“But wait,” you may say, “2016 isn’t even over yet! There’s still all of October, as well as Thanksgiving and Christmas. How can you call it an amazing year when it isn’t even over yet?” Well, I’ll tell you. Even at this point, the beginning of October, I’m already amazed at everything that has been accomplished.
One of the big things for me, personally, was my new studio. After an unexpected wait, I finally last month got moved down into my new studio space. And it’s been absolutely wonderful! Having a big, dedicated space to work out of really transforms your ability to work affectively. Also, I’ve been able to get a semi-descent vocal booth set up, so now I can start tracking vocals and working on sound effects, which I’m finding out is very fun!
Another thing that’s happened has been my game stream. In January I decided to launch a YouTube game streaming channel. At first I just wanted to see what it would be like, but it wasn’t long before I was hooked. It’s so fun to hop online and play games while chatting with everyone who drops in! Feel free to drop in! I stream Monday and Wednesday nights at 9:00 PM Central Time.
Lastly, the music this year has been amazing! I’ve had the opportunity to write some truly epic tracks, and I’m just now getting around to sharing them. A couple of days ago I posted a new demo reel, which I’ll include at the end of this post. Compiling this reel, it really did amaze me to see how I’ve progressed as a composer. I’ve learned new tricks and techniques that have pushed my music even farther, and I think it shows! Each one of the songs on this reel represent something different, and each is a personal favorite in one way or the other.
And now, it’s on to enjoy the last 3 months of this year! This really is one of my favorite times of the year. The leaves are just beginning to change and you can feel the crispness of autumn in the air. Before too long, we’ll be pulling out Christmas decorations and preparing for a large Thanksgiving feast! This season always brings so much excitement! So I’ll keep writing as I continue this musical journey. It’s been an exciting road so far, and I can’t wait to see where it leads!
Once again, we enter another December. Every year around this time I wonder where all the time has gone. It seems like only a few weeks ago we were sitting down for Christmas dinner as a family, and now it’s almost Christmas once again. As I look back at this year, it boggles my mind to see how much can change in such a short amount of time. This has been one unbelievably crazy year. In March I packed up my studio, along with everything else I own, and began making preparations to move back home to Missouri. Six months many miles later I find myself in a new home only a few hours drive from where I was born and raised. There’s truly nothing like being home.
Throughout this long process of transition there’s one thing that’s been missing in my life. MUSIC! My fingers have been itching for my keyboard! Well, at long last I’ve got my studio semi-set up in my bedroom while I work on getting the new studio ready downstairs. That’s going to be my little winter project. Rip out carpets, scrape glue, paint floor, all that fun stuff! What’s important now, though, is that I can start writing music again…and I already have! I recently landed a contract that’ll give me a big jump start back into doing what I love so much! I can’t talk much about it now, but there should be a demo released soon, and then you’ll know all about it. This opportunity and a few other factors has lead me to a big decision. I’m going to take the risk and try to make this a full time job. It’s scary, giving up a secure income. But I have all of this music inside of me that’s desperate to come out, and with the right opportunities I think I can make it work.
So, to sum it all up, after a break that’s lasted far too long, I’m back. If you need some inspiring music for your current game or project, send me a message. Because I’m back, and I’m ready, more than ready, to fire up the keyboard once more!
“We are the music makers, and we are the dreamers of dreams.” -Willie Wonka
Well, It’s a new year. A NEW YEAR!!! Yesterday was my birthday, which means I’m a year older. Still haven’t decided whether or not that’s a good thing. But one thing is very clear, time is moving on.
This is an exciting time to both look back at what we’ve accomplished and look forward to where you want to go. The last six months were especially amazing for me. I had opportunities to work on some great projects and I feel that I was able to grow as a composer. I’ve taken the time to go through some of the music I wrote in the last year. I took some of my favorite tracks and made a new demo reel, showcasing some of my more recent projects. Listening to these tracks again makes me even more excited for what is to come, and the music I have yet to write. Here’s to a new year of good opportunities, great games, and amazing tunes!
