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7:08 AM on 06.11.2015

New Music : 2AD15 - II

Hello, friends.

I've released a new album of music called "2AD15 - II". It is part of the 2AD1X series of albums I've been releasing since 2014. I released 3 last year, and this is my second one this year. As far as future plans go, I'm probably going to hold off on a 2AD15 - III, at least until I release a serious album. 2AD1X albums are generally meant for what I call "jams", songs that I write in few hours, and send out into the world to be judged harshly ;)

Instead of just posting the album and potentially creating my first failblog, I want to write a little bit about each song.

1) Journey Through the Galaxy : This song was originally written for a member of the community for what would've been Songs for Gamers Volume IV. Unfortunately, it didn't sound anything like what they requested. I offered to try again, but due to personal reasons not related to me, they decided not to be a part of the project. It was around this time that I realized I no longer had the "drive" I did to write music based on other music. Hell, I wasn't sure I could write music anymore, I was so exhausted. I moved the 2 tracks I wrote for Songs for Gamers Volume IV to the "complete" Songs for Gamers. This song has a 2d side-scrolling shoot-em-up vibe to it.

2) The Ferryman : I wanted to write something a bit dark, something that could play during an encounter with Charon, the Ferryman that takes the dead to the world of the dead.

3) Just a Genius : A fun jam I wrote with a silly name. I'm not sure what I was going for. I was testing out a new "drum kit", and created this odd piece. The bridge has a bit of "changing the radio station" vibe to it, which is what I was going for, also part of the drum kit.

4) Dragon's Tear : I wanted to write something kickass, in the style of dramatic movie/game music. The title suggests an encounter with a dragon, where the dragon ends up so angry, he cries, and this dramatic music would play as the walls of the cavern shake around him.

5) The Elements : An experimental piece, trying new stuff as I tend to do. It has a very video game-esque arpeggio lead. It also borrows progression from another song I wrote a long time ago (that was a dance remix of a song I wrote for a friend). I figure if that song is never going to be heard, I might as well use the cool progression :p

6) Entranced : Not sure what I was going for with this one. I suppose it could be a boss battle in a shoot-em-up, which is kind of a running theme for this particular album.

7) Corridor : A simple, dramatic piece, probably can play during a scene of distress.

8) In Plain Sight : Another dramatic movie/video game music piece. Meant for infiltration music, but can also be used for a sad scene.

9) Skyscrapers : Experimenting with that same drum sample kit from Just a Genius. Different drums, but the way it handles samples is really neat. I also started "beefing up" my sound by layering instruments. This song, and the last two, are the results of experimenting with beefing up melodies and such with layers of different instruments. I think it could be the beginning of a new sound for me.

10) Intelligence Report : A chill beat, something that could use vocals (if anyone is interested :p), I figured since I wrote a lot of faster songs on this album, that I should include a slower piece. These usually end up standing out amongst the faster stuff.

11) Friendly Fire : Probably my favorite piece, and a great way to end the album. Starts with a catchy melody, then builds up to an explosive, rich song with lots of layered instruments. Goes with the shoot-em-up theme of several songs on this album. I like to write spacey, melodic music :p

I enjoyed making this album, even though it took 3 months, which is actually a long time for me. I usually crank out albums in a few weeks, but as mentioned, I've been really tired. I've written so much music since last 2014, it's a wonder that I've written as much as I have.

I also wanted to mention the Songs for Gamers album. I took the 3 volumes, the 2 songs I wrote for Volume IV, several remixes/rearrangements I made, podcast themes written for the community, and the April Fools album, and combined them into one super album simply called Songs for Gamers. The album art was provided by SirDavies, using the amazing drawings from RobertoPlankton. This is the absolute definitive release, and the last time I will touch this album. It's almost 6 hours of music, all written for members (former and current) of this website. It's my greatest achievement, and I'm happy to have reached out to so many people in order to make it.

What does the future hold? I'm not sure. I have ideas, but I think I need time. I need to actually sit down, craft an album before writing it, and then put my heart and soul into it, similar to what I did with Walking in Circles.

As always, I hope you find something you enjoy listening to. Thank you, friends.

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4:55 AM on 04.18.2015

10 Things + 10 Comparsions about Me + Sure Ask Me Anything :p

I read Mr Andy Dixon's blog and it inspired me to make a similar one. It's difficult for me to come up with 10 things about myself, because there's a lot to know about me. I'm going to compare myself to Andy's list of 10 things to start, then I'll try to come up with 10 new things.

10 Things About Me (Compared to Andy Dixon)

1) I usually get obsessed with 1 or 2 games, and I rarely finish games.

I've had my fair share of addictions. Bejeweled 3 (Unknown amount of time), Animal Crossing New Leaf (Around 600 hours), Skyrim (200+ hours on PC, 80+ hours on console), Final Fantasy XI (Over 300 days of playtime spanning 10+ years). Other games rarely hold my interest. I also rarely beat games. I beat the original Borderlands, and Saint's Row IV. I collect digital games for reasons I'll talk about in the 10 new things about me.

2) I'm okay at fighting games, but it's usually luck.

