About

This is how I really look.I'm Dave! Thanks for visiting. I'm an internet musician who's particularly passionate about video game soundtracks. Iridescent Audio serves as a repository for the various things I compose and create. That's probably all most of you will want or need to know, but if you're interested in the unabridged self-indulgent version, read on...


Biography

Born in 1986, Bristol, England.
ickle Dave.Like many people my age, I was lucky enough to have a gaming-rich childhood. I've always been acutely sensitive to their soundtracks; I'd often locate sound tests just so I could enjoy the songs by themselves. However, I had no musical training or experience whatsoever until age 12, so you could say I didn't have a musical upbringing. I started developing my passion when my family got a computer in 1998, and a friend gave me a CDRW with RPG Maker 95 and lots of Final Fantasy 7 and Chrono Trigger MIDI sequences. Intrigued, I started collecting more sequences online from other games, films, etc. I got a cheap sequencer (MAGIX music studio g5; a Logic clone) and casio MIDI keyboard later in 2000, and I was visiting the video game music archive and downloading more midi transcriptions any time I could access the internet! I began more actively poking around in the sequencer, opening and playing around with midis to see how they worked, and intuitively feeling my way around the keyboard (particularly using its autochord modes, which helped me to learn the basics about how harmony and progressions moved and functioned.)

From there I taught myself how to write music, little by little. I began studying music at school later that year, which gave me a context and grounding to what I was doing, and exposed me to a lot of musical terms and concepts; mainly the basics. I took it further in college 2 years later, branching out to study both traditional music as well as music technology separately, and also took keyboard lessons over that 4 year period. Finally I studied and graduated in BAhons Creative Music Technology at Bath Spa University. Today, I'm still hugely passionate about video games and their soundtracks, now both as a composer and a consumer.


Activities

Stuff I do.I'm currently the head updater of the video game music archive; a user-driven game music fansite that hosts thousands of General MIDI transcriptions of video game tunes. VGMusic was my utopia when I discovered it as a child, so it's an honour and responsibility which I don't take lightly; a fulfillment of a dream, even. I occasionally submit my own MIDI transcriptions to the site as well, which I create entirely by ear. Learning to transcribe music has been hugely beneficial in training my aural skills, and I would recommend anyone interested in improving their musical sense and craft to give it a shot.

Other game music-related communities I engage with include the video game music database, halley's comet software and snesmusic, mainly in terms of researching videogame musicians and their works. I hang out on IRC, primarily on EsperNet in channels such as #mod_shrine and #botb, where I've met many terrific musicians and friends over the years. I also set up a channel called #maj7 for sharing and discussing music and music writing.

Of course, my main interest is writing music. To begin with that was limited to General MIDI and Yamaha XG, but around 2004 when I got my first computer (Athlon XP 2.1GHz 512MB DDR) I began experimenting more with audio production. In 2005 I started a Sample Pack Contest on the vgmusic.com forums, which to my own surprise has returned again and again over the years since, often drawing a large number of participants. While I don't run each contest myself, I still oversee and advise on all of them, as well as curating the contest page, being responsible for organising album releases of the songs for each contest after they have finished. Contests have been the biggest venue for my original music over the years, having entered numerous others as well.

Since late 2006 I've also been particularly active as a chip music artist, which I'd hazard to guess is what most people know me for these days! I'm a regular entrant into famicompo mini; a popular Nintendo NES/NSF format music contest that attracts participants from around the world. Some of my original chip music has also been released on Ubiktune; an excellent chip music netlabel based in Russia, run by Dmitry Zhemkov (C-jeff.) A full list of albums I have participated in is on the Albums page.


Influences

Casio CTK-631My single largest influence is jazz, particularly jazz harmony. It permeates nearly all the music I write, and is rife in music I most profoundly enjoy, no matter the genre. I find I gravitate towards areas of music like fusion, funk, acid and nu jazz, crossover, some smooth jazz, latin styles like samba and bossa nova, progressive rock, and the more experimental areas of electronic music like "IDM" and breakcore. Naturally I also listen to a lot of demo scene and chip music (mostly things my friends write!), and of course video game soundtracks, which despite everything I've just said occupy somewhere over half of my listening habits (often without having even played the games the soundtracks are from.) The full range of what I enjoy listening to and approach in my composition is more broad; I really love a lot of music, I'm fascinated with the whole language of it, but that's a story for another day, in the interests of keeping this brief! You can see what I listen to over on my Last FM page.


Why "Blitz Lunar"?

Iridescent AudioSomething I'm occasionally asked about is my alias. It is slightly curious! I just liked the words when I chose it, and it stuck. When I first started using the internet, my yahoo e-mail address had 'Blitz' in it, which I chose on a whim. When I signed up for hotmail later, I just tapped "lunar" on the end. The two words are unrelated, so it doesn't mean anything. I still use it for releasing music because there are already dozens of people with my name active in music, which comes with its own quandaries. If it were not for that fact I would be much happier releasing music solely under my real name. The reason I don't pick another alias is because I've had this one for so long and released music under it for over a decade, so it has a legacy and it's probably too late to change now. I'm sort of stuck with it!


Soundtracks and Projects

Super Bat Puncher demo cartridge.Some games I've written music for and places my music has been used.

Super Bat Puncher
Space Phallus
Christmas Memory
Flash Flash Revolution (playlist is on my youtube profile.)
2a03 Wing
Guessdomisation
Super Mario Bros. Ultra
Zelda: Re-Orchestrated (Minish Cap; original midi transcriptions only.)


Miscellaneous

Interviewed ex-Nintendo composer Soyo Oka for Square Enix Music.


Education

GCSE Music (2000~2002)
A-Level Music (2002~2004)
A-Level Music Technology (2002~2004)
BA(hons) Creative Music Technology (Bath Spa University) (2005~2008)
Jazz keyboard tuition (2000~2004)


Gear

Hardware:
Where the magic happens. Intel i3 3.1 GHz 3.5GB DDR3 running Windows XP Pro SP3
SB Audigy 2 soundcard
YAMAHA MU100 + PLG100DX (DX-7 FM Daughterboard)
Casio CTK-631 workstation
M-Audio Axiom 61 controller
Creative inspire 5.1 speakers

Software:
Logic Audio Platinum 5
Renoise
FamiTracker
ModPlug Tracker
Goldwave
XGedit
+VSTis, samples etc.


Contacting me

GMail (daveharris.lunar) or my Google+ account
Espernet IRC network (irc.esper.net), primarily channels #maj7 and #mod_shrine.
... or if you prefer you can just send me a message via youtube, twitter, etc. Whether you have an enquiry about freelance work, questions, comments or just want to talk, I'd love to hear from you!



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All content is Copyright ©2002~2013 Dave Harris. Songs are licensed under the Creative Commons BY-NC-SA License.
Webspace is generously provided by Mike Newman and VGMusic.