– It's been a long time between updates, and that's because I'm working on a large game, mostly to the exclusion of all other projects. As a result, I'm unlikely to make any progress on the third Aeriae album for a while. Having to stop advancing on any particular front always makes me a bit nervous (so I'm perpetually nervous) but it is the time reality of doing large solo projects across different media. And more so if you support these projects with a day job that's also subtracting from the time cake.
– Cragne Manor is here! I was one of 84 interactive fiction authors who contributed a location (mine is The Music Room) to this mammoth adventure game. It's a twentieth anniversary tribute to Michael Gentry's H.P. Lovecraft-inspired game Anchorhead. None of the authors got to see each other's rooms during construction, but thanks to the planning and oversight of organisers Jenni Polodna and Ryan Veeder, there is a grand design of puzzles and goals. It's hard to say what the expectations for this project even were, but they've been eclipsed by the result, which is the most entertaining big IF game I've ever played. The horror subject matter is a constant, yet it's been interpreted in all kinds of ways, from the deadly serious to the outright comedic. Each location contributes to what feels like a bizarrely singular identity. It's an amazing game.
– I authored a location for the Anchorhead tribute game Cragne Manor. The organisers have approximately ninety submissions that need to be attached to each other in order to form the complete game, so it may be a long time before the finished product is available.
– I mastered the special edition of David Ingall and Reuben Finnigan’s EP The Bolted Report and it's just been released by Clan Analogue. I contributed a remix to the EP as Profound Actor. New in the special edition is a non-electronic track by Nicole Skeltys and Robin Hemmings.
– Thanks very much to Igloo Magazine who listed Aeriae EP Peril Triage as being amongst the best electronic EP releases of 2017
– I released Captain Piedaterre's Blunders, a short CYOA (choose your own adventure) game written with Inform 7. The game is a spin-off from Ryan Veeder's ship-looting game Captain Verdeterre's Plunder, his entry into 2013's IFComp. In Blunders, you play a rat looting a pirate's house, and you can click this link to download it and/or play online.
– October brings a new Aeriae release: DE. DE is comped from several live takes of my recent Melbourne set. It's the same mix I play into a big room, thus sounds awesome in a big room, and has been described as 'mind-melting' and '(G-RATED STAND-IN FOR AN EXPLETIVE) amazing' by early adopters. It's starting life as Bandcamp-only, pay-what-you-want, and you can get anything from 24-bit FLAC to mp3. If you do stream it, don't only stream it, listen to the lossless version sometime.
– I reviewed the Apple II-oriented software/business memoir Cyber Jack: The Adventures of Robert Clardy and Synergistic Software for the Volume 22, Issue 3 (September 2017) edition of Juiced.GS magazine.
– I played an Aeriae show at the Melbourne Fringe Festival on Friday 15 September 2017. The venue was Bar 303 in Northcote, and the event was Digital Envelope, the first of two consecutive Clan Analogue-hosted nights celebrating both their 25th anniversary and 50th release. Click here to visit my Aeriae blog for full details + links.
– Thallium & Milo play in public for the first time!.. on August 31, 2017 at Freda's, Chippendale, Sydney. The event is the Red Kangaroo Suffocate album launch hosted by the Chemical Imbalance label. Here's the facebook event page.
– I finished mastering two releases for Clan Analogue: Random Acts of Elevator Music and the compilation Coordinate: Collaboration Beyond the Algorithm, the latter being Clan's 50th release.
– Leadlight Gamma now runs on macOS Sierra! While updating its homepage to reflect this development, I refreshed all the game's downloads and Read Me's in general. You can buy Leadlight Gamma for Mac, PC, Linux or iDevice for the unholy price of US$6.66 at itch.io.
– I updated my 2011 Interactive Fiction game Six to version 5. In this new version, I cut any 2011-centric material out of the startup configuration sequence (thrilling, right?) and I also dropped the default music and sound effects volume levels to 3 out of 5 from 5 out of 5. Why did I do this stuff? Read my IF blog post. More importantly, learn all about Six and download what you need to play it at the Six homepage.
– Andrew Plotkin and I have teamed up on itch.io for the Parser Power Summer Double! During this week-long sale (ends July 10) you can get both Andrew's sci-fi behemoth Hadean Lands and my own CRPG horror spree Leadlight Gamma for US$9.00. That's over 50% off both games. Plus you get stuff you don't normally get with each game: a hi-res map of Hadean Lands and a coupon for the digi edition of the Leadlight Gamma soundtrack on Bandcamp.
– Dennis de Caires invited me to make an Aeriae guest mix for his Monday night 2SER (107.3 FM) Sydney radio show In The Abstract. I've put together an hour long Twin Peaks-inspired mix which will appear on the June 12 episode. The whole show goes from 10PM to midnight and my mix will come on around 10:30 PM. Tonally it ranges from the angelic to the weird to the frightening; the Twin Peaks aesthetic. You'll hear music from bands like Seefeel and Retina.it, from computer games like Silent Hill, Dino Crisis and Burn:Cycle, from avant garde jazz musos turned producers like Basil Kirchin, and from me both as Aeriae and half of Thallium & Milo. And you'll hear a piece of music from 1990's Twin Peaks.
