I suppose it’s about time I live up to my username.
When I submitted an application for Diamonds in the Rough, I was honestly not expecting to get in. At that point I had one decent map and that’s pretty much it. However, I am very honored and glad to have participated; this experience has really deepened my understanding and appreciation for mapping and lighting as a unique, artistic way of expressing appreciation for music.
I’ve been personally involved in classical music since I was about 11, starting by playing the French horn in middle and high school. Now, I hold both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in music composition. Long story short, all that training has given me a deep and specific appreciation for music, both classical and other non-classical genres. I feel that this background has given me a somewhat unique take on how I map and light, and I’m confident now that I will continue to nurture that style as I produce more maps.
As part of my output, I hope I can bring some attention to how many INSANELY cool classical pieces there are out there. It’s nowhere near as plain as many people suspect, especially once you get within the past 150 years or so. This map is the first in a, hopefully, long stream of classical bangers. I don’t plan on ever exclusively doing classical stuff, so you can expect plenty of other variety from me as well.
Shostakovich’s 10th Symphony is famously said to be associated with Stalin and the Stalin era, and the second movement is claimed to be a musical portrait of Stalin himself, according to a memoir claimed to have been written by Shostakovich. The second movement in particular is very aggressive with lots of fast and syncopated passages among all of the instrumental sections. As you’d expect, I found this to be an excellent but appropriate challenge to map in Beat Saber; I personally feel that it shares many similarities with metalcore, math rock, and hardcore electronic music in its structure.
This was my first substantial project in manual lighting, and in it, I decided to stick with vanilla lighting materials (not v3 lighting yet, but I will definitely experiment with that eventually!). I tried to depict a very stormy environment with the colors and lightning-esque flashes, as well as in some of the mapping, with some sections having the player twist back and forth, as if being blown about by the wind. Additionally, I tried to put a few references to orchestral performance practice within the mapping; most notably, the middle section in the Expert+ and Shosty difficulty, which prominently features the brass and percussion, has the player making strong downbeats with the timpani line, somewhat reflecting how that would actually be performed on the instrument. Beyond that, the map features primarily balanced and tech-like styles, and has a pretty reasonable difficulty flow from Hard to Expert+. The lovingly-named “Shosty” difficulty adds some extra speedy flair to the Expert+, which is personally beyond my own ability to pass at my current skill level. This may become a trend with the classical pieces to have an extra level of difficulty, especially since many of them are especially complex.
I hope this map serves as a great representation of this piece, and for some of you, hopefully a fun introduction to the wide world of classical music. If anyone has any suggestions on other classical pieces to look into mapping, feel free to message me on Discord at symphonic#0378.
Finally, a ridiculously HUGE thank you to:
@officialMECH for his phenomenal coaching
@GojiCrafter, @Seneasul, @swukpuff, @vivry, and any of the other DITR novices/staff that testplayed my map
@helencarnate and the rest of the DITR staff for (continuing to) put on this awesome event, it’s an excellent learning opportunity for novices like me
and an extra special second shoutout to @swukpuff for being a fantastic new friend I made through this event and for his moral support throughout the project
Title: Symphony No. 10 in E Minor, Op. 93
Movement: II. Allegro
Composer: Dmitri Shostakovich
Composition Premiere Year: 1953
Performer(s): Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra
Conductor: Vasily Petrenko
Recording Year: 2009
Do note this map features a slightly different version of the original track in order to sync to a consistent tempo.
In-Game “Shosty” Difficulty FPFC Preview (not gameplay):
“Shosty” difficulty gameplay by spacegiraffe:
About DITR: Diamonds in the Rough is an event for new mappers which matches them up with experienced coaches to create a multi-difficulty, curation-worthy map. Keep your eyes on these rookies in the future as their talent develops and read more about the event on Bsaber.com!