Everything Came Crashing Down

This is not the easiest post to write. Yesterday marked four weeks since my Dad was taken into hospital as an emergency, with an unidentified illness and a fever spiking at 40 deg.  That’s why I haven’t posted for ages.

The trouble started at the beginning of October, but it took a while for it to become clear that something more serious than a stomach upset or mild food poisoning was going on and to persuade Dad to get seen. There had actually been a few signs Dad wasn’t well over the summer, but we’d put it down to him overdoing it, and he had seemed to get better.  Dad’s age seemed to accelerate – he seemed about 25 years older than his real age on the day we called the ambulance.

After a pretty thorough round of testing in A&E* and an ‘acute’ medical ward, we were initially told that Dad had cancer in multiple organs and ‘months’ to live, even though he was miles better than a few hours earlier. Then suddenly just over a week after that, the diagnosis was changed to ‘not cancer’ but ‘abscesses’ of an unknown cause.  The medical team were more surprised than we were – they said they’d not seen anything like it, and that a turnaround like this was very rare.  It started to feel like we were in the plot of an episode of House, MD, just without Hugh Laurie or his glamorous team of assistants.

Dad’s now been moved to a different ward in a different hospital in a different city and been prodded and poked and tested and scanned a whole lot more. Visiting hours are shorter and travel times are longer, but this hospital has the particular specialists Dad needs, if he is going to get better. We don’t know if he will fully recover, or if there will be long term damage, but there’s a lot of prayer and we’re hopeful. Dad hasn’t lost his sense of humour, although he’s seemed close a few times, and he says he’s ‘got more tubes than the Northern Line**’. He wants to be out before Christmas, but I’m not sure that’s going to be possible.

Because of what’s going on, my life is completely on hold just now, and the album release is going to be delayed until next year. Dad’s been talking about getting ill as ‘when everything came crashing down’, which seems pretty apt for what’s happened. I’m hoping for the rebuild to go well, though, even if it takes a while.

 

* That’s E.R. for my friends in the US

**London Underground pun-based Dad-joke. Not bad for someone in Dad’s current state of health.

 

 

First Game: Way of the Bubble

The Way of the Bubble, Menu Screen

The Way of the Bubble (Beta), Menu Screen

The last few weeks have been a bit intense at times. I signed up for a game music composition course on Udemy in June – maybe not the sanest thing to do during a 30-day composition challenge, but I doubled up and used the homework as Tune-A-Day June tunes, which helped me crack on with it.

It’s the first Udemy course I’ve studied and it is going well. I wanted to write about what I’m learning for Code Like a Girl, because it involves Unity, a very popular game development ‘engine’*.  With the games industry being so buoyant it would be good to encourage more girls to get involved. But I needed to write a long-overdue article first to complete the story about making video using Processing 3 to write basic animations, so I ended up writing two articles quite close together.  The first article is about making the music visualiser used in the Silver Bird video; the second is about what I’ve been up to on the game music course, which teaches you to make your music adapt to what is happening inside a game and trigger music cues based on events occuring. It’s been really interesting so far and I feel like I’m much better prepared for making more music for games.

I’ve also spent some time trying to learn a little more than is covered on Unity by the game music course by looking at Unity tutorials and just playing around with it. (If you read the second recent article for Code Like A Girl, you’ll see I had some fun body-modding the player character and giving his glasses a makeover). I definitely want to learn more about using Unity, as I’d like to create a simple game that I can use for making video footage from.  This will involve learning to code in C#, however, so that will stretch the old grey matter more than a little when I get to grips with it properly. I’ve only really scratched the surface so far.  (Unity can also take Java scripts, but the tutorials look like they concentrate on C#, so I’ll just follow those – the two languages seem very similar from my perspective, anyway).

Unity gives you a fantastic platform to work with for making animations, from what I can see, and you can almost treat it like a filmset once you’re proficient, setting up camera angles, getting the camera to follow a character’s movements, or to zoom in to the action, etc. I’m not sure how I’m going to fit in all this learning though. It may be quite a long time before I can make something really decent – if I get that far.

New Game – Way of the Bubble

Meanwhile, I’ve had my first glimpse of the Way of the Bubble game, the first game in the TrickJazz chillout mobile games series, which I already mentioned a few times.  The game I was originally scheduled to be in, Dreamwalker, has been delayed, so they’ve included my tune Sunset Landscape as one of the tunes in Way of the Bubble. The game is now in beta testing, and I’ve had a go at playing it already, which I’m naturally quite excited about.

Footnotes:

*I’m not sure how they started calling these things engines – Unity is a development environment where you pull together and organise all the different elements that go into making a game and test it. It has built in elements, like a ‘physics engine’ so you can apply gravity to your objects and make them bounce back from walls, etc. You can also buy additional items to extend the possibilities, particularly of the graphics elements available.

Stoneygate: Sleepwalker

I love this review! “You could end the beginning of the Korea war just by handing Kim Yong Un my headphones.”

Musiker

I cannot say much about your music. Despite I paid my full attention to it. There are barbiturates like Thiopental. No, I´m not talking about the death penalty injection. I´m talking about a narcosis. Your music worked like a barbiturate on me. I forgot space and time, as if I was mentally ill. I walked up and down my apartment with my headphones on. I think, this is the definition of “chillout”. But I´d never imagined what kind of power your music has on me. Take the case others feel like me. You could end the beginning of the Korea war just by handing Kim Yong Un my headphones. Isn´t it amazing? Love, Mister Tetzentheil ❤

View original post

Stoneygate – Sleepwalker: Review And Interview Extravaganza

How’s this for a lovely write up of the album? Many thanks to Aaron at KMA for taking the time to listen, to make me think by asking the deeper questions and for sharing his thoughts in the blog.

keepsmealive

Dear KMA Readers,

James and I have been doing this blog for ten years (plus a bit), and one of the things we’ve always said was that if you’re an artist, and you have tunes you’ve created, and you want them heard and reviewed on our site… send them to us! We guarantee we’ll get it heard and written up. We love new-to-us music and we will always welcome it. Sending it to us is a great way for you to get your name and your work in print. 

In our decade of blogging, this has only happened a few times. But we take every delivery as a victory, and we always do a write-up, as promised.

Recently, we received contact and a submission from Stoneygate, with an album called Sleepwalker. Below, I’ve not only reviewed this record, but also sent along a few questions, email interview-style, to Stoneygate for answers!…

View original post 2,488 more words