Status Update 2/14/12 (Valentine's Day Special Edition)

First off, I’d like to wish everyone a happy Valentine’s Day!  I hope that you’re either spending today with your significant other or gorging yourself in ice cream while watching Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (or something equally as miserable). In general, the last month has been a great one for the blog.  After having an awesome time at MAGFest, January 23rd produced a humongous spike in activity, resulting the highest hit count for a single day yet.  The funny thing is, I don’t know if I can count on but a few of those visitors to return—they were all referred by a Phillies blog I read called Beerleaguer because one of the regulars happened to check the site out and then proceeded to give me a shout-out (if you’re reading, thanks, awh!).  Regardless, it was pretty cool to see the numbers rising so high for a day.  Though, now my site stat graph is really ridiculous looking… I got 102 hits that day and my average per day in January was 18 views, so you can imagine…

The next thing that was exciting was my interview with Darren Korb.  After having not seen him at MAGFest like I was expecting, I decided to try and contact him otherwise.  Being able to conduct my first interview ever was an experience in itself, but Darren was really cool about everything and I had a great time talking to him.  I never really expected that I would be interviewing people when I was first thinking about undertaking this project; now, though, I really want it to be a part of the blog, so expect more of them in the future, whether they’re audio-based or text-based.

Then came February 9th, when I reviewed Austin Wintory’s music for flOw.  I tweeted about it, tagged Austin himself, and he actually read it.  What’s even greater is that he really liked it and was very complimentary.  He even posted the review on the press section of his website.  I was amazed that he even read it, but getting feedback from him… it made everything that I’ve been trying to do here worth it.  If you’re reading, Austin, thanks again.

Now that I’ve gotten a lot of that stuff out of the way, I need to get back on track with my real mission: composing VGM.  Yeah, I’m going to fit part II of that Halo OST review in here somewhere, but not until I get some serious work done.

A week or so ago I sat down to do some brainstorming.  I was actually debating posting these, but my girlfriend set me straight, saying that I said that I would be candid about everything, and brainstorming is certainly part of everything.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License and ©2012 Gregory Weaver.

After having listened to Uematsu at MAGFest and my good friend Justin Kauflin’s organ trio, I was influenced to try and get something out of an organ.  Sometimes, I start composing by choosing an instrument and trying to force something out.  If it doesn’t work, I’ll move on.  In this case, I came up with ideas.  The following audio clips are mostly improvised, very rough sketches of a couples ideas that could develop.  There was a little editing done to both to lock ideas down and delete extraneous parts, but otherwise they're untouched.

The first came from deciding that I didn’t want to make a “typical” VGM organ piece, which to me is an ominous, evil-sounding track.  What came out was Valentine’s Day-appropriate for one of two types of people.

The first type is someone sitting alone in a café slowly stirring his or her coffee.  The person made a mistake in love and is sighing, not knowing what next to do.  This is how my girlfriend heard it.

The second type is a guy trying to be smooth, but it just isn’t working because he’s simply just not smooth.  This was how I heard and wrote it.  I even came up with a dialogue that you can read along with the tune.

Guy: Hey, baby…
Girl: Uh… hey….
Guy: How about we go back to my place for a while?  It’ll be just you… me… a box of pizza…
Girl: …. uhhh…….
Guy: Look, I know what you’re thinking… you’re nervous… don’t worry… we’ll chow down… talk a little politics and… heh… romance…
Girl: ____  _____;;;;;;;

And that’s where the name came from.  I thought that it might be appropriate only in a goofy adventure game where the protagonist is silly, like in Monkey Island.

[audio|artists=Gregory Weaver|titles=You... Me... and a Box of Pizza_v1.0]

The next is an example of me just going against what I tried to do and conforming to use an evil-type organ.  Despite its title, “Ominicity” (exasperatingly named), it’s not really ominous… it’s more… you’re the captive of an evil corporation and a villain that you can’t take too seriously is telling you his plans for taking over the toy train industry.

[audio|artists=Gregory Weaver|titles=Ominicity_v1.0]

When I wrote this I put down the ostinato mostly for time’s sake and decided to loop it until I was done writing whatever melody I wanted, which is why it doesn’t change at all throughout the whole tune.

Again, these are just skeletons being thrown around.  I definitely could work on them some more, but I decided to move along because I wanted a different focus.  So, right now I’m writing something to a picture.  Look for an update on that soon.  In the meantime, if you want to hear more from the above, leave me a comment!  I might just bend to your will.

Either way, have a great rest of your Valentine's Day, or whatever day you're reading this on!