Yoooo lemme know what your handles are, so that I can follow you maybe~
In the meantime, I need to write a longish post about the recent releases and other things I've been going through.
Pronounced "trwa-nix." I dream up meepy dreams full of meep.
Currently doing things nonprofit.
Joined on 6/26/11
Posted by Troisnyx - August 19th, 2020
Hey everyone, I am back and I have delivered.
I present to you all, please take care of this star.
As I promised in the description of this piece, I am writing this long post detailing the context and the process behind this song, and what I've been feeling during its making and after.
The piece of music, please take care of this star, is actually influenced by a good few things that I feel share the same symbolism. Incidentally, I also did an art piece with the same title, so one could say that this piece was partly influenced by that piece of artwork, as it came earlier.
The lyrics of that piece are ostensibly about an abused child receiving a star from her Maker, and struggling to keep its light going because she is abused into yielding it up or letting it fall into the wrong hands by people who are meant to love her and protect her.
It is also an allegory to Brexit.
At the end of January this year, the campaign group Led By Donkeys screened a farewell message to the European Union from the famous white cliffs of Dover. Said message famously featured the two WWII RAF veterans still alive at the time of making the message, who both voted Remain and who lamented the racism and small-mindedness that led us to that point, and the final two sentences of this message, which sent tens of thousands of young people like myself in tears, read:
The message has stayed in my heart for a long time, and I have long wanted to turn what I felt on that day in January into the kind of energy that would inspire people and tell them what my feelings were.
Having been abused and gaslit plenty by my own parents and others during my childhood and adolescence, I felt I could write from the perspective of a child like this, making it an allegory for how so many young people were talked down to, not listened to, consistently gaslit about our futures. I felt it on a personal level, and with Brexit, this became communal.
The "crown of twelve stars" refers to two things -- the crown of the woman in the book of Revelation, which the Catholic Magisterium understands as Mary, mother of Jesus -- and the twelve stars of the EU flag.
So yes, this song is heavily laden with plenty of emotion and plenty of meanings that are close to my heart. Every single bit of symbolism that I threw into these lyrics is borrowed from things that have galvanised me and that continue to galvanise me. The star of the child in the song could mean a number of things, as a result: Britain's proverbial star in the EU flag, the child's talent or personality that could not be developed, or the growth of the child that has been stunted as a result of abuse.
As I mentioned in the description of the song, as well as in my previous post: I began composing this song on Tuesday 11 August 2020 at 06:30 BST. This would have been my NGUAC knockout round entry, had I not resigned. I kept myself to NGUAC / NGADM constraints, aiming for a deadline of two weeks from the start date, as I had a lot of pent-up anger and consternation to use constructively. Composing the song was a quick affair, as I finished up the full structure complete with tempo envelope on the same day that I started writing. In theory, that meant I could record at any point after that Tuesday -- but I decided to embellish the song further before I started recording the vocals.
And on the subject of vocals and lyrics: the lyrics were part of an impassioned post that I'd written a good while back, detailing my feelings and the feelings of others of my generation and younger in the months leading up to and following Brexit. At the time of writing those, they did not have a tune assigned to them. (At the time of writing those, they also made me weep very bitterly and I thought that I would never see those words again, that it was catharsis and that it would be done and dusted.) What made me ultimately assign these lyrics to the tune that I wrote on the 11th was that it suddenly became topical again, with much of the fallout from what was meant to be a done-and-dusted spectre that had been haunting us since 2016 still going on, and some of it being reported in the news as late as July. The subjects behind the words incited in me many emotions and passions, and so I felt I needed to deliver in my recordings.
I wavered and nearly cried recording the parts.
I also nearly cried when embellishing and finishing up the composition and mixing of the instrumental, a mere six days from the start date. @LD-W and @ForgottenDawn gave the instrumental a once-over before I put in the vocals.
These vocals were the parts that I worried about the most in this song: outside of my delivery of them, I had trouble mixing vocals in the past. I have been known to have a problem of too many medium frequencies -- mids, as we call it -- and too many mids in audio can cause a piercing sound. My Seán physically recoils at piercing mids, and I do so sympathetically to him -- so I wanted to avoid that reaction as best as I could. The mixing and mastering was done with this in mind, above all else.