– Thallium & Milo are now online: Christian Durham and I have been recording improvised music as T&M for about seven years now, but for a ton of logistical reasons I'm about to touch on, we haven't released any of our full length tracks until now. We've got three out to start: Pomp My Ride (19 minutes), Both Portents (16 minutes) and Kind Of Electroy (56 minutes).
– Our YouTube channel will carry all our tracks. Especially the long ones, which is most of them.
– Our Bandcamp page will host our shorter to medium length tracks. They can be bought there in lossless format.
– Our SoundCloud page will host a rotation of tracks both long and short, which you can freely download there in mp3 format.
About Thallium & Milo: Each of our tracks is improvised and recorded in real time with no planning or rehearsal. The average length has turned out to be 53 minutes. We don't aim for this length, but we do recall that 53 minutes was the length of a period at the high school we went to.
We play computers, traditional instruments, non-traditional instruments, voices and warped recordings of all kinds of sound. My estimate is that we've recorded 80-100 hours of material. It ranges through pretty much every genre at some point.
To date we've only released edited bits of our tracks, mostly on Clan Analogue compilations, because logistically that's what traditional release formats can handle. Over time we discussed whether we could or should try to edit our long pieces down for release. Christian always liked them best whole, and I eventually came around to the same way of thinking. Compositionally, they are what they are, and for anyone ready to listen, whether in the background or foreground (because we get it, they're long and you're not used to that!) we're going to start releasing them.
The main challenge has been approaching the mastering of freeform tracks that have dynamic ranges and content which vary wildly over time, the odd crazy 20 decibel surprise, mistake or tech glitch, and which run towards an hour. There's no setting and forgetting with music like this. However, my confidence in mastering other people's material has increased a lot over the past couple of years, and the day came when I suddenly wanted to tackle Thallium & Milo. And at whatever speed I/we can handle it, we'll be releasing from our back catalogue while continuing to make new music.
– My Aeriae EP Peril Triage was released by Clan Analogue. To accompany the EP, I'm making a series of videos called Aeriae - Live As Can Be. In the first episode I talk about how I got into playing live via Moldover's awesome controllerism video. I demo Lenticular Cup and other music from the first Aeriae shows back in 2009, including the intro riff from Apple IIGS game The Immortal. Then I describe my setup in detail. For the keyboard outro, I play Spy vs. Spy from the Commodore 64:
– I added my Flippable Noise Gate ensemble for Reaktor to Reaktor's User Library. I put this effect together because I wanted the FLIP function from Ableton Live's Gate device to be available to me in other DAWs, and figured others might too. Also, a decent gate is about the only thing in the whole world that you don't get with Reaktor when you buy it!
– This year, as part of my Clan Analogue activities, I'll be adding missing items from Clan's back catalogue to its Bandcamp page. The first one I added was Re Cognition: The Clan Analogue Legacy Collection
– I advised on the mixing of the Reuben Ingall / David Finnigan album Kill Climate Deniers, out now on Clan Analogue.
– I mastered the spinoff EP The Bolted Report. I contributed a remix to the EP as Profound Actor. The EP also features Ingall/Finnigan, James Atkin of EMF, Future Conduits and iubar Project.
– Clan Analogue's 2015 compilation release Intone: Voice Abstractions, to which I contributed as part of Thallium & Milo with the track God's Rainbow, was shortlisted for the Award for Excellence in Experimental Music at the 2016 Art Music Awards.
– I was a guest on episode 34 of podcast Clash of the Type-Ins. We played my 2011 interactive fiction game Six.
– I've donated a cartoon about the megalomaniacal side of game development to the IFComp 2016 general prize pool. Click the pic below for a closeup:
Click this sentence for the game link
Click this sentence for the sale link and more sale details
The video above shows 89 Leadlight game research images in 20 seconds and is set to Girls from the Leadlight Gamma soundtrack.
With Qarpa’s kind blessings, I’m making the track available as a free download. It’s on Bandcamp (stream online, or download in any format) and SoundCloud (stream online, or download as FLAC).
– I just released a room recording of my June 2012 Aeriae set. You can SoundCloud the whole or BandCamp separate tracks.
– Work is well advanced on a new Aeriae EP. It's based on my Victris live set.
– I did a 30 minute interview about my game Leadlight Gamma for IndieSider #26. The video starts with an 8 minute overview of the game.
– I released Leadlight Gamma, my new interactive fiction horror adventure game, and the soundtrack to go with it. Check out the reviews at Adventure Gamers, Gamerz Unite and IFDB.