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Confirmations of Doing the Right Thing or The End of SAD?

by Ostin 0 Comments

Tuesday was easily one of my most productive, and happiest, days in months. I composed a new instrumental, a new choral piece, then restarted the Zetaman webisode demo track I was working on. Yesterday I composed yet another instrumental and completed the demo track.

At the same time, summer has decided to show up here now. The sun’s been out since at least Tuesday.

My mood since that time has definitely improved. Quoting Radiohead, I am definitely fitter, happier, more productive. Now I’m wondering if the improved mood is because I’m doing what I need to be doing, or is because the sun has returned and my mild Seasonal Affective Disorder has disappeared.

Perhaps a bit of both.

Key Slam Therapy

by Ostin 0 Comments

I just finished doing something I haven’t done in a very long time:

I sat at my keyboard and just played.

I wasn’t trying to write anything in particular. Actually, no, that’s not quite true: I am trying to write something, but I’ve got Mr. Insecure in the way. So I stopped trying to come up with something and just let my hands do their thing. Was it particularly memorable? No, not really. Oh, there were some nice bits I came up with, but that really wasn’t the point. I just haven’t been creative much at all lately, and it felt really nice to shake out those cobwebs a bit.

I’ve got to do that kind of thing more often. And by more often, I probably mean daily. It’s my doctor visit. Actually, no…more like prayer. ‘Tis my worship.

Crossing Uncanny Valley

by Ostin 0 Comments

Yesterday morning I succumbed to gear lust and picked up a PS3. I could rationalize it because my roommates also were looking at getting one, too, and I just beat them to the punch. They wanted to play the most recent version of Ratchet & Clank, a series they’d enjoyed on the original PlayStation as well as the PS2. Me, I’d read various reviews of Red Dead Redemption and wanted to check it out. And Wil Wheaton had expounded on his adventure(s) in Dragon Age: Origins, so I also wanted to try that.

Not an inexpensive proposition. But worth it, I thought.

I started with Dragon Age. At this point there’s a lot of elements taken from Twilight Princess, specifically the real-time aspects of combat. Enemies aren’t _too_ difficult yet, so brute-force works. I’m sure as the game progresses, tactics, both preset and on-the-fly, will become more of a necessity.

I watched Dana, one of my roommates, start up Ratchet & Clank last night. She’s played a bunch of them, so her control learning curve was practically non-existent. I RTFM (Read The F*@%ing Manual) all the time now–except with my audio tools. Odd, that. Regardless, seeing the PS3 pump out beautiful, though cartoon-like, images was certainly impressive. It drove home for me how far technology has come since the PS2, and the PS1 before that, going all the way back to my first console: the Atari 2600.

This morning I popped in Red Dead Redemption for the first time. Upon starting the game, I was presented with a cinematic opening credit sequence. It was done exactly how it would be done in a film, which impressed me a lot. After that sequence, I was given control over the character for the first time.

And then I crossed the uncanny valley.

Picture a frontier town in the west, just before sunset. Imagine the color of the sky. Imagine what the buildings would look like, what the ground would look like, what colors would dominate the landscape.

That is what I saw. I stared for a moment in awe. A moment later, that feeling disappeared as I remembered I was in a game.

Technology has reached a point where our simulations of the world are getting more and more realistic. This is the challenge for me and my sonic art: creating something which sounds real, which sounds “live”, using non-live, sterile tools. It’s really daunting–almost to the point where it’s easier to toss up my hands and give up. But it is also enticing: look what I can do, what I can create!