Student Music – Originals and Covers

This page will feature a series of music videos that I’ve been working on at the school where I teach. Three students are featured so far: Kate, Babbles, Wan Ho-ying and Heitung, Eric and Annie . The purpose of the series is to allow students to share their love of music and help them develop as performers and songwriters. For the first several videos we recorded the audio first, often with overdubs, and then the performed lip-synced to the audio track when shooting the video. These days, however, we are just recording the performances live, so you will likely hear more mistakes, but everything looks and soundssmore natural

10. Kate: Feast of Starlight

Kate – Piano Cover Version of Howard Shore’s Feast of Starlight (from The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug) (March 2015)

Credits & recording details: Feast of Starlight

 

9. Annie: Sparks Fly

Annie – Cover Version of Taylor Swift’s Sparks Fly (March 2014)

In this video, Annie performs a live acoustic cover of the Taylor Swift’s song Sparks Fly. Taylor is one of the most popular Western singers among Hong Kong teens (along with Avril Lavigne). This particular song was written when Taylor was sixteen and has an appealing mix of innocence and optimism.

Vocals: Annie
Guitar:  Dan Cheng
Music & Lyrics:Taylor Swift

Video Production: Cme Creative Media Studio at SKH Lam Woo Memorial Secondary School (Hong Kong)
Music recording: longzijun and Zero Leung
Mixing: longzijun
Video recording and editing: longzijun and Don Chui

Technical Information
Vocal mic: Rode NT2-A
Guitar mic (at soundhole):Rode NT2-A
Guitar mic (over the frets): Shure SM57
Recording software: Cakewalk Sonar X1 Studio
Noise reduction and mastering: Magix Audio Cleaning Lab

 

8. Eric & Jacky: 囍帖街

Eric & Jacky – Cover Version of Wedding Card Street 囍帖街 (Cantonese) (February 2014)

In this video, Eric and Jacky perform a live acoustic cover of the Cantopop song 囍帖街 (Wedding Card Street), recently popularized by Kay Tse (謝安琪)

Vocals: Eric (曾煒林 )
Guitar: Jacky (陳俊翹)
Music:Eric Kwok
Lyric: 黃偉文

Video Production: Cme Creative Media Studio at SKH Lam Woo Memorial Secondary School (Hong Kong): cmestudio.wordpress.com
Music recording: longzijun
Video Recording: Amy K., Amy L., Tracy C., and Johnson C.

Student recording team:Tracy, Amy K, Jacky, Any L., Johnson, Eric

Student recording team:Tracy, Amy K, Jacky, Amy L., Johnson, Eric

Lyrics
The song’s poetic lyrics deal with both the recent redevelopment of Wedding Card Street (Lee Tung Street) and a lost love.

I’ve adapted the English translation by mycket at AsianFanatic: Wedding Card Street: English Translation

Let me know if there are any mistakes.

Wedding Card Street (English Translation)

Forget about the flowers that you planted.
Embark a new journey, and give up your dreams.
Don’t look at the dust-covered wedding invitation again:
you are moving to a new place.
If something can be built
one should accept that it can fall
In reality, there isn’t a kind of peace and happiness
that always stays the same.

Like this district,
it was once well-suited to the name:
“Happiest of the world”.
However, in a blink of an eye,
the apartments of the whole street
are filled up with crows.

The good days do not always stay.
One cannot always climb upwards on a ladder
The one we love, can’t we spend an eternity with them?
We don’t have to be afraid.

Forget the one you used to love,
Whose name is sprinted in gold on the old wedding invitation.
The wall on which the wedding photo is mounted
and all the good old days
will all be dismantled tomorrow.

Forget the home you used to have.
The table, the sofa, the fridge and the two cups of black tea.
Is this the borrowed scene with all its warmth and fragrance due to return,
before the next generation comes?

Forget the sand with which you used to build.
The castle of memory has collapsed in a flash.
Facing this
Pile of deserted sand,
you have to learn to let go.

Tiles do not refuse to corrode.
Window frames cannot enclose the evening glow.
With affection, can it last your whole life?
Does it help even if you regret?

Forget the one you used to love,
whose name is printed in gold on the old wedding invitation.
The wall on which the wedding photo is mounted
and all good old days
will all be dismantled tomorrow.

Forget the home you used to have.
The table, the sofa, the fridge and the two cups of black tea.
Is the borrowed scene with all of its warmth and fragrance due to return?

