Archive for December, 2005


Thursday, December 29th, 2005

Out of all the demos I’ve written, there aren’t many that I’ve been totally happy with at the time of release, but Haiku is one.

It was my first attempt at a 4K intro, written for tUM*05 which was to my knowledge the first ever party to hold an intro compo open to multiple 8-bit platforms – although in the end it went uncontested in that category, and instead went into the demo competition, where it got first place.

There’s a mammoth article in issue 3 of ZX Shed covering the design work and coding tricks that went into its production. Here’s a (multimedia-enhanced) taster…

It’s harder than you’d think to write tinkly oriental music. My first few attempts on my trusty electric keyboard (set to Koto or Shamisen mode) sounded fairly authentic, but stripped back to the square waves of the AY sound chip, they quickly turned into bubblegum dance music.

Download haiku1.mp3

Download haiku2.mp3

Floundering in writer’s block, I put on a DVD of Hayao Miyazaki’s My Neighbour Totoro, a film so cutesy it makes Bubble Bobble look like The Exorcist. Lo and behold, after King Totoro had led the dance to make Mei and Satsuki’s acorns grow, a melody leapt out, unmistakeably eastern and yet instantly appealing to western tastes.
Download totoro.mp3
I analysed it every which way, pulled apart the plodding rhythm and the musical scale, and put together a melody of my own following the same style.
Download haiku3.mp3

Frozen Promise

Friday, December 9th, 2005

Spurred on by the positive response on Pouët to my Rob Hubbard Hungarian Eurovision Riverdance Megamix, I set to work on a slightly less frivolous mash-up in Audacity. This one combines Frozen by Madonna with Promised Land, the soundtrack to the demo Instant Zen by Synesthetics. (MP3, 7.0Mb)

Download frozen_promise.mp3