Interview with Brissette (Bri) Ray

In the world of music, it pays off a great deal to be good at many things. This is certainly the case with multi-talented Bri Ray, who composes, sings, and does voice acting. I spoke with the kind and easy-going composer, where she talked about faith as a main influence, the magic of video games, the importance of following through with projects, and creating things from the heart.

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Interview with Misty Crowd

I was initially intrigued by Misty Crowd‘s beautifully captivating vocals and quite interesting musical arrangements, then completely blown away by the depth of the composer’s insights and the fascinatingly unique lens in which she views the world. Poetry, internal movies, meditation, the role of the composer as a musical filter, and intentionally challenging herself in many different ways… Misty’s philosophical ideas are incredibly refreshing and inspiring.

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Interview with Leila Wilson

With an impressive array of tracks showcasing a variety of styles and catchy tunes, Leila Wilson‘s soundcloud page completely blew me away. I reached out to the incredible composer, admittedly resigning myself to the fact that she may be too cool to respond. To my delight, however, she got back to me, excited to be interviewed! I had a wonderful conversation with Leila, where she shared her thoughts on gaining a fresh perspective and inspiration from new places, tough experiences with trial and error, the importance of having mentors, and writing the story and music for Elancia Chronicles, her magnificent passion project.

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Across the Generations: Bad Guy Team Grunt Battle Theme (Pokémon)

Games currently playing: Brave Frontier, Two Dots, Kingdom Hearts: Union Cross

As a game generally geared towards kids, it makes sense that Pokémon’s main antagonists, the “Teams” (especially the silly Grunts), are never too awfully formidable or frightening. Likewise, their musical themes are not very scary, and can even be fun and whimsical! In today’s edition of Across the Generations, we will be looking at each gen’s Bad Guy Team Grunt Battle Theme. Each “Team” does have its own “Notices You!” theme, in addition to victory tunes, and admin and boss battle themes, but this article will be focusing on the actual battle music that plays when you fight the grunts (the track that you hear the most, relative to other antagonist themes).

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Interview with Brendan Hogan

A multi-talented creative genius, Brendan Hogan has extensive knowledge and experience in the realms of both composition and sound design. I was absolutely floored by his company Impossible Acoustic’s 2016 Demo Reel, and their work on the stunning Native American platformer game “Never Alone“. In our interview, Brendan shared how he got into sound design, the brilliant story behind his team’s work on Never Alone, his breakdown of the idea of music as a universal language, and the idea of transparent music.

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Ms. Russell’s Happiness Report for Saturday, September 2

This week, I began teaching at one of the many schools that I will be singing and dancing in this school year. I teach about 450 students at this elementary school (Kindergarten through 4th grade + after-school chorus) (the only students I don’t teach are 5th graders who aren’t in my chorus), and the job at this school also carries the bulk of my teaching hours. For the past couple months, I was honestly really nervous to go back, having not taught much at all since last May. But for some wonderful reason, I gained a surge of positivity last weekend, in addition to a massive stream of creative ideas, and ended up having an amazing first week back! Here are some of the highlights… 🙂

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Recognize Weakness but Focus on Strength

When I woke up this morning, I had received an email from a former student’s parent. My student, who we will call William, was one of my best pupils in my music theory classes. He was in my class the very first semester that I ever taught, and continued to take my classes until the highest level that I currently teach. I was very sad to see him go this past spring, but was glad that he had passed my class and would be achieving even greater heights.

Well, to my surprise, William’s mom emailed me to ask if I could teach him private piano lessons. I had a few initial thoughts. First, I was ecstatic at the idea of being able to teach him again. But shortly thereafter, I was filled with self-doubt…

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