Don’t worry, the time will come.
Please let go of the key in your hand

Chinese Lyrics

囍帖街

忘掉種過的花 重新的出發 放棄理想吧
別再看 塵封的喜帖 你正在要搬家
築得起 人應該接受 都有日倒下
其實沒有一種安穩快樂 永遠也不差

就似這一區 曾經稱得上 美滿甲天下
但霎眼 全街的單位 快要住滿烏鴉
好景不會每日常在 天梯不可只往上爬
愛的人 沒有一生一世嗎
大概不需要害怕

忘掉愛過的他 當初的喜帖金箔印著那位他
裱起婚紗照那道牆及一切美麗舊年華 明日同步拆下
忘掉有過的家 小餐枱沙發雪櫃及兩份紅茶
溫馨的光境不過借出到期拿回嗎
更多更詳盡歌詞 在  魔鏡歌詞網
等不到下一代 是嗎

忘掉砌過的沙 回憶的堡壘 剎那已倒下
面對這 墳起的荒土 你註定學會瀟灑
階磚不會拒絕磨蝕 窗花不可幽禁落霞
有感情 就會一生一世嗎
又再惋惜有用嗎

忘掉愛過的他 當初的喜帖金箔印著那位他
裱起婚紗照那道牆及一切美麗舊年華 明日同步拆下
忘掉有過的家 小餐枱沙發雪櫃及兩份紅茶
溫馨的光境不過借出到期拿回嗎
終須會時辰到 別怕

請放下手裡那鎖匙 好嗎

For more information about the redevelopment of Wedding Card Street

Technical Information
Vocal mic: Rode NT2-A
Guitar mic (at soundhole): AKG C 4000 B
Atmosphere mic: Shure SM57 (Originally this was placed over the frets half-way up the neck, but we were picking up a lot of twang from the strings. As the mic was already set up, we just pulled it back to pick up the sound of the music in the room)
Recording software: Cakewalk Sonar X1 Studio
Noise reduction and mastering: Magix Audio Cleaning Lab

 

7. Babbles: Last Goodbye

Babbles – Last Goodbye (最後のバイバイ ): Original Composition (Japanese) (August 2013)

The song is in Japanese, but Babbles has written this explanation regarding the meaning:

This song is a kind of happy farewell song. Usually such songs focus on negative feelings, but Babbles writes: “Saying good-bye is always treated as a sad thing; however, the message of this song is about the courage to let go of the past and embrace the future. Don’t let thoughts of the past stop your from moving forward; if you are always looking back, how can you move forward down life’s road?

This is the live acoustic version. We are also working on a more complex arrangement with strings, piano, drums. bass and guitar.

Babbles has also recorded some other songs with us: Alone (an original song in English with rock and piano versions) and her gorgeous cover of Ai Otsuka’s Planetarium. This is her first original song in Japanese (she usually composes songs in either English or Putonghua). You can also find more of her covers and originals at her YouTube Channel: www.youtube.com/user/bb31lau

Recording Info.
Music & lyrics: Babbles
Vocals & guitar: Babbles
Music recording, mixing & video recording: longzijun (Stephen Richards)
Recorded and mixed using Sonar Home Studio & Magix Audio Cleaning Lab
Recorded at CMe Creative Media Studio at SKH Lam Woo Memorial Secondary School, Hong Kong

This is a simpler recording arrangement than I’ve used for the other songs to date. In those, we would recording the instruments and voice separately and we did a lot of overdubs and retakes and we shot footage from different angles. I think I will do more of this kind of recording in future as it cuts down on the work and we end up with a more authentic performance on video.

For this recording, I used three mics (a fourth if you include the camera mic). This allowed me to do post-recording fine-tuning of the balance between voice and guitar and of the balance between the sound coming from the lower frequencies recorded using the mic at the sound hole of the guitar and the higher frequencies recorded using the mic placed closer to the frets.

  • Vocal mic: Rode Rode NT2-A (Condenser)
  • Guitar mic (at sound hole): Shure SM57 (Dynamic)
  • Guitar mic (at fret): AKG C 4000 B (Condenser)

Lyrics

最後のバイバイ

何時から ずっと忘れられない姿
今も 頭の中に残してる
どうして寂しい顔しているか?
私はここにいるのに


切ないこと 嬉しいこと
いろいろあった
あの姿はもうなかった
でも 本当は 会いたくて 泣きたくて
戻れない過去に バイバイ 
さよなら」なんて言いたくないけど
大丈夫」なんて言い出せないまま
どうして こんなに不安になるんだろう?
ずっと笑っているのに 


幸せなこと 退屈なこと
いろいろあった
あの声はまだ覚えているよ
でも この夜は 悲しすぎて 寂しすぎて
涙はもう 止まらない
信じたくないことだらけの現実 だけど
君はきっと守ってくれる そう信じなきゃ