I know my way around Street Fighter 2+, and am fairly quick to learn other fighting games. I don't consider myself great, but I've beaten people that considered themselves better than average (as in tournament people). I don't rely on any sort of cheap tactics, if I'm throwing fireballs, I usually stop at 2-3, then rush in.

The thing about fighting games is that I just want to enjoy playing them. I don't like being competitive, so I play very casually. I feel like I would probably have skills if I wanted to, but what's the point if I'm not having fun? If I'm absolutely destroying someone, I'll pull back, but if I'm being pushed, I give it my best shot.

3) My gamer card shall remain intact :p

I spend a lot of time playing games, mostly on PC or iOS at the moment. I've been grabbing Wii U titles as well. Just picked up Warioware Touched to see how DS emulation works. Seems pretty good. I hope to be gaming until I'm dead.

4) I was a console gamer in the 90s due to not having a PC.

I played tons of NES, SNES, Genesis, Turbografx, Gameboy games, and so on. My father would sell used games in order to pick up other used games. My friend introduced me to backup units on the SNES, leading to a collection of 250+ snes games on floppy disks (I also had around 60 carts). The only experiences I had with 90s PC shooters was at a friends house. I used to love playing Doom, Descent I and II, and probably a few other games he had. 

5) I like Rollerblading, when I can do it.

I've never went Ice Skating, but I used to Rollerblade when I was a kid. Due to being old and in bad shape, I don't do it anymore, but I wish I still did. I think rollerblading has given me a good sense of balance.

6) I will never be a father.

I had a vasectomy back in 2009 (by choice :p). I would've had it sooner if I could have. All my life, I knew I was never going to want to have children. I can barely take care of myself. I would make a terrible father. I also don't want events to repeat (what happened to my father and how it affected me as a child). 

7) I welcome death whenever it is ready for me. 

I don't care how good I'm doing in life. If death comes knocking, I'm going to answer the door. This is different than the suicidal thoughts I dealt with before I went on a decent medication. I want to die, I can't wait. But at the same time, death is the absolute end, and I figure it'd be interesting to stick around to see what the world turns into. 

8) I'm not fond of heights.

I don't like to use the word scared. I might be scared of heights, but I'm also curious. When I'm high up, I look down because I like the rush I feel at the thought of falling. I do not get this experience in video games, except for one. Jumping Flash 2. It was the only game that ever made my stomach feel weird as I jumped to insane heights, and started falling. I've tried to experience it in newer games, but it doesn't seem to work anymore.

9) I don't know what a friend "is".

Seriously. When does a person become a friend? I almost never talk to anyone, and when I thought I had friends, I pushed them away because I didn't want them to be sad if I killed myself. Things are different, and while I still get depressed, I wish I had friends like I used to have. At least, what I remember them being like.

I want to chat with people, either text or voice. I like getting to know people. That's why I wrote this blog. I learned a lot about Andy, whom I consider to be a good friend. I compare myself to other people, mainly to see just how different life can be. But I don't know what makes a person a friend.

10) I'm Alphadeus, one of the local musician/composers. Ask me anything!

 

10 New Things About Alphadeus

1) I'm a digital hoarder.

This stems from when I used to collect video games (to play, not to collect) on physical consoles. When I have an interest in emulation, I want to download every rom that exists. These moments pass fairly quick, and I move on to another digital item I can hoard. My biggest collection is actually video game music soundtracks. I believe I have over 3,000 official soundtracks in MP3 format, although I stopped collecting after a certain point.

2) I don't know why I'm able to play the piano the way I do.

If you know me, you know I make Piano Journals. I just sit at the piano, and play whatever I feel like. I generally avoid playing songs I learned (whether original or a cover), so it's really just a mess of semi-random notes. I don't know how I can do it, but I can sit at a piano for a long period of time, and just play. On the other end of the spectrum, I have difficulty playing pieces that are "written", such as original tunes or vgm covers. Something weird happens in my brain, and I get moments of "forgetfulness" that cause me to screw up briefly.

3) I've only had 2 girlfriends, 1 of which I've been with for more than 15 years.

My first relationship was when I was 16-17. It did not last long. My second, however, has been ongoing since February of 2000. I love her very much, and she's a major factor as to why I haven't killed myself yet. I can't imagine life without her. She means the world to me.

4) I don't like social media, and during severe depressions, I will delete my accounts, or unfollow friends.

If you've ever been unfollowed by me, don't take it personally :p Social media is a pain in the ass. There is so much data being flung around, that it overwhelms me. I try to restore connections, but I imagine some people are sick of me with the on and off. If you want to follow me on twitter, the handle is @Alphadeism. I also have a music-only twitter called @Okinui. Facebook is pretty much dead to me, although I might look into joining groups.

5) I wake up at 5am even though I have nowhere to be.

I don't know when this started happening, but for some reason, I wake up at 5am or so every day. This is a pretty boring thing about me, but just running out of things to share :p 

6) My Short-term memory sucks. 

This is why it's difficult to learn to play music on the piano. I don't remember what I did a few seconds/minutes ago. I feel like my mind is a polaroid camera, taking a while to develop the memories.

7) I like numbers, and sequences, and such.