I finished it today, 19 August 2020, in the early afternoon or so, and I was so relieved and happy that it was done. It felt cathartic. This was the kind of stuff that I used to merely dream of doing when I took part in the 2014 NGADM, back when I did Oceans Wide and did not know a thing about mixing and mastering: I did not dream of the musicality as I believed even back then that I had it in me already; I dreamed of the production. And now, I feel I've done it and far outdone myself. Listening to the master, I felt my own hair standing on end. I thought, yeah, this is good. This is going to be the final version of this piece.
I said I wanted audio submission number 200 to be one that was very close to my heart. And it was. Everything about this song has made me quite emotional, and even thinking about it puts me on an emotional roller-coaster.
I am grateful to have been blessed with the emotional strength to see this song through, because I have not been feeling strong at all. I have been feeling excited and nervous and sad, yes, but not strong.
Posted by Troisnyx - August 11th, 2020
Audio submission number 200 would have been a go regardless of what the outcome of the Newgrounds Audio Underdogs Contest (NGUAC) auditions were. I want to state for the record that I'm glad to have made it past the auditions.
I also want to announce that I am resigning from the NGUAC. These are the full details of why.
I am a Newgrounds Audio Deathmatch (NGADM) judge, and I was also a judge for the Art-Inspired Music (AIM) contest earlier this year, for which I wrote extensive commentary on every single admissible entry. In threads and Discord discussions related to these contests I mentioned that I vibe with a lot of tracks, owing to having listened to music across various different genres. So, for me, composition and production are not enough.
I look for authenticity of emotion.
A lot of this involves having the emotional literacy to convey the message that we are trying to convey in our songs, to positively and pleasantly catch listeners off guard, to make them feel, to make them question, "Oh, hello, what is this?". It is an emotional literacy that had been encouraged in me by stellar composer friends and judges in past years, and by some industry figures as well, some of whom have had the opportunity to listen to my music as hosted on Newgrounds. It is experimentation, the willingness to dream, that makes new genres and has us take them far. Some experiences are going to be a little more left field than others, and that's fair enough -- but even still, I want to hear the actual soul of the composer.
If this is going to be stymied in me for the next point that I am going to raise, then I would be a hypocrite for modifying my composition structure and what I'm looking for to suit certain tastes. In my judging for the AIM and the NGADM I would be looking for that which is missing from a lot of compositions -- whereas I myself would not be practising what I preach. I cannot be put in that position. It is fundamentally morally wrong to me.
The next point, of course, is the definition of "industry standard," a thing sought for in composers of my bracket. Now what is that?
By the overwhelming benevolence of one of my fellow composer friends, I happen to be acquainted with Akash Thakkar and his course on game design and networking in the video game music industry. (Evidently, due to ongoing circumstances, I can't actually apply most of it, but I am still learning a lot.) The closest entry point for anyone even going left field with their work would be to compare it with something that it somewhat sounds like -- I've had my lyrically layered songs compared to the soundtrack of Nier: Automata before. If there's a place for that, there's a place for anything -- it's a matter of selling it well.
Now, my understanding of "industry standard" is something with some degree of safety but a great degree of freshness, experimentation and pleasantly catching others off guard -- the kind done by Field Music and Coldplay and Aimee Mann. The kind that goes on to win Brits and BAFTAs. Imagine that for a few moments -- the mere exercise of dreaming it feels beautiful to me.
Ahead of time, when I submitted my audition piece to the Round 1 thread, I knew it was going to polarise. Some were not going to like the child's voice, even though I deliberately went for Frelia out of Ar tonelico II with that one. Some were not going to like the distortion in some of the chorus vocals. And others were going to be absolutely floored by the fact that the song is more than eight minutes long. So it came as no surprise that the judges' scores were polarised on my own song; I had long expected it and I have no complaints about this.
What I do have consternation over, is that there are people whose tracks are imaginative enough to actually qualify for the NGADM -- which is meant to be a step up above the NGUAC, by the way -- who have not qualified to Round 2 *of the NGUAC* because they were given some inexplicably dismal scores by a couple of the judges, ostensibly out of this concept of an "industry standard" that they're after.
