[Score.] heads to MAGFest X!


MAGFest, in its most basic form, is an annual fan-run video game convention that takes place at the beginning of the year in the Washington, D.C., area.  It’s not a showcase-type of convention; rather, it’s one that is all about playing and enjoying video games and the like to their fullest potential (read: party).  Some of the key features of the convention are its 24-hour game room that holds tons of arcade cabinets and console setups, its diverse set of panels hosted by veteran and up-and-coming gaming professionals and organizations alike, and its multitude of concerts by video game cover bands and chiptune artists.  This year – its tenth – MAGFest runs from January 5th through the 8th at the Gaylord National in National Harbor, MD..

My friends will be there, ready to rock out accordingly.  You will know us by our shirts, which contains the blog’s new logo:

Art ©Natalie Parisi

If you’re going and see one or more of us wearing the shirt, stop us and say “hi”!  I can’t guarantee that I’ll be the one that you stop, but anyone wearing one should have a good indication of where I am if you’d like to speak to me directly.  If you do stop one of us, I think I might have a couple extra shirts to give away… (we’ll work out how to find you later and get one to you).

This will be my second MAGFest, but some of my friends have been a part of the convention since its inception.  The sense of community between the longtime attenders is infectious, and its energy sucks in everyone that attends.  Needless to say, I highly recommend attending and staying for the weekend if you can get to the area.

Not only will I be getting my fill of all of the gaming that I can dream of, I will be attempting to get an array of material to post for the blog.  After all, VGM is a huge thing there, from the concerts to the panels.  Last year, goers were graced by the presence of none other than the great Hiroki Kikuta (Secret of Mana), and, just when I thought it couldn’t get any better, this year we will be standing before, and listening to, the man himself: Nobuo Uematsu.


Theme for the Woods (Draft 2)


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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License and ©2011 Gregory Weaver.

I know it’s been some time since I worked on this piece, and I apologize!  Between grueling over the other posts I’ve made, trying to finish the “Time’s Scar” analysis, work, and life in general, it was difficult to find time to sit down and work on it.  So, since I was on a train for seven hours or so to get from Charlottesville, VA, to Stamford, CT, last weekend, I decided to bring my whopping 49-key MIDI keyboard along.  Yes, it hung out in the aisle and part of it rested on the lap of the friend with whom I traveled.

My first order of business was to change the title of the tune.  I only got as far as changing the location, however, because I don’t want to christen it until it’s finished.  The reader may recall it being “Forest or Village Theme,” but I changed it to “Theme for the Woods” for a couple of reasons.  First, I got rid of the “village” part because I didn’t want to limit the location.  Can this be a theme for a village in the woods?  Certainly, but I’m not going to focus on what a village atmosphere might sound like so I thought it best to oust that detail.  Secondly, to me, “woods” seems lighter than “forest.”  When I think “forest,” I see large, think pines; darkness; and wolves; when I think “woods,” I imagine squirrels with acorns, camping, bird calls, and sunshine through the trees.  Since my tune is a little on the springy side, it is quite a bit more apt for the latter location.

Below I’ve posted my second draft.  It sounds a little different from the first because it uses Finale’s Garritan instrument library while Draft 1 used Logic Pro’s.  From now on (thanks to a suggestion from my girlfriend), my drafts will be MP3s of my work in Finale until I am satisfied with the score.  After that day comes, I’ll rewrite everything into Logic Pro so that I can take advantage of my superior sound libraries, add expression, and mix and master the track.