Wednesday, September 30, 2015


I really love this band... They're darn good.. so.. that. 

Friday, September 18, 2015

Rationalized Funk

A ) Is probably my favorite YouTube show to come along in a long while.

B) Sides.. I haven't updated for a while and I need a nice little expo-minute.

It's the end of September. That makes about six months since I last checked in. The album came out in some kind of quiet fashion. I've sold a few copies ( donations by friends ) and the total number of combined plays are about a thousand. Been about 3 times as much activity on SoundCloud over the same period. The numbers are just that.

I've started taking courses at Kadenze , a new MOOC which specializes in the Technical/Creative zone ( a place where I feel very much at home ). Have been learning a lot. Basic sound synthesis, an audio programming language called ChucK. Currently I'm at the end of a course in Ableton Live, patching up more fundamental gaps in my self taught history. Strengthening my basics in both code and music are a core reason why I am sticking with this program. The results are already showing. This all came from my discovery of the Music Technology program at CalArts in May(ish?). Since then I've been doing a lot of work using the goal of attending that school as a guide. The staff at Kadenze even spotlit(?) my effort. The fringe benefits of isolation :

I've really enjoyed the engagement and the small community of repeat students. From experience with other similar programs in the past ( OpenCourseWare, Stafford, Corsera ) , I can say this is the most engaging and effective. And I really can't explain why.

What else?
Oh! Sold some more music. Made a game for a non-profit company ( more on that another time ). Made another prototype for LD33 ( didn't go too well, but it's a good place to learn ). A good deal of mixing and mastering work for various folks in the moderators family. OH! On that. A couple months ago my friend came out to TX to visit and go to a nerd-core show in Dallas ( this is the first friendly visit in ~3 years ). Meeting your internet friends is really amazing. It's effectively tied my face to the book in the time building up to it and since. Did some other miscellany in art / tech support. Got some new business cards. Also obtained a new laptop! I am now technically mobile again! This is important to me for many reasons and I'm happy to report that I have no games on this machine that aren't also tools. Dedicating a computer to work ( instead of living/working on both ) has been very effective. Some adjustments have been made to this blog. Still have quite a ways to go but I don't really worry about it. And , as always I'm chipping away at little games in the shop. HTUR was canned , but TOFGCo probably have at least 3 other projects that go in and out of the works. Recruiter season is coming to an end I think. The frequency of potential jobs has decreased. My adjustment toward monetizing more sound/music effort or weaving that into game development as a core skill are starting to come along nicely. One of my biggest puzzlements is the hype machine. Indies can't really do advertising. So the alternative to that I think is actually involvement in a community. I would be much more stable if I embraced online communities much sooner in my life ( a thing I discussed last time ), now I'm starting to see how small these circles actually are and a better sense is developing.

Just made 28 ( as they say in the deep south ) .
In immediate history I've been in bed for a week after visiting the local ER for back spasms. Also known as the most pain I can remember. I've been stretching and doing my best to heal, taking medication, hanging out with the cat, and of course , making some stuff. It's been over a year since I've had any kind of mental health incident and the fact that I'm more proactive and productive is a sure sign that I have at least that under control. I walked about 100 miles last month usually out 5 days a week. The shorter days make for good morning walks and a lot of podcast consumption. I'm starting to turn up the music machine a lot more. And listen to every kind of new thing while I develop these games ( can finally port to iOS and deploy to Android simultaneously ) .. so prioritizing those projects has been a challenge.

But you just have to power through... The real reason why I wrote all this is because my mom has been taking care of me ( much more than usual ) for the last week .. back problems being what they are. I'm glad for the help but I have to admit that the saturation and proximity make me uncomfortable. She comes in to smoke and talk about nothing for hours at a time. Or gets on the phone. I've learned that if ever I want her to evacuate all I have to do is start talking about the slightest technical thing. Otherwise I feel like I'm just humoring her repetitive observations. For those of you who are new here.. don't get me wrong. I love her, she's family and incredibly important and present now in the last 3 years or otherwise incredibly difficult part of my life. But growing in her environment has proven to be very tough. I don't think I've ever dealt with someone more difficult in my life. In some sense it's great training for the most difficult people you'll ever have to meet. I liken it sometimes to a 50 year old toddler. Obtuse, narcissistic, simple, entitled, vain. I'm sure somewhere else I've outlined a more intense version of this. But the largest cause of my stress is finding ways to grow in this environment. At least to the point where I can move this operation elsewhere. There are still a lot of communication problems. I have to admit that it's strange is all. A strain. Certainly there is art in a mother's love and a child that don't quite know how to express care mutually. We're old, harder to make adjustments. Stuck in unfamiliar ways I guess.. That's the title of this post... " Rational Funk ". I have good reason to be in a funk this week ( aside from kinda funky ). I , simultaneously, have so many advantages and no excuses. My goal is to be the heck out of here this time next year at the latest. My goal is to go to CalArts, to be stable. To keep making things. Maybe that plan changes. Or some other thing comes up. I am always going to be doing something. At the moment ... I'm just a bit happier to have these couple things off my back.  

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Game Theory To The Second Power

Last night I finished my most ambitious project to date. Over the last year and a half I have been getting deeper and deeper into the Nerd-Core HipHop scene. Following many artists from the widely known MCFrontalot, YTCracker and Mega Ran, to the up and coming Aramis, Lavos and Ish1da. I've had the chance to work with some of them in the last couple months. During my stay in this community I've seen great things happen in the name of nerd-om. Flame wars. Beef between crews including diss tracks and even a recent wedding that had nearly 50 members of the online community show up and spread the love and support with an out-pour of images from the event. I'm proud to have finally found a community where I belong as a creator and a joker. NCHH is a very diverse landscape of nostalgic minds, hackers, shit-posters and more.

This album is called "Game Theory The Second Power" and is largely a reflection on nostalgic themes and appropriation of hip-hop in four acts. The promise, the state/conflict, the turn and the reveal. Much like a magic trick. This collection took me about a year to compose between a lot of conflicts in my life AFK and a lot of wins online as I opened myself up more and more to this scene and started to gain acceptance and integration with the community cloth.

There are 33 instrumental tracks. Some of which have been covered in collaborations with people in the community. But my intention with this material is to give away my expression much in the same way that I acquired the materials... mostly pro bono publico. I've been a gamer and anime and all around nerd for a long time. That isn't about to change. I've never made much of a financial claim to these efforts ( which may change ) but I feel like a reflection of these important ( to me ) things should be observable to those who decide to look. My entire Sound Cloud collection is downloadable and I only intend to use this ( difficult to license ) material as a vehicle to allow me more challenging creative opportunities.

While I may not own the right to 90% of this content. I do own the right to my response. And I owe the creators of this inspiration my thanks. Though the mountain of shoulders below me is too blurry to define from this height. Thank you Video Games. Thank you Cartoons. Thank you Hip-Hop. Thank you Creators.

Please enjoy GTGT.