Interview with Demoscener – Gloom (Excess, Dead Roman)

As I explore the demoscene, I discovered that there are some people who are like “wherever I go, there you are”*. Those are people who actively drive and support the scene, and some provide the platform for demosceners across the globe to shine (and the place for fandom to ohh and ahh over). And probably, without their help, this culture could instantly become past tense…

Gloom, the guest of this time is definitely one of these “demoscene-driver”. He has been in the scene since late 80s, and aside from being famous for his musical talent, he is contributing to various demoscene-related sites/events like… Scene.org, Displayhack, Solskogen (Norwegian demoparty), NVScene… ah what else… :)

In this interview, he revealed some secrets to have successful and happy creative time (and life) and explained why he could stay active in the scene for more than 20 years.. (and we can check his working space!)



It’s almost impossible to track everything you do in the scene! Could you tell us who you are and what you do?

photo by vickey from Slengpung

I take that as a compliment. :) My name is Bent Stamnes, and I've been a demoscener since the late 80s. These days I'm probably most known for making music for and directing demos for the groups Excess and Dead Roman, though given the current free-spirited nature of the scene where group-affiliations don't really exist any more, I've worked with a lot of other people and groups as well. I really enjoy collaborating with as many people as possible, because it gives me insight into how they approach demomaking, which is always an interesting learning experience. 

I’ve read somewhere that your first computer was Commodore 16.. (wow) When was the first time you used computer and what impression you got?

The first computer I owned was indeed a Commodore 16 - the poor man's Commodore 64. I got it as a present from my cousin who had upgraded to the 64. At the time I got it I was completely in love with how the keys felt and the fact that typing on it would produce graphics on a small black and white travel TV I was allowed to use with it. I only had a few games, but made a sport of copying C64 games from friends to see if they would work on the C16. A few actually did. :)

Smart :) And when did you find out about the demoscene?

I was vaguely aware of the cracking scene when I used the Commodore, but it wasn't until I started using a PC that I really got into it. Yeah, I went straight from the C16/64 to the PC - a little strange, I know. Most people I know went for the Amiga at that time, but I started on the PC because that's what me and my neighbors had at that time. I had friends with Amigas and were always envious of their cool graphics and great music, which is why the first really nice PC demos really spoke to me.

Do you remember the first demo you saw? Did you try create your own after seeing it?

The first prods I watched on a regular basis were a BBS invitation from the Paranoids (“No LamersAllowed”), “Dragnet” from DCE, demos from Ultraforce (“Suzanne Vega” and “Vectordemo” especially), “Yo!” from FC (Future Crew) and the Xmas demos from Capacala and other groups. I also used the THG intromaker to make crap stuff with images I made in Deluxe Paint and the bad, bad music I created using a Covox and the trackers of the day. I could watch demos over and over again -- especially the Xmas demos (which were usually music discs) I could play many hundreds of times (much to the despair of my younger brother and neighbor kids, who just wanted to play games). The first piece of "music" I ever made was a .BAT-file with BEEP commands. I still have it somewhere. :)

I can easily imagine how your brother and neighbor kids looked like :D So when was the first time you participated the demoparty?

I attended my first big party in 1993 (The Party 93), which was a life-changing experience. It was a bus-trip arranged by a few Norwegian groups, and was truly epic. From that point on, I was hooked on the scene.

What was it like to create and release your first demo? Was it fun? Was it hard?

The first demo I ever made was called "ZAP!" by MAD - Microchips After Dark (note: Released at The Gathering 1994; group name got typo). Strictly speaking, it was a 100kb intro, but we didn't manage to get it down to that, so it was entered as a demo instead. It featured a few pictures made in Deluxe Paint and a flat-shaded cube, as well as some music. My contributions to it was more or less just to get the crew together (a few friends that didn't know each other but separately possessed some skills), and editing the module down in length plus tweaking graphics at the party place to make the prod stop crashing. The prod was really terrible (for one, the music player would just start the music and not sync to frames or anything, meaning that the only place it ran "as designed" was on my own computer). But it was fun, nonetheless. It also got a little attention from other groups, which helped me to connect and work with others.

Let me ask you about the creation process… You’re known as musician but in Excess, you’re often credited as musician and graphic artist/designer. How does this work? Do you make music first and make the graphics to go with that? When does coder come in…? Will you explain a bit about your group’s working process?

