Where Have I been? A Life Update

Hi guys, it’s been a while!  I figured I’d explain a bit about why I’ve been MIA on this blog because I tend to post on a regular basis on this one, where on The Blind Nerd I post when I have something to post.  The main reason is I just needed a break from the internet.  I guess a sort of media fast in a way.  I felt like the amount of using the internet and absorbing all of the pop culture media I was doing had gotten a bit out of hand, and was starting to impede on my walk with God.  I didn’t think it would really be this long, but I’ve mainly just been using the computer for when I actually need to use it for things, like mixing songs, looking up things, reading my Bible, and other than that and watching the occasional youtube video (which I’m also working on cutting down on) I disengaged from all the noise that is social media, and internet culture.  I really needed to disconnect, reaffirm my faith, and come back slowly but surely with a lot more discernment  to what types of shows, music, and media I expose my brain to.

 

Everyone’s walk  with Christ is different, and everyone has vices and temptations they have to try and stay away from.  For me, in a way, it was taking in soooo much of the pop culture media out there.  With the amount of shows trying to make statements, set themselves apart from other shows, and send messages for people to receive, it honestly was blurring  moral lines from black and white to gray, and for me personally that isn’t ok.  So like I said, just had to take a step back, start reading my Bible, spend more time with my family, and with Jesus.  I’m slowly trickling back into the fold but I don’t want to   be anywhere near as open to every piece of media that I used to be, because doing so was clouding my walk with God which also isn’t ok by any means.

 

So what have I been doing, you might ask?  Pretty much the same things I do when I’m offline – spend time with family, and bake!  I’ve been slacking on making jewelry but want to get back into that.  Also, been making music, and looking for old Gospel music and church hymns to listen to since I’m not finding too many modern Christian artists I’m liking.  If you have any good recommendations, I’d love some!

 

I haven’t posted too many baked goods of the month because…I sort of slacked on that haha.  I had 3 to catch up on in the month of August, but baked two new things and know the third thing I want to make to catch up with that resolution of mine.  Funnily enough, they’ve all been breads – I made a cherry bread, a banana bread, and am planning on making pita bread for the last catch up baked good of the month.  I’m super excited to do the pita bread, since I’ve been nervous to do any breads with yeast, and I’ve read that one is one of the easier breads to start with.  I probably would have made the pita by now if I wasn’t craving brownies and made those twice this weekend, but either way it will get done XD
The holidays are coming up too, so I’m really excited to bake some holiday goodies!  I’ll have individual posts about each of the breads coming, so look forward to that.

 

That’s all that’s been going on with me, hope the rest of you are doing well!  God bless!

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How do Our Musical Tastes Effect Our Composing and Critiqueing? Some Musings

With this music challenge I’m doing, in the VGMA Facebook group there’s a daily post where we all post what we’ve written.  When I post something, I like to go through the previous posts to see what everyone else is coming up with.  Today after doing so, it got me thinking about each person’s music tastes.  Everyone is doing different takes on the challenge with genres they’re into – may it be fantasy music, electronic, classical – but all in the vain of making it sound like it can loop in a video game.  But that also got me thinking:  How does the genre of music we compose in, and the genres we prefer effect our composing, critiquing, and musical dispositions?

 

Me, for example.  I grew up listening to country music.  So when I listen to a song, what I look for is good storytelling, an impactful emotional tone, and tend to strive for minimal arrangements with basic chord progressions.  When I build on something, I rarely change up the chord progression of one instrument and instead add something else – like a double strings harmony, a tambourine, something varying the texture of the sound over going into a different phase of the chord progression already there.  My comfort zone is doing an ABAB song writing structure – verse, chorus, verse, chorus with an occasional bridge if needed.

 

I like good vocals, but vocals over good emotion and storytelling have never been my thing.  I’ll take an ok enough sounding vocal full of raw emotion, over a belting power ballad that sounds like someone is phoning it in.  Once again, I think that’s because I grew up listening to country music, and it’s what I’m used to and favor.  Jumping to Celtic music when I was older wasn’t really a surprise, because country and Celtic are close cousins genre wise.  Same with folk, and indi:  all different branches of the same genre of music.

