Technology

Patreon update and some random stuff

Haven’t blogged in a while, have I? I need to try blogging more frequently, as it’s at least a bit of writing practice while I’m busy plotting.

Quick Patreon update

I’m busy with some other projects, so my music composing (and YouTube video making) has fallen behind. I failed to deliver anything for March to my Patreon supporters. Those pieces are still coming. Anyway, I’ve gone ahead and frozen donations for this month to give myself some time to catch up. I’m hoping I’ll be back at it next month, but I’ll have to wait and see. Regardless, those March pieces are still coming.

A decade of blogging!

I started this blog in April 2007, when I was a junior in college. It’s now been a decade! Yay! Woohoo! And what do I have to show for it? What have I accomplished in that time? Let’s not ask that question, and just consider being around for a decade an accomplishment in and of itself, OK? Yay!

FaceApp

An app called “FaceApp” was recently released for Android, and I’ve had some great fun playing with it, I find it hilarious. I think it’s available for iPhone too. I posted some results to my twitter:

Hours of great fun!

Lyrebird

A new company called Lyrebird is developing some voice synthesis tools, and it sounds pretty awesome! Check out their demos here on their demo page. The voices of Trump, Obama, and Hillary Clinton are still a bit fuzzy to be used for anything other than playing around, but I’m still excited by the potentials. I think it would be awesome to create an audio drama, for example, without having to hire a bunch of different voice actors. There’s also a lot of potential for this sort of technology to be used for music instrument sampling, yes? Especially synthesized choirs. I look forward to seeing this product develop!

How “Bates Motel” should’ve ended

Spoilers ahead. The A&E drama series “Bates Motel”, a modern-day retelling of Hitchcock’s classic film Psycho, ended its five-season run this Monday. The ending left me rather disappointed; it felt too quick and easy. Just unsatisfying. So here’s how I would’ve ended it:

Norman does not kill Romero in the woods. Instead, he tries to kill him, but only injures him, and he runs off with Norman shooting at him. He takes Norma’s body home imagining they are restarting, invites Dylan to dinner, as they did in the episode. Dylan calls Emma, but rather than just hang up, Emma calls that town’s police, afraid for Dylan’s life. Dylan enters the home, sees Norma’s body, vomits in his mouth but swallows it (because I hate seeing characters vomit), but rather than working up Norman into a crazy angry frenzy, actually manages to calm him and perhaps at least half-convinces him that he needs to be in a mental hospital, that Norma will always be with him there or something, or at least he keeps him calm. Romero enters, finding the gun, and points it at Norman, ready to kill. Arriving and hearing a commotion, the police break in, ordering Romero to drop the weapon. Romero refuses and shoots Norman before getting shot himself by the police. Norman dies in his brother’s arms and they have their sad little brotherly moment (without the stupid suicidal “thank you” – there’s nothing beautiful or bittersweet about suicide; I think that’s what annoyed me the most). Slow zoom out with Dylan, dead Norman and Norma, only this time with the police and dead Romero in the background.

That would’ve felt a lot more satisfying to me. The whole mercy-killing thing just felt wrong to me, too sudden and not very climactic.

One more thing…

There was something else I wanted to mention, but now I’ve forgotten it… I’ll blog about it next time, I guess, if I remember…

By S P Hannifin, ago
Music composition

New music and a Patreon account…

Over the weekend I finished a short composition called A Stargazer’s Lullaby:

As I write in the video’s description:

This piece is part of a short soundtrack for a book series I’m working on called Insane Fantasy. “A Stargazer’s Lullaby” provides the theme for the main character, Coptivon, who’s growing up in a crater in the Crater Lands. There’s not much life out there, but the flat landscapes offer a nice view of the stars. With little else to do in the Crater Lands, Coptivon has memorized all the constellations he could learn. His theme is meant to capture his boredom giving way to fantastical dreams as he gazes at the night stars.

This was my first try at screen recording on my new computer with Nvidia’s ShadowPlay that came with their GeForce GTX970. I’d say it’s definitely the smoothest animation I’ve ever been able to record, so this is definitely the way I’ll do it from now on.

Also, I went ahead a set up a Patreon account here: Sean on Patreon. Of course, funding is always a great help to any artist. This will also allow me to sort-of sell tracks as I finish them rather than having to put out singles on bandcamp or something while I’m saving tracks for an album. Although I’m not really selling them; rather, I’m offering them as a reward for tip-jar donations. Which may amount to the same thing in some people’s eyes, but I’m not sure I’d really consider Patreon that sort of an eCommerce site.

This will also ensure that I release at least two new pieces a month, as I’ll be obligated. (I suppose if something drastic comes up, I can always suspend donations for a month or two, but completing at least two tracks a month won’t be difficult.)

A big thank you to anyone who pledges!

By S P Hannifin, ago