Industry professionals have told me time and time again that my stuff deserves to go far even if I currently do not have the right to take it further than here. I have no doubt that if they listened to some of the tracks that were excluded, they would say the same. There is a part of me that is screaming in my gut, telling me to actually listen to the affirmations and believe -- affirmations that I am indeed fortunate to have had -- and it's only fair that I extend that same affirmation to the people who had excellent tracks who were ultimately excluded.
The results came out at about 3:-something a.m. BST; my beloved Seán was occasionally checking the audio forum on my behalf while I was asleep. After seeing what I did, I couldn't sleep. I got out of bed, freshened up, and immediately set to work on audio submission number 200 -- what would have been my NGUAC knockout round entry. I started at about 6:30 a.m. my time, and it is now 9:08. I've not touched the keyboard for a good hour and a half, and I can safely call half the structure of the piece finished. So, actually finishing the piece on time is not the issue. If constrained to do this within two weeks, notwithstanding any emergencies that may crop up, I do not doubt for a moment that I'd be able to finish it on time.
It'd be a damn shame to let it go to waste, so I am planning to see this piece through to the end. It will be my audio submission number 200.
And it'll hopefully be the first in a series of tracks whose subject matter is close to my heart.
I am at peace with this decision, and I'd certainly be grateful if someone who didn't make it past the auditions could take my place. Part of the Hamlet soliloquy from Shakespeare is apt for this situation, I think--
This above all- to thine own self be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.
I hope to update you about the piece in progress soon. Until next time.
Posted by Troisnyx - August 8th, 2020
It has recently occurred to me that my next audio submission on Newgrounds will be my personal number 200.
I don't know what it is — and I keep wondering what it might be. To those of you anticipating it, I share your anticipation, and when that track is out, I shall be writing about it in great detail in a newspost, most likely.
Posted by Troisnyx - July 13th, 2020
So, a few of you will have noticed that a certain piece called Libera Me ~ version définitive was posted by me and a few other users, whom I shall not name because it appears that some awkwardness has ensued. In fact, it had been posted twice, and I've taken the liberty to unpublish it both times.
I think I want to clear the air on what it was meant to be, and what happened.
In early-ish 2013, on the Bandcamp page that I currently do not use -- and have not used for years on end -- I released a single called Terre des Hommes Libres, featuring three songs. They were
When circumstances dictated that I could only do stuff nonprofit, I switched my entire Bandcamp discography to downloadable only for free. Prior to that, I received a small token of support for the single in question from a longtime fan of mine on NG. Back when I released it, I was a student, broke and in need of a replacement computer -- any kind would do -- and I was desperate. Notwithstanding that throughout my university years, I had immense fears for my life and traumatic episodes about the place where I grew up and I didn't know what to even do about it all -- no work was being posted that I could sign up for, places I applied to wouldn't take me, and the only option I saw was to try and fund-raise with my own music, however badly produced it was. This led to me releasing these three tracks onto Bandcamp. Of course, fundraising has been a moot point for the last six and a half years.
Which leads me to Libera Me, or rather, my own setting of the words of Libera Me.
Wikipedia puts it straight to the point: Libera Me is a Roman Catholic responsory sung as a prayer for the dead, during a few different services.
The track that I released on Bandcamp was meant to be my own setting of the prayer, the music of which had come to me very strongly in 2013.
Fast-forward a few years later and I had learnt that my production skills were wanting, to say the least. It was my hope to do a "definitive" version of sorts, gathering together the users whom I knew could sing this together with me, and who could feel they would be able to pull this off at some point, in good conscience. Not all of them had been confirmed, but I'd managed to get together four friends — let’s call them A, B, C, and D. B was not credited as they don't have a Newgrounds account, but they often sang together with A, who was one of the already credited friends on NG. Of course, for me to consider this a "definitive version," I would have to remake the whole file from scratch, with my current orchestration and production skills. I wanted to do it once I knew how to mix. Of course, my mixing skills only finally got decent mid-last year, and I simply wasn't able to pull it off in the preceding years.
