Hey guys, major news update: I'm going to China!
I received a full-ride scholarship to intensively study the Chinese language in Xi'an, China this Fall. Between that and other scholarships, my airfare, tuition, room, board, and all other expenses will be covered. After the program, which lasts from September through December, I'm planning to spend the following four months backpacking through Asia to practice my newfound linguistic skills.
As awesome as this is, it means that I probably won't be on Newgrounds or making music between September 2014 and May 2015. That's seven - eight months...I'm going to try composing and uploading more music this Summer before I go.
Are you from that region of the world? Or do you have any suggestions having been to Asia yourself? Let me know in the comments. :D
I've recently been collaborating with film maker Alex Stewart, and our latest project is entered in a contest sponsered by Rode (the microphone company). If we get enough votes to win, we'll receive thousands of dollars in equipment so that we can make even more epic films! (That, and lots of exposure)
So please check out the video and give it a vote on the following page! I will love you forever. :3
I wrote the musical score for a short film. Check it out! :D
BTW, more music is coming soon...
Hey all! I'm insanely busy as of late due to college, work, etc, but I wanted to make a news post and express some of the thoughts that have been bouncing around in this head of mine.
First off, I just want to say that you are the best. Yes, you, the person reading this right now. You're awesome!
I would like to thank everyone who has followed my music, left reviews, commented on my posts, messaged me with encouragement, and supported me in my musical endeavors. When the going gets tough and I start to wonder who the heck I am to think someone might like my music, you guys are the force that drives out my doubt and leaves me inspired. I truly mean that. :)
It's funny, really, to think about how many followers I have. I mean, really, I'm a community college student in Kansas. That's right, Kansas (you know, the place where Dorothy lives and people do nothing but watch corn grow). In real life, I'm pretty much like anyone else. I've got friends, a day job, classes, homework, and chores. I constantly wonder what I'm going to do with my life and if I have what it takes to really pursue music. Heck, most of my friends don't even know that I write music!
Out in the 'real world', you might say that I'm your regular, angsty 20-year-old. I've got typical 20-year-old problems, like wondering how to talk to that girl, or trying to figure out how the heck I'm going to pay for college. On Newgrounds though, it's totally different.
I started an account as a 13-year-old, and I was horrified at the prospect of people telling me my music sucked. Hardly knowing anything about music at the time, I wrote a few pieces by relying on pure intuition and finally built the courage to post them. Reviews came in slowly, but they were positive. Almost entirely positive, and getting that kind of feedback was addictive. So I made more. Pretty soon, my music somehow ended up in a few games and flash videos. Even a few big ones. I got more exposure, and I kept making more music. Now, I've received hundreds of thousands of listens on here, over 1,500 reviews, countless messages, and I've made tons of friends and connections.
Some of the reviews that I get blow me away. I've lost track of how many preteens have proclaimed that my musical genius exceeds that of Bach (HA, that's funny!). One guy said that my music gave him the will to live while battling testicular cancer. Others told me that I inspired them to take up piano lessons.
My first inclination used to be telling myself that these people are just joking around or that they must not have even been exposed to good music. Why else would they be giving these kind of comments? Over the years though, I've grown a lot in my musical ability, and I've shrugged off a lot of the silly self-doubt that seems to come with being a teenager. There have been SO many times that I've thought I should stop writing music, but you guys have always been here to prop me up and propel me forward.
It blows my mind to see comments from people around the world. Chile. Argentina. Brazil. Canada. China. The U.K. South Korea. Australia. Finland. The list goes on. Here I am, a regular Joe out in Kansas, and people from all around the world are messaging me and saying how much they love my music. They often include a meek apology about wasting my time, as if I'm some sort of mega-celebrity game music composer who has thousands of letters of fan mail to have my personal secretary sift through. xD
The truth of the matter is that I'm a normal human being like anyone else, and, if I am to be authentic, I often struggle with questions about my future. I've been thinking as of late that perhaps I should stop kidding myself about being a composer, get a 'real' job, and start being 'realistic' about my future. But then I think back to you guys. All the wonderful comments you've left. The faith that you've put in me. And I think to myself, "You know what, Trevor? You can do this. Everyone else believes in you. Maybe you should believe in yourself."
