Aside from my review of Journey, for the past month and a half you all haven’t heard much out of me, and I apologize for that. My full-time job is running the operations/logistics of a show in Norfolk, VA, called the Virginia International Tattoo, which is essentially an annual international military band and cultural act show that features around 850 performers in groups from various countries (this year we had eight: US, Canada, UK, Australia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Belgium, Albania). In short, the groups are here for ten days doing rehearsals, education outreach events, and performances, but it takes all year to nail down the details. Work really starts to get busy in February, exponentially increases from then through their stay at the end of April, and remains busy through May and the beginning of June as we do wrap-up. Here's the first eleven minutes of this year’s show on YouTube--try it; thousands like it! I’d like to relax a bit and plan things out and get going full speed ahead with the blog again, but I think I’ll have to build up before I hit my stride ala three posts a month. Not only did I lose touch with the blog, I lost touch with the rest of the gaming world, not to mention my musical endeavours. In fact, it was actually quite a miracle that I was able to focus on and get out the Journey review on time.
That being said, I’m playing catch-up. I have one of those reading list aps on my browser, so I’ve been going through the links I've accrued… lots of the stuff is actually from January, heh. Here’s what I’ve been checking out:
- Video interview with the Earthbound Papas – Covers some interesting stuff that I hadn’t heard during their MAGFest panel.
- Interview with Miki Higashino – Turns out, my ignorance of music by composers such as Miki Higashino is one of the reasons I started this blog! I had no idea of who she was until I read this interview, and now I’m excited to check out a lot of her stuff. Looks like I’ll be looking into Gradius and Suikoden I and II, as well as her collaboration with Yasunori Mitsuda, Moonlit Shadow, among other things.
*Side note: It’s funny… I don’t remember where I read this, but some guy was talking about how hearing "Gregorian chants" in the Halo opening allowed him really to see the potential and future of VGM. The funny thing is, the first track I listened to of the Suikoden II soundtrack was of that nature, and that game came out about three years prior to Halo. I talked about how that chanting was, to me, nothing to gawk at in part one of my review for the Halo OST, and I must say that this makes me roll my eyes even more at its extreme popularity. Sorry for being such a rough critic of it, O’Donnell/Salvatori and fans, but..!
- Austin Wintory is composing music for The Banner Saga, a Kickstarter-funded project that I’m pretty excited to back. Speaking of, Wintory is on the board of directors for a non-profit called Education Through Music – Los Angeles. Seems like a great program to which to donate—check it out.
- This isn't VGM, but Bear McCreary, composer of the music for Battlestar Galactica, breaks down the opening music for season two of The Walking Dead. I realize that I don’t pay attention to music on the television as much as I should; I’ll make that a goal for the rest of the year and beyond.
- Yasunori Mitsuda has composed for the free-to-play MMORPG Lime Odyssey. His work is very familiar; lovers of the 16-bit era will certainly enjoy the three tracks on display at GamesRadar. If I had the time to play an MMO, I would probably give this one a shot just to listen to the other tracks in the game.
- The Two Guys from Andromeda have started a Kickstarter in order to get their new adventure game, SpaceVenture, off the ground. Many people will read that and simply ask “who?” followed by an article and an obscenity, but those who get an itch of familiarity with the name will soon remember that they are the creators of the Space Quest series. Oh yeah, baby. The composer of the music has yet to be officially named, but some of the voice actors include the talents behind Yakko Warner (Rob Paulsen), Space Ghost (Gary Owens), Jim Raynor (Robert Clotworthy), and GLaDOS (Ellen McLain).
I’d like to explore Miki Higashino’s work more in the future and also go back and see what I’ve missed by Mitsuda; however, I also have to get back up to speed on projects current, including my own. In the next couple of weeks, expect at least an updated draft of “Gumshoes” to listen to, but I'm looking to give you something that’s aimed more towards reading as well.