Part of an ongoing series about Darknet's music, direct from the composer.
On last week’s blog, I got all the formalities out of the way. This week, I’d like to share how my personal journey with Darknet began.
On January 13th of this year, I found myself on my way home from an urgent care clinic. As my wife drove us home, I pawed lethargically at my phone. I was woozy from a broken elbow and a wound on my right hand so deep that it required stitches (and bled so much the doctor couldn’t help but reference Tarantino movies as he struggled to close it).
In my email inbox I found a message from E asking if I’d be up for making a music track for his game. At long last I had been presented with an opportunity to work on a project that was an absolute perfect match for me. It was immediately clear to me that I had made a blood sacrifice and it had been accepted. After pecking out a reply one finger at a time over the course of 12+ hours, it was on. E and I began to exchange detailed emails regarding stylistic goals and soon after I provided him with an early demo that would eventually serve as a launching point for the rest of the soundtrack.
Slowly but surely I accumulated more gear than I knew what to do with. I was now happier than ever surrounded by my new toys and thumbing through instruction manuals—that is, when I was at home.
My day job became increasingly more demanding. I was working 70 hours a week, typically 7 days a week. My initial plan of working on music chiefly on the weekends was no longer viable. Then the school semester started and what little free time I had got eaten up by homework and classes.
I still had new gear to incorporate into my workflow. The deadline started closing in. E and I discussed solutions as to how to work more efficiently or even lighten the workload.
I felt I had let us down and I desperately needed to find a way to crawl out of the hole I had dug for myself.
In late March, I finally met E in person. His vision became clear to me and I knew what I needed to do.
First and foremost, I had to change my approach. I had to stick to the software and hardware that I was familiar with and put aside the things that required more time to incorporate, no matter how much fun they were to fiddle with (such as: http://www.korg.com/us/products/synthesizers/ms_20mini/).
Not only that, but I HAD to start refusing outside work. To sink time into other projects just for a quick paycheck was incredibly tempting, especially after a year of unemployment, but I had to focus. I cannot thank my wife enough for being so supportive and always encouraging me to stay firm when I receive offers. As a fellow creative mind, she understands the importance of this project—perhaps better than I ever have, and has always pushed me to devote myself to it. She’s great.
Anyway, meeting E in person was much more helpful than I could have ever anticipated. I came to find that getting feedback face-to-face on a creative endeavor is very key early on in a project.
I highly encourage anyone working long-distance via email with a new person to at the very least chat via webcam as early on as possible. The huge burst of information transmitted through hand gestures, vocal inflections, and facial expressions serve as a key to the nuances of their writing style.
Another incredibly beneficial aspect of visiting E? I got to finally play Darknet and experience the Oculus firsthand. A handful of VR demos and one ginger pill later, I was a changed man.
So today, I want to share the original concept I pitched to E back in mid-January. Sitting at a desk with the injuries I had sustained, twiddling knobs and fine-tuning via mouse and keyboard was far more taxing than I had anticipated—but at the time I had a feeling that it would be worth it to endure.