|Rainbow Season||January 13, 2014, 5:02 am|
Some of you may already know of this, but it's the joint musical venture between my brother and I to create an EP of four (formerly five) new songs written by us. Our genre is kind of hard to describe, but it's distinctly pop-rocky. The songs were originally written in MIDI, and then rendered and mixed with digital instruments in Propellerhead Reason. As a result, the songs will still sound "MIDI-ish", there's no doubt about that, but they should hopefully sound like proper instrumentation at the same time.
Please consider buying the EP and spreading the word! We worked really, really, really hard on this and we're finally happy with the result.
Here's a lyric video to the first track off the EP which we had done:
There's a video of us performing live back in October 2012 here.
As a bonus, you can find the MIDIs here:
2. In My Box
4. Judgement Day (formerly called "2012")
#. Sleep (no longer a track on the EP)
Credit goes to Thomas van der Velden for the awesome album artwork. Thanks to esselfortium, Seele00TextOnly, Icytux and PRIMEVAL for invaluable feedback throughout the composition and mixing processes.
|iPad Mini||September 12, 2013, 11:54 am|
I've just won one, after I entered a draw at my local university's open day last month. Going to collect it next week. I'm pretty chuffed, and kind of excited, because I haven't used any Apple products besides an iPod Nano, and briefly a Mac computer when I used the one in my school's studio (which did affirm my belief that I'll always prefer PCs :P).
However, while it opens up a bunch of possibilities in the form of thousands of iOS-exclusive apps I was never able to use before, I already do everything I need with my laptop, so I don't know how useful one would be to me.
...Aside from the possible uses listed here.
...Anyone use an iPad? At all? Maybe? xP
|Jimmydrama||May 19, 2013, 7:08 am|
Obligatory tl;dr warning.
Family drama just seems to be mounting over here as of late, and I'm just wanting desperately to get away from it all.
Right now, my mum is the only person I can stand. She has seemingly no unlikeable qualities whatsoever and is an absolute saint to all of us. I love her dearly.
My dad, meanwhile, has recently become a ticking time-bomb of rage. If someone dares to speak while he's on a train of thought (ie. all the time because actually he never seems to stop talking) then he'll either passive-aggressively shut up, and just stew in raging silence for the rest of the day... or take out all his frustration on all of us, to the point where he thinks we all hate him and are bored by his very existence. He has some serious demons that none of us can reasonably deal with, because he lets them develop into hideous cancerous thoughts about the world around him that can't be shifted. This came to be obvious to me some time last year when, after I'd become rather frustrated with his constant negative outlook on things, he stayed up all night typing a 2,500 word "letter" detailing how I was an ungrateful little shit who didn't appreciate any of the hard work he'd ever done for me. I don't have said letter any more, but it was the most upsetting thing in the world to read. His thoughts started out fairly honest and reasonable and I initially agreed with how I may have said some wrong things to him, but those thoughts rapidly degenerated into utter madness. I could tell he'd just thought, "James is a bit of a bastard sometimes", when he'd started, but he'd just allowed increasingly fetid and horrible untruths about me and the argument we'd had to spiral out of control from that one thought, and he condensed all of that vitriol into 2,500 terrible words. I spent the whole day feeling wrecked, staying in my room away from him, and seeing no alternative but to write a rebuttal, which amounted to 4,000 words and I had to show him the following day because I spent so long on it.
I realize this all sounds incredibly pathetic. And that things could be much worse, like he could threaten me/the rest of us with actual violence, but the fact remains that it's not normal for my dad to be able to harbor such horrible thoughts so easily, and the way he deals with those thoughts is always so incredibly detached from reality. Could he not just, like, get into an actual argument with me? That honestly would've been preferable.
Meanwhile, my brother seems to be getting increasingly bipolar. Most of the time he's just astoundingly silly and loud, and can be heard at almost any time of the day loudly regurgitating quotes from YouTube videos, or yelling at his TF2 teammates. He also animates with Flash occasionally (which he's still learning), and does voice-overs for other people on a voice-acting board. But even though he has all these things he loves doing, and does them, every week or so we see him drag himself out of bed utterly depressed and then require a lecture on self-improvement from my dad, which won't really reach a conclusion, but will definitely bring up how he's "afraid of success" and all sorts of other stupid bollocks. Neither me or my brother currently go to school or have jobs, so we have all the free time necessary to make whatever we want of ourselves. I'm doing what I love (making music and moving towards finishing our EP) but it's as if he doesn't like doing what he loves, as weird as that sounds. I think he sees it all as work, so he procrastinates chronically. He'll also get upset at the smallest things (like people not putting the biscuit packets back in the cupboard properly - seriously) and make a massive deal out of them. And most alarmingly, today at the dinner table he revealed that he'd been dealing with homicidal thoughts that occurred because people (i.e. us) had the gall to be in his room and he wanted to be alone. But those thoughts were gone now and it was over and not worth worrying about (bizarrely, my dad concurred with this). I'm like, "no, that's actually quite disturbing" - I seriously worry about his mental well-being, sometimes, and this just compounded my concern.
