Down a Rabbit Hole with insaneintherain
Actually, that title is misleading. When we talk about a rabbit hole, we usually talk about a hole big enough for a rabbit… and your imagination. It would be more accurate here to describe this as a rabbit canyon, Grand Canyon-style. Because that’s what you feel like when you tumble into the music of insaneintherain.
This has been going on since 2012? What on earth? For some context, this is from his website:
Carlos Eiene (insaneintherainmusic) is an American / Filipino tenor saxophonist, pianist, and online content creator. Best known for his 2016 release Live at Grillby’s, Carlos produces jazz arrangements of video game music and posts them on his YouTube channel “insaneintherainmusic.” Carlos’ 2017 album Alola That Jazz debuted at #6 on the iTunes Jazz Charts. Additionally, Carlos is currently a student at the Berklee College of Music, pursuing a degree in Contemporary Writing & Production. Carlos is originally from Bellevue, WA, and continues to pursue musical goals by writing arrangements, practicing a multitude of instruments, and collaborating with others in his immediate community.
Carlos was introduced to music at the age of 7 when an upright piano was first brought into his house. After teaching himself how to read sheet music by using the method books included in the piano’s bench, he learned to play clarinet in 5th-grade band. In the following few years, he played clarinet, alto saxophone, and baritone saxophone and eventually settled on tenor saxophone as his primary instrument. Carlos performed in numerous jazz festivals as part of his high school jazz band, including the Reno Jazz Festival and Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival.
Carlos has been posting jazz arrangements of video game music on his channel “insaneintherainmusic” since September of 2012 and attributes much of his success to the time he’s spent developing his YouTube channel. Carlos believes that YouTube is a wonderful platform to showcase one’s creative ability and believes it’s one of the best places to engage directly with fans, which is becoming more and more important to artists as we move forward into the digital age. Carlos has hosted “jazz challenges” on his channel in the past, encouraging his listeners to create music of their own and submit it for potential recognition. Additionally, Carlos regularly collaborates with many other YouTube musicians and Berklee students.
Carlos has had numerous appearances at video game conventions across the U.S. He is a regular attendee of PAX East and MAGFest. Carlos performed at MAGFest 2018 alongside the Super Soul Bros and performed at the MAGFest Jamspace at PAX East 2018.
In the future, Carlos would like to continue making music on YouTube and plans to tackle larger projects to expand the reach and scope of video game music.
OK, now we know who he is. I was yesterday old when I first learned about him. But let’s get a really good look at WHAT he can do as a one-man wrecking crew and in an ensemble clearly molded after the remarkable example set by Michael League and his astonishing Snarky Puppy project.
Those of you conversant with video game music will have a definite leg up on those of us who don’t in recognizing this music, but frankly that makes little difference; anyone can appreciate the great melodies, the brilliance of his playing, and the elaborate construction of his one-man videos. Likewise for the arrangements with other musicians. For my benefit, and possibly yours:
Sinnoh is the fourth region of the Pokémon Series and is the setting of the Nintendo DS games Pokémon Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum and also The Diamond and Pearl series of the anime.
Carlos noted that, at the beginning of the pandemic, his father picked him up in Boston, and they drove back to Washington, where he is now playing, recording, and masterminding his continuing project.
If you look on his Facebook page, you’ll scroll through a dozen or more videos of him woodshedding, especially ones where he is teaching himself to play trumpet. In addition to tenor sax, alto sax, clarinet, piano, electric keyboards, EWI, bass clarinet, electric piano, baritone sax, electric bass, drums, double bass, guitar, and percussion. Probably missed something along the way. Here is his newest track, “Pokémon Diamond / Pearl: Lake Guardian Encounter Jazz Arrangement.” Fasten your seatbelts!
Next, “Pokémon Diamond / Pearl: Route 216 Jazz Arrangement (2020 Version).” Gorgeous!
How about a bunch of Carloses and a bunch of friends as “Pokémon DPPt: Oreburgh City Big Band Jazz Arrangement”?
“Transforming the Thomas the Tank Engine Theme Into Fast Bebop Jazz (with 3 Saxophones)”!
A Berklee project: “The Jazz Video Game Medley || Complete Suite.”
Finally, these two from the Sinnoh Fusion Ensemble: “Pokémon DPPt: Sinnoh Trainer Battle Medley.”
And “Pokémon Diamond & Pearl: Mt. Coronet Jazz Arrangement”!
There are dozens more. Grab some snacks before you tumble into the rabbit canyon with insaneintherain! Pure genius!
Brain spindled, folded, AND mutilated!