This space is for news and ponderings about music, games, meditation, life, and stuff. It's updated erratically.
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posted Wednesday, February 27, 2019 6:58 PM
…there are just going to be some people who guide in a way that you’re willing to be guided, and you shouldn’t be put off if someone’s listening to this thinking, “You know, every time I try meditation it doesn’t work for me,” or something like that. I don’t want to name the apps I went through, but there were many apps that I went through that just didn’t resonate for me. Just the way they talked about this didn’t make sense to me. Then, when you find the ones that do, and there are several that do for me, including Sam [Harris]’s Waking Up [app]… it really resonates with me, and there are others that do so the same. Jeff Warren is also one of the guides on Dan Harris’s 10% Happier [app]… I just love the way he explains stuff. So, I would say to anybody who’s listening to this, who’s feeling sort of bearish on meditation, try a different app, try a different guide, try a different book, try another way. Keep going until you find someone who can walk you through how to do this in a way that resonates.
I can also vouch for both Sam Harris’s Waking Up as well as Jeff Warren’s style of teaching meditation on the 10% Happier app, which, despite the kitschy name, has a lot of really high quality stuff from some real master teachers.
posted Tuesday, February 19, 2019 3:53 PM
Considering that all living beings are subject to pain and suffering, it is morally incumbent upon us to endeavor to refrain from causing any avoidable and unnecessary pain and suffering to any living being. Furthermore, we should undertake, through positive action wherever possible, to prevent the avoidable and unnecessary pain and suffering of living beings.
— Culadasa, in a retreat handout from 2012
posted Tuesday, February 12, 2019 3:11 PM
A couple of years ago, my friend Silas Stewart recorded an EP of classical music featuring percussion. He wrote one of the pieces, I wrote two, and he performed on everything with a slew of friends. One of the engineers for that session recently asked if he could sample one of my pieces, Evocations for alto saxophone and percussion, for a track by his hip-hop group Lamarr Family Values. I’m pretty stoked about how it turned out! Check it out.
posted Friday, December 7, 2018 12:00 AM
I want to use this space to give a bit of an update on where my life and career are at, for anyone that happens across this for any reason.
posted Thursday, August 16, 2018 8:14 PM
This is a complicated question to answer, but I think it’s worth answering for those that care.
posted Tuesday, February 6, 2018 2:24 PM
The other day, I was giving a lesson on writing music to picture, and I came across an analogy that I thought illustrated well the way that I approach scoring games & films.
posted Thursday, January 18, 2018 4:18 PM
I’ve done a fair amount of work that I haven’t been paid for. Some of this was work for friends that gave me great experience and that I’m grateful to have been a part of. Some, looking back, was blatantly exploitative and it’s obvious now that those I was working for (not with) didn’t value my time or expertise.
posted Friday, October 27, 2017 12:38 PM
When someone you know gets a cool gig, there are a lot of emotions and thoughts that might come up and play through your mind. I could have gotten that gig, or on the flip-side, I’m never going to get a gig like that. Maybe something like They don’t deserve that job any more than me, or The gig probably sucks anyways, or one of several other mental rabbit holes we can fall into.
posted Tuesday, August 15, 2017 2:54 PM
Music is, in short, organized sound.
posted Monday, June 26, 2017 7:11 PM
I recently resigned from my “day job” as Program Coordinator for the WWU Music Department. I’m now spending all my time trying to be a one-person music/sound-making business.
posted Friday, March 24, 2017 12:00 AM
The word “spiritual” has a really icky connotation among folks that consider themselves to be any matter of skeptical, agnostic, atheist, serious, secular, scientific, or even just modern.
posted Thursday, March 23, 2017 11:42 AM
I’ve been in a rather massive creative rut since roughly the start of this year (though I think the problem’s roots go back further than that).
posted Sunday, March 5, 2017 12:00 AM
When I wake up in the morning, I often find myself somewhat mindlessly picking up my phone and scrolling through social media. I don’t think this is terribly uncommon.
posted Monday, February 13, 2017 12:00 AM
In the past, I’ve found it very difficult to speak openly about how much I appreciate people without my tongue planted firmly in my cheek.