Both these things collided a couple of nights ago when my brother, outraged at how a pack of biscuits hadn't been put back properly, interrupted my dad. At that point I had a bit of an "oh, fuck" moment, because my dad got this look that I can't really describe. After my brother had made a royal song-and-dance about the biscuits, my mum tried to steer the subject back to my dad had been talking about (something actually important, related to our financial position) but he took this as another interruption in the flow of the conversation, and just exploded. He was swearing and throwing insults and making up stuff about what we thought of him, like how he was incompetent and forgetful (he made this shit up on the spot but he believed it!). He has since apologized for the outburst and tried to make amends, but parts of his tirade still hang in my mind, namely how he was so convinced that we all thought he was worthless and boring and stupid, and how when he gets into these moods he can't be reasoned with.
[Rough translation of how it went:]
"You all think I'm boring and worthless."
"No, we don't."
"See? And now you think I'm wrong and a liar."
"No, stop being childish."
"FUCK OFF AND LET ME SPEAK. [insert uninterrupted 4000-word argument here]"
At the end of all this we were all (him included) emotionally drained and thoroughly upset, most of all him because he managed to divert the subject by saying (through tears at this point) that he wanted me and my brother to be successful and not have to work in a boring office job, which is his absolute worst nightmare ever. (This relates back to how he was talking about money before my brother brought up the fucking biscuits.) You may remember that I actually wanted to get a boring 9-to-5 job of that sort at some point because I just wanted to motivate myself to do better and also get some independent financial reward... but that still hasn't happened. And now it looks like if it does, my dad will see himself as a failure of a father.
For some reason my dad's currently talking with his mum on Skype about what happened two nights ago. Which means he's going to dredge up all the emotional turmoil from what happened and get his mum to give her input, which I can't see panning out well because she's likely just going to get him all riled up again. I really hope she doesn't, because for the most part she's really nice, but does have a bit of a habit of unwittingly stirring up a good deal of family drama.
The truth of the matter is, my dad has been on a bazillion self-improvement seminars, during which he's tried to find happiness through all sorts of neuro-linguistic programming, and even religion. But he's still the same person underneath, just unable to really emote like a normal human being. I think he's beyond therapy of any sort and it'll just be another waste of expenses. I doubt that my brother would fare any better, because they just have those kinds of brains that don't take kindly to change of routine of any sort, and just gradually reform back to their original twisted ways again. I really feel like it's autism... because honestly my brother and I had to have inherited our Asperger's Syndrome-esque tendencies from somewhere. (My brother seems to still be affected by it, but I think I've "grown past" my "borderline-AS" diagnosis now.)
Honestly, because I want to help, but feel powerless to, it's getting to the point where I just want to be away from this family. Move. Run away. It's looking increasingly like a preferable option. I don't want to have to deal with people who are so detached from reality they see goddamn biscuits as being the worst thing in the world. It's just driving me mad, and compounding the fact that I don't feel like I live like a healthy human being in a healthy family environment.
I'm sorry for the long post you probably don't care about. I just had to get this bile out somewhere.
|Am 21||November 29, 2012, 8:39 am|
|I will be twenty for another 12 hours.|
|Earning online||November 4, 2012, 4:09 am|
Sorry, this is another vent thread.
It's been too long since I last earned anything. I really need to contribute to my family's financial standing since I'm nearly 21 and still living with my parents.
The obvious route for me to take is to earn money online through making music, but I'm really not sure where to begin. My brother and I are taking a small break from our band while we figure out what to do with that next. But in the meantime it would be good if I could start earning money aside from that project as soon as possible.
I've had the idea of earning commission from writing songs for indie game developers. I doubt anyone would pay for MIDIs, though - the only medium of composition I have any real experience in. If I suddenly started charging for MIDI requests on this board I'm pretty sure it would be dick-move of the century. (Well, I don't know for sure. Would anyone agree with it?)