It works a little differently depending on who I work with. If it's an Excess or Dead Roman prod, the process is more or less the same: the coder has an idea for an effect -- or a scene rather -- and I then create the music without any reference to that effect or scene at all. So the music is always the first thing that's finished. This is actually my preferred method of working, because it means I have pretty good control over what the motion of the visuals are going to be. I don't code myself, but thankfully I work with coders who know their stuff, which means things usually work out great.

The tool I prefer to work with is called GNU Rocket. It looks just like a regular music tracker, and lives in its own window outside of the demo. I usually use two monitors, meaning I can have the tracker full screen running next to the rendering window. The tracker has columns that are instances of controllable effects within the demo engine. So for example, one column would be named "Part", and changing this from 00 to 01 etc. would change the scenes. Another might be "Camera", which would be the active camera, and then there are lots and lots of columns named after things like screen fading, object rotation, blur etc. Using this tool / method I actually get to implement things that, for me, make or break a demo, and that are the small things -- the spice, or condiments, if you will -- which are things like short timed flashes, or a camera tilt, or something that's connected to an element in the music that people might not notice, but "feel" is there anyway. Doing that tends to tell a much deeper story than just going from A to B. A good example of this would be "Spheres on a plane" or "Regus Ademordna"(video) - there are lots of tiny things in there, making them feel more complete.

Working this way makes it really, really fast to put things together - at least for me. The resolution of the rows in the tracker is also bound to the BPM of the song, which means that it's easy to know where to place things. This might all sound a little weird, but it's a really nice way to work. The best thing is just to try it yourself. GNU Rocket is open source and has been used in everything from Flash demos to 4k intros as well. It's on Github - go give it a try. :) When it comes to making demos, I'm a strong believer in "just doing it" - don't spend years making The Engine To Rule Them All(tm) because you'll never end up producing anything. I'd rather make 4 so-so demos in a year than none at all. Smaller project is the key to productivity -- the days of the megademo are over.

And when you provide your music to other groups or projects, do you give any ideas to them or join the creation/review process? Or you simply let them do whatever they want to do with your music?

It differs. Some people are really inclusive and share progress and discuss direction, request changes to the tunes etc, and that's fun. Others just get the soundtrack and at some point I see the demo released (and quite a few times I never see the demo at all, because they cancel it) which is fine as well, but if I'd have to draw a line somewhere I'd say that those who have a back-and-forth are the most rewarding because I get to participate in the process, even though I've made music for demos not having a clue how the final demo would turn out and those demos ended up amazing as well. It's hard to give a definite statistic though. At the end, working with people you like is probably the best way, because even if the demo perhaps doesn't turn out to be utterly awesome, at least you had a good time making it.

That’s really interesting to know… By the way, you just used the word “spice” and “condiments” to describe your creation process. And this reminds me that you seem to cook quite often (according to my Twitter-cyberstalking… sorry…) Do you follow recipe when you cook? Or you like to improvise?

That depends on what I'm making. If I'm cooking something for the first time then I tend to follow the recipe exactly, simply because it creates as baseline for that particular dish. So when I repeat it, I can build on that and add, remove or replace ingredients if needed. I've dabbled a bit with molecular gastronomy, and in that particular discipline it is vitally important to be exact with measurements and types of ingredients. But - if it's something I know well, I improvise all the time, creating variations on a well-established theme. This all sounds a little pretentious perhaps, but it's really good fun -- I really enjoy cooking.

Molecular gastronomy?! (gasp) Oh, okay… then let’s go back to music-making. “Composition” seems like a very mysterious process to me… How do you compose music? Do you have any ideas to try or express before making it? (like… specific sound, BPM, genre, imagery, lyrics, feeling…?)

Now that's a hard question indeed. It depends on my mood and the project. A few times I would get a list of songs that the coder likes, asking for specific styles (like dubstep or something), and I'd go ahead and try to match their request. Other times I just start on something and work on it until it makes sense. I don't know how other musicians work, but I have a "rule" that pretty much guides me whenever I make music: if whatever it is I'm working on doesn't sound good after 20 minutes, I'll scrap it and start over. I do this because many years ago I tended to just get stuck and miserable when something didn't work out, so now, with two kids and working full time, I have very few hours in the day to create music, and the best thing is just to recognize that whatever it is on the screen isn't working and start over. That has saved me many many times.

In terms of genres or styles, I do lean heavily towards the electronic, with a particular fondness for big beat, breakbeat and anything with a signature bassline. That's just what I happen to enjoy myself, so that's what I try to make as well.