When I worked as a dispatcher for a furniture installation company, I memorized everyone's phone number. It wasn't a "first time seeing, first time remembering" kind of thing. It did take a few uses of the number to remember them, but I had at least 40 people memorized. I was so confident in my ability to remember phone numbers, that I didn't use the contact feature on my phone. When I did start using it, I more or less forgot the numbers since I stopped referencing them. I also like sequences, patterns, etc. I guess this is a byproduct of my autistic mind.

8) I am extremely disorganized.

This applies to everything. I have papers all over my room that I don't know if they are important or not. My music files look like crap, since I rarely label the instruments, or keep track of other important information. It used to be worse, but it's still hard to manage.

9) I don't consider myself a good friend, and I must be afraid of strangers.

But this goes back to the whole not knowing what a friend is thing. I rarely initiate conversation with people. I'm very shy. I also have difficulty playing multiplayer games, especially when strangers are involved. That is why my progress in FFXIV is so poor. I don't know why I'm afraid of strangers in the realm of video games. They can't do anything to me that could hurt me, to my knowledge. Which brings me to my last thing.

10) Words don't hurt me, unless they are describing a malicious action. Also, I'm a psychopath.

I've been in my fair share of flame wars growing up. The thing is, nothing anyone has ever said to me actually "stuck" to me and made me question if what I'm doing is right. I've been called all sorts of names, and it just makes me laugh. I've had bad things wished upon friends and family, and it still doesn't affect me. Words are words, unless they are being used to actually threaten me or someone I know. They don't hurt me, but they definitely raise my concern.

Because of my disconection with words, I also use them as severe weapons. Back in the day, if I wanted to get under someone's skin, I'd go through their internet post history, and find something to bring up to hit them where it hurts. Someone died recently? That used to be ammunition for me. I don't do it anymore, but it was something I kept in my pocket, in order to break someone down if they tried to break me down. Like bringing a nuclear warhead to a plastic knife fight.

I realize how that makes me sound, but I haven't been that way in over 5 years, maybe longer. Words are still powerless to me, but I've taken a more peaceful approach to situations.

 

So there's the terrible blog post about me. If you ever had any questions you wanted to ask me, now's a good chance. You can ask me anything.

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6:38 AM on 04.11.2015

[NVGR] Where's the Music!?

Hello, friends. I wanted to write a blog to update you guys on several things.

First, a little bit of "promotion", I set up a Patreon, in case for some reason, someone felt like supporting me without having to pay for my music on Bandcamp. While the site mentions me using the money for hardware/software upgrades, there's a good chance it might end up going towards doctor bills, which I'll get to in a moment. There is only 1 "upgrade" I'm looking to get, which is Omnisphere 2, but I can save up for it. I'm not good at promoting myself, so I apologize for the scatterbrained paragraph. Patreon is a neat site.

Gonna knock out the doctor concerns. I finally decided to get a primary care physician, that can help me find the cures and treatments for my various conditions. I've already started taking a very good medication for my daily heartburn. I'm in the process of setting up Occupational Therapy sessions to deal with Sensory Processing Disorder, which is probably my biggest cause of pain and depression. My sense of touch is so amped up, that touching normal objects causes me a "ticklish pain-like sensation". I'd be seeing them 3 times a week for 4 weeks, and I don't know how much medicare will cover (I was told 80%, but I might be eligible for a charity program because I don't make any money).

I'm also looking into treatment options for my lower back. I've had a herniated disc in my lower back since I was 18 (34 now), so I've been suffering from that for so long, it feels like a normal part of my day, except when it flares up, and I end up in the emergency room because of the pain.

The least concerning issue, which I haven't brought up yet to my doctor, is my dandruff. I'm using clinical strength shampoo, and I still have issues.

All of this could potentially get expensive, but I can't live like this anymore. I need to address the issues with touch most of all. I'm not asking for money, just giving people options if they wanted to support me for some reason. I'm okay right now, even have a little extra money to buy GTA V on PC, so please consider that before sending money my way. I'm not rich, but I don't do much that costs money.

With all that out of the way, I wanted to talk about Songs for Gamers Volume IV. At the moment, the project is on hold, and I'm worried it could be an extended hold, similar to the gap between Volume I and II. There's also the possibility that it might not happen at all. Right now, I'm musically drained. I've written so much music in such a short time, that I feel like I have nothing left. Every time I think my batteries are recharged, I find out they aren't, and I write a song that doesn't sound like anything the person requested.

I want to keep people updated on what's been going on with me. Even if I was motivated to write music, all of these possible doctor appointments are going to eat away at me, because I've gotten so anxious, that the idea of going outside scares me. I don't know when it happened, or what exactly scares me, but I spend almost all of my time indoors, unable to go out and get groceries.

I think that's all I can say. If you have any questions, or want more information on something I wrote about, please let me know. If for some reason, Songs for Gamers Volume IV does not happen, I'm going to at least try to write the songs for people waiting 2-3+ years at this point, and combine it with Volume III. I hope that doctors are able to address my various conditions. Thank you as always for reading, and being a good friend.

