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Visager on 04/29/2016 at 02:46PM

Making Music for Unknown Worlds

How do you make music for a world that doesn't exist? This was the question I began my project with. To answer it, I have just released an album -- Songs From An Unmade World 2 -- which features both standalone and loopable tracks that are available for indie game developers and designers to use in their own projects. These tracks are inspired by old-school adventure/RPG video game music, and they mix classic chiptune sounds with more modern electronic elements. In releasing this album, it is my hope fill a void for game creators by placeing high-quality music in the Creative Commons so that projects on a tight budget come to life!

As a composer and music producer for almost five years, I have worked collaborated with makers in dance, theater, film, and more. But making music for games, to me, feels like an entirely different, exciting category of composition.

The biggest difference comes in the way music is literally woven into the fabric of your players' experiences. In film, theater, and dance, music generally lives a linear existence -- bits of music are tied to specific moments that the performers and audience experience simultaneously. In this framework, music becomes strongly tied to emotional moments.

In video games, however, music often serves a much more textural purpose -- the player lives inside of your music. They encounter your notes, rhythms, and melodies around every corner as they play the game. Figuring out how to make an almost living soundtrack is a much more intriguing puzzle to solve than working on a linear project. Both Songs From An Unmade World 2, and its forerunner, Songs From An Unmade World (released on FMA last fall), were a fantastic exploration for me in this organic side of musical world-building. 

I hope you're reading this because there's something useful for you in one of these two albums! If so, I would love for you to drop me a line on Twitter. If you're just here because you are curious about video game music, that is awesome in and of itself -- there is so much great video game music out there to discover. Happy exploring!

You can find more music from Visager by visiting his website: www.visager.us.

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cheyenne_h on 02/19/2015 at 09:00AM

Radio Free Culture #37: Playing in the Public Domain with Nicky Case

image courtesy of Nicky Case, from the Coming Out Simulator

WFMU and the Free Music Archive are proud to present a new season of Radio Free Culture, a weekly podcast exploring issues at the intersection of digital culture and the arts. 

In this episode, Cheyenne Hohman, RFC host and current Director of the FMA, spoke with Nicky Case, a game developer who has chosen to license everything under CC0, a 'public domain' license available via Creative Commons. We talked about recent work, including the Coming Out Simulator, the Parable of the Polygons, the Public Domain Jam, and more! 

Check out the podcast on WFMUPRX, or subscribe to the Radio Free Culture via iTunes, or listen right here: 

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cheyenne_h on 01/29/2015 at 09:00AM

Radio Free Culture #34: Six Years Inside the Computer & Video Game Archive with David Carter

image courtesy of CVGA/David Carter. via flickr.

WFMU and the Free Music Archive are proud to present a new season of Radio Free Culture, a weekly podcast exploring issues at the intersection of digital culture and the arts. 

In this episode, Cheyenne Hohman, RFC host and current Director of the FMA, spoke with David Carter, a librarian at the Computer & Video Game Archive at the University of Michigan. David talks about the origin and history of the archive, some of the highlights of their collection, how it's used, and gives some sage advice for those of us who used to blow into Nintendo cartridges

Check out the podcast on WFMU, PRX, or subscribe to the Radio Free Culture via iTunes.

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