So thank you all for giving me the strength to believe in myself. Life is crazy busy as of late, and I haven't had much time to write music. I haven't given up, though. It might be a couple more months before I really start pumping out more work, but I want to let you all know that Newgrounds is special to me and that I haven't forgotten about it.
Once again, you guys are the best. <3
The 2013 Newgrounds Audio Death Match has begun! For this competition, over 230 musicians submitted what they thought to be the best piece that they've ever written. The top 64 submissions were then chosen to be put into a tournament bracket to determine the best composer on all of Newgrounds! Last year, I was fortunate enough to have received 3rd place.
I've made it into the top 64 and have been pitted up against Lashmush for the first round. His piece has some pretty sick guitar work, and the production value is very high. Please check out his submission!
Here is the piece that I wrote. It's heavily inspired by JRPG and anime music!
Finally, and most importantly, thank you SO much to my 800 followers here on NG! The encouraging reviews, personal messages, and comments that I've received have meant more than you could know. You all have been the driving force that has kept me energized and inspired to keep making compositions to upload.
You guys are the best!
While browsing the audio forum, I came across a question: "What is your purpose for making music?"
This is a subject that I've thought about extensively in the last few days, and I'd like to share my thoughts. Here is my answer.
I realize how cliche or contrived the following may sound, but it genuinely represents my feelings; my purpose for making music is to show people that there is 'magic' in the world.
Day after day, so many people trudge through life like robots, repeating the same routines and stuck in the same ruts. They have become disillusioned in their adulthood and forget the sense of mystery and grandeur that life held in their childhood years. They dismiss their dreams as notions of naivety and settle for a mundane world; a world in which every beautiful thing is explained away with cynicism or self-inflicted apathy; a world without hope or wonder.
There have been times in my own life when the bleakness of existence has stomped out my sense of wonder. I've said as a result that I should take a more pragmatic approach to life, reasonably sacrificing my dream of making music to something practical. Something 'safe'. That thinking forced me to give up a core part of my being, and dissatisfaction resulted. Yet whenever traveling, I can't help but feel a sense of intense curiosity tugging at my soul. Whenever I climb to the peak of a mountain and look out at the vastness and depth of color before me, I'm overwhelmed by the undeniable beauty. On top of that peak, the mundane nagging of ruts and repetition are drowned out by the shouting majesty stretching unfathomably before me. The cares of the world disappear, and their pettiness becomes self-defeating. In moments like that, something stirs inside me, like a spark of wonder igniting some awesome fire that overtakes my senses. Joy. Peace. Wonder. I am reminded of the magic in even the most simple things. The interplay of light and shadow on the ground beneath the canopy of forest trees strikes me in its inherent artistry. Returning to my 'normal' life, I'm inspired to break from monotony and take risk again. To dare hoping and seeing 'magic' in what others dismiss as mundane.
My purpose in composing is to manifest the sense of wonder gifted to me and spread it through the world like wildfire. With all of the hatred, murder, and atrocities that assault us each and everyday, we need something to remind us that life can be beautiful and that there is hope yet.
I am often inspired by the films of Hayao Miyazaki. They portray a sense of 'magic' lost to much of the world and bring joy people of all ages. I want to do the same with music; show people that there is something raw and mysterious beyond our present understanding; something of beauty.
I knowingly say this at risk of sounding naive or being dismissed as foolishly optimistic. This is a dream I believe in and am willing to fight for, enduring vitriol and whatever else may come.
It's already half way through the year and I haven't uploaded a single (non-improvised) composition. For that I apologize and am working diligently on two pieces that are shaping up to be pretty nice.
One is my submission to the Art inspired Music Contest. I'll be making a piece based on the picture in this post. It's by ThePrisoner, an NG artist. My piece will have tons of percussion and ethnic instruments.
The second piece is taking more work...It's very beautiful and mysterious sounding. I normally whip out a composition in a day or two, but I'm deliberately taking a lot of time on this one...It's hard to be patient when I'm writing music. I think that's why I love improvising.