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8:19 AM on 04.01.2015

Songs for Gamers Volume IV Update (10/20) *April Fools Joke

EDIT: I'm updating this blog to let people know (since it's no longer April 1st) that this blog post was an April Fools joke. I originally hid it, but I figure it'd be fun to keep around, even though I spoil the "surprise". The first video link is genuine, while the rest link to variations of Guile's Theme.

Good day, friends.

I wanted to share with you my current progress on the Songs for Gamers Volume IV album. I've written 10 of the 20 songs so far, and it seemed like a good place to take a small break. Many of these songs have not been heard yet, as I have been waiting for approval to share, but I think you'll agree that these songs are ready for prime time.

First up, is the song you've already heard, but the rest are brand new:

Onstro (Cosmonstropolis)

MortyMnemonic (Morty)

It's Bardley Just Begun (Bardley)

Bubblegum Enema (BrowneyeWinkin)

Your Headphones are on Backwards (Nanashi)

Leonine Cowboy (Orlion)

Rain Over Midna (SeymourDuncan17)

Ramblings of a Reject Pony (Solar Pony Django)

This Guy Ain't So Scholarly (The Scholarly Gamer)

Hoffmann Hardcore (R. Hoffman)

I'd love to hear your thoughts, criticisms, etc on these pieces. I really enjoy writing music, especially for the community, since it has been so nice to me. I look forward to finishing the album.

As always, thanks for listening.

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8:39 AM on 03.27.2015

New Music Album: 2AD15 - I / Status of Songs for Gamers Volume IV

Good day, friends.

I released a new album earlier that I wanted to share (what else is new!? :p). It's called 2AD15 - I. I suppose it has an odd name if you haven't seen me post before, but since I'm terrible with names, it's what I call it to move the creative train along! It's basically the year the album is released, and the number of the volume it is.

Unlike my other albums, which are usually 13 tracks (some being 12 as an exception), this one is only 11 tracks. I was unable to come up with any new jams, and wanted to start work on Volume IV of Songs for Gamers. Speaking of which, I'm working on Volume IV of Songs for Gamers =p Here's a new track:

Onstro (Cosmonstropolis)

I have 17 confirmed people for this album, and would like to make it 20-25 if possible. If you're interested in a track, let me know. The sooner the better. I'm going to start with adding 3 more people, and depending on how the tracks go, I might add 5 more. It's important to note that it is extremely unlikely there will be a Volume V.

As always, I hope you enjoy something I've written. I apologize for not throwing around as many words as I usually do, but I hope my music more than makes up for that =P Thanks for reading, and listening.

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9:11 AM on 03.15.2015

[NVGR] Something I wrote during my darkest time.

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6:45 AM on 01.24.2015

Songs for Gamers Volume III - Released

Hello friends, I wanted to share with you the Bandcamp link to the album I had been working on since the beginning of January. I'm sure you've seen it before, but now you can download it! I highly recommend free. I encourage free. Grab it! Pay what you want? The simple act of downloading it for free is currency to me :p

Songs for Gamers Volume III

In case you do not know who I am, and what this is, I'm Alphadeus. I write music for fun. I've been doing it for a while, so I have a lot of music that I can share (over 300 original tracks not including remixes/rearrangements). These 20 tracks are the latest in a series I call "Songs for Gamers".

Songs for Gamers, originally called the Destructoid Community Album, was exactly that. I reached out to over 60 people from the various sections of Destructoid (Staff, C-blogs, Forums, Twitch channel, Front Page Comments, etc), and asked them if they wanted me to write them a theme song they can call their own. They would send me a song title, and music to use as inspiration for the track, and I would try to write something I hope they enjoy. It has worked out wonderfully. Everyone genuinely seems happy with their songs, and their love and support keep me going.

Reference: Songs for Gamers Remastered (collection of songs from Volume I and II remastered)

I suppose some of you are wondering why I would do this. The simple answer is that I love this community. The complicated, long answer, is that this community accepted me without hesitation into its wild assortment of unique and wonderful people. This was back in late 2009, although I had been browsing the site since maybe 2008. The people have always been supportive of me, even though all I do really is post very personal thoughts, and music, including piano performances and such. I wanted to give something back to the community, so I came up with this idea of writing theme music for people.

A lot has happened since the release of the first volume in 2011. I've been through a hell of a roller coaster ride, where one day I felt like I was pretty much at the end of my rope. When Robin Williams died, I almost lost my shit. No matter what has happened to me in this life, I've managed to (somewhat) keep my cool, and avoid going to the very dark place in my mind. But something about losing my "celebrity father" set me off, and if it wasn't for Tristrix, I don't know what would've happened.

A recent change in medication has allowed me to return to a somewhat normal mindset. I haven't given much thought to suicide in a few months, although if I'm going to die because of a disease or condition, that's fine. I feel I've lived a fairly long life (33 years). I didn't expect to live past 16, so technically everything I do at this point is a bonus stage.

I guess I'm being a bit too personal again, but that's just how I've always been.

Volume III is another big thank you to the community, and something I've had planned since 2012 (the release of Volume II). While it is only 20 tracks compared to the 30-35 of the first two volumes, I feel comfortable enough in releasing it, with the intent of working on a Volume IV consisting of 20-25 tracks. Will there be a Volume V? Probably not. I think 100~ songs is a good number :p

I'm very proud of these songs, as they represent growth to me. I've written music in styles I've never considered before, and I think they all came out amazing. I hope you find something you like in these songs.