言い出せない気持ち 届かない気持ち
この歌で 君に伝えたい 
私の思いを込めて
でも 今回は 本当の別れ 君の全て
最後のバイバイ

別れは悲しいことだが、 その悲しみより、この曲の伝えたい ものは、 過去を振り返ることを やめて、新しい未来へ旅立つその勇気だ。 過去のために足を止めてはいけない、前には待っているものがたくさんあるから。

 

6. kate: Breathe

(February 2013)
Kate – Cover Version of Taylor Swift’s Breathe

Music by Taylor Swift & Colbie Caillat
Vocals, piano and arrangement: Kate
Music recording, video recording and video editing: Bobo Chia
Video editing (assistant): Vincent Ng
Mixing: longzijun
Recorded and mixed using Sonar Home Studio
Noise reduction and compression: Magix Audio Cleaning Lab

As Kate did such a nice job with with piano arrangement, we have also uploaded a Karaoke piano version (no vocals)

 

We made quite a few technical mistakes during the recording, video shooting and editing (especially during the shooting). The next time we shoot a video like this we will have to:

  • Check the sync between the visuals and audio more carefully (some shots seem a little out of sync)
  • If doing lip-sync, get more coverage (e.g. more takes) for those times when the singer is a little out of sync with his/her recorded singing
  • Get more coverage in general
  • If  using a high-quality camera, dust and clean the set first! The dust on the piano is so clear!
  • Don’t have the microphone stand touch the piano; it will cause the mic to shake (this had to be fixed during editing)
  • Beware of flickering computer screens in the background (while editing, we had to paint over one screen that was flickering); turn off the monitors
  • Have someone check continuity (Kate’s ponytail changes in different shots)
  • Cover up the red lights on the piano
  • Work on getting better angles
  • Check more carefully for any possible audio distortion before ending the recording session

 

5. Heitung: 纖纖的你

Heitung – 纖纖的你: Original Composition (February 2013)

Music by Heitung
Lyrics by Mark Chic

Guitar & piano: Heitung
Recording/mixing/video: longzijun
Recorded and mixed using Sonar Home Studio
Noise reduction and compression: Magix Audio Cleaning Lab

The song lyrics are shown below:

纖纖的你

在派對裏遇到你 跟你有緣嗎
你那甜美笑容 教我理性分岔
期後 每天 我都總記掛
在每日每夜我亦會牽掛

看著纖纖的你
名字我已忘記
心中憶記早己給儲起
我會等 帶著一絲希冀
就算你我相隔幾千里
也會找到你

在每晚我亦會將 短訊當情意
但每句也卻步 教我費盡心思
無論 變遷 有多麼諷刺
但我又繼續試 萬次千次

看著纖纖的你
名字我已忘記
心中憶記早己給儲起
我會等 帶著一絲希冀
就算你我相隔幾千里
也會找到你

回望剛相識的那晚
我還在天天冀盼
若可以共你一起去看星空燦爛
刀山我願意攀

看著纖纖的你
名字我已忘記
心中憶記早己給儲起
我會等 帶著一絲希冀
就算你我相隔幾千里
也會找到你

就算世界只得我與你
也會呵護你

 

4. Heitung: Oncne Upon and Time (忘記)

Heitung – Once Upon a Time, 忘記 (English & Cantonese versions): Original Composition (October 2011)

Music by Heitung
English Lyrics by Mark Chic

Vocals & piano: Heitung
Recording/mixing/video: longzijun
Recorded and mixed using Sonar Home Studio
Noise reduction and compression: Magix Audio Cleaning Lab

The song lyrics are shown below:

Once upon a time
I’ve lost my mind
I’ve been losing days
Inside the haze
But then you walk into my life
I’ve found hope to take

Hands of fate seems so cold
Giving me a vacant hope
Though tears have filled my eyes
I swear I won’t cry

*What makes me laugh when you’re around
What lets me down when we’re apart
Oh you have to let me know
To get over you
I don’t wanna be a fool anymore*

Everything
that you have done
No matter what they are
I’ll bear in mind
Though tears have filled my eyes
I swear I won’t cry

*What makes me laugh when you’re around
What lets me down when we’re apart
Oh you have to let me know
To get over you
I don’t wanna be a fool anymore

I want to sleep with your voice
This tragic kiss left me no choice
I just wanna let you know
when the night seems so long
I will always be there by your side*

Oh you have to let me know
To get over you
I don’t wanna be a fool anymore

Cantonese Version
Heitung has also recorded a Cantonese version of her song (with lyrics by Alvin Hui)

忘記

誰為你顧慮 心思交瘁?
誰為你淚垂 歷久不衰?

