The last few months have been a bit of a personal whirlwind so I've stuck to social media for updates since the Cemetery Session, but I thought it was about time to give a more proper rundown on how things have been progressing for the band.
If you haven't checked out the music videos that I made that that correspond with our recording session, I hope that you do! I've created and released 3 out of 5 so far:
The videos haven't been smash hits or anything, but I'm generally happy with their success. To date, "Corridors" has 398 views, "Beneath" has 143, and "Born for This" has 110. For a small band in central Virginia, I think that's pretty great, though I'd be lying if I didn't hope that after 3 months there would have been more of a reception. Plus, there was no real sustainable momentum associated with them--there were booms in the beginning but since then there have only been views here and there.
Ratings aside, the highlight of releasing these videos has by far been the response that Austin Wintory (Journey composer and all around good guy) gave to my tweets surrounding the "I Was Born For This" video.
Thanks again, Austin!
One of my goals for 2018 - and the main reason we had the Cemetery Session and I rushed to create the videos for it in a relatively short amount of time - was to apply for The Hard Modes to perform at Super MAGFest in 2019. Unfortunately, we got notice that we didn't make the cut at the end of July.
That's a bummer, but I'm not discouraged by it. I applied only for Super MAGFest - their flagship event - when I could have applied for some of their smaller ones as well; plus, we don't really have much notoriety (see: video view count), especially compared to other groups. Compare our fandom and repertoire to a group that I just came across that have been making music/videos in a similar vein, The Consouls--we just don't go tit-for-tat.
We'll keep moving forward and working on garnering a fanbase so that 2019's resume will be stronger.
ON THE AIRWAVES
While MAGFest didn't pan out, we did get the opportunity to play on the radio! A producer for the local weekly radio show Lambeth Live reached out on Facebook to see if we were able to play a set, and we happily obliged. Here's the graphic I created for the event (disclaimer: yes that is Goldenrod Tower but we, sadly, didn't play any Pokemon music):
The show/broadcast happened to take place on the Friday of the anniversary of the white supremacist Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville. Due to the devastating effects that it had on the city last year, there was a heavy police presence in the downtown area that resulted in road closures, limiting the ease of travel around the city. Despite that, we had about 15 people in attendance at the studio, which, all things considering, was very nice.
The show itself went great! It was certainly one of our strongest live performances to date. We didn't bust out anything new--just stuck to the classics to make sure we'd play as strong as possible. I'll be posting a few videos on our YouTube channel soon--subscribe to it and you'll be notified when they're up!
We have two more shows in Charlottesville booked for this year: a return to Kardinal Hall on 9/20 and a post-Thanksgiving debut at the legendary Miller's on 11/24. Some things that I plan to work on in the time between:
- Create the last two Cemetery Session videos. At this point they're overdue, but I haven't had time to sit down and crank out videos for "Phantom Train" and "Cosmo Canyon." Gotta get those done!
- Expand the repertoire. I've had ideas swimming in my head for about 10 arrangements I can do. My goal is to complete at least 4 more by year's end.
- Nail the repertoire. I've been really busy moving and getting settled in my new house. A great feature of this house is that there's a large basement that will eventually be transformed into a music space, and I'm looking forward to getting the band in there so that we can really own some of these tunes, especially the newer ones.
- Get my playing together. I've gotta practice! This music isn't easy, and even though I arranged it and know it pretty well, there's a lot that I need to get straight in it (and outside of it, at that).
- Book another 'big' show. Playing at C'ville Coffee last year was really fun, especially since we were debuting all new music in a more formal setting ("formal" in this case being a show where everyone is there first and foremost to listen). I'd like to play all of our 2018 material - including those pending arrangements - in a similar setting. Whether that's back at C'ville Coffee or at another venue in town is TBD!
I've also been learning a bunch of VGM melodies and posting myself playing them on Instagram before going to work some mornings (@thehardmodes). I don't have many interesting pictures to take at the moment or anything, so I though I'd beef up my social media presence by doing something that I need to be doing anyway!
Thanks for reading and for your support! If you have friends that like video game music and have an affinity for jazz, please continue to share our works!