Stal (Minecraft Music Disc) Jazz Arrangement

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This song is definitely what Minecraft villagers chill out to in their downtime.

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What a weird track for a game like Minecraft! I love Minecraft's ambient soundtrack to bits, and I get major nostalgia from it, like many others, but Stal and some of the other music discs tickle me in such a peculiar way. They remind me a lot of KK Slider's tunes from Animal Crossing - slightly quirky representations of real musical genres. Stal, in particular, is Minecraft's quirky representation of so it's only natural that I gave it a full jazz arrangement!

While the original tune isn't exactly in the same style as something like a jazz standard, it does have the instrumentation of a standard jazz combo - sax, piano, bass, and drums. Since I finally have a way to record all of those instruments acoustically (no MIDI life is great!), I decided to give this tune a spin, with the intent of turning it into something you'd hear on Blue Note! Of course, I had to keep the quirky recorder part that pops in at about 0:50, but I'm not actually playing it on recorder in this video! After cleaning out a couple of closets here at home, I found this old Conn pennywhistle that I've had since I was a kid. Turns out, it's just grating enough to be an excellent replacement for the recorder part! It's in the key of Bb, which doesn't quite have all the notes of the melody that's written for it (which is in D dorian), so I had to use a little bit of Melodyne magic to get the B naturals in there, haha.

One of the reasons I upgraded to all-acoustic instruments was to be able to nail a swing feel at this tempo. When recording with MIDI, it always felt like I couldn't really swing - probably something to do with the slight latency that comes with monitoring yourself when recording into a DAW through virtual instruments. With the real bass, piano, and drums, I finally feel like I can nail a super tight swing feel! I think the piano solo starting at about 2:38 is very representative of this. It's not complicated, but in my opinion, it swings hard! I'm also in love with the soli texture and the slight reharm I included in the restatement of the melody at 3:23! Typically in 5-part soli writing, you'll write the melody in the lead voices, add some harmonies in the 3 voices below, and then double the melody an octave below. For this particular melody, I decided to double the clarinet lead two octaves below in the bass clarinet, giving the texture a really earthy and dark I love it! Did I mention that I like the clarinet? Because I really love clarinet. You'll be seeing it a LOT in upcoming videos, hope you don't mind haha!

Lastly, I have to thank @Julia Henderson for her incredible mix on this track! As part of my efforts to make this channel more sustainable in the future, I've been bringing on help to help me with video project. Pete did a fantastic job with the edit, and this is Julia's first mix of one of my normal videos!
With their help, I'm looking forward to taking the quality of the music / video on this channel to places it couldn't go with just my skills!

♫ "Stal" from "Minecraft" composed by C418 (Daniel Rosenfeld)
Mix by @Julia Henderson
Video Edited by Peter Gillette

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