Interview with Tiantian Liu

As the composer of many independent animated films, Tiantian Liu writes music that is both charming and captivating. I immensely enjoyed the diversity of tracks from her website, and decided to reach out to ask for an interview. We had a wonderful conversation, from Beijing to California, where she shared her ideas about composition and cooking, the importance of communication, and plans for her new studio.

Continue reading

Interview with Ahmed Elian

I admit that I am not usually much of a fan of rock music. I don’t necessarily dislike it—it’s just that that particular instrumental combination doesn’t usually do it for me. But Ahmed Elian‘s progressive rock music was somehow different. I was drawn in and enthralled by his intricately arranged and gorgeously developed progressive rock tracks. Lucky for me, he eagerly accepted my interview request! We had an incredibly fun and thought-provoking conversation, from Cairo to California, where the humble and good-natured composer talked about inspirational games (particularly Undertale), odd time signatures, and compositional option anxiety.

Continue reading

Ms. Russell’s Happiness Report for Saturday, 2/18

What is a “Happiness Report“, you ask? Well, I had a particularly happy day today, and I also decided that I wanted to have the latest article on my website for now be a happy one. I do have a few articles coming up which I will be posting in the next couple days, but I felt like doing this now, so here we go! Here are some trivial but nonetheless very happy things that have happened in my life over the past couple weeks.

Continue reading

Pokémon Black – Sound Design & Music: An In-Depth Analysis

Out of all of the Pokémon games, Gen V (specifically Black version) was and is my favorite. Although Gen II (specifically Gold version) has a very special place in my heart, being the first Pokémon game I ever played back in 2nd grade, Gen V’s storyline and substantial involvement of gym leaders and rivals as actual, dimensional characters blew me away. If that wasn’t enough to make the game so memorable, it also featured the most adorable and incredibly clever choices in sound design, and also the best music (not by much though) (lookin’ at you, Gen II).

Continue reading