the online ramblings of a generally confused game designer

Friday, September 08, 2006

and now for something a little different

well, my work at the moment on visiting day has gone back to the usual tweaking and bug fixing, so nothing that exciting to report. For that reason I decided to write a post on the music of the game. I then remembered that my knowledge and understanding of music and the way it's created is 'i like it' and 'i don't like it'. Sadly Kittyhawkdrive, the band who were working on the music have dissipated for a while, but Odeevil Jazz, the friend i initially approached with the project, has promised to keep going on the mix. I've asked her to give you guys a little introduction to her, her music, and what she's going for in the soundtrack to visiting day. That's enough twaddle from me though, I'll let her talk now...

odeevil jazz

Don’t ask me where the name came from, I’m really not sure. When I was a teenager and wanting to be punk rock I racked my brains to try and think of a stage name like “Polystyrene” from the X-ray Spex or “Manda-rin” from Bis. I think my friend Dave misheard the word oedema (thank God!). Odeevil was born in a sixth-form common room to a 17 yr old girl who loved to play jazz on her trumpet...

Music was a constant fixture in my life, and then one summer I bought a four-track tape recorder. I took it to my friend Alex’s house and then forgot about it for a year as we took up getting stoned, listening to Jefferson Airplane and playing Super Bomber Man with a vengeance...we ran out of money for weed which was fantastic because then I remembered the four track and my tentative beginnings at songwriting began. I played guitar (badly), I could play keyboard (by “play” I mean I owned one) and best of all my keyboard had pre-programmed drums, so that was great (groan). It’s surprising how good you can get when you hear how bad you sound on a very unforgiving format. Kittyhawkdrive was the band and the learning curve. It strengthened my song writing skills, my voice and my resolve. I could write songs and people did like them! I had a fantastic partnership in Alex who could write the hooks to perfectly complement whatever vocal style I was going for.

Fast-forward and somehow by virtue of a cobbled-together Myspace page and the fact that I am willing to dance like an idiot at work Mike has asked me to compose a soundtrack to a video game. It’s all rather exciting and quite naturally I jumped at the chance. Luckily I had the perfect track half-done, already waiting. Some years previously I had begun work on an instrumental track inspired by Papa Lazarou’s circus from the television series of League Of Gentlemen: a brooding eerie piece with a fairground feel of a derelict funhouse filled with clowns like Stephen King’s “It”.

I’m sure that the constant reworking to get the right length, the endless battles with split clarinet reeds and face muscles that just want to give up after constantly flitting between the clarinet and the trumpet will all drive me completely potty. However, I was keen to do everything I could to enhance the feel of the game. I find Visiting Day an absolutely beautiful little premise. The story line is cute but the animation is quite dark. I loved that juxtaposition and want to help Mike achieve that through the music. The tune itself is sinister and this atmosphere is heightened by the presence of sweet tinkling bells and chimes faintly playing in the background. Visiting Day is a fantastic project and I am very grateful to have been given a part to play in it. Odeevil xxx


Anonymous gnome said...

A great read Odeevil Jazz. Thanks :)

3:01 pm

Blogger mike said...

hear hear

4:27 pm

Anonymous Odeevil said...

Is it ok if I link your blog from my myspace page?

1:34 am

Blogger mike said...

lol... id be upset if you didn't :) plus be sure to post the url for your myspace here...

1:41 am


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