Sometimes I use images or screenshots of the demo I'm working on as inspiration. It can be as little as a gradient of green, or a shadow or something, and then I try to think of something that makes that visual "fit" with the music. But, most often it's a certain sound that I'm going for. The type of demo also defines the tempo/BPM really. Some demos have fast moving imagery and need faster music, while others are slower, and require a different approach. If I was to give one solid advice to people making demos, it would be to slow things down. If you're aiming for a 175 BPM drum'n'bass track, you'd better have a ton of visuals to go with it, otherwise it becomes boring -- fast. When in doubt: slow things down. Good life advice too. :)

Thank you, I’ll keep that in my mind :) When you come up with the idea for music while you’re out, do you sing that to your phone to remember?

Haha, no, not really. But I might just make a note of a chord sequence in the "Notes"-app on my phone instead, or make a note of the song name if I heard something that I want to check later on.

Melodious, emotional, or shower of sharp beats.. your music varies a great deal.. where do you get your inspiration?

This has a really boring answer: whatever I'm currently listening to dictates what I create. I know, it's such a cliché, but it's the truth. For example, when I was making the soundtrack to "Apocalypse When" (videoby Fairlight, I was listening to the "I Am Legion"-album on repeat for weeks.

Not just making your own, you’ve provided some demoscene music playlist in the past. (BitJam (#85), I enjoyed it :)) Do you listen to demoscene music a lot or you normally listen to music outside of the scene? What do you listen to these days?

I don't really listen to "demoscene music" because now, IMHO, there really is no such thing. Back in the day I would record demos on tape and listen to their soundtracks on my walkman for hours ("Crystal Dream II", for example), but nowadays pretty much anyone making music for demos makes music and releases it online anyway. So I would say that while music from people who make demo soundtracks are on my playlists, I usually just listen to "regular music", if there is such a thing. Funnily though, these days I have the new album from Mosaik (a demoscene musician) on repeat when I work -- it's fantastic. In addition to that I listen a lot to Deadmau5, The M Machine, Cloudkicker, Noisia, Mat Zo and a ton of other stuff. My musical tastes typically vary throughout the day, so while I might listen to something hard and fast in the morning, I might switch to jazz (Mats Eilertsen is a favourite) by the end of the work-day.

Let me take a note of these… obviously I trust your recommendations.. :) Was there any music or album which gave you a hint or changed your view towards music?

There are many. When you listen to something and a lightbulb goes on above your head, and you think: "Ah, so I can side chain just the reverb on the snare hits instead! Cool, must try that!" -- that's when you learn something. Or you listen to Deadmau5 or BT or Cloudkicker and try to keep track of all the different time signatures on the various elements in the background. Really it comes down to style and ideas.

I remember when I was 11, and dabbling in making small pieces of music on my keyboard or piano, I remember being so insanely mad and angry because I thought that by the time I would be an adult, all the music in the world would already have been made. A silly thought when I look back at it of course, because things change and evolve all the time, and there is no such thing as "running out of music", but that's how I felt at some point. Certainly it can feel like that from time to time when you listen to something and thing "Holy hell, THAT'S SO GOOD!", but instead of being put down by that, I'm inspired instead.

If I got a time machine in the future, I’ll make sure to visit that moment and make him listen to what you create :) You explained that you would start from scratch after 20 minutes of struggling. Is there any other rules or goal you set for making demo/music?

Well, if I'm making music for a demo I try not to send something away that I don't like. It's happened, of course, because of deadlines and so on, but more often than not I like what I've created, and that's the most important thing. The goals and rules vary with each production of course, so it's hard to find a universal set of rules or guidelines. Being happy with the result is it, I guess. When it comes to making music for the music alone, I'm much harder on myself and don't release that often. Without the visuals the music must stand on its own, which means it has to comply with a higher standard.. something that's been keeping me from releasing an EP I've been working on for the last six months. But, no matter how I feel about it, I'm going to release it before Christmas this year (2013) - that' s my rule for that one.

Update (Feb 14, 2014) His EP is out now. You can check them from here.

Can’t wait! :) Is there any difference between releasing your track one-by-one and releasing them in EP or album?