Also, I have tons of other albums on Bandcamp. I recommend the 2AD14 series, as well as older albums like Walking in Circles/AD Infinitum I, and From Alpha to Omega. If you want something Nonsensical, there are 4 Nonsensical albums on the site. If you're looking for something dark/serious, I strongly recommend A Well-Known Stranger. I have tons of music in different genres, I don't even know what I'm doing. I just like to write music. And it's all free. I'm not looking for money (if I ever am in need of money, I will let you know, as I have in the past). I don't want to be rich. I just want to get through this life comfortably, preferably with a roof over my head.

I appreciate the years of support, and I love you guys. Even in my darkest moments, you guys were always there to pick me up, and now that I'm on somewhat stable ground, I want to continue to show my love, by releasing as much music as possible. Thank you.

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7:59 AM on 01.18.2015

Songs for Gamers Volume III - Update 2 of ? (Feedback needed)

Hello friends,

I wanted to share the next 10 tracks with you, but I also wanted to get some feedback/thoughts on something. I might be having an issue with my audio setup that may slow down or even prevent me from writing new music. I've written 20 songs for Volume III (1 hour, 2 minutes worth of music). Should I release the 20 tracks as Volume III, and save the 15-20 requests I have remaining for Volume IV? I normally do 30-35 tracks per album, but if there's going to be a delay in making music, I'd like to put out what I can in the meantime.

I don't plan on stopping, but if the audio issue persists (I'm getting a buzzing noise from the right side of my headphones), I may need to stop, and figure out how to fix the issue. These are expensive headphones I bought for mixing/mastering (I paid around 300 for them) since I do not have a decent studio monitor setup. I could probably contact the company to see what they say, but it could be an expensive fix, so it may cause a delay in making music. I'm not sure yet.

It's really great to be writing music, especially for the community. I'd probably go indefinitely until I couldn't think of a single tune to write (or ran out of requests). There feels like way more guitar work in these songs than I normally do, so it might be an interesting change compared to my mostly electronic style.

I'll embed the 10 tracks. Not really sure if I'll put descriptions, since I'm a bit nervous in regards to my audio setup, 9 out of 10 have been approved so far, and 1 was written for a person that no longer frequents the website. Tristrix was very supportive of me on the day Robin Williams died, and it felt like I was going to explode from all the emotions I was feeling. I wanted to thank him with a song. That's another reason why I changed the name of the album to Songs for Gamers, so that I could write songs for people I know that may not even have heard of the website. It's usually 99% community, though, with Tristrix being the only "exception", although he was a member in the past, and older members have left the site, so I suppose it's still 100% :P

So here are 10 new songs.

Ninjaneering (StriderHoang) : Kickass guitar music. Probably my fastest piece at 230bpm.

With What We Have Left (Tristrix) : Industrial song. 

Puerum de Tenebris (Nihil) : Slow rock song.

Slideways (HappyDayWarrior) : A bit more upbeat rock song! :p

We Are As One (Rob Morrow) : I suppose this could be electronic/breakbeat? It sounds awesome :p

Split Future (Firion) : Heavier rock/metal song.

Static Shuffle (Mix) : A Smooth Jazz type song.

Murder, Solve, Save (Marche100) : Not sure what genre this is, but it's written as a song to be played in an investigation-type video game.

Science! (Darren Nakamura) : Electronic music? This is similar to my regular type of music, assuming I even have a regular type at this point.

Giraffe Coffins (long john) : Mellow tune.

As always, I hope you find something you like listening to. If I release the album with 20 tracks, please look for it on my Bandcamp. I won't make another blog post if I decide to do it. My next blog post related to Songs for Gamers would be for Volume IV when I have 10 more tracks ready to go. Thanks for listening.

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6:07 PM on 01.06.2015

Music Blog: Songs for Gamers Volume III - Update 1 of ?

I know, I probably don't need to put "Music Blog" in my title, since all I ever write about is music. When I'm done writing about my own music, I'm going to write about video game music, since it's my blood :p I wanted to share the songs I've written so far this year for Songs for Gamers Volume III.

I've written 9 songs so far since January 1st, 2015. Most of them are "confirmed" in the sense that they have been heard by, and approved by, the person I wrote them for. I'd like to share all of the tracks I wrote so far, including the unconfirmed ones, since if the person ends up not liking them, they would be a bonus track on the album regardless :)

There are 10 songs for the album total so far. I'm including the Jon Bloodspray song, since technically it was supposed to be on Volume III. It's the first song I wrote for the album back in 2013 I believe, when I tried to revive the project, even though I wasn't in a good state of mind.

With all that said, here are 10 songs I wrote for people that frequent this website:

[unconfirmed] A Knight and His Synth (GajKnight) - Sega Genesis songs were used as inspiration, and I wanted to try to write something similar to the sounds that could come from one. I recall reading that Genesis used FM Synthesis, so I used FM 8 (a Native Instruments virtual instrument dedicated to this type of sound) to create this track.