過去了痛應該洗去 無謂作負累
作錯了心都敲碎 要奮鬥理想應該追
到振作了應想一趟 誰人忘掉了麼?

誰可以將一切拋棄 誰不記得昨日恬熙
但美好終須遠去 留低只有憶記
誰曾燃亮我的心 記不起

作錯了心都敲碎 要奮鬥理想應該追
到振作了應想一趟 誰人陪著你麼?

誰可以將一切拋棄 誰不盼得以後恬熙
但再好終須遠去 回憶轉變古記
誰曾燃亮我的心 這知己

誰可以將一切捨棄 誰不盼得以後恬熙
但再好終須遠去 回憶轉變古記
誰曾燃亮我的心 這知己

但再好終須遠去 回憶轉變古記
誰曾燃亮我的心 這知己

 

3. Wan Ho-ying: Rolling in the Deep

Wan Ho-ying – Cover version of Adele’s Rolling in the Deep (August 2011)

Vocals: Wan Ho-ying
Music & Lyrics: Paul Epworth & Adele Adkins
Recording, Mixing & Editing: Stephen Richards (longzijun): longzijun.wordpress.com
Background music: The karaoke track for the song

Wan Ho-ying is a young singer who was about to enter Form 3 (i.e., Grade 9) when the video was recorded (just over a year ago).  She mainly performs cover versions of English language songs. This is is her first YouTube Video.

Her YouTube channel is: www.youtube.com/user/hoyingwan

 

2. Babbles: Alone

Babbles – Alone (Rock & acoustic versions): Original Composition (July 2011)

This is a music video for Alone, the second in a serious of songs I am working on with one of the students at Lam Woo—Babbles. Babbles is a young singer-songwriter (about to enter Form 4, or Grade 10).  She mainly performs cover versions of songs by Japanese artists like YUI, but also writes her own original songs.

Music & lyrics by Babbles (see more videos on her YouTube Channel):  www.youtube.com/user/bb31lau

Babbles: vocals, acoustic guitar
Yim Chan: electric guitars, recording electric gutars
longzijun @ lamwoostudio: production, recording, mixing, keyboards (bass), drum loop creation, video editing, animation

Recorded and mixed using Sonar Home Studio
Electric guitars recorded using Garage Band
Drum loops produced by sounds produced by Cyclicks
Drum rolls from Sound Pool
Noise reduction and compression: Magix Audio Cleaning Lab
Animation: iclone 3 (from Reallusion)
Video editing: Premiere Pro>

We also did a piano version of the song:

 

The song lyrics are shown below: Alone- Music and Lyrics by Babbles (2011)

You said you know everything about me—
The things I like;
The things I dislike.
You pretend to know me a lot.
In fact, what do you know?

I lost my way in a crowded street.
You said you will come and find me,
But you never keep your promise baby.
Is this all a dream? I am so confused
I just want to scream out loudly.
Difficulties keep coming in streams.

Although no one stays with me,
I still wanna pursue my dream.
I will make my own way
Until we meet again one day.
The way that I’m looking for—
I still don’t know what it will be.
I will fight forever and ever.

You said you know everything about me—
The things I do;
The things I won’t do
You pretend to know me a lot.
In fact, what do you know?

I lost my way in a crowded street.
You said you will come and find me,
But you never keep your promise baby.
It is not a dream, undoubtedly.
I just want to scream out loudly.
Difficulties keep coming in streams.

Although no one stays with me,
I still wanna pursue my dream.
I will make my own way
Until we meet again one day.
The way that I’m looking for—
I still don’t know what it will be.
I will fight forever and ever.

Time goes by;
We need to say goodbye.
Don’t be surpised;
Don’t ask me why.
But what I heard is someone sigh.
I will be fine.

Although no one stays with me,
I still wanna pursue my dream.
I will make my own way
Until we meet again one day
The way that I’m looking for—
I still don’t know what it will be.
I will fight forever and ever.

 

1. Babbles: Planetarium

Babbles – Cover Version of Ai Otsuka’s Planetarium (July 2011)

This cover version of Ai Otsuka’s (大塚愛) song Planetarium  is the first in a serious of videos I am working on with one of the students at Lam Woo—Babbles. Babbles is a young singer-songwriter (about to enter Form 4, or Grade 10).  She mainly performs cover versions of songs by Japanese artists like YUI, but also writes her own original songs.

Her YouTube channel is:  www.youtube.com/user/bb31lau

Planetarium (プラネタリウム) is from the Hana Yori Dango (花より男子) OST (aka Boys over Flowers).

