Monday, 5 December 2022

December 2022

Not a whole lot of news to report, but I wanted to give you all an update since it has been over a year now.

I was hoping I'd get my game finished in 2022. Unfortunately, that won't be happening for various reasons. I'm still working on it nearly every day, though; it is just a lot of work, and life's obstacles can often get in the way. Right now, it is writing out the random encounters (essentially CYOA short stories) that is taking up my time. While I also have a smaller-scale, procedurally generated story system -- where paragraphs are broken down into their core sensory elements, and then random (but environmentally appropriate) selections are made to create the story -- the encounters currently being worked on are all the custom written, hand crafted ones. As the game is largely text based and horror themed, this is an area I'm being fairly meticulous with in order to capture the correct mood while also giving each skill check a chance to shine. But once I finish these encounters, it should be smooth sailing from there: finalizing assets, testing, general polish, etc. I'm aiming for a release next year, but the timeline for completion is harder to predict than it is with music production.

Speaking of music, some progress has been made there, but I'm very much focused on finishing this game. The songs for the next Sequester album are all loosely arranged, at least, and a bunch of the lyrics have been written, and most of the guitar tones and synth patches have been finalized... So with those types of decisions already out of the way, I should be able to just slip into the recording process without too much hassle. And damnit, am I looking forward to it. "Absence makes the heart grow fonder," indeed.

Friday, 15 October 2021

October 2021

Hello everyone. It has certainly been some time. I've received a few messages asking if I was dead, so given the state of the world, I suppose an update is in order. Nope, not dead. I've avoided the Rona so far; a natural proclivity for extreme introversion I'm sure has helped. The record shattering heatwave here in BC this past summer wasn't fun. And in New Westminster, we've had a number of random fires from barges, old piers and buildings that keep filling the city with highly toxic fumes. I'm still alive for now though.

I've arranged a number of new songs, and finished recording the instrumentation for one of them, but it will be a while yet until the next album is released (probably 2023-2024). At the moment, most of my creativity has been dedicated to another project I've alluded to before, which I guess I'll finally elaborate on. I've been slowly working away on a small video game for a number of years, and the end point has actually started to appear. I've nearly finished all the programming at least, and my attention is currently on prose, visual art, and audio. The game is a turn-based strategy Lovecraftian roguelite with CYOA elements. It's definitely niche, but something I've wanted to make for ages. Due to how time consuming solo game development is, I'm not sure how many of these projects I have in me -- as Sequester is where my main passion lies -- but I do consider this a bucket-list item of sorts, and one I'm quite proud of. And the music will be more synthwave and ambient, channeling the likes of John Carpenter, which will be a fun change from my album material.

So that's all for now. In case any are interested, I'll post more info and appropriate links when the game is complete. Until then, thank you as always for the support.

Monday, 29 June 2020

June 2020 - Civilization

I've released a new album to Bandcamp consisting of a single 21:30 instrumental track, Civilization, an homage to one of my favourite game series.
The idea behind this one was to have a number of acts that would relate to different civ eras, where progressing through them would change the instrumentation and increase the phrasing being used. For example, while the first act consists mostly of percussion and 1-2 bar phrasing, the final act uses synthesizers and 6-8 bar phrasing. Everything is then tied together with guitars, drums, and a few subtly changing melodies that signal the start or end of an era.

Link: https://sequester.bandcamp.com/album/civilization

Tuesday, 17 December 2019

December 2019

I wanted to take a brief break from my other projects and do a Grinch cover for the holiday season: https://youtu.be/aMR0wzN2xcE

Merry Christmas and happy LOTR binge.

Friday, 9 August 2019

August 2019

I can't believe it has been over a year. As you probably all know by now I'm not much of a social media guy, so figured I'd at least show a sign of life here. No real news to report just yet, though there is most definitely stuff in the works. I'm currently working hard on another project (I'll make a proper announcement on that eventually) and the next album is still a few years out; in the mean time there are also a few covers I've been wanting to do, so expect those on my YouTube channel-- one of which I'll put out in December. And thank you to everyone for checking out Hermit and for all the kind words that were sent my way.

Tuesday, 8 May 2018

Hermit Released

It has been a long time coming but I've finally finished and released Hermit.

You can find the album available for download at CDBaby here:
https://store.cdbaby.com/cd/sequester4
It will also appear on iTunes, Spotify, Amazon and Google Play within a week or so.

This website is updated with the lyrics and album info in their appropriate sections, and I've also uploaded track two, "Bloodborne," to my YouTube channel:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pCkd8BRVzXc

While the overarching themes of Hermit could be considered mostly negative-- with some re-occuring topics being isolation, stress, anxiety, depression, failure, love and death-- its actual finality and the conclusion to this laborious process feels quite positive. There is admittedly a bittersweet tinge, as goes for each album release (or any journey's end for that matter), since it leaves behind a void of sorts in its sudden unaccustomed absence. Thus the cycle continues, with fresh musical ideas and other projects already in the works.

It has also been 11 years this month since Visions of the Erlking, which is rather difficult for me to fathom. I'd like to sincerely thank everyone who has stuck around or joined in along the way.

Goodbye for now,

Ryan

Thursday, 8 March 2018

March 2018 Update

Hard to believe it has been a year since the last update. Time really flies.
I still have three songs worth of vocals to record, but otherwise everything else is done (including all the lyrics and the artwork). The release will be within a few months at any rate, likely in June.

Here's the track list:

Hermit

1. Safe in Obscurity
2. Bloodborne
3. The Boy Who Lived
4. The Black Company
5. Forgotten Ones
6. Magicant
7. Dead Man's Switch
8. Means of Comfort
9. Augment

1 and 8 I'll leave to interpretation, but the rest are pretty identifiable.
Game-wise, there's 2 (Bloodborne), 5 (Torment: Tides of Numenera), 6 (EarthBound), and 7 (Shadowrun Returns). Number 9 shares themes with Deus Ex, but I wouldn't say that was necessarily a direct influence; more so the notion of aging as a disease and how man's potential immortality could be achieved through biotech.
Book-wise, there's 3 (Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone), and 4 (the first book of Glen Cook's series of the same name).

While I try to pay homage to inspirators from various chapters of my life, I'd say 3 and 6 are the more nostalgic songs on this album. Generally, all of my favourite games are strategy related, having started with Civilization around '92 (well shit... seems I'm getting old), but it has always been those story rich RPGs like EarthBound that first come to mind when it's time for writing lyrics, as such were the stories that sparked my childhood imagination the most. EarthBound was actually the first RPG I ever owned, which I craved for my ninth birthday due to schoolyard and Nintendo Power hype. I remember us looking all over town and, just before defeated resignation, finally finding it at a Canadian Tire of all places-- that giant box with the included player's guide sitting high on top of a glass case.
And a few years afterward, I have Rowling to thank for really getting me into reading novels. Prior to that, it would have been just the occasional Goosebumps or Animorphs. And comics, but those are still on the menu.

Anyway, this will be the last update since once the vocals are all tracked the album will be released shortly thereafter, as I've been iteratively mixing along the way so there shouldn't be too much work left to do at that point. See you then.