July 1st to 21st took place the #21daysofVGM challenge launched by Video Game Music Academy. The challenge consists in writing a short piece of music every day for 21 days in a row, in order to make composition part of the daily routine of a musician.
Some brave Pixel Mixers embarked upon this exciting adventure, so we decided to interview them. But first, why not pushing the “play” button here below to listen to a selection of the entries while reading about our members’ experience.
We asked our members what motivated them to take on the challenge, what they feel were the major benefits and difficulties.
The first to answer these questions was Dacian Grada, the highly prolific synth-metal cover artist on YouTube. “I’m not really used to composing original music, so this was the perfect opportunity to hone my skills.” he said, “The real benefit for me was the sense of accomplishment from doing a new original composition every day, often really different from the previous one, making me realize I can in fact do some original stuff if I put my mind into it. Coming up with original melodies was (and still is) the biggest challenge, i still need to learn how to properly do one, but I feel I’ve definitely improved with this!”.
Listen to Dacian’s entries.
Mind Waker was already featured on this website, and didn’t disappoint in this challenge delivering as usual tracks of great variety. “I just made it for the challenge, but I’m happy to have some ideas to work on later – there were few tunes I definitely want to polish to full songs. The hardest part later on was just to come up with something interesting” he continues, “sometimes you just need to go with the uninspiring idea and work on it until it sounds interesting. The important part is just to finish and work on something and not to wait for the inspiration”.
Listen to Mind Waker’s entries
Relatively new in the Pixel Mixers community, Moonbike surely didn’t waste his chance to prove himself a skilled and eclectic composer.“I love participating in game jams, and I love composing original video game songs. It’s hard to finish these pieces sometimes, especially under tight deadlines, so I thought this challenge would be a great way to practice completing songs in a timely manner and build the habit of composing every day. This challenge also pushed me to grow as a composer and expand my repertoire of techniques – which is invaluable – and introduced me to many other talented composers! […] The hardest part was finding the time to work on a new piece every day. It was a time sink, and often took hours out of my day when I had other things to do. Sharing my completed tracks with other participants definitely motivated me to keep going.”.
Listen to Moonbike’s entries.
As the name suggests, Piano Game Knight is a pure pianist, mostly known for his Chrono Cross piano covers. He told us of his experience in the challenge too: “I mainly wanted to level up my piano improv skills by composing ideas from my head to the piano based on the prompts/challenges given to myself. Also to get out of my comfort zone by challenging myself to create something daily and sticking to that schedule to the end even if I’m busy with life and work. The biggest benefit for me, in the end, was having 21 ideas that we could build upon in the future for ourselves and maybe make an album! Also it was nice to see different people’s approaches to the challenge”.
Listen to Piano Game Knight’s entries.
Despite different motivations and obstacles, all these musicians agree on one thing: composing everyday is challenging, but a great learning experience, especially in a context like the #21daysofVGM, where plenty of people make this together and provide feedback and encouragement each other.
P.S. If you listened carefully to the playlist in the beginning, you have heard tracks from artists not in this list. Did we interview them? Stay tuned to find out!