posted Thursday, February 9, 2017 9:45 AM
Lately I’ve been listening to ungodly amounts of synthwave. It’s not something I expected to get really, really into, but now that I’m here in the midst of this obsession, I can start to trace where this all came from and why I’m digging it so much.
posted Wednesday, January 18, 2017 7:00 PM
Today I came across this video.
posted Wednesday, January 11, 2017 9:05 PM
A series of reminders for myself that you may find helpful:
posted Saturday, January 7, 2017 12:00 AM
As I think I’ve mentioned before here, I struggle with ADHD, but have only had a formal diagnosis for just over a year.
posted Wednesday, December 28, 2016 12:00 AM
As with every year, a lot of folks died in 2016. This year, however, the consensus seems to be that fate has been especially cruel in taking away beloved artists and other public figures from us.
posted Wednesday, November 30, 2016 12:00 AM
A lot of this post is going to be me merely thinking on paper, or attempting to follow ideas to their logical conclusions, even though they may seem a bit wacky at first.
posted Monday, November 28, 2016 12:00 AM
…and other questions I should ask myself more often.
posted Sunday, November 13, 2016 12:00 AM
I’ve been spending a lot of time letting my mind go off the rails and, for lack of a better term, just fiddle.
posted Saturday, October 29, 2016 10:51 AM
I am an abashed (no pun intended) fiddler—and I don’t mean I play violin. Recently I’ve been tipping my toes into the water of open-source development for fun, learning basics of git, CLIs, SQL, Emacs Lisp, various bits and pieces of various programming languages and frameworks, along with music-related languages and frameworks like Csound, PureData (I’m fairly competent already with Cycling 74’s Max, which shares a common ancestor with PD) and then, finally Lilypond.
posted Sunday, October 16, 2016 12:00 AM
Being an active reader of literature on personal-development, productivity, Buddhism, and related fields, it’s hard to avoid pieces that stray into topics that are unsubstantiated or pseudoscientific at best, through the ‘metaphysical’ middle, and down to being absolute horse-shit at worst.
posted Sunday, September 25, 2016 12:00 AM
Somewhat recently (as of this writing), presidential candidate Donald Trump went on The Tonight Show, where Jimmy Fallon ultimately played political softball with him, culminating in Jimmy playfully tussling Donald’s hair.
posted Saturday, September 10, 2016 12:00 AM
Tony Robbins is… an interesting guy. To say the self-help guru is successful would, by most conventional standards, be an understatement.
posted Friday, August 19, 2016 4:30 AM
Lately I’ve been much more interested in games that don’t feature dudes shooting guns and saving the world from evil bad guys (or on an extra special occasion, a lady will shoot guns and save the world!). This has been a slowly growing trend for me (as evidenced by my (sort of) recent Undertale blog). I’m well aware that there are a ton of great games out there with these sorts of stories (and indeed, there’s still some that I’m really looking forward to), but I’m just getting a tad worn out on the ubiquity of them.
Life is Strange is the perfect antidote to this disillusionment.
posted Monday, June 27, 2016 3:45 PM
As a composer (and, I’m sure, in any creative endeavor), it’s extremely, deceptively easy to fall into a rhythm and habit and just write without thinking too much about it. We simply write what we think sounds like it should come next in that moment alone; where the melody “wants” to go. Often, this leads to a very natural, effortless style of music that flows out of the composer as if it just had to.
posted Saturday, May 28, 2016 12:13 PM
A few months ago I finally gave in to peer pressure and bought & played Undertale.
posted Sunday, January 31, 2016 4:00 PM
This is another post adapted from an extended Facebook post, this one from (I think) early December 2015. I think this was one of those rare, exceptionally lucid moments where I captured what I was feeling fairly well, and I stand by it now. I know two kinda political posts from me in a row is a little bit weird and probably slightly uncomfortable and maybe even not what you were looking for following this blog? But, you know, you get a little bit of everything with me, I suppose!
posted Sunday, December 20, 2015 4:00 PM
Just as it was in 2014, 2015 was a year where things happened. Here’s a list of some of those things!
posted Tuesday, October 13, 2015 5:00 PM
There is no such thing as sad music.
There is no such thing as happy music.