Oh, totally. Doing a collection of songs is always different, not only because of the mixing and mastering process becomes more laborious, but due to the construction of the overall playlist. It's a bit like planning a DJ set really, where you need to make sure you can create some dynamics and elevation throughout the whole thing. Even though people don't usually do full album listen-throughs any more (at least that seems to be the trend), I still want to make sure that the collection of songs makes sense in succession. This means that while everything might line up nicely, I might realize that there is a type of song or tempo or energy missing in the middle of the album, and I then go forward and create a brand new song just for the purpose of gluing it all together. That's something that happened on this EP I'm working on - twice, actually. But it's all for the best, because I think it makes it all better in the end. But yeah, it takes more time, and makes it way different than just releasing one-offs here and there, which is a much simpler process.

Oh wow. As one of those old-fashioned listeners, that’s exciting to know! :)
What program do you use to compose music? Do you use actual instruments?

I compose melodies on my piano, and I use several hardware synths, but mostly it all happens inside the computer yeah. Sometimes my broher-in-law comes over to play guitar which I record and manipulate. My DAW (music composition software) of choice is called Reaper, which I enjoy working with. It's fast and stable and I know my way around it. But I'm not going to recommend a particular piece of software because Your Mileage May Vary -- just use whatever works for you, that's my advice.

(Gloom has provided the full list of gears he uses on his blog)

Could you show us where your music/graphics are born? Do you do anything particular while making them... like always work in the midnight, drinking tea... Do you need silence before composing music?

photo by Gloom

I typically work in the evenings or during the night. Less distractions and being able to focus is always good, as it is with most things that require concentration. I do drink tea, but mostly I don't eat or drink anything while working on music. Just the screens, keyboard and synths.

Ok, so here comes the classic question… your favorite demo, memorable demo, demo that changed your life… anything… tell us a demo which is special to you.

I can't say what my favorite demo is, because there are so many to choose from, so many that made an impression on me. But, I can make it easier for myself by mentioning a few that had a direct impact on my "life" as a demoscener at least, and the demo that solidified my dedication to the scene is hands down "Second Reality"(video). Yes, there were demos before it, and many good demos after it, but the way it was put together in such a "perfect way", just introduced a quantum shift in how we felt about demos at that time. It's a really boring answer, but for me, "Second Reality" will always be THE demo of my youth.

Addition to being an active demoscener and releasing prods, you’re organizing demoparties and providing some places to share knowledge from this scene (like Diplayhack). Why do you do that?

Well, in the case of "my" party -- Solskogen -- it was born out of an almost necessity. Back in the early 2000, myself and a few good scene friends were in agreement that the biggest demoparty in Norway (The Gathering) was simply turning into something we didn't like or enjoy. Too many gamers, too little focus on the creative stuff, and after attending Scene Event in 2002 we decided that a small, demoscene only event, arranged during summer, would be the ideal thing. So a new party was born and it is now the largest and best (IMHO) demoscene event in Norway, and it's even approaching the size of other Scandinavian demoscene only events, which is really rewarding. I guess "rewarding" is the right word, because the crew that makes Solskogen happen every year is a stellar group of people, and it shows. There is nothing more rewarding than going on stage and welcoming people to the party and seeing them enjoy themselves for a nice weekend of scene friends, demos and music.

When it comes to Displayhack I will be the first to admit that we haven't quite nailed the profile for that site yet. It started as a clear idea but became somewhat unmanageable over time. So we've launched a new initiative called Curio which highlights demos we feel should be seen, with big screenshots and embedded videos. Both of those sites are set up together with Gargaj, whom seem to be my hetereo demoscene lifemate. :) Whenever I think of something scene related, I typically discuss it with him first to see if it's a viable idea or not.

I'm also involved with Scene.org which we plan to rewamp a little in the coming year. New site, new archive front-end and more. Scene.org is also the organizer behind NVScene 2014 which will happen in San Jose next March, which I'm really looking forward to.

If the question still is "why", then I say "why not?" - the demoscene has given me so much and I'd like to see it keep on living. There are still quite a few people pulling their weight to make sure that happens, but if we stop, then the scene will stop as well. So yeah -- why not?

Ok, then what is demoscene/demo to you? Has demoscene changed your life?

It has definitely changed my life. I owe a lot to the people and events in the scene because they allowed me to forge networks and meet new and interesting people and learn from them. I can't really put a price on that other than to say that I've been involved with the scene for over 20 years, and there is a reason I keep doing that.

What would you say if your kids ask you “what is demoscene?” And what would you say if they say they want to join? Do you encourage them or stop them with full force?

