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Life is Strange

Im not one for being totally current and with it, so today I finally got around to playing “Life is Strange” a game I’ve been meaning to play since 2015.
Absolutely wonderful, i really loved everything about it, with some caveats that I’ll mention first,  so I can get on with the gushing praise.

Firstly, the subject matter is not totally my cup of tea, you play a teenage girl hipster, with a emo friend, and the language therefore is excruciating, so full of one liners and “cool” expressions, that its extremely obvious that the scriptwriters, not only have never been anywhere near these type of kids, but actually have “made up stuff” that they think kids might say. like the Blue haired emo keeps saying “hella”  as in “thats a hella cool thing…”  or ” I got a hella fucking headache”… I know its supposed to be “hell of a” but is hella even a thing? Maybe Im the old one? There lots of this.. and it grates.

But the pretty ordinary story of bullying and teenage depression/suicide, drugs in a poor, run down nowhere town, is quite convincing, and the one single weird “game play thing” being that the protagonist “Max” can rewind time, which helps in most of the puzzle section. This works well and is actually extremely cool in  one or two cases.

Graphically it’s just gorgeous, not super realistic characters, but the lighting and colour and depth of field is fantastic, and very filmic.

And thats the whole point of Life is Strange, its a REAL, PROPER and very successful interactive story. We just make choices for the characters, there almost no “computer game” physics, you get to choose where to walk about in a few places, but on the whole it’s about branching storylines and a story that can vary quite considerably. At the end of episode 2 a girl throws herself of the roof of the school and I failed to save her. I replayed this section to see if I could, and I could, which was nice. The protagonists ability to “turn back time” help in situations where you accidentally shoot your friend while playing with a gun, but big story line changes are mostly about your decisions.

The end of each episode gives you a run down of the decisions you made with percentage “score”. On the whole basing a good score on “being a good person” ethically.
the music i lovely, not my cup of tea again (me being electronic noise repetitive beats and maybe mumbled effected vocals) with very American Hipster coffee bar indie rock, but it works, and the extended ambient cutscenes force you to sit back and listen and watch.
Its not a very hands on, button masher of a game, so might be deemed boring to the… well… to the target group. But maybe the target groups isn’t really the “cool kids” depicted in the game but us parents of the same, re remember the retro clothes of the “alternative 80’s” we were there when grunge popped up from Seattle and are “with it” enough to know that smoking dope and blue hair isn’t the end of the world for our kids, but are concerned enough to engage in the issues that our kids have to face, like internet bullying, spiking of drinks, putting embarrassing videos on YouTube, and uncertain futures and incomes. etc

Im only at episode 2, so lots to go… There’s the missing girl Rachel to find, the tornado that we have dreamed about will hit the town in a few days time.
Love it.

Fractal Films 2

Having a lot of fun with this now.
The rendering takes forever though. This film, called Islamicfly took 4 days to render.

But now I have my PC set up as well, I can render on both! Its pretty clever, as long as both machines can see the same network folder, they dont over write each others files, so Im rendering a png sequence and depth matte (forgot that on the above film) and each computer tackle alternate frames.

How much can you ever really know?

The problem with the internet is that its so incredibly HUGE, with so much information, that I often get the feeling that my own knowledge of… well stuff… is really incredibly limited. Young people nowadays are encouraged to “not really know stuff, but to know how to find stuff”. I think this must be very frustrating and yet I don’t think they really know anything else!
With making a game, I am struck by how much there is to learn, and how much I will really NEVER know or understand. Heres a quick list of things that I know exist, but really know nothing about!!! Anyone who can concisely fill me in to anything here please comment below.
IK Inverse kinematics. I knw it has something to do with moving characters, and that if you move one bit others follow, but then what is FK Forward Kinematics? Quaterian.. something to do with degrees or turning? Calls How er.. often a computer is er… used? Draw Calls?, er graphics card er… calls? Shaders Materials and Textures I know what texture is, but materials verses Shaders… not really… Materials are how something appears textures and bumps and specular maps etc, and Shaders… er well… something to do with them… like on a higher level?
OK, the list can go on forever…
In music its the same, one of the reasons I like staying with hardware loopers, is that over time I learn more and more, until I really begin to get to grips with obscure features, although the EDP is so deep Im still finding out new things all the time. With Software, and this is the same in graphics programs too, there is always the latest update, new features, so if the software is YOUR instrument, it can be incredibly frustrating… imagine learning the violin for 20 years, then someone comes along and say, now you can blow into it, and there’s new scales… its like you never knew how to play it!
I have NEVER really specialised in anything, Ive always been interested in many things, never become a GREAT guitarist, you know… with an acoustic guitar.. never been a REALLY GREAT film-maker, never really become brilliant at 3D modelling, or graphics… I guess Im pretty good at a few programs, Final Cut Pro for example… I think Im very good at composing music, using a variety of programs badly… But I really think its very important to LEARN stuff.. not just follow tutorials, and then think “My work is done!” Doing things the second time round is always very rewarding, because you finally begin to recognise what you do know.
I think its totally stupid of teachers to use computers so much, they have some personal knowledge and have done some things many times, they are the perfect vehicles for moving that information from themselves to the kids, a computer just lets the kids be engaged in the subject, but only as long as they are actually doing it… The brain needs to “play” with the ideas, and the information, the hands needs to work with things, the eyes need to look around and gather their own information and the ears need to listen to fragments of information from everywhere and compare it with what the brain has stored… to make its own connections and bridges of understanding.
When I started going to London, I took the Tube everywhere, I had no idea of the distances between stops, then one day I walked from Covent Garden to Leicester Square and discovered that it too 10 minutes! From then on I walked everywhere. And now I can FEEL my way from one place to another, even new places, because my sense of direction was improved.

