Archive for Manitoba Music

Manitoba Music “Video Game Composition Seminar” 2010 – Part 1

Posted in Kenley, Local Music, Public with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 27, 2010 by Kenley

It’s been quite some time since the blog has been updated, but it’s been busy! So expect a few posts coming up!

The first thing that we can report is that Kenley was part of a seminar series for Manitoba Music (industry association for Manitoba musicians) on composing music for video games!

Alec Holowka talking about Indie Game Development (photo courtesy of Chrissy Chubala)

The line-up for the presentations was legendary! There were:

– Indie composers (Alec Holowka of Infinite Ammo, maker of Aquaria and Marion, and Danny Baranowsky, composer of such hits as Semi Secret’s Canabalt, as well as the upcoming and highly-anticipated, Super Meat Boy).

– Film and TV (Steffan Andrews of Orchetect, composer for YTV’s League of Super Evil and of the animated feature Kung Fu Magoo)

– Audio Engineering (Andrew Yankiwski and Skot Moat from “Precursor Productions” here in Winnipeg)

– Writing and Game Development (Ryan FitzGerald of “Rogue Nations Studios,” who have worked on everything from ARGs to online media.  I’m a big fan of RadioFreeKrakow, so definitely check them out!)

I hope that I didn’t miss anyone!

In which case, we had five students from all walks of writing – from songwriting, to writing for bands, to writing for NBC!

I spoke about a few different topics of composing for games, 4 of the 7 sessions, actually.  I gave the “Introduction to Composing for Video Games,” “Repertoire,” “Loops” (with Alec) and  “Traditional Orchestration Techniques in VGM Composition,
(with some killer input from Steffan).

All the sessions were really cool – Ryan’s totally blew my mind.  In particular, he spoke about the ideas of narrative involving free will (agency) and of rewards (affordances).  I don’t want to give his whole presentation away, but he looks at storytelling in a way unlike any other – in a very interactive, open and collaborative way.  It’s as though it’s more about the dialogue creating the story rather than the “sage on the stage” model of telling and listening.  Put another way, it’s more like going to the bank and setting up your financial future with a manager and both crafting your economic tale together, rather than the deposit/withdrawl pattern of an ATM.  I could listen to that guy talk all day – go check out his work.

There will be subsequent parts, so stay tuned! I’ll leave you with a teaser – if you were to write a caption for Danny Baranowsky’s moment below, what would it be? Write your answer in the comment box!

What will the caption be?

Good luck!



Local Music that Kenley Wants to Share!

Posted in Kenley, Local Music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 31, 2010 by Kenley

After a heavy last post, it’s time to lighten up and share some local music with you!

Moses Mayes

First, in the “Paris of the Prairies,” we have the Fusion Funk band, “Moses Mayes.”  Moses Mayes isn’t a person, but rather, the name is a dynamic and hard-groovin’ group that I’ve seen MANY times – if you haven’t seen them yet, there is no time like present!

I first saw them in Grade 10 at the Winnipeg Jazz Festival and they blew my mind – I don’t think that I’ve ever danced so hard in my life.  The tune below is called “Intrafusion” and it’s from their third disc, Second Ring, which I recommend as highly as possible!

Moses Mayes’ Website –
Moses Mayes’ MySpace –

The ladies of "Oh My Darling."

Next, we have the killer all-female folk group, Oh! My Darling, consisting of the very awesome Vanessa Kuzina (vocals/guitar/songwriter), Allison de Groot (banjo/vocals), Rosalyn Dennett (fiddle/vocals) and Marie-Josée Dandeneau (upright bass) – all of them are brilliant musicians.

Manitoba Music (the industry association for MB’s musicians) describes them as “…a powerhouse of superb female musicianship. Utilizing their keen sense of stylistic versatility, these young women have an vastly eclectic repertoire. Drawing inspiration from traditional music, their original songs are energetic and moving. They infuse their unique brand of country music with Appalachian Old Time, a Southern twang, and some funk inspired bass lines that’ll get your hips swinging while your toes are tapping…”

Their tune, “Pixou Falls” is one of the some pensive, yet driving lines that I can think of.  It’s a weird combination, it’s almost mournful, but it’s got this forward momentum that just pulls you along for the ride.

Pixou Falls – Oh My Darling (care of
OMD’s Website
Buy their Album (which I highly recommend!)

Singer/Songwriter and Fiddler, Sierra Noble

Next on my list is singer/songwriter (and unbelievable fiddler!), Sierra Noble.  She’s hardly a hidden gem anymore, with a strong new EP called “Possibilities” and having played with some of the best fiddlers in the world on radio and TV, but she had humble Manitoba beginnings; therefore, making it onto the list!

I’ve only met her once, but she’s super cool and super nice, which is always a bonus.  I’ve included the title track from her EP below, which is a really nice track (earning her a spot on CMT, which is pretty incredible!), though I’ve also included a fiddle duet with Donny Parenteau that she did at the 2008 Aboriginal People’s Choice Music Awards this past year.  It’s totally unbelievable…


Sierra Noble and Donny Parenteau at the 2008 Aboriginal People’s Choice Music Awards:

Okay, that’s enough for right now, but expect me to post more about local music that is amazing and deserves to be highlighted! We live in a great area for the arts and for music, so let’s support our local musicians!