Hehe, well, my oldest daughter is 5 now, and her favourite "demo" of mine is "Catzilla", which she calls "the scary cat" and usually wants to watch over and over again. She doesn't quite understand what the demoscene is of course, but she knows that dad goes to this place for a weekend each summer where a lot of people gather and there is loud music (she comes to Solskogen every year, usually on Saturday afternoon, for a few hours). She's more into playing on the iPad or sitting with me and playing with a small Arduino-kit that I have (LED lights, a speaker which makes bleeps, rotary buttons and such). If she'd want to know more about the scene when she grows older then I'd be happy to tell her all about it, that's for sure.

Sounds sweet and promising :) What type of demo/music do you want to make in the future? Is there any dream or goal that you want to achieve in the scene?

By now I think I've done pretty much everything I ever wanted to do as a demoscener, and I think I'll just keep trying to do that. Work with cool and talented people, and try new things. No specific goal really, just keep making things. On the music side I do want to produce a full-length album at some point.

Finally, your message for demosceners and demo fans out there please.

Keep on truckin'.


Though he was in the middle of finishing up his EP, Gloom kindly answer all questions and providing photos :) Thank you so much Gloom! (and thank you for everything you do for the scene…)

On his blog, he shared various thoughts around music/demoscene along with his latest release news (you can also check the statistic of demoscene situation!) And of course, be sure to check Displayhack and Curio (I think Curio website is perfect for non-tech groupie as well! Love it :D) and scene.org (scene authority) and upcoming NVScene 2014

Thank you very much for reading! :)


- In case you’re wondering what “demo” or “demoscene” is, better check out the well-made documentary called Moleman2.  (and the director, M. Szilárd Matusik's interview can be read in here.)

#1: Interview with Demoscener: q from nonoil/gorakubu is here.
#2: Interview with Demoscener: Gargaj from Conspiracy, Ümlaüt Design is here.
#3: Interview with Demoscener: Preacher from Brainstorm, Traction is here.
#4: Interview with Demoscener: Zavie from Ctrl-Alt-Test is here.
#5: Interview with Demoscener: Smash from Fairlight is here.

For some of my posts related to “demo and “demoscene” culture is here.

デモシーナー、Gloomさん(Excess, Dead Roman)にインタビュー




そんなわけで、お待たせいたしました! ぜひお楽しみください、、。



photo by vickey from Slengpung

褒め言葉だと解釈しますね(笑) 僕はベント・スタムネス(Bent Stamnes)です。80年代後半からデモシーンに参加していますが、近頃はデモグループのExcessDead Romanの音楽とディレクション担当として知られているんじゃないかと思います。まぁ、今のデモシーンは自由な気風になっていてグループはあまり関係ないんですけどね。僕もいろいろな人達やグループと作業していますし、他の人と作業するとデモ制作への新しいアプローチのヒントが得られるのでいつもとても勉強になります。できるだけたくさんの人とコラボレーションしたいですね。



賢い子ですねぇ(笑) では、デモシーンとはいつ出会ったのでしょう?

コモドールを使っていた時にも何となくクラッキングシーンの存在には気が付いていたんですが、本当に興味を持つようになったのは、PCを使い始めてからです。その頃は大体(コモドールから)Amigaに移行する人が多かったので少し変わっているのかもしれませんけど、僕はC16/64からいきなりPCに移ったんです。僕の周りではみんなそうでしたね。Amigaはグラフィックも音楽も格好良いし、持ってる友達がいつも羨ましかった… だからこそ最初にすごいPCデモが出てきたときは感動しましたね。


何度も繰り返して見た最初の作品は、ParanoidsBBSのインビテーション(「No Lamers Allowed」)DCEの「Dragnet」、UltraForceのデモ(特に「Suzanne Vega」と「Vectordemo」)、Future Crewの「Yo!」、Capacalaとか別のグループのクリスマスのデモですね。あとは、自分でDeluxe Paintを使ってイメージを作ったり、Covoxとか、当時のトラッカーでひどい音楽を作ったりもしましたね。で、それをTHG Intro Makerで合わせて、どうしようもないようなデモを作ったりしてました。デモの作品は何度見ても飽きなくて、特にクリスマスのデモ(大概は音楽ディスク)は、何百回でも聞いていられました(ゲームで遊びたかった弟や近所の子にとっては迷惑だったでしょうけど…)。初めて自分で作った“音楽”は、beepコマンドのバッチファイルです。今でもまだどこかにあると思います(笑)

横にいた弟さんと近所の子の表情が簡単に想像できるような、、(笑) では、デモパーティーに初めて参加したのはいつだったのでしょう?