    Exploration and Discovery are about A MILLION TIMES MORE IMPORTANT THAN FACTS, SOLUTIONS AND ANSWERS!

How much can you ever really know?
I think I know more than the internet actually!

So there!

Trento Gig Report

Last weekend I played in Trento, Northern Italy.
volantino Mondiali in Fiemme_rif.pdf (page 2 of 2)
HERES THE RECORDING OF THE GIG.

Our performance was part of an Italian/Norwegian exchange. As such we played in an exhibition space about skiing and winter sports, through the ages. Trento is high in the Italian Austrian mountains, and is surrounded by wonderful mountains.
I had a absolutely fantastic time, and the gig was great! The original plan was that Massimo and I would be backed up by a trio of Trento musicians. Carlo La Manna, Corrado Bungaro and (insert name here). But after having some laptop/keyboard problems, we decided that we would all just play together. And what a great decision. It was a fantastic blend of their ethnic virtuosity and me and Massimos electronic noises.

The Players:

Massimo Barberi
Massimo played loops and manipulated my videos live, including one with Hilde singing (The Spykkeskjaenhytte film)
Carlo La Manna
Fretless Bass
Corrado Bungaro
Played Violin, Nyckelharpa, Steeldrum, percussion
Giordano Angeli
Saxophones, percussion
Mark Francombe
Baritone guitar, electronics


Heres some articles about the event

Articolo adige Mark-15.pdf (1 page)
Sulle scie di Fridtjof Nansen (concerto e performance video) - Crushsite.it.pdf (page 1 of 2)

Damo Suzuki Gig Report

Damo in Oslo from Wajid Malik on Vimeo.

Video shot by Wajid Malik

So we did the gig with Damo Suzuki, and it was totally fab!
We all somehow gelled and played for 1 hour 40 minutes nearly non-stop!
The band was great, all fantastic musicians and all coming from slightly different approaches, that somehow really worked well together!

Ted Parsons (ex-Swans, Keith Levene, Killing Joke, drums) myspace.com/tparsons23 http://www.facebook.com/tikited23
Ted is a real pro, I may have seen him play 20 odd years ago when he was in Prong, he held us all together, and kept the beat groovy and intense.

Mark Francombe (ex Cranes, guitar/electronics)
I did my thang, was quite unusual for me to be “playing” the whole time, Im so used to looping, recording, listening, adding. It was quite an ordeal to play the whole time, but somehow very cathartic!

Ådne Meisford (120 days, electronics) www.facebook.com/120days
Had some great weird tones, that I tried to play off when I was also doing more noise stuff, some cool boxes, that I must investigate…

Daniel Meyer Grønvold (Moon Relay, Now We Got Members, guitar) soundcloud.com/moon-relay
Very cool guitarist, with a strong sense of rhythm and noise, got a nice crunchy distortion. A very different guitarist than me, very aggressive and tight to my cleaner sound, really played well with the drums.

Leon Muraglia (Radio 9, bass) www.facebook.com/radio9
Just like Ted, he held us together, with a deep slightly gritty dub sound, the king of kraut!

Christian Næss (Radio 9, drums) www.facebook.com/radio9
I have never heard 2 drummers play so tight together, it always tends towards an Adam Ant tribal thing, but Christians cool percussion and drumming was so tight with Teds, that it was impossible to hear that it wasn’t from one source, I love this guys drumming i Radio 9 too…

Juan Diaz (keyboards) soundcloud.com/mojomalo Juan is a real pro pianist, and had the 60´s electric blues piano down, groovy and melodic, he stopped us gpoing into too much weird noise drones, by always bringing it back to be a song.. a great musician!
and…

Damo Suzuki vocals What can I say, no hanging about here, he got up on stage and within 20 seconds was singing. Its so obvious that this is his thing, no hesitancy, no shortcuts, alwasy gave his most… A real honour to play with my idol. Thanks so much Damo!

MORE iPhone Videos from Kai Mauseth


Somewhere on the road to Hell

Tentatively entitled “Somewhere on the road to Hell”, here are some screenshots from my latest computer game.
Its a psychological thriller, based in a small valley in Norway. There is a place in Norway called Hell, so it might be referring to that place, but that’s in Tronderlag, and doesn’t look so much like this… so maybe its not referring to that place at all..?