Caligulovely (Brittany Vincent aka Molotov Cupcake) - Some great music was sent my way, including 3s and 7s from Queens of the Stone Age, which is a great song. I can't do that kind of music, so this is more or less what I could come up with.

LSD Cat (Brightside) - This was quite a challenging song. I wanted to write something using 8-bit instruments, but I wanted it to be absolutely crazy. To me, "crazy" is key and tempo changes. It also has a crazier melody than I'm used to composing.

Pessimistic Optimism (arkane9) - Classic heroic RPG VGM! This is the good stuff right here. I was so happy to get to write something like this again :p

Radiant Umbrae (ShadeOfLight) - Darksiders 2 music was the inspiration for this piece. I wanted to write something dark, but somehow rays of light managed to sneak in ;) Maybe I can't write pure dark music! But it sounds great. I had to make an EQ change to the song, and the album version will sound different. I feel like one of the instruments in the second part is too loud in the high end, so I lowered it.

Rainbow Love (Usedtabe) - Another challenging piece I consider to be outside of my normal composition techniques. Aphex Twin was the inspiration used, and the track had a lot of warps and effects, so I tried to capture that with this track.

Surviving the Fuck Fight (PhilKenSebben) - Music from Spose was my inspiration for this piece, which would probably sound awesome with someone rapping over it. I tried to fill in a melody, but I still think it would sound amazing if someone would rap over it :p Can't be me! I only speak music!

[unconfirmed] Think of the Kids (Chris Carter) - Chris was one of the original requests for Volume III. Back then he was known as Magnalon. He sent me 2 songs to use as inspiration, but one of them was taken down (I think copyright infringement :P), so I focused on the second song in order to write this piece.

Toilet Duck (TheToiletDuck) - I believe a song from the Platoon NES game was used to inspire this piece. I like writing this kind of music as well. I like writing music in general, but pieces like this are fun!

And in case you haven't heard it:

You Know What Old Jon Bloodspray Says (Jon Bloodspray) - It even has the artwork I was going to use for the album! And apparently it was written in 2013. I put it on the Songs for Gamers Remastered album, and Nonsensicals IV, but it will also be on Volume III of Songs for Gamers, where it belongs!

As far as openings for track requests, I "might" have some, but I need to go through what I have so far in order to confirm. I will post another update, letting you know if I can handle more requests or not. Thanks for listening.

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5:57 AM on 12.29.2014

Music Blog- The Lesser Used Talent (VGM Arrangements)

Hello friends. I wanted to write about something that is kind of personal to me. I have a huge internal struggle with this, so I might sound like I'm flip-flopping, but only because I feel strongly for all sides. I'm, oddly enough, referring to creating arrangements (piano, orchestral, etc) for video game music.

It's nothing new, that people "cover" other people's songs, and sometimes even make a version so unique, it becomes their own. I generally do not have an issue with this. I think the people that can make VGM arrangements and remixes are very talented, and it takes a lot more effort to take the work of another composer, and turn it into something different.

My issue comes from people that profit solely off the popularity of making VGM arrangements. I know, it's hard to get people to listen to original music. I've written around 280 original pieces of music, and I never really know if anyone is listening (the stats on YouTube and Bandcamp suggest that people don't listen for very long). It sucks that it seems like the only way to get your foot in the door, is to write arrangements for popular video game music.

Again, I'm conflicted. Mainly because I love the original arrangements that people make. Some of the ways people twist songs around is incredible, even to me. And it's something I personally can't do. Maybe I'm envious? or jealous, or whatever the word is. From the beginning, I shifted my focus to original music, deciding that if there was going to be something people remember me by, it should be my original stuff.

I had a few meltdowns. I have done video game arrangements for piano and other instruments. I put them on YouTube, and watched them take over the top 10 most-viewed videos on my channel. I'm fairly certain my Deadly Premontion - Life is Beautiful piano cover is the only reason I can upload (or was able to upload) videos longer than 15 minutes. It had over 9,000 views when I took it down in one of my bouts of depression. While I had not received too much attention for my arrangements, I didn't like that my arrangements were what people were listening to, so at one point, I took them all down.

I've had time to think about it, and I've come to the conclusion that video game arrangements are a part of who I am. I can, in fact, arrange a song in a manner that makes it "me". I recently did an arrangement for a close friend (Rekka :D). A beautiful song called "Descendeus" from Drakengard 3. I had never played the game, but after listening to the song, I had to try to make an arrangement.

My main problem with arranging music, is that I don't stray far enough away from the original piece for it to be "original". This piece shows that I can put my essence in a song, and still maintain near 100% accuracy to the original piece.

Counting that one, it looks like I've done 13 "arrangements". I wanted to share them with you, and get your opinion on whether you think I should do more or not. I want to make more, but I feel like all I'd be doing is making the same song with different instruments, whereas some of the most talented people can rewrite the song in a different style of music, and then there's RushJet1's beautiful version of the Mega Man 2 soundtrack.

