, which is a big deal for me as I spent ridiculous amounts of time making sure they all are there for a reason.

Other cool features are the highlighted staff names that help you know what is playing at the moment, compared to before when you had to be able to recognized that an accompaniment is repeating or stopping or that the main theme is repeating from the beginning. Also the instrument illustrations look more like actual illustrations after running them through several filters to make them less picture-like. Lastly I now have a wide assortment of decorative “banners” in case I need to fill out some empty space on a page.

The current state of the book format can be seen here in Jon Snow’s “The Snow Wolf “.

“That’s it?” I hear you saying… actually not, there is more! But the real cool new feature is one that I still tinker with everyday, so it’s not ready. I had the idea for it and the thought of not including it in the book format was unbearable so with the help of the Old Gods I hope to have it ready for next month’s update for Music of Ice and Fire’s second anniversary!

I hope to see you then!

Maester Ludwig

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