First impressions are paramount wherever your music is concerned. While your work should indeed speak for itself, it’s just as important that your music is packaged and presented in a compelling way. Something as subtle as a logo can serve as an entry point to your music. In this episode, we’re going to explore a few ways to develop a cohesive visual aesthetic. With this groundwork in place, you’ll be able to communicate the full breadth of your artistic vision…all without having to say a single word!
Like many worthwhile ventures, cultivating a music project is an ongoing act of passion and deliberation. Many good ideas often become great ideas as a result of thoughtful iteration. Last time, we touched on this topic specifically as it relates to your artist or band name. If you’re totally amped about your project name and are itching to put that name to work, this episode is for you! We’re going to bulk up your to-do list with some very important action items: locking down your moniker, saving a seat for yourself on distribution platforms, and drafting an effective artist biography.
If you’ve already endured the rigorous gauntlet of refining your sound and discovering your creative voice, then you’re in luck! You have already done the most difficult part. If you’re not quite at this stage, don’t worry—writing and production will be touched upon in another article series. If, however, you’re ready to get your music in front of people and take your project to the next level, this series is right up your alley. Leveling Up Your Artistic Identity is a episodic column that delves deep into the fine minutia of topics like how to build a marketing strategy, how to get your music in front of new fans, and how to grow your professional network. In this first installment, we’ll explore how to set the stage for your budding project and, armed with that knowledge, know how to choose an appropriate name.
DDRKirby(ISQ) has composed an absolutely obscene amount of quality tunes over the past decade and a half, and is a long-standing member of both the OCRemix and chipmusic communities. Predominantly composing music for a series of themed game competitions called the ‘Ludum Dare’ series, DDRKirby(ISQ) and friends have created dozens of these small, entertaining, browser-based games. With this competition being held once every six months, a colossal amount of material has been composed; DDRKirby(ISQ) has graciously compiled what they consider to be their best hits over the past few years. From video game remixes to original compositions, the album is simply packed full of memorable music!
I wanted to take a break from the showcasing of big chiptune talent to put the spotlight on a lesser-known duo of soundtrack artists from Dallas, Texas. Home World is a proof-of-concept demo album demonstrating the eponymous band’s burgeoning aptitude and enthusiasm for crafting musical accompaniment to video games.
I turn 28 this month, in fact a week from today. At this age, I find myself wishing I had the ability to go back in time and change a number of things that led my life to be the way it is today. And honestly, not only that, but there are certain parts of my life I wish I could live over again, like the parts of my childhood I spent playing my Super Nintendo and my friend’s Playstation 1 after school, jamming out to the Castlevania: Symphony of the Night OST.
This will never happen, of course. I don’t have some kind of time machine to go back, and I’ll never be able to experience Michiru Yamane and Koji Igarashi’s masterpiece again for the first time. What I do have, however, is the next best thing: Timespinner, the first game by Lunar Ray games with an amazing soundtrack by Jeff Ball of Tiny Barbarian DX and Steven Universe fame (among many others), which follows the story of Lunais – a woman who must travel between the ancient past and ruined present of her world to put an end to the tyranny her people face from an intergalactic empire. Funded on Kickstarter back in 2014, this was one of those games I backed and hoped and prayed it would actually come to completion, having been burned by a number of other very promising retro-inspired campaigns in the past – and lo and behold, at the end of September of this year I got my hands on my pledge and devoured the game immediately. Instead of my normal “music only” review column this month, I’d like to actually talk about the game as well – and as with my occasional event coverage, I’ll give you the handy #MUSIC and #GAME tags to Ctrl+F back and forth to if you only want to read one of those reviews.