Music has no inherent emotional value or meaning.
posted Monday, October 5, 2015 5:00 PM
I hear a lot about the benefits of travelling the world, from blogs and books and good friends who love to travel.
posted Tuesday, September 22, 2015 5:00 PM
As of today, I’ve officially started work as the Program Coordinator of Western Washington University’s Department of Music. After a long summer of waiting for the position to open up, applying, interviewing, and finally being offered the position, I’m extremely excited to be able to serve the very people that I was among just last year, helping young musicians find their way in the department on a full-time basis.
posted Monday, September 14, 2015 5:00 PM
I recently listened to an interview with Glenn Beck. As you might guess, I’m not a huge fan of the guy, and I was expecting that the interview wouldn’t change my perceptions of him.
posted Monday, August 31, 2015 5:00 PM
PAX is one of my favorite times of year, primarily because up and until recently, it’s where all of my real-life interaction with game industry folks happened, and every year it manages to reinvigorate my love of games and the people that make them. This year was no different.
posted Tuesday, August 25, 2015 5:00 PM
Inspired by Junkie XL’s intriguing video series on his studio and film work (especially on Mad Max: Fury Road), I decided to make some custom instruments using Native Instruments’ excellent industry-standard sampler Kontakt (don’t buy it at full price; it and Komplete go on sale at least once a year) and some drums I had access to; so far, one small bass drum at the nearby university, and one small bass drum at home that I got for free a few years back.
posted Friday, August 14, 2015 5:00 PM
For the past several months (years maybe?), I’ve been reading a lot (and attempting to implement) about how to better promote myself and market myself and network and all the weird Silcon-Valley-etc-online-entrepreneur mumbo-jumbo that goes along with that. Some of the folks that do it seem to get along fine with it but I’ve decided that I’m just… done with it. I’m not interested anymore in trying to convince others that what I’m doing is worthwhile.
posted Tuesday, July 28, 2015 5:00 PM
Participation in music can sometimes get kind of a bad rap. My tendency is to associate it with somewhat patronizing practice of having the audience clap along or do some kind of call-and-response thing, which in practice usually only goes to show how little said audience remembers from the meager music education many of them probably had.
posted Tuesday, July 14, 2015 5:00 PM
Art and capitalism have a very dubious relationship.
posted Monday, July 6, 2015 5:00 PM
I remember a conversation I was having with a couple of friends a few years ago about a particular jazz(-esque) artist (I honestly can’t remember who it was). One friend was a big fan of their interesting take on jazz. The other, not so much. When asked why he wasn’t as into them, he mentioned his experience seeing them live.
posted Tuesday, June 30, 2015 5:00 PM
I, like probably most people in creative fields, have struggled with self-esteem issues at times. Perhaps the most potentially dangerous attitude I’ve adopted along these lines is one that I think started when I was a teenager: that having low self-esteem is the only preferable alternative to becoming an arrogant egomaniac.
posted Thursday, June 18, 2015 5:00 PM
I write music. Some of it is more electronic, some of it is written for instruments, much of it is a combination of the two. Some of it is light-hearted and off-kilter, some of it dark and immersive. It kinda runs the gamut, for better or worse.
Notice I didn’t even mention a genre in that paragraph.
posted Wednesday, May 27, 2015 5:00 PM
Mad Max: Fury Road surprised me. I had watched Thunderdome and parts of the other two movies growing up, and I was mildly, skeptically optimistic about the new movie when I saw the trailers and promos. I certainly was NOT expecting it to be one of the best action movies I’d ever seen.
posted Friday, January 30, 2015 4:00 PM
Since deciding to become a composer my sophomore year of college, back in 2010, composing consistently has been a pretty constant struggle for me. Every break, be it spring, winter, or the several-month summer break (even long weekends), I’d tell myself, “Alright, this break I’m going to compose more than ever!”
Spoiler alert: it never worked.
posted Saturday, December 27, 2014 4:00 PM
Well, it’s the end of the year. It’s been… a year. Many ups and downs, though mostly ups! Here’s some of what happened in 2014:
posted Sunday, September 28, 2014 5:00 PM
Let me get the general ruling out of the way first: this is a great game from a new and promising voice in the indie horror game scene.