So I'm going to try and get used to producing with Reason as much as I possibly can. I find proper music production very daunting and difficult, though, so it will probably take me way longer than I'm prepared to wait before I can produce satisfactory-sounding songs that people will actually want to buy. I really need to start earning NOW with the skills that I have.
My dad seems pretty intent on me using video marketing to promote myself as an artist, but video production is another gruelling process that I hate. (This is the latest project of his that he's absolutely sure will turn us into superstar zillionaires.) I mean, maybe I could get used to the concept of producing a video every week or so, but I'm sick of using video editing suites that suck, and being as camera-shy as I am.
Basically, I don't really have anything musical to sell yet, and I should do by now. One project that's on the table is for me to remake all my Harmony tunes in Reason, and sell them as an album of their own. My dad's taken the initiative on that project, and he's running the MIDIs through Reason and attaching all manner of custom sounds to them.
Any advice on this whole front would be gladly received. I'm at a total loss as to where the heck to begin.
Oh, by the way, my dad won't allow either of us to get a 9-to-5. He's been an accountant for about 25 years and hated every millisecond of it, so he has told us as long as we've been alive (or at least since he heard you could make money through the internet) that we shouldn't follow in his footsteps.
Not sure I completely agree with his philosophies.
|Entering a "battle of the bands" contest||August 31, 2012, 3:00 am|
A battle of the bands contest is taking place not far from where I live, and my brother and I are eligible to enter. It's being advertised as "the big break your band has been looking for" and it looks like there's some great prizes available.
We've just been notified that we've been selected to perform. There'll be three other bands at the event, all mainly in the age range of 12-18. We have until October 28th to get our live rig, our stage presence and a 25-minute set sorted out. This'll mean playing pretty much all the songs we have planned for our eventual EP, but we need to get them into a presentable state, not to mention rendering instrumental versions of the songs that we can use as backing tracks, and setting up my laptop so that my keyboard can play bits of the songs.
Looks like we're gonna be pretty busy for the next two months. As such, I'd like to point out that I won't be taking a great deal of requests, if any, until further notice.
Here are the two tracks we submitted. One is an original called "Control", the other is a remix/cover of Pendulum's "The Island". We've worked as hard as we possibly could on them, and overall I think we actually did pretty well with the final vocal take. (It's nothing absolutely stellar, though. We still have a long way to go in the singing department.)
Eager to hear all of your thoughts. Please take us to the cleaners with your criticism. Please. :P
We have a Facebook page, too. (Please "like" even if you hate us.)
So does anyone here have any experience with these events? It'll be our first ever.
|Starting a webcomic!||January 27, 2012, 10:55 am|
So my brother and I have recently been working on an all-new project together, but only recently have we decided that it would be best to have it as a webcomic (instead of a full cartoon series, like we were originally planning).
Read the first nine strips.
Read more info.
The art style and writing is by no means going to stay the same as these initial strips - we may also update them in case we can figure out something better. We also need to figure out the best way of creating these as a team to make sure the quality is as high as possible (since Ben did these all himself with a little bit of guidance from me).
We're going to try a M-W-F update schedule, so starting next week, tune in at those times for the new strips.
Please enjoy it so far! :D Feedback of any kind will be appreciated. ;)
|Emmigration||December 2, 2011, 3:24 am|
I'm guessing you guys are aware of how my family recently emmigrated to Australia. The whole process has been pretty hellish, especially for them, and I've written about how frantic were the few days leading up to our arrival in Perth, WA.
My brother did the illustrations. There might be a slight resemblance to this in his stylistic approach.
All related posts on my WordPress blog leading up to this are here:
(In reverse order, of course.)
|Let's have a sing song||July 20, 2011, 9:15 pm|
I am tremendously bored.
|"Destructive" criticism||June 19, 2011, 7:58 pm|
In this video:
+ I play an epic game of Scrabble.
+ I get hot under the collar about critics.
+ I show a CD which has travelled 10,600 miles to get to me.
I can't stand most reviews in general - the ones where the critics don't seem to give a monkey's left bollock about the thing they're reviewing are greatly annoying, but even more so are the infantile negative reviews that bash not only the work itself, but everything it stands for.
People don't seem to be able to grasp the concept that there is no way of proving that an artist's work is total crap by definition. Reviews should not be put out there if they're brimming with bias and the critic's unnecessarily opinionated views. I mean, I'm all for character in reviews (which is why I love st. alfonzo's /newstuff style) but I hate the way critics blatantly pass off their opinion as cold, undeniable fact. If they don't think an album stands up on its own, there's no need for pomposity.