Three Months, April, and Other News from Seoul

Three months (three and a half) have passed more quickly than I would have imagined, and have managed to do so without much to tell.  It appears that my January projection for continuing work on Hijacking Your Fiction was far too ambitious.  My work schedule has been rather unfortunate, and while it is not difficult, I’ve had enough to do and my hours scattered enough to sap most, if not all, of my energy.  As a result, I’ve made the rather financially ill-advised decision to take April off when the opportunity to do so was presented to me.

If I am able to keep distractions minimal, I should be able to get the songs mostly, if not fully written, composed and recorded, and ready for mixing.  It will, of course, take an amount of dedication I’m not used to having.  I have also already begun selecting songs and working on the follow-up album, which might be more musically cohesive than Hijacking Your Fiction will be, where Hijacking Your Fiction is turning out to be thematically cohesive but musically diverse.

Other plans for the coming months include finding a teacher to continue my gayageum (가야금) studies and beginning haidong gumdo (해동검도) training.

Coming up:  More April goals, Foolish Fire, and the Re:Gen review of the C/Fe Menagerie!

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Tiltcast Tunes and the Death of MySpace

I was recently asked to write a short chip-tune theme for Tiltcast, a podcast dedicated to video games (if you’re curious, I also appear as a guest on episode 1.2).  You can hear “Pixel Dungeon (Boss Fight)” at the beginning of episodes as of episode 2.  I will also eventually post the slightly longer version of “Pixel Dungeon” on MySpace, just in case anyone still logs onto MySpace.

Speaking of MySpace, I will soon begin posting on Soundcloud and Bandcamp as well as updating this site to host new music.  As a result, I am considering ditching the once popular networking site altogether.  Furthermore, the “improvements” made to rebrand MySpace as a promotional site for bands, artists, and entertainers include more obtrusive advertising and the option to auto-accept friend requests.  And while the new profiles are admittedly rather nice, this option is checked automatically – particularly annoying considering how many of those friend requests are now bogus or hacked accounts (I deleted a few from my friends just yesterday).  It is easy enough to uncheck this option if you are aware of it, but as far as I can tell they do little to inform you of the change.  Of course, this may be my own fault, rarely reading about their updates, instead poking around and finding out for myself.  But that’s enough of that.

Instruments used for “Pixel Dungeon” include:

Many instances of YMCK’s fabulous Magical 8bit Plug

Micromoon from the much acclaimed Elektrostudio Analog Pack

Hijacking Your Fiction

The first album from AllThisIsMeaningless is a long time coming – five years, and arguably as many as eight or nine, the approximate age of the oldest song on the album, “Gate 36.”

The album will be made available in multiple formats.  CDs will be available in extremely limited quantities, and only after I am certain I have the money for them.  These will most likely be duplicated (CDR) rather than replicated in order to save costs.  I am doing this with a heavy heart, for though I love having a physical product, I hear the death knell for the CD.  I hear the beloved format I grew up with gasping its last breaths. 

I will be pushing downloads, some of which I will make available for free.  However, I am encouraging everyone to purchase custom USB drives, which will contain the complete album as well as numerous extras:  album artwork, extensive liner notes, remixes, tracks that didn’t make the cut, acoustic versions of tracks, and hopefully video.  I further hope that those of you who love me enough to buy it will also love me enough to share it with friends who are broke or have something against supporting poor musicians.   My goal here is publicity over financial gain.

In addition, as an advocate of paying for access rather than product, purchases of the USB drive will come first access to all songs and remixes for the following year (I may make it two years), as well as bonus content and preview mixes for the album after Hijacking Your Fiction, which I’ve already begun (I haven’t quite worked out the logistics of any of this yet).  The USBs will be more expensive than the CDs, but will be sold at minimal profit (likely no more than one or two dollars over cost, depending on the cost – I deserve something for my work and if you share it with friends maybe you can have them make donations toward your purchase).

Finally, I’m considering working out something with cassettes – perhaps if you send me a cassette (any cassette, really, though I’d prefer not to use one that is a copyrighted recording from an existing label) and return postage, I’ll simply record the entire album onto your cassette.  This will be time consuming, and nearly free, so I will not guarantee quality, fidelity, or even that a song won’t be cut off mid-way as the first side of the tape ends (If this happens, I’ll do my best to continue on the second side as close to that point in the song as possible).

In Google news, I’ve noticed that AllThisIsMeaningless can be difficult to find.  A year ago, as long as one entered the name as one word it would show up.  But now Google is too smart for you and it separates the words unless you tell it you specifically want to search for AllThisIsMeaningless as one word.

AllThisIsMeaningless is a deeply personal project, and I want this blog to reflect that.  I also intend to make greater efforts toward updating my other sites and to personally reply to everyone that takes the time to comment (something that has been incredibly easy thus far).  This site will also receive an overhaul.

Ultimately, it is about the music.  I only hope the music is worthy of your ears.

More updates should follow soon.

Transitional Phases

My lack of communication (and musical production) can be said, in short, to be on account of yet another transitional phase.  I am currently a bit displaced, having no place of my own to work on music, an appropriate continuation of a year that has thus far has been no less than trying.  In times of great emotional distress, my music suffers.  I wish I could say that I was able to capture the negative energy and turn it into great art, but my mental capacity must be somewhat intact in order to keep it from sounding unsinspired at best, and akin to high school poetry at worst (“The dagger looms above me, I await death,” something like that – any teens out there wishing for a bit of publicity, feel free to submit your work chronicling your agonizing life, as I could use a proper example).  I have gone so far recently as to consider giving up music altogether, but to paraphrase a friend, I don’t dare give it up entirely because it is too much a part of me.  So in spite of it all the album is coming together (at least in my head and in parts actual composition and recording) as a result not only of an emotionally exhausting 2010, but also the sum of experiences over the last several years.  Unfortunately, the earliest I will be able to continue work on Hijacking Your Fiction, and this is hopeful thinking, is November, after my less than triumphant return to the Far East.

Live, or curl up and die on rat-stink kitchen linoleum.

A few changes and notes:

The promised full interview with Culture Shock Lewis will not go up anytime soon, if ever.  At this point it has been over a year and a lot has changed.  I may refer to it on occasion, however, if it suits me to do so, and I may post portions of the interview or restate certain ideas when appropriate.  Although much of what I said remains true, it simply feels dated.  If he feels up to it, perhaps it is time for another go?

I may occasionally post commentary on other musicians, albums and genres as a matter of interest.

I may post production notes, technological bits, software impressions, thoughts on music theory and musicology, and other things I experience or read of audial interest.

More complete album news is coming next, as well as future plans for all things AllThisIsMeaningless.