So here are the other 12 arrangements:

Metroid Fusion - Facing a Huge Reaction (unfinished) : I worked on this for a certain project, but things didn't work out (couldn't make it unique enough), and ended up scrapping the song and quitting the project. The reason it's unfinished is because it was supposed to transition into another song from the same game.

Final Fantasy XIV - Lost City of Amdapor (Piano) : This is actually meant to be as close to the original as possible. I did not learn the song on piano like my other arrangements. Instead, I composed the song by ear and tried to keep it realistically playable on a piano.

Ninja Gaiden - 4-2 (Arranged) : At one point, I was taking requests from friends on which songs I should try to rearrange. Corduroy Turtle suggested this song, and this is what I came out with.

Braid - Downstream (Incomplete) : I put this together before Anthony Burch married Ashley Davis (I think that's her last name, I'm terrible with names). I wanted it to be a wedding gift, but I couldn't finish it in time, and never really tried to finish it. It's a fairly hard song to learn on piano.

Deadly Premonition - Life is Beautiful : Here's that one song I was talking about! The whistle song! It has a name apparently. This song is ridiculously tricky, and I always pictured myself playing it at a convention for a group of Dtoiders. I could never afford to go to a convention, and I have social anxiety that pretty much leaves me stuck indoors. But it's nice to get the song out.

Final Fantasy Tactics - Trisection : I believe I arranged this one for myself. While the performance is live, for some reason, I thought it would be a good idea to "speed up" the 2nd part, since the song is in midi format, and I can pretty much edit it however I want. I don't think it came out very good, but it is my original performance on piano.

Final Fantasy VIII - Balamb Garden : This was a request from a close friend I played FFXI with for the longest time. I enjoyed putting this one together on piano.

Friday the 13th - NES Intro : Occam requested this one, and while it was easy to learn, it's still fun to play. Some of the chord transitions are a bit tricky. I really love this piece.

Illusion of Gaia - Itory Village : This arrangement, I put together for myself. I absolutely loved this song, and had to arrange it for piano.

Phoenix Wright - Fragrance of Dark Coffee : LawofThermalDynamics requested this song. I arranged it for full instruments, as well as a piano solo piece.

Phoenix Wright - Fragrance of Dark Coffee (Piano)

Final Fantasy - Main Theme :  I wrote this for the Theatrhythm contest, but never submitted it, since I couldn't put together a video. Also, the song is fake "double speed", which would probably disqualify it. It's quite fast.

So maybe I'm interested in arranging more video game music, just because. I'm over my previously mentioned concerns with it, and maybe I can just work on giving the songs my essence, so that they don't sound too much like the original. I would ask for requests, but I have that whole Songs for Gamers project coming up :) Maybe afterwards.

Thanks for reading. I don't think I properly explained my stance of video game arrangements, but I don't know how to word it. I like them, I like that people make them, but it annoys me to some extent that people are profitting solely from them. I want to make more, but I don't want to be "known" only for my arrangements.

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8:08 AM on 12.26.2014

Music Blog - My "No-to-Low View" Songs.

Hi. I'm trying to write a blog I think might be interesting. At first, I was going to write a long blog about my oldest material, but it was too time-consuming. I was then going to write one about my top ten favorite tracks, but it didn't work out either.

So I'm going through my YouTube videos, and looking for the least heard songs that I think maybe should get a couple listens if possible. I will not link to Piano Journals, or songs from Songs for Gamers, since I know those get views elsewhere. I will try to link to older songs that maybe went under the radar, because I never promoted them. I don't know how many I'm going to list, but I'll try not to list complete crap :p

1) Breed (2011) : This song is on the Walking in Circles album. I put it on there as a bonus track. It might come into play later on in the AD Infinitum story, but for now, it pretty much goes unheard. 0 views on YouTube, but I'm sure some people have heard it if they picked up the album on Bandcamp. It's an "alien" song with a "House M.D theme" feel.

2) Everything I've Learned (Classic) : I wrote this song a long time ago, probably 2002-2004. It was a literal title, using bits of some of my earliest piano journals combined to make a full song, hence, "Everything I've Learned". (2007 Version)

3) Golden Rings (Arranged - Classic) : This is one of the songs I wrote for my father after he passed away. It's meant to be a positive song. The title is something my grandmother mentioned about my father's eyes having golden rings around them.

4) Relaxin' (Version 1 - Classic) : Not much to say about this one. Very simple, pretty piece. Meant to play during a scene in a game where a character is relaxing on a beach.

5) Lair of the Gypsy (Classic) : This is probably one of my oldest songs, going back to 1997 or 1998. It's incredibly fun to play, although I think the title might be considered offensive :P If I ever redo it, I'll consider changing the title.

6) Oh! The Drama! (Classic) : This song was an experiment with writing music only using the piano roll (as in I did not perform a single note in the song). It goes through a couple of phases, and sounds like something you'd need 2 pianists to perform properly, if at all possible.

7) Synergy (2010) : This song is a rearrangement of another not-so-viewed song, Battle With Syn (Classic). Battle with Syn is the first song I composed using piano roll exclusively. It pretty much changed how I write music. I was no longer restricted by my physical piano limitations.

There are so many songs on my YouTube channel, that it'd be impossible to share them all. At this point, I'd like to write about the playlists I've made to hopefully make things easier. There are album playlists, but it'd be easier to use my Bandcamp for those.