I had an opportunity to be a part of an amazing event last month. I was contacted by a developer to write some music for an awesome game. This game was being made for the Indie Game Maker Contest, a contest that requires you to build a game from start to finish in only one month. I had a similar objective with my part: create six tracks in nine days. It was a stretch but I managed to do it!
The game, Sin Unsullied, is an action RPG with visual novel elements. You only have five days to juggle building friendships, repairing your relationship with the woman you love, and growing stronger so you can stop the end of the world. The story is well crafted and keeps you playing until the end.
You can download Sin Unsullied for free at the Indie Game Maker Contest site. Be sure to give it a play!
It took me a little while to post song on behalf of how crazy things have been at BYU, but with the semester quickly winding down I’ve found a little time to share what has become one of the favorite songs I’ve worked on. This little melody came to me one day after class while walking to my car. I filed it away on my phone and then ended up using it for one of my class projects. I hope you enjoy this beautiful piece.
This is a song that I composed a few years ago while I was living in Nauvoo, IL. Often I like to just sit at a piano and play. I don’t know what I’m going to play when I sit down, the music just sort of flows out of me. This song is one of the one’s I used to play quite often. Now, after so long, I’ve finally taken this piece and introduced it to the orchestra. So many of my emotions are swallowed up in this piece. I hope you enjoy it.
I’m not really sure what to say about this piece. This was one of those songs that in a way evolved all on it’s own. Listening to it though, one could easily find a theme within the different short passages. In the beginning you can hear the struggles of life as the piano and strings sing their sorrows. The woodwinds eventually come in to lend an encouraging hand, and the brass end the piece triumphantly. If you have any other thoughts or ideas about this piece, leave your thoughts here. I’d love to see where exactly this music has taken you.
The inspiration for this piece comes from a special experience inside a small grove of trees. In the early spring of 1820 a young boy by the name of Joseph Smith entered the woods behind his house in order to pray regarding which church the Lord would have him join. During this prayer, young Joseph saw a brilliant light from which the Father and the Son appeared before him. He was told not to join any church, but that through him the fullness of the gospel of Jesus Christ would be restored. Joseph would go on organize The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, more commonly known as the Mormon Church. I recently had the privilege to walk through that very same grove of trees that Joseph did as a boy, and wrote this piece based on the thoughts and feelings I had while walking through those beautiful woods.
Whether you be religious or not, I do hope you will enjoy this piece. It represents much more than just a religious belief. It represents what one feels when they’ve found something they’ve spent their whole lives looking for.
While on tour this summer I had the privilege of staying with our dear friends Irene and Tomasi Tukuafu. They’re mentioned in an earlier blog post from last year. Irene makes harps, dulcimers, and psaltries. What you see pictured above are all her instruments (except for the guitar up front…that’s mine). When I came to visit this time, I came prepared with all of my recording equipment. I had it set in my mind that I would not leave this home until I had written and recorded a new song. Over the period of about 3 days I was able to make that happen, and what fun it was. I used the hammer dulcimer, harp, djembe, guitar, and bowed psaltry. The name of the song seems weird, because even though I call it Fiddlesticks, there are no fiddles in the song. The name comes from Irene herself. Whenever something goes wrong she is sure to exclaim “Fiddlesticks and phooey!”
For about 3 years I lived in the small of Nauvoo, IL on the banks of the Mississippi. This last week I had the opportunity to return and visit my good friends, the Tukuafu’s. You can read about them and their awesome house from the blog post I wrote up last November. Knowing where I would be staying, I took my recording equipment so I could have a little fun with all of the wonderful instruments that Irene makes. While there, Irene asked me to capture some of the wonderful night noises that fill the air every night. I used to go to sleep to this when I lived here, it is absolutely wonderful. So plug some headphones in, push play, close your eyes, and imagine you’re sitting on the front porch out in front of the Mighty Mississippi.