最初に参加した大きなパーティーは、1993年のThe Party 93です。本当に人生が変わるような体験でした。ノルウェーのいくつかのグループで企画したバス旅行だったんですが、最高でしたね。デモシーンに夢中になったのはそれからです。


初めて作ったデモの作品は、MADMicrochips After Dark)というグループで出した「ZAP!」です(注:The Gathering 1994でリリース、結果のページのグループ名は誤植とか)。厳密に言えば、これは100KBのイントロだったんですが、そこまでサイズを減らせなかったのでデモとして出しました。Deluxe Paintで作った絵やフラットシェーディングの立方体、それと音楽も入っていましたね。でも、僕がやったことと言えば、グループのメンバーを集めること(それぞれ別のスキルを持った友達を集めました)と、長さに合うようモジュールを編集すること、そしてクラッシュしないようにパーティー会場でグラフィックを調整したことぐらいです。本当にひどい出来栄えでしたけどね。(音楽だけが再生されて、フレームどころか何とも同期していない状態になったり、、。つまり、自分のコンピューターでしか設計通りに動かないということです。) でも、楽しい経験でした。これで他のグループに興味を持ってもらえましたし、知り合いになったり、一緒に作業するきっかけになったんです。


これは、誰と作業するかによって異なります。ExcessDead Romanの場合は、プロセスがある程度決まっていて、コーダーがエフェクトやシーンのアイデアを持ち込んで、僕はそれとはまったく関係ないところで音楽を作るというやり方になっています。この方法だといつも音楽が最初に完成するんですが、ビジュアルの動きをかなり自由に調節できるので気に入っています。僕自身はコードを書きませんが、“デキるコーダー”と作業をしているので、大体いつも素晴らしいものに仕上がっていますね。

作業にはGNU Rocketというツールを使うのが好きです。見た目は普通のマルチトラッカーなんですが、デモとは別のウィンドウで開きます。僕は大体モニターを2つ使うので、1つはレンダリング用、もう1つをこのトラッカー用にして、フルスクリーン表示にしていますね。トラッカーには、デモエンジンの中でコントロールできるエフェクトのインスタンスの列があって、たとえば「パーツ」という名前の列があったとしたら、これを00から01に変えることでシーンを変更できます。あと、「カメラ」だったらアクティブカメラを変更できますし、他にも「スクリーンシェーディング」とか、「オブジェクトの回転」、「ブラー」といった、いろいろな名前の列が入っています。このツールとメソッドを使うことで、デモを成功に導いたり、ダメにしたりするものを実装できるんです。スパイスや香辛料といった、“ちょっとしたもの”と言ってもいいですね。短いフラッシュとかカメラの傾きとか、あとは音楽の要素に関連したものだったりします。誰も気付かないかもしれませんけど、感覚的なものはあるんです。この作業を入れた場合、AからBに変える以上の効果が出ることが多いです。「Spheres on a plane」とか「Regus Ademordna」(ビデオ)なんかは、その良い例ですね。完成度を上げるために、細かいものがたくさん入っています。

この方法で作業すると、本当に速く作品がまとまるんです。他の人の場合は分かりませんが、少なくとも僕にとっては効果的です。このトラッカーの横列は曲のBPMともリンクしているので、何をどこに配置すればいいのかも簡単に分かります。少し変わっているかもしれませんが、とても良い方法ですよ。実際に試してみると分かります。GNU Rocketはオープンソースで、Flashのデモから4kイントロまでいろいろなデモで使われています。Githubにありますから是非どうぞ(笑)




面白いですね…。そういえば、先ほど“スパイス”とか“香辛料”という言葉を使われていたので思い出したのですが、Gloomさんはよくお料理をされるんですよね?(Twitterで見ました…) お料理をされる時は、レシピ通りに作りますか?それとも思いつきで作りますか?


分子ガストロノミー!? で、では、驚いたところで音楽制作の話に戻りましょうか…(笑) 作曲というプロセスは私にとってかなり謎の多いものに思えるんですが、どのように音楽を作っているのでしょう?ジャンルとか、雰囲気とか、BPMとか、、“今回はこんな感じでいこう”と決めてから作り始めるのですか?