The first piece will be up by the contest deadline of June 22nd. Not sure how long the other one will be.
please forgive me for taking so long, but music IS coming. :)
So for any of my stalkers out there, your life just got that much easier. :D
Anyone else out there who is on Twitter?
For anyone wondering, I have almost completely recovered from my car accident and have gotten all the casts off. To celebrate being able to use all my fingers again, I put together this lovely piano track that I think is among my best. I would be honored if you'd give it a listen.
Now I have to deal with the headache of hospital bills and insurance settlements, but I'm happy to be alive and all that jazz. Thank you everyone for all the support you've given me, and look forward to more music in the near(ish) future. <3
The last couple of months have been crazy. I've been back and forth between Kansas City, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Mexico, the Grand Canyon, and more, working and enjoying the sights. My brother was robbed of $500 in Mexico and had a gun pulled on him, I left and reentered the U.S. without a passport, and many bizarre shenanigans took place.
Oh yeah, and I broke three bones in a car crash.
I was working in Denver for my brother's moving business when it happened. My two coworkers and I had just finished loading a truck up in the mountains and were on our way home after a long day of work. Heavy snow had just begun to fall, and the roads were misleadingly slick. I was sitting in the back seat of the car on our way to get paid, and the three of us were making jokes and feeling happy to be done for the day. All of the sudden, I heard a stream of expletives from our driver as we lost all control of the vehicle. We had hit a patch of ice going around a curve and lost traction. Despite turning the wheel and pumping the brakes, we slid off the road and crashed head on into a large telephone pole.
My face slammed into the seat in front of me, breaking my nose. Smoke was billowing up from the front of the car and my head was in searing pain. My ears rang and everything was a blur for several seconds. As if from miles away, I heard a muffled voice scream for me to get out of the vehicle. It felt totally surreal.
The car was on an incline and I had to pull myself up out of the wreckage. I grabbed the door frame, shards of broken glass powdering my clothes, and pulled with what little strength I had left after lifting heavy furniture for several hours. My left hand screamed in agony as I let go of the door and crumpled into the backseat. Gritting my teeth, I pushed with my legs and found that my right ankle was stricken with a sharp, burning pain. Avoiding the use of my bad hand and ankle, I managed to pull myself out onto the frozen ground.
Countless vehicles soon lined the mountain road. Police cars, an ambulance, the fire department...It seems like the whole town came out. Not wanting to deal with the cost of an ambulance, I denied emergency transportation and figured I'd tough out the pain until my brother came to pick me up. That worked well enough until the adrenaline began to fade. My head pain, which had finally begun to settle, quickly went from throbbing discomfort to relentlessly pounding agony. Seemingly out of nowhere, I broke down and began to sob uncontrollably. Hot tears formed tributaries down my face and burned in contrast to the frigid air. I couldn't keep my breathing steady and barely managed to stifle the sound of my sobs. Despite the fact that what happened was an unpredictable accident, the driver felt a crushing sense of guilt. Seeing my pain would only add to that, so I put myself out of sight as pain escalated.
Finally, my brother arrived and took me to the emergency room. It turns out that I fractured my nose, right ankle, and left hand, in addition to taking a hard hit to the head. I was put in a knee-high boot and hand cast reaching halfway to my elbow. A stranger at a gas station later remarked, "You look like Hell."
That was exactly a month ago, today. I've since got the boot off and had a more proper cast placed on my arm. The bad news is that my left thumb is completely locked in the cast. The good news is that I still have total access to four fingers, allowing me to type easily and (frustratingly) play piano. Also in the good news category is the fact that the vehicle had crashed into that pole. If not for that, we would have gone careening over a hill and been in much worse shape. Oh yes, and I was the only one with anything broken.
So now I'm back home, watching copious amounts of Netflix, recovering, and writing music. The hospital bills and paperwork are giving me a bit of a headache, but there is a possibility that the insurance company will provide decent compensation for all this. I'll hopefully have the cast off in a week, at which point I can begin working again.
That has been the last couple of months for me. Hopefully I'll whip out some funky new compositions in the near future and increase my presence hear on Newgrounds. I've missed you guys and am happy to be back.
tl;dr: I got in a nasty car accident but will be okay. :)