Today, Okami HD releases on the Nintendo Switch, and I am extremely excited. The original is one of my favorite games, and it quite simply has had a more direct effect on my work as a composer than almost anything else outside of music.

You play as the Japanese sun goddess Amaterasu, awakened on Earth in the form of a white wolf. You are accompanied by the tiny traveling artist Issun, and the two of you travel Japan solving problems and defeating demons and monsters pulled straight from Japanese mythology and storytelling. Kaguya-Hime and the bamboo cutter are here, as are Urashima Taro and the clan of sparrow from the Tongue-Cut Sparrow. These tales and many more are woven organically into the game world and told colorfully and with great humor – the best example is perhaps the transformation of the god of storms Susano into a lazy descendent of a great warrior who gradually learns his true potential. Continue reading “Okami”

Not Quite a Sunset – Chapter 3

So I’ve got a new preview version of my hypertext opera Not Quite a Sunset up. You can check it out here. In this version, there is full text and audio through the interlude following the third chapter. If you’ve seen the previous preview version from the 2017 Spring Thing, there have been some significant edits to the first chapter and parts of the second to provide more interaction.

As always, this only works properly on computer browsers, but not on mobile platforms. Chrome users – be patient, as Chrome does not always start the audio until you click begin. All other mainstream browsers should work fine.

Only one chapter remains. Still a ways to go, and I know better now than to give an estimate for completion, but feeling good about where this is headed.

RAICES commissions

Like many of you, I have been alternately in a state of anger or hopelessness regarding the Trump administration’s zero tolerance policy at the southern border, resulting in thousands of children separated from their parents, and have been wondering what, if anything, I can do to help.

Then I saw a post by composer Jen Wang regarding her beautiful plan: for a $100 donation to RAICES, an organization dedicated to providing legal help to immigrants and refugees, she would write a 1-minute piece for the solo instrument of your choice. Since that initial post, she has raised over $5000 for RAICES and 10 other composers have joined her in the project, including myself.

If you would like to participate as a commissioner, all you need to do is:

  1. Donate to the RAICES bond fund
  2. Send me, Jen, or any of the other composers an email with a screen shot of the receipt
  3. Let the composer of your choice know the instrument of your choice

It’s that easy! If you can’t donate the full amount, you can donate a smaller amount and join an existing commission. Or you can simply donate and not commission at all! Even if you are not in a position to donate, you can help by sharing the initiative with your own network.

Even after the separation policy was ended, there are still families that need to be reunited, and there is a threat that this could just result in families – together with their children – being detained indefinitely. Whatever you do, please find a way that you can help.

New Beginnings

After a week of work, the new website is transferred from my own shoddy HTML to a WordPress based site, which will hopefully make it easier for me to update more frequently.

I’m also going to give this blog thing a try. I’ll be writing periodically about music things, certainly – what I’m writing, playing, or listening to – but also some general posts on anything else, from what I’m reading, games I’m playing, and the like. Hopefully that’s of interest to someone out there.