Saturday, April 26, 2014

A Fract OSC Bhajan Adaptation

Namaste readers! I'm doing more experimentation with Fract OSC, but this experiment...well, let me just tell you what it is and you can decide for yourselves.

At the suggestion of a friend of mine from India, I made a Fract OSC synth version of the Hindu devotional bhajan Jai Ganesha Deva.
Upon learning of my ability to make synth music with Fract, she suggested I try making Fract synth versions of songs from India. I decided to start simple by adapting a Hindu devotional song (called a bhajan) to Lord Ganesha, as I've been trying to practice the Hindu faith for a number of years. (But you regular readers of my blog already knew that.)

I realize I might be opening myself up to potential scrutiny and criticism by doing this, but my friend from India had a firm belief that this would be accepted and supported by potential listeners. If this offends anyone I do apologize; all I ask is that you give me the benefit of a doubt and know that I did this not out of intentional malice but genuine devotion. Thank you. :)

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

I Make Ritual Noise

Namaste readers!

It is said that creative acts, such as making music, can be beneficial for the soul. Well, for quite a while, at least in the music category, I was creatively barren for some time - the last time I picked up an instrument was a saxophone during my elementary school years. I've listened to lots of music across many genres since then, but while I had the thought of trying to create music again, I never had the courage (or resources, for that matter) to try.

Now, I guess you could say I've found my muse, so to speak. There is a video game out there, independent in nature of course, called Fract OSC, which is not only an adventure game where you solve puzzles to generate music, it's also a tool with which to make music! My computer kept getting bogged down during the game part, though, so I took the shortcut of unlocking all the music creation features (which is allowed in game through the menus).

From there, I decided to try my hand at making music. I made my first ever electronic song in this game, and if you're interested, you can listen here on YouTube.
I realize it might not be of the best quality music in the world, but hey, I gotta start somewhere. Hopefully my first effort is at least enjoyable.

At the very least, I think I've found a creative outlet that I can access with ease. At the end of the day, that's what matters.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

A SPARX of Life

Namaste readers,

Sorry for the lack of updates. My real life has been quite busy of late, but this time in a positive way - I have made great progress in the search for another paying job. I might actually be employed soon, should the grace of Shri Ganesha bless me!

However, the main focus of this blog post is to recommend something. It's something that has helped me in recent days, and while I can't guarantee it will work for you, it probably wouldn't hurt to try it out. I am referring to a video game called SPARX - this is a video game designed to help people suffering from depression and related mental illnesses by teaching a set of skills called cognitive behavioral therapy, or CBT.

My therapist kept mentioning cognitive behavior therapy as a way to change how I act in the situations that provoke negative feelings in me. But learning CBT has been a bit difficult for me, mainly because there was no easy way for me to remember what to do when difficult mental situations arise. However, from my experience with SPARX so far, this might be a real way for me to learn, as it gives you opportunities to practice CBT, in a way.

I've only done the first level so far - they recommend doing one a week or thereabouts. But it looks promising. I know I keep saying that, but to me it really does - I have to admit, one way to get me to learn something is by putting it in video game format. That's because video games involve me, rather than have me passively watch and listen.

If you want to take a look for yourself, check it out here:

Other than that, Ganesha bless, readers. :)