Thursday, May 12, 2011

It Doesn't Matter

For once, my absence did not affect my ability to review compo activity. Late afternoon on Sunday, my intention had been to attend a one-hour round of Trippycompo. I was away from home, however, and my mobile device reception failed just as it began. Afterward, when I asked for a chatroom log of that round's conversations, I was told that "nobody typed a word" for the entire time I had disconnected. The competition was not without entries, though: MandraSigma's "Mansion of Puzzles" evoked a harpsichord-sounding instrument joined with short e-pianoesque chords and funky percussion. The other track, coda's "faerosol" contains a noodling guitar-like lead and chilled-out drumming.

Compos have affected musicians and their workflow in various ways. When asked about the subject, diotrans responded, "I'm a firm believer of creative challenges with deadlines, because it forces you to create quickly without worrying about what your inner critic is saying. [...] It's incredibly liberating." Her OC ReMix arrangement "Insomniac Skies" originated from PRC156, and she noted that the remix "wouldn't exist at all if it weren't for PRC." liquidwind's entry "sunrise over mardia" from PRC156 was later reworked to be submitted to ReMix: ThaSauce. The turnout for that round was partially attributed to an "invasion" of ThaSauce's OHC regulars, led by Level 99. He stated that "Doing things like OHC have been an amazing boost to my musical progress" and that the idea to invade PRC occurred on a whim.

Tuesday's JHC went off to a bumpy start as bugs manifested themselves at SolidComposer. Incidentally the website administrator superjoe attended the round, witnessing the glitches and proclaiming: "need to fix my broken crap". b-type performed a rap freestyle on his radio show for JHC, complete with "mountain peak, take a peek" wordplay reflecting the compo’s theme. Jacob uploaded a subdued electronic homage to The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening. mv's "White Ascension" displays a combination of bowed and plucked violins, concluding with a rush of wind. Under his name Andy Kelley, superjoe submitted a swift electro entry with an unexpected vocal clip at the end.

mu delivered a downtempo track that drew comparison to Secret of Mana and also contained a sampled voice. OverCoat put up a unusual mixture of ambient synthesizers and ukulele in his composition "Alta". More appropriated singing made itself apparent in Jarski's "beauty and the beat", in this case a repeating "you, you, you..." accompanied by dance rhythm. The prominent bass growl in CFX Music’s "Clouded Peak" meets an ominous lead and kick, giving way to a laid back outro. irrelevnt brought up the rear after suffering software issues when rendering, and accidentally uploaded a 27-second segment instead of his full tune; it features drum looping and short strums of guitar.

On Wednesday the voting period ended for Soundevotion Competition round 57. SDCompo celebrated its fifth birthday with a "Spring" theme. JustinCredible's track "Ueberschall" (german for supersonic) carries an extensive industrial feel before tossing in a four-on-the-floor rhythm. chunter delivered "Springtime Air", a rollicking pop tune using AquesTone vocal synthesis. Airmann's drum and bass entry "Unleashed" worked in the subtle presence of choir. The Evolutionary Cell entry is a collaboration featuring organic io (production) and ambtax1 (singing, production) with synth leads and vocal lines bouncing throughout. Chotoro rounded things off with a mellow, pulsating composition containing voice samples.

Wednesday was also the submission deadline for PRC193 once it had been extended. The menu music from the NES game Predator had been selected for the hundredth ThaSauce-hosted PRC round. This marks the third consecutive PRC featuring a film-based video game, following Batman in PRC192 and Jurassic Park 2 in PRC191. Showroom Dummy appeared after a lengthy absence with "Stealthing Predators", a moody, chiptune-influenced trance entry. The remixer expressed that he took the opportunity to explore the genre whilst adding an abrasive edge.

OHC on Thursday was greeted by a failing style sheet in addition to the ongoing issues with logging in to ThaSauce. The visual brokenness of the site rendered the night’s theme invisible at first glance; coincidentally this fit perfectly with the theme itself, "The Secret". In an effort to change up my usual spoken-word entry, I preceded my speech with the drum loop intro from The Chemical Brothers song "It Doesn’t Matter". OCRE chose to submit his track in the form of a question with the wistful and short "Memorial Song of Secret Village?" sci seemed to go on a trip-hop bent including various sliced clips and grunts. Shael Riley joined unexpectedly and showed off an quick acoustic entry with self-referencing lyrics such as "I wasn’t gonna enter the compo..."

Arcana displayed slap bass layered with electronics and a ¾ time signature. Tomapella laid out a sprawling song merging live guitar with programmed drums and synth bass. As suggested in the title, ShrackAttack’s horn-filled orchestral entry was made in five minutes. Usabell sufficiently warmed up his electric piano to deliver a bright intro before delving into a dark sea of strings and pads, then burst into electro for a upbeat finish. DDRKirby(ISQ) put out sharp chippage and pounding kickdrum to "Unlock the Universe". CJthemusicdude’s arpeggios brought to mind Usa’s entry from the same round, and the track eventually goes into high gear with unts. mv wrote yet another thought-provoking description to accompany the filtered keyboards and lush violins in his track. jarski finished the party of with a swinging beat and pokes of organ.

Among other things, I seek out creative outlets to obtain spiritual fulfillment. For a time I felt I gained this through musical composition. While I may stop releasing songs, I suppose I’ll always keep making tunes in my head. Nevertheless, putting a melody together is not quite as fun to me as telling a story.

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