If you're interested in hearing my earliest works, or maybe something a bit more recent that wasn't on an album (or an older version of a song that was) check out these playlists:

MIDI Collection : These are my absolute oldest songs, before I knew what piano roll was. I recorded each instrument myself using the keyboard. Stuff like fast drums, I would slow down the piece of music, play the drums to the best of my ability, and speed the song up to normal speed. They're very sloppy, but I think there are some great tunes in there, and this is how I got started.

Well shit, I never made playlists for older songs it looks like. That sucks. I'll have to work on that, instead, I'll link you to the Destructoid April Fools Album. Because I like to humilate myself.

In the meantime, I suppose you can dig back in my video section and check out some of the older tracks if you want. There are hundreds of "videos" on my YouTube, so I understand if you dont. I hope you enjoy some of my older works!

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6:44 AM on 12.23.2014

New Music Release "2AD14 - III"

Hello friends. I wanted to share with you the final work of 2014. I call it "2AD14 - III". Album art by Woeinieow. Album is free to download as always. Do not feel like you have to purchase it. I encourage free :)

If you are not familiar with my music, 2AD14 is obviously the year of the album with the zero represented by my musician emblem (AD). I do not have themes for these particular albums, instead I write what I feel like, which generally leads to a music mixture with no specific genre. This album is no exception, as I just wanted to throw out some jams, as well as some important pieces of music to go with them.

In the tradition of my previous album release, 2AD14 - II. I will write about each track a bit, to give you an idea of what to expect before you hit play.

01- Alone With the Psychopath : This track was inspired by the beat used in one of the more recent Epic Rap Battles of History, Jack the Ripper vs. Hannibal Lecter. My girlfriend said she liked the beat in the rap battle, so I wanted to create something similar.

02- Misfortune : One of the many "jam tracks" where I write the music based on a beat or instrument. In this case, a high arppegiated lead controls the whole song. Fast tempo, with a neat 8-bit synth line.

03- Greetings, Old Friend : This song goes way back to the early 2000s, probably 2001 or 2002. I was writing music for an indie project that was never released. Although normally a full song, I wanted to go with a simple "music box/bell" melody. I wanted to end the album with an orchestrated version, but I felt the way I ended it was better.

04- To Whom It May Concern : It should be obvious by now that I give my songs weird names sometimes. This song is the beginning of a letter, starting off slow, and changing to a completely different tune halfway through (I ruined the surprise!).

05- The Bully : One of my favorite tracks, written in 6/4 or 6/8 or something fancy. It works really well with the 8-bit instruments. Also one of the few songs where I actually punched in the drums myself. I'm usually terrible with drums.

06- He Does Not Exist in This Dimension : Slow song with a really neat bell sound. I love how deep the tones are, and it's another one of my favorites. I imagine a video game where a main character is looking for the hero, but he doesn't exist in the current dimension, according to the wise man who can "see" past the 4th dimension.

07- The Frozen Playground : This is probably my "Christmas" song. I imagined a small group of kids finding a playground frozen in ice at night. They break apart the ice, clearing off the different rides, and are happy when they see the rides still work.

08- Deep Space : I wanted to try a different method of writing music. I laid down the "movie drums", and wrote the arpeggio line, changing the scale every measure. I then added strings and bass to "match" the changes. It gives the song a very random element with no clear direction, kind of like space, to me.

09- A Timely Visit : I wanted to write a fast song using a different scale. I'm not sure what it's called, but it reminds me of Dragon Power on the NES for some reason (Dragon Ball game released in America).

10- Garthim Returns to Wal-Mart ~Occam~ : It was always my intent to redo this song from scratch for Occam, and when I remastered the original track which revealed some low pops, I wanted to make sure I actually DID redo the song. It doesn't stray too far from the original, but it is a sequel. Garthim returns to Wal-Mart, after having been shot the previous time, but this time he's more prepared, and doesn't go down so easily the second time around.

11- Wrath of Carnage : Hard to describe this song. I think I use an Egyptian scale, but I could easily be mistaken. It makes for a really cool track, though, and there's a bit of a surprise halfway through, which I won't spoil this time ;)

12- Inner Turmoil : I wanted to write a slow song that deals with inner turmoil, the struggle inside the mind and soul. The way my mind works, is seemingly random, so I used a similar composing technique as Deep Space, writing a random string chord, and creating the rest of the song around those chords.

13- The End of All Things : Gonna be honest, not my favorite track. I have difficulty "ending" an album. It starts off awesome, with the "13 bells of the apocalypse" idea I have in my head. It picks up speed, eventually getting a bit insane, and then slowing down again. It's a fine song, just not one of my best. I just wrote it a few hours ago, so maybe it needs to grow on me.

As always, I want to thank you for your love and support. It keeps me going. Songs for Gamers Volume III (and possibly IV) is still on. I have collected names from an earlier blog post, a forum post, and also names of people that showed support in the comments section of my Songs for Gamers Remastered post. I will be reaching out to these people over time, and will most likely start putting out new music at the very beginning of 2015.

Thank you.

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