Friday, March 30, 2012

Sing Gently

This week was a double dose of nostalgia for Punchfest 17, since it required that participants remix tunes from games they each received on their respective birthdays. As a result, the round brought about five entries from a variety of titles. The tracks covered a wide range of approaches, from Rexy’s frantic koto work, to PoD’s fart tribute of Snappleman, to Obtuse's plucked bass, and Plank's acoustic soloing. The World Warrior Remix Royale also began the voting stage for round 1 of the Shoryuken Bracket, releasing a slew of Street Fighter remixes into the wild. This past Sunday saw LLCompo celebrate its tenth round by setting its theme to “Yourself” and asked contestants to “look inside” for the answer.
JHCompo on Tuesday was put in a forbidding chamber with its “Torture” theme. After my music-backed introduction, dusthillguy admitted that he was not at his best and thus put up a brief, familiar riff. liquid wind’s atonal sonorities evoked the sense of “tortured phantoms” including piano, scratching effect and a steady kick. bjkmenu's funky pop got a thumbs up from superjoe when the music stuck closely to the written description of the night’s round. Clockwerk expressed the torture that a lot of composers go through: “Daw Crash Freeze”, in his case an ambient electronic piece ending with an unintentional recording of my intro. Finally SonicThHedgog worked out some acoustic strumming, electric shreds and searing lead to wrap things up. 

Thursday’s OHC spoke of its audience not making progress by way of its theme, “Wasting Time”. The listening party began with an introduction by The Stuff of Legends, reading the theme description with a mellow musical backing. dusthillguy followed with a series of noodled guitar arpeggios set to no particular tempo. DucksUnlimited had fittingly “Totally Forgot” about the compo and put together a patchwork of twangs, clanks, piano, and synth bass. CJthemusicdude pondered a brief history of time, and then whipped out his Theremin to rock. General Mumble used a catchy hook to sing about wasting time to a tuplet-centric, swingy electro beat. sci sampled “The Rockefeller Skank” as the basis of his epic mashup, using all manner of elements including wub-wubs. HarryNilsson'sGhost feared entering the chat because of the perceived quality of his improvised piano-and-vocals entry. 

analoq stated that “hemo is over” and settled in chilled-out Rhodes for the “socal sunset”. Forty-Two soared above the clouds in a flurry of electronic harmonies, sweeps and pads. DDRKirby(ISQ) collaborated with Acuity and set about a bunch of experiments whilst getting nothing done, per the theme. A-zu-ra inserted his vintage cartridge Procrastination Fighters and thus raged against the chips. Misael.K traveled to a “Sunny Park” and decided to burn daylight in 3/4 time. scibot9000 transmitted its entry for CJthemusicdude by sampling his pre-flatulatory grunt and colliding into dubstep. OMGitslewis wrote his entry description in all caps to emphasize the rise of Ultra Nintenga, the world’s most advanced time waster. Fusion2004 busted out his percussion for a freewheeling acoustic entry with dollops of flute and guitar. Trancient settled on a trip hop rhythm dotted by 8-bit blips “Wasting Happily Away”. 

Kaxon revealed that he attended a Zelda-themed concert the previous night, perhaps influencing the mood for the strings and piano of his composition. MandraSigma woke up at an inopportune time and maneuvered around a gauntlet of glitch effects before reaching his workspace. Arcana established a tense, dancey tune, waiting until just the right moment to realize time wasted. Toward the end of the night dusthillguy and Destroid suffered a teleporter accident to become the freak of nature known as desthillroid; the violent clash of chord progressions and nostalgic instrument sets may be too much for the average listener to bear. Finally the night ended with a second entry from DDRKirbyISQ thanking OHC for being host to his many productions. 

As a personal note I’d like to thank OHC myself as an entrant and follower for many years. Although my behavior and mindset had taken a regretful turn, I nevertheless enjoyed being a part of the community. The feedback and advice I received for my music I uploaded each week was invaluable, and is part of my workflow to this day. I grew as a musician thanks to the positive reinforcement of my peers. For a long while I took my connection to this community for granted, but now I see the situation with clearer eyes. My experience in compo-ing and interacting with others has made an indelible mark on my creative life. I hope that others continue to discover this experience too, and benefit from it as I had.

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