But before I could sit down and do this, the unexpected happened.
Roughly a week and a half ago, one of the contributors I had named in the making of this new version of Libera Me, C, went and published a track that had little, if at all, to do with my setting of the prayer, which was what this track was intended to be all along. It was instead a sort of mashup of vocals and guitar with a song about the Easter Rising in Ireland called The Blood Stained Bandage, which I myself wouldn't do.
All of the other friends who had confirmed their participation in the reworking of my own setting of Libera Me were credited on the left sidebar, myself included. Even though we hadn't contributed anything to this piece that suddenly popped up. It was just this one contributor, as far as I'm aware.
I don't know if it was out of misunderstanding or what -- I feel I can only give the benefit of the doubt -- and I found out several hours after it was published, since for me, it was published in the small hours of the morning, when I was fast asleep. I also discovered that a post tagging me regarding this piece appeared on my personal Facebook page. The kicker was when I found out that the post had for its text, "We did it."
...We, meaning the rest of us, didn't do anything!
I knew for a fact that A, B, and D had all signed up to sing this prayer for the dead with me. They certainly did not sign up for this, and would be furious if they found themselves part of something they hadn’t signed up for!
I also want to briefly talk about the sentiments I have behind The Blood Stained Bandage.
Now I am engaged to Seán (@IrishChieftain), who in addition to being a British citizen, is also Irish both by descent and citizenship. As far as his views on Ireland go, he is a Republican — and very much on the side of peace. Rebel songs are known well to him, and I occasionally hear them being played — particularly those of the Wolfe Tones. Seán is not very distant from what goes on in Ireland; in fact, he keeps abreast of Irish news, among other things.
My beloved knows that while I have borrowed and understood a lot of Celtic culture, I struggle to find belonging in this world, and this applies to wherever I find myself. With my ongoing situation weighing me down, if I sing about anything overtly political, it’ll be about things that I can relate to the most: racism, xenophobia, pilgrimage, the crippling depression that we suffer as a result of how our world is being run... Once upon a time I was much more open to singing certain political songs within the context of national pride; I am now extremely sparing with the sort of songs evoking national pride that I lend my voice or my musical ability to.
C had told me that this Republican sentiment is very dear to him; fair enough. Libera Me is meant to be a universal song that transcends boundaries, and not limited to one nation alone!
Bearing all this in mind, I took the executive decision and unpublished it with moderators' tools, since something like this ought to have involved the contribution of all users named in the project, which it didn't. Then, it got published once more, and then I took it down again in the same manner as before.
The friend in question and I had a good talk, we caught up after many years of not having spoken with each other. I told him what the project was intended to be, in case he didn't get the intention behind it beforehand. I don't know if he has understood it, and I don't know if he's heard my 2013 version of Libera Me.
Anyway -- it has not been published since, and the file that he had inserted into the project has been glitching since I unpublished it, making it completely invisible and inaudible to him and to myself (and likely to all involved). I couldn't remove the file either, as the project page was giving me the option to preview, but not to delete the file in question, and whenever I attempted to preview it, it remained perpetually in a loading state. So I deleted the project altogether.
I've not been in a good place mentally and I've not been well physically these last couple weeks, and that day when this happened, it really hurt me, as I had dreams for that piece -- but I need to make something clear:
*There was no hurt intended from this sequence of events.* I'm aware of this, and I cannot stress this enough.
As of a few hours ago, I am remaking it from scratch; it will take me quite a while and we may not see hide or hair of this until several months down the line perhaps, but I know I will nail this.
Whether I get others to sing this with me, I do not know. I hope to. Let's wait and see.
Posted by Troisnyx - June 26th, 2020
To begin, I'm glad I persisted in being here. I'm also extremely grateful for the friends I made, many of whom are still with us but some of whom have left us. Many of these friends helped lift me up and give my skills the sharpening and recognition due to them, and I wouldn't be making the kind of music and art I now do if it weren't for them. And then there are also those friends whose companionship I enjoy.
You all know who you are. You are countless like the stars to me, and I'm so grateful for all of you.
This is going to be a fairly disjointed series of thoughts on how my nine years on NG have been. A lot of it is going to focus on the early days.