We recorded the song using a Yamaha electric piano. It is quite old and the keys have become very noisy, so the piano and vocal parts were recorded separately. Magix Audio Cleaning Lab was used to get rid of the background street/city noise and the vocal and instrumental tracks were mixed using Sonar Home studio.

I’ve uploaded her piano track for anyone who is interested in recording their own cover version. You can download it here: www.box.net/shared/ctegiecilsmvenfvupzo

The song lyrics (from Channel Ai Forum www.channel-ai.com ~ posted by
enlightened0ne) are shown below.

プラネタリウム – Planetarium –

Kanji:
夕月夜 顔だす 消えてく 子供の声
遠く遠く この空のどこかに 君はいるんだろう
夏の終わりに2人で抜け出した この公園で見つけた
あの星座 何だか 覚えてる?

会えなくても記憶をたどって 同じ幸せを見たいんだ
あの香りとともに花火がぱっと開く

行きたいよ君のところへ 今すぐかけだして行きたいよ
まっ暗で何も見えない怖くても大丈夫
数えきれない星空が今もずっとここにあるんだよ
泣かないよ 昔 君と見たきれいな空だったから

あの道まで響く 靴の音が耳に残る
大きな自分の影を見つめて想うのでしょう
ちっとも変わらないはずなのに せつない気持ちふくらんでく
どんなに想ったって君はもういない

行きたいよ君のそばに 小さくても小さくても
1番に君が好きだよ 強くいられる
願いを流れ星に そっと唱えてみたけれど
泣かないよ 届くだろう きれいな空に

会えなくても記憶をたどって 同じ幸せを見たいんだ
あの香りとともに花火がぱっと開く

行きたいよ君のところへ 小さな手をにぎりしめて
泣きたいよ それはそれは きれいな空だった
願いを流れ星に そっと唱えてみたけれど
泣きたいよ 届かない思いをこの空に…

Romaji:
yuutsukuyo kaodasu kieteku kodomo no koe
tooku tooku konosora no dokoka ni kimi ha irun darou
natsu no owari ni futari de nukedashita kono kouen de mitsuketa
ano seiza nandaka oboeteru?

aenakutemo kioku wo tadotte onaji shiawase wo mitai nda
ano kaori to tomo ni hanabi ga patto hiraku

ikitai yo kimi no tokoro he ima sugu kakedashite ikitai yo
makkura de nanimo mienai kowakutemo daijoubu
kazoekirenai hoshizora ga ima mo zutto koko ni aru nda yo
nakanai yo mukashi kimi to mita kirei na sora datta kara

ano michi made hibiku kutsu no ne ga mimi ni nokoru
ookina jibun no kage wo mitsumete omou no deshou
chittomo kawaranai hazu nanoni setsunai kimochi fukurandeku
donna ni omottatte kimi ha mou inai

ikitai yo kimi no soba ni chiisakutemo chiisakutemo
ichiban ni kimi ga suki da yo tsuyoku irareru
negai wo nagare boshi ni sotto tonaetemitakeredo
nakanai yo todoku darou kirei na sora ni

aenakutemo kioku wo tadotte onaji shiawase wo mitai nda
ano kaori to tomo ni hanabi ga patto hiraku

ikitai yo kimi no tokoro he chiisana te wo nigirishimete
nakitai yo soreha soreha kireina sora datta
negai wo nagare boshi ni sotto tonaete mitakeredo
nakitai yo todokanai omoi wo kono sora ni…

Translation:
Evening approaches and the voices of night-smiling children fade
I know that you are somewhere under this sky, far, far away
At summer’s end, we snuck away together, we found this park
I kind of remember that constellation

Even if I don’t meet you, I can search for memories
Of the same sort of happiness.
Both the smell and fireworks going “bang”

I want to go to where you are
I want to start running there soon
I can’t see anything in the inky darkness
Even if I’m scared I’ll be okay
The wisdom of this clear sky
Is here now all the time.
I didn’t cry when I saw you in the past
Because the sky was clear.

Daily, from that road over there, I can only hear one sound.
Maybe you’ll stare at your big shadow.
It is not in the least expected to change.
A sad feeling expands inside you.
This is the “you’re not there” kind of feeling.

I really want to go and be next to you
Even though I am really, really small
I love you the most
I can be strong
I suddenly try to make a wish on a falling star
Maybe I’ll reach the point where I don’t cry
In a clear sky.

Even if I’m not with you, I can search for memories
Of the same sort of happiness.
Like the smell, together with fireworks going “bang”

I want to go to your place (The place that is with you…)
A small hand clenching yours,
I want to cry; that is a beautiful sky.
I suddenly try to make a wish on a falling star
Under this sky, I don’t think that I want to cry.


 

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