Latest Release Mayday Medley – Interview with Mark Shi
Benita+Mark have recently released a medley of Mayday songs and has since garnered much attentions and positive reviews on their social media platforms. We have invited Mark Shi to share his views and thoughts on the music arrangement with us through this interview article:
- As a quick introduction, would you like to share with us what inspired you and Benita to start performing as a duo?
We have been good friends for a while and shared rather similar views on music and even had similar preference in the kind of sound and music that we like. It became kind of natural for us to decide to perform together as a duo and create content together on YouTube.
- Which location do you film the medley? Are there any specific reasons for the choosing that particular location?
We filmed it at Dakota Crescent. It’s a charming little estate that has been vacant and we have no idea when the whole estate will be torn down to make way for newer buildings. Therefore, we wanted to capture the beautiful sight of the estate before it disappears completely.
- How many songs are we hearing in the medley? Could you share with us the process of arranging the songs for the medley?
There are 21 songs in the medley. It was a difficult process to choose the songs as we both like Mayday’s songs a lot and there are just too many to choose from. We first listed down the songs that we really liked and those that were immensely popular and ended up with a list that had about 50 songs. After which, I started to work out the flow of the medley and streamlined it down to 21 songs.
- What is the primary instrument that you are using for the arrangement? How did it help contribute to overall completion of the medley?
I worked primarily with soft synths via a Yamaha KX-8 midi controller. I have been using the KX-8 for years now and it has been a reliable machine with excellent touch and keys that gives me the freedom to create the dynamic range that I need without having to do much adjustments.
*KX-8 has been discontinued. You may check out the latest Yamaha MODX series in the link below:
- How long exactly did you take from the beginning of the initial planning to the completion of the sound track?
Typically, it would be around 3 weeks but this particular project was stretched over a span of 6 months as we were both busy with our work and had to delay its completion a few times.
- What are some of the challenges you encountered white arranging this medley?
The most challenging part was to create a medley that was smooth flowing out of a large number of songs of different keys, tempo and genre. To make them gel into one song and yet still have a dramatic flow so that it wouldn’t be too boring.
- Are there any advices or tips that you would like to share with aspiring music arrangers?
I wouldn’t say advice or tips as I’m also exploring and learning new things everyday myself, all I can probably share is to never stop learning. There’s always something new and something better happening every day, and there is always something new we can pick up.
- Did you have any expectations or envisioned results prior to releasing the medley?
No, not really. We really just wanted to do something that we enjoy doing, and share it with more people.
- What would we be expecting from Benita+Mark in the future?
More medley covers. We already have a few themes in mind that we will work on, and also, more importantly, our own originals, which is what we really want to do. It’s a work in progress right now, but we will get there
- Where will we be able to get Benita+Mark latest updates?
You can follow our Facebook page and subscribe to our YouTube channel, both called Benita Mark