時々ですが、インスピレーションとして作業中のデモのイメージやスクリーンショットを使うこともあります。グリーンのグラデーションだったり、シャドウだったりとちょっとしたものではあるんですが、そのビジュアルが音楽にフィットするようなものを考えるようにしています。でも、ほとんどの場合、特定のサウンドを目指していますね。音楽のテンポやBPMは、デモのタイプによって決まるものなんです。動きの速いイメージが入ったデモなら速いテンポの音楽が必要になりますし、ゆっくりしたテンポのものなら別のアプローチが必要になります。もし僕がデモを作る人たちにアドバイスできることがあるとしたら、「スピードを落とせ」と言いたいですね。175 BPMのドラムンベースの曲を使いたいと思ったら、ものすごい量のビジュアルが必要になります。そうでないと、退屈な作品になってしまうんです。だから、迷ったらスピードを落とす。人生に対するアドバイスでもありますね(笑)

ありがとうございます。そのアドバイスを胸に刻んでおきたいと思います(笑) ところで、外出中に曲のアイデアが思いついた場合、電話に向かって歌うことはありますか?

いや、それはないですね(笑) ただ、コードシーケンスを電話のメモ帳アプリに残しておくことはあります。あとは、どこかで聞いて、あとでチェックしたい曲のタイトルをメモすることもありますね。


本当につまらない答えになるんですが、その時に聞いているものに大きな影響を受けていますね。あまりにもありがちな話なんですが、本当のことなので仕方がないです、、。たとえば、Fairlightの「Apocalypse When」 (ビデオ)の音楽を作っているときは、何週間も「I Am Legion」(アルバム)をリピートでかけていました。

ご自分で作曲するだけでなく、過去にはデモシーンの音楽のプレイリストを紹介されていましたよね(BitJam (#85のことです)。デモシーンの音楽は日常的にもよく聞きますか?最近聞いているものを教えてください。

僕の場合、デモシーンの音楽は聞かないですね。と言うのも、そういう音楽は存在しないんじゃないかと思うんです。昔はデモのサントラをテープに録音してウォークマンで何時間も聞いたりしていましたけど(「Crystal Dream II」とか)、今はデモ用に音楽を作っても、それとは別にオンラインで公開する時代ですから。デモのサントラを作る人たちの音楽はプレイリストに入っていますが、大体いつも“ふつうの音楽”(そういうものがあるとすれば、ですが)を聞いていますね。ただ、これは偶然なんですが、最近の作業中はMosaikの新しいアルバムをリピートにして聞いています。すごく良いんですよ。それ以外だと、最近はDeadmau5The M MachineCloudkickerNoisiaMat Zoとか、いろいろと聞いています。僕は1日の間で音楽の好みが変わるので、朝は速いリズムのハードなものを聞いていても、仕事が終わる頃にはジャズ(Mats Eilertsenがお気に入りです)を聞いていたりしますね。

ちょっとメモさせてくださいね…(笑) 過去にあなたにヒントを与えたり、音楽との付き合い方を変えるきっかけとなった曲やアルバムはありましたか?



将来タイムマシンが発明されたら、11歳のGloom君にあなたの作った曲を聞かせてあげますね(笑) さて、先ほど“20分作業してダメだったら最初から作り直す”とお話しされていましたが、この他にもデモや音楽を作る時に気を付けていることはありますか?



Update (Feb 14, 2014) このEPが先日リリースされました!試聴と購入はこちらから。



そうなんですか!私もアルバムの流れを楽しむ古いタイプの人間なので、より一層楽しみです(笑) では、作曲にはどんなプログラムを使っていますか?実際の楽器を使うことはありますか?





photo by Gloom



では定番の質問にいきます。好きなデモ、心に残るデモ、影響を受けたデモ、、または人生を変えたデモ あなたにとって特別なデモを教えてください。

あまりにも選択肢が多すぎて、お気に入りを選ぶのは不可能ですね。印象深いデモ作品は本当にたくさんあります。ただ、自分の“デモシーナーとしての人生に直接的な影響を与えたもの”とか、“デモシーンにのめり込むきっかけとなった作品”ということで絞るとすれば、「Second Reality」(ビデオ)になるでしょうね。もちろん、この作品以前にも以降にも素晴らしいものはたくさんありましたけど、あれほどまで完璧な方法でまとめられた作品が出たことで、当時のデモに対する見方が大きく変わったんです。だから、僕にとっての青春のデモは、「Second Reality」ですね。