Posted by Troisnyx - June 17th, 2020
These past few weeks have seen me regressing, with many traumatic memories of my childhood and adolescence rushing back to the surface -- I'd been in a dark place for a while, but now especially, I am not out of that dark place.
I'd announced, prior to the explosion of the world's events, that I was going to release dream ship as my next solo track. Technically it's not a solo track -- it's a collaboration, as I am working with a friend who is substituting all the instrumentation I have used in the production of said track for better instrumentation, but the composition and voices are my own. Quite frankly, everyone I know is in an abysmal mental place.
I've not said anything about the current events, feeling like very many of my friends -- feeling we need to give space to allow grieving voices to be heard loudest. And I think that should continue.
As my collaborating friend and I are still not in the headspace to finish up dream ship, I'll be posting other tracks in the meantime while we take the time we need to finish up that track.
Posted by Troisnyx - May 16th, 2020
We live in such an interconnected world, that somewhere along the line, we're going to extend the hand of friendship and creative collaboration with some people... and months down the line, testimonies will emerge about these people doing horrible, reprehensible things.
And when — not if, when — that happens, hindsight is our only friend.
I've had several things happen to my friends and I this week, re: outing some pretty reprehensible actions. Most notably, you'll notice that three of my 2019 audio submissions have been unpublished. It has emerged from multiple sources that the person who sang on all three of those tracks allegedly manipulated and sexually groomed several, and at least one was known to be a minor. Said person also made repeated unwanted advances towards a couple of my close friends. (I have little, if any reason at all, to believe the allegations to be false.)
I have had overt sexual harassment happen to me in the audio forum, which was swiftly dealt with.
Boy, this week we seem to be quite prolific in uncovering snakes in the tall grass, don't we? Those of you who have been interacting with me of late know that I have a fair bit of post-traumatic depression to navigate; everything I have described above is just making it worse.
Sincerely, what do we do in cases like these? I struggle to bear the thought that people can be this horrible — even if it's a sad fact of life. And then there's the question of the art on NG. I would be hard-pressed to remove something tainted by someone whose actions are found out later, if there are multiple NG contributors. On NG there is a culture of "appreciate the art if you can't appreciate the artist," something many of us have had to grapple with when hearing about greats from the distant past and what they did, for example. But I find that action the realistic thing to do: talk about the art as well as the events that have transpired. There is one piece that still has the offender's voice, for example: it's still up, and here I am talking about it and recent events at length. A lot of this stuff was allegedly coming to a head without my knowledge back when I was composing the piece that had the offender's voice. The offender in question isn't mentioned by name, mind you, but here we are.
Now, if I were the only NG contributor — as was the case with those three removed tracks — then the course of action is simple.
At some point some of us have to come face-to-face with demons, whether they be our own or others'. For the few of us who have been through things like what I described above, it's been an incredibly taxing week.
Posted by Troisnyx - April 14th, 2020
In the small hours of Easter Monday -- incidentally the day after my birthday (thanks for all the birthday wishes, by the way; there have been plenty and you have all been so kind asfefadawesaf) -- I hit 1,000+ followers, with the 1,000th being @Mackievellian. I...
I want to write many, many messages of hearty thanks to all of you for sticking around. There certainly will be more music and drawings coming from me in the future, music in particular.
In the days that I began putting music up on Newgrounds I didn't imagine that I'd get a following like this. I want to thank @sorohanro in particular for bringing me to this site, thus beginning quite the musical journey for me.
I've gathered many friends, some still around, some sadly gone. I'm grateful for every bit of help and support you have given me. Thank you all so much. Seriously you all number in the hundreds how do I begin mentioning every single last one asdfsdfaewafds
To all my friends and followers, new and old... I would be honoured to take you with me on the musical journey I call my own.
Posted by Troisnyx - April 8th, 2020
Hey everyone, Troisnyx here, back with a new track, hallowed silence!
I'd like to talk a fair bit about this thing, what led it to be written, and how it is close to my heart. This gets into some very weighty stuff. Please bear with me.