 

So even when I compose something video game themed with repetition, I go for that folksy feel, or an emotional, acoustic sound.  But I notice when I’m arranging something, even when I plan to make it sound all orchestral it always winds up being about 5 instruments or less because when I try to add more, in the end I like how it sounds with less.  I struggled a long time with that – thinking my arrangements aren’t good enough with more sounds but now I realize that’s just how I compose things, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

 

There’s been a lot of buzz in the VGM cover community about when a track starts “Not being a cover anymore” and my opinion on the subject?  As long as there’s part of the pre-existing melody in there, it’s a cover.  The VGM cover community is by far the sweetest community I’ve ever been a part of and the discussions on the topic lately also got me thinking of this topic.  Like my favorite music is acoustic and folk, and whenever I see acoustic guitar cover artists in VGM I always get excited because they’re also channeling that folksy, minimalist feel I love.  Now when you do something high energy like say, a battle theme, it’ll sound completely different on piano or acoustic guitar, even if you’re still keeping the same energy and vibe from the original track up.  So does that still make it a cover?  Yep!  In my opinion at least.  I saw a really cool way of phrasing this though.  The original music is like a canvass, and you’re painting with the source material.  You can go as basic with the source as you want, sticking to the original as closely as possible, or you can get abstract with it, adding your own take on it, expressing your style and spin on the track on it.  My last cover was like that, and my next few covers will be like that, as well – and to be completely honest, I’m really happy they’re going to be.  I’m really excited to be putting my own stamp and style on tracks that I love, and have gotten the most challenge and enjoyment from composing my last few covers, and in doing so have gotten lots of inspiration and motivation to do more covers in my own style that doing a note for note arrangement wouldn’t, and hasn’t gotten me in the past.

 

But yeah, all of these musings just sort of popped into my mind this morning and decided to make a blog post about them.  Didn’t really touch on how this effects how we critique things, but probably  along the same lines as why we compose in certain ways – no matter how unbiased we try to be, we’ll always have some sort of preference to wanting to hear something sound like the genre we prefer.  Not saying that’s always the case, but I know for me at times I have critiqued something wanting something I prefer thrown into the mix lol.

 

I’ll stop there, I honestly could go on about these topics for ages!  What sort of music genres did you grow up with, or are into that you think inspired your musical inspirations?  What are your thoughts on covers that are a lot different than the original, also?

Time for a Venting Session!

I’ve been so tired lately it’s annoying. And really not in the mood to do many YouTube-y things.  Well, not exactly that, but my audio quality has been annoying me because I have white noise I hear in recordings and I’ve been pulling my hair out trying to get it off ugh.  It doesn’t help that I want to license the thing with the loud white noise, but at this point I’m probably just gonna release it anyways because I’ve already tried re-recording the vocal and no luck.  The noise isn’t as loud, but it’s still there so…yeah, really not happy about that T_T I’m trying to just release things and not obsess about them being perfect, but this is bothering me so much!  I got some trouble shooting tips from people so I’ll try those for my next cover, but sooo frustrating.

 

Speaking of frustrating, I ordered an ocarina!  On Thursday.  They didn’t’ mail it out until this morning (and only after I emailed them) so I’m really upset at the company because I needed to get it tomorrow.  So now, I either have to wait an extra week, or have it sitting at a PO box until I go back which probably will not be for at least a month.  I ordered it last week so it would be here by tomorrow, that was plenty of time!  I know the ocarina gets good reviews, but I’m definitely going to leave a review about how wonky their customer service was.  Not only did they wait to ship it out this morning, but they didn’t even respond to my email inquiry.  I emailed them asking why my item hadn’t been shipped yet, and instead of replying with “Oh, sorry, we can refund your money if you needed it by tomorrow” they just…shipped it without even replying, like they didn’t even know I had ordered an ocarina from their Amazon store.  If I had gotten a reply, I would have probably canceled the order and ordered it later, because I really wanted the ocarina this week so I could implement it in covers.  Now, I have the choice of waiting a week to travel to my PO Box, or wait a few months to get it and not be able to use it in covers -_- really upset with this company.  They’re one of the big ocarina companies, so their lack of customer service is really frustrating and I doubt I’ll order from them again.  But what’s done is done, I suppose.

 

And what gets me about them too, is they didn’t even ship it with express shipping after such a long delay!  Like you should at least do that company, come on.  Raaaage!

 

 

 

I think I may add a few options to the types of videos I’d be doing covers with too, because ugh I’m still not feeling recording for this particular cover and I still can’t put my finger on why.  I have to record video for a collab this weekend, so I may just do it then.  Maybe it’s just because I’ve been feeling bleh lately.  Like I don’t really want to go on camera for the collab but I’m going to out of necessity.  I really need a backup for my covers/arrangements when I’m in a mood like this and just don’t want to be on camera, which probably will be still custom art, or stock footage/animations.  So for covers and originals I’ll have both those options available (though still don’t know how I feel about using a still photo for an arrangement, even if it is custom art lol).  I also want to use game footage for covers too, that would be really fun and another option I’ve thrown on for any cover I do.  I hate that I’m still conflicted about this, it’s not that big a deal and I need to stop stressing about it!
That was a good venting session I needed lol.  Hoping I’ll make a decision with my video styles soon, because I’m getting really annoyed with how stagnant my uploading schedule has been because of something this dumb and probably so inconsequential.  But in my typical way, time to over analyze and over stress about it for no reason~