僕がオーガナイズしているSolskogenというパーティーの場合は、必要に迫られて始めたものなんです。2000年の初め頃、シーンで仲良くしている友達数人と話していて、ノルウェーで最大規模のデモパーティー(The Gathering)があまり面白くない方向に向かっていると意見が一致したんです。ゲーマーが多すぎて、クリエイティブなことに重点が置かれなくなっていたんですね。それで、2002年のScene Event(デンマークのデモパーティー)に参加した後、“夏にデモシーンだけの小規模なイベントができれば理想的だろう”ということになって、それでスタートしました。今ではノルウェー国内で最大、そして最高(自分の中では)のデモシーンイベントになっていますし、北欧で行われている他のデモシーンイベントの規模に近づきつつあるんです。すごくやりがいを感じますね。それで、この“やりがい”というのが決め手だと思うんです。Solskogenが毎年開催できるのは、素晴らしい人たちがいるおかげですし、それがパーティーにもよく表れていると思います。ステージに上がって参加者を出迎える瞬間とか、シーンの友達とデモや音楽を楽しんでいる姿を見ると、やって良かったなと感じますね。

Displayhackに関しては、まだサイトの目的が定まっていないというのが本音です。はっきりとしたアイデアがあって始めたものなんですが、だんだん管理が難しくなってきたんです。なので、最近は新しい取り組みとして、Curioというのを始めました。このサイトでは、「見ておくべきデモ作品」を、大きなスクリーンショットと埋め込みの動画で紹介しています。DisplayhackCurioも、Gargajと一緒に立ち上げました。もはやデモシーンにおける僕の連れ合いですね(笑) 何かシーンに関連することを思い付くと、実行可能なアイデアかどうか、まず最初にGargajに相談するんですよ。

それから、Scene.orgにも関わっています。来年には少し手を入れて、新しいサイトやアーカイブのフロントエンドなんかにする予定です。Scene.orgは来年の3月にアメリカのサンノゼで行われるNVScene 2014のオーガナイザーでもあるんですよ。今からすごく楽しみにしていますね。





そうですねぇ(笑) 長女が今5歳なんですけど、彼女のお気に入りのデモは「Catzilla」ですね。“こわいネコ”と呼んでいて、いつも何度も見たがります。もちろんデモシーンが何のことかは理解していませんけど、“毎年夏になると、パパは人がたくさんいて、大きい音で音楽が鳴っている場所に出かける”ということは分かってるみたいです(大体は土曜日の午後の数時間だけですが、娘も毎年Solskogenには参加しています)。でも、今のところiPadで遊んだり、僕と一緒に小さなArduinoキット(LEDやピーッとなるスピーカー、回転ボタンなどが入っています)で遊んだりするほうが好きみたいです。もう少し大きくなって、デモシーンに興味を持つようになったら、喜んでいろいろと教えてあげたいと思いますね。

ものすごく前途有望に聞こえますね(笑) では、今後はどんな作品を作っていきたいと思いますか?デモシーンでやってみたい夢や目標はありますか?






Gloomさんのブログでは、音楽やデモシーンに関する記事のほか、最新のリリース情報なんかも紹介されています。(「今年のデモシーン」みたいな統計も出していて面白いです。) それと、インタビュー中にも出てきますが、Gloomさんがサイトを運営しているDisplayhackCurioも、チェックしてみてくださいね。個人的にはCurioは、技術に詳しくないデモシーンファンにとって完璧だと思っております(笑) (ボタン1つでオススメデモが見られるー) それから、デモに使われている音楽が好きな方には、Gloomさんも過去にDJを務めたBitJamPodcastもどうぞ。 (しかし本当にいろんなことをされてますよねぇ、、)



- そもそも“デモ”ってなに?パソコンの話?と思った方は、まずはこちらのMoleman2のドキュメンタリーを見るべし。(この映画の監督、シラードさんのインタビューはこちらでどうぞ。)

#1: 日本のデモシーナー、qさん(nonoilgorakubuのコーダー)にインタビューは、こちら
#2: デモシーナー、Gargajさん(ConspiracyÜmlaüt Design)にインタビューは、こちら
#3: デモシーナー、Preacherさん(Brainstorm、Traction)にインタビューは、こちら
#4: デモシーナー、Zavieさん(Ctrl-Alt-Test)にインタビューは、こちら
#5: デモシーナー、Smashさん(Fairlight)にインタビューは、こちら

- その他、「デモ」と「デモシーン」に関連する投稿はこちら
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