Music

Music has been a life-long passion for me. It has brought me endless joy when life was good, and it has been my sanctuary when life was bleak. People like me--those who have found themselves so heavily under the spell of music--chose to venture beyond just listening; we must take part in its creation in order to feel fulfilled an happy.

I love a wide range of musical styles--from orchestral, electronic, jazz, rock, pop, ethnic, scores for film/televison and games, to various sub-genres out there such as industrial, goth, trip-hop, IDM, prog rock, acid jazz, metal, bossa nova...etc.

I have written songs for popstars and composed scores for film and video games. I make music for my personal projects when between clients.

My primary instruments are keyboard, guitar, drums/percussion, and bass. I also play some secondary instruments like harmonica (diatonic and chromatic), melodion, recorder...etc.

 


 

Ethereality Studio

My studio is both my playground and my sanctuary, as well as a place of inspiration. I spend just about all my waking hours in it.

(Click for more photos of the studio, including design sketchs, 3D mockups, diagrams, and construction photos)

 

DAW (Digital Audio Workstation): I'm running all kinds of software on networked PC's--from sequencing hosts, sample libraries, to virtual instruments/effects plugins. I love trying out different sequencers, softsynths, effects, sample libraries, etc., and I participate in the VST/sample library development communities, where members are constantly releasing free plugins, samples, and innovative new tools. My current sequencer DAW of choice is Cakewalk Sonar.

 


New music

These are the latest tracks

 

Galactic Melee - Main Title (New Version)

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Genre: Soundtrack

Mood & Instrumentation: Dramatic, evolving, orchestral strings, acoustic & electronic drums, percussion, electric bass, distorted guitar, synths

Note: This is a track from a score I composed for a multiplayer game called Galactic Melee (MMO space shooter), and used for the main menu.

 

Shadowstorm - Opening Title

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Genre: Soundtrack

Mood & Instrumentation: Ominous, majestic, orchestral, electronic

Note: I scored this opening title for a scienc-fiction short film called Stormshadow. The version used in the film is different--I took out the woodwinds and the synths and focused on the brass and strings for that version since the director wanted a more majestic orchestral vibe.

 

End of the Story, and the Beginning of Another

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Genre: Electronic

Mood & Instrumentation: Uplifting, driving beat, synths, orchestral strings

Note: Central focus for this track is to have lush, sweeping orchestral strings playing on top of an electronic arrangement and a driving beat. The story behind the music was to encourage someone to let go of the past and look forward to the next phase in life.

 


Sample Clips

These are short snippets from various projects and personal work

 

What You Don't Know

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Genre: Soundtrack

Mood & Instrumentation: Emotional, intimate, piano, cello, percussion

Note: This cue is for a scene where someone has become suspicious of a loved one. That suspicion leads to the person one day deciding to follow the suspicious party from a distance, to find answers to that suspicion. The pursuit starts out in the suburbs, then into the city. At the end of the track (climax), we find out just what dark secret is discovered.

 

Galactic Melee - In-game Combat 3

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Genre: Soundtrack

Mood & Instrumentation: Mysterious, ethnic percussion, synths

Note: For this combat cue, I used evolving pads and percussions to build up a sense of mystery and tension.

These in-game combat cues loop throughout the various levels in the game. Since the game is more about strategy and teamwork than about pure action, I wanted to go for a more hypnotic and introspective atmosphere for all the combat cues as opposed to the typical in-your-face aggressive approach that most shooter games use

 

Galactic Melee - In-game Combat 2

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Genre: Soundtrack

Mood & Instrumentation: Groovy, acoustic drums, electric bass, synths

Descripton: For this combat cue, I established a persistent drum groove that drives the mood and propels the strategic action forward.

 

Galactic Melee - In-game Combat 1

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Genre: Soundtrack

Mood & Instrumentation: Groovy, acoustic drums, electric bass, synths

Note: I used a square wave tone for the main melody to convey the feeling of piloting a small spaceship in the vast open space. There's a certain hollowness to that tone that just feels right for the kind of atmosphere I was after.

 

Galactic Melee - Credits

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Genre: Soundtrack

Mood & Instrumentation: Shimmering, melodic, acoustic drums, synths

Note: Since Galactic Melee has no narrative premise and is really just a fun multiplayer experience, I wanted the credit music to be more uplifting and optimistic and not dark like the rest of the score. My intention was to end the game with a feeling of "Now that the fighting has ended and we've all had lots of fun shooting at each other, let's just put our ships on autopilot and enjoy the beautiful view as we cruise the galaxy together."

 


Old Music

These are older music I made in the 90's

 

Rainstorm (Official release version, from Nicky Wu's 1995 album, "Lonestar 119") / 吳奇隆 - 暴風雨 (孤星119 專輯)

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Genre: Pop

Mood & Instrumentation: Moody subject about a broken relationship contrasted with groovy rhythm.

(Since I wasn't the arranger or producer for this official release version, I had no say in the stylistic choices made. I'm not a fan of the background vocals since it sounded dated even back in 1995. I'm also not sure if Nicky's vocals matched the song. I like how the arranger did the intro of the songs though.)

Theme/Lyrics: The lyrics are about a stormy relationship filled with arguments, finger-pointing, and prolonged cold wars of silent treatment. The song concludes with the longing for the relationship to improve and the stormy days to be over.

Note: This is a song I wrote that was included in Nicky Wu's (a famous popstar/actor from Taiwan) 1995 album, "Lonestar 119." I composed the music and wrote the lyrics, and in this official release, the arrangement/production was done by someone else. If you want to hear my original demo (with my original arrangement), you can listen to it below.

 

Rainstorm / 暴風雨 (original demo version)

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Genre: Pop

Note: This is the original demo version of "Rainstorm" I recorded, with my own arrangement. You can hear the stylistic differences between what I originally envisioned and what the producer/arranger ended up with in the official release version. The singer on the demo was Sharon, a friend of mine. I prefer her vocals a lot more and I think it matched the song better than Nicky's. (It's an old cassette tape recording, so the sound quality is not good, and the stereo imaging skews to the right for some reason.)

 

Enchanted

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Genre: Soundtrack

Mood & Instrumentation: Ethereal, magical. Atmosheric synth pads, bell-like sounds, electric piano, crisp drums.

Note: At one point, I was going to loop this snippet as the background music for my website (this was during the era of MySpace), since it conveyed a sense of "ethereality." Good thing I didn't, because it became apparent soon that nobody liked having music automatically playing in the background.

 

I Don't Mind

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Genre: Dream Pop

Mood & Instrumentation: Shimmering guitars, driving beat.

Note: You can hear a lot of my early influences in this song, such as The Sundays, Cocteau Twins, frente!, Belly, Curve, Cranes, etc. And yes, that's my singing, and it was during a time before I actually learned how to sing.

 


Miscellaneous

Other stuff related to my music

 

Sound Design - I sometimes do sound design/synth programming. Free synth presets are available for download.

Zendrum - I'm a Zendrummer, and you can take a look at the various videos and layouts for the Zendrum LT I've made.