We've all joked about COVID-19, we've all made light of it in the face of pretty terrifying circumstances -- but we can't deny that because we know plenty of friends now thanks to the internet, we're going to know people who have been infected. We may even know people who might succumb to the illness and something like this doesn't bear thinking about. It's horrible.
We can't say anything apart from, "These are strange times." Although I hear ripplings of another phrase, "I hope this time brings about much-needed change. For the better."
And these words weigh on us heavily. We know that when we emerge from this situation -- whenever that may be -- things are not going to be the same ever again. Many of us will be left traumatised by what we'll have witnessed or heard. All the time spent cooped up is going to weigh heavily on us already. We're opening our eyes to the things that for years have been deemed impossible, but have been done at the drop of a hat due to the global pandemic: in the UK, the writing off of the debt of the NHS, and the rehousing of the homeless overnight, are two such examples.
These are sobering times. They are making us reflect, retreat, contemplate what sort of renewal we desperately need, as individuals and as a people.
This is Holy Week. Soon it'll be Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday, Easter Sunday... and these are the first sacred days that I, as a Christian -- as a Catholic -- will need to spend indoors, rather than in the church grounds soaking in the beauty of these days and celebrating with my friends. And there's the obvious reason of not wanting to infect people. That reason weighs heavily on me, as my beloved Seán is doubly immunocompromised due to his conditions. I need to protect him come what may, especially during these times.
I ask this now, in the face of a global pandemic -- but I'm sure this question has been asked by many a person in their bleakest situations: in the face of all this suffering, how do we hope? How do we make alleluias ring?
In doing this song, I feel I've discovered the answer: we don't. It is drawn from our lips like a beautiful sound made on the instrument closest to our hearts. This is especially the case when we ourselves don't have the strength to cough out the first couple syllables of an alleluia. This was what happened to me when this song was produced.
Not too long from the start of the lockdown, there was an Urbi et orbi message from Pope Francis. You've all seen the pictures: the old man in white, alone, in the rain, delivering this message as it is broadcast around the world, while around him, it is empty. Urbi et orbi means "to the city and to the world," and a message like this is normally reserved for the major feast days: Easter and Christmas. I watched the message with my Seán, and after the Pope delivered his message, there was a period of silent adoration. It was in this silence, that the words of the choruses came to me, stayed in my head, and would not depart from me.
O hallowed silence the world over!
No song of mine can ever add to your beauty,
O hallowed silence on the altar!
You are fitting melody,
you are fitting melody---
I have been going through a period of uncertainty and despair, two things very easily felt when made to be imprisoned all alone. (I'm not alone, I'm with my Seán, but being at home constantly instead of going out doing routine things gives more time for my emotions to stew, makes me more prone to ruminating.) In this despair, these words were drawn out of me. Then, as if drawn from my lips the way a rousing beat is drawn from a drummer's hands, the other lyrics and their respective melodies immediately followed suit.
I wrote the lyrics expressing my feelings, but also the feelings of people around me who are impacted in various ways by the pandemic. There are subtle references to the lockdowns (cf. cast aside in silent prisons of our own), and more blatant references to the sickness, death and decay all around us. There is a silence hovering over the land as a direct consequence of many of us not being able to go out except in limited circumstances. To me, that silence is sobering, painful, but not deafening. It is holy; it scours away at my own heart like fire burning away certain stains, or a strong abrasive.
The lyrics that were drawn from my lips ended in hope. They refused to end in despair.
What will my own life, and the lives of my loved ones, be like when we see the end of this pandemic?
For me, this song is a prayer, and I've heard many people dismiss prayers as mere nothings. Understandably, since the amount of people who have offered empty "thoughts and prayers" instead of being roused to action, whether on their own strength or by these same thoughts and prayers, is blindingly huge, over issues that should have been resolved ages ago.
When my time on this earth is over, I want to die knowing I did God's will on earth -- knowing that I did my damnedest to help those in need. It's hard, but I would much rather that than a half-arsed effort. This silence is making me think what I can do, at any given point in time. The world around me is not going to be the same ever again, but how? These words were a song, and I sang like I meant that song with every fibre of my being. It is calling me to live in that way, too, and to not give in to despair. It is screaming with all the emotion that would otherwise stop me from singing.