As I sit down to write this, I have several topics swirling around in my brain. I could spill my life’s story, I could educate you about music for the video game and film trailer industries, I could ramble about my frustrations and stress around having to wear too many hats, and so on. But for your sake (and mine honestly), I’ll keep it simple.
Welcome to my blog post! Thanks for being here. My name is Megan McDuffee and I’m a composer, music producer, and artist primarily for video games. I’ve built a successful client business over the past decade, and have gotten to work on some very cool things like all the Atari Recharged games, River City Girls 1 & 2 from WayForward, Apex Legends Mobile, the trailers for Annihilation and The Predator, and many more. You can even hear my songs in reality TV shows like The Bachelor and Love Is Blind. It’s been a wild journey, and there’s still so much more to tackle.
People ask me what instruments I play, and usually, I respond with, “Whatever gets it out of my head.”
Music has been an outlet for me for more than half my life at this point. I come from Chesapeake, Virginia, a place where music (let alone any form of art or entertainment) is totally underrated, never even remotely appreciated.
I guess if I had to describe my “story,” the story that at least gets told through my music, it would be a story of adolescence, at least for now. I have lived in Fresno for all of my (admittedly short) life, and I think it can show through my music at times. But I’m always looking for a way to escape. Whether it be the mountains or the beach, make no mistake that I’d rather be anywhere than Fresno from at least July up to September. Our summers are scalding and long.
If I can’t do that, though, I still have the long-standing escapist cliche of music.
Do you ever rehearse a conversation in your head that you’ll probably never have?
My name is Mike Haggith. I’m an indie/alternative artist with countless albums under my belt, and stories to tell. Today, I’ve got one for you.
Imagine being 18 and setting off for a place where no one knows your name, landing in a place where the only thing familiar is your dream. That was me, stepping out of the car and touching the ground of Sault Ste Marie for the first time. I had just relocated from Windsor, Ontario. It was 2010 and I looked like McLovin from Superbad, so at least I had that going for me.
Bugs are really cool. I own a bunch of bugs encased in glass and you can look at them and go “Wow, that’s cool.” My favorite is a flower mantis that sits atop one of my shelves. I like how it looks. I wanted to make songs about bugs, so I did. In my opinion, you wouldn’t call a crab, a spider, or a shrimp an insect, but I’m perfectly comfortable calling them bugs. I even think I am a bug sometimes too. We’re all bugs if you really think about it.
Penelope Arvanitakis and I go way back to 2005. I would spot her at open mics in mysterious and leafy Belgrave, the creative centre of the Melbourne hills, and simply marvel at her talent. The cadence of her voice was like no other, her piano playing was so highly advanced for one so young, and her songs were quirky, honest and deep. She was a cut above the rest.
In 2007 we recorded three songs together at her parents’ house, one of mine and two of hers, and then … we promptly fell out of touch for 16 years!
My name is Corynne Ostermann; I’m a multidisciplinary artist and musician playing bass & providing vocals for the Baltimore-based group Natural Velvet.
Natural Velvet started in 2012, and I’ve been involved since the beginning, as well as with my bandmates Spike Arreaga (guitar), Kim Te (guitar), and Greg Hatem (drums, production). I genuinely feel so lucky to have had my bandmates’ attention for as long as I have had, and as a result, I’m very protective of them and the long-term sustainability of our project.
In January 2022, I released my fifth studio album, “Hus.” It felt okay, but not particularly great, despite all the work I had put into it. I was taken aback by my own lack of enthusiasm at the time, but I wasn’t particularly surprised either.
Three years had passed since I started a side project, which began with a writer’s block. I had become tired of myself and felt trapped in my own image. A question sneaked up on me. Did I actually like my own music? Or, more specifically: would I listen to it if it were made by someone else? No, probably not. The answer surprised me.
My story starts with my Mexican parents. They eloped from Mexico City then had me in Los Angeles. Their early gift to me was a stand-up piano for kids. According to my mom, I spent most of my time on it, writing songs and playing them over and over. When I was a teenager, I was the frontwoman in a punk/indie cover band, then played in a few post-rock bands. I became obsessed with the label Thrill Jockey, and moved to Chicago because they were based there. My sister was my biggest champion—she accompanied me on the long drive. Even though she slept most of the time in the passenger seat, her love and support meant the world to me.
Since the 1960s, Finland has had a rich tradition of instrumental rock, jazz, and fusion led by world-class musicians and groups. This tradition possesses unique stillness and melancholy, characteristic of the Finnish mindscape. Influences from folk music can often be heard, where the most delicately composed minor chords tell stories of beauty and joy rather than sadness.
Luova Records continues this tradition by releasing the second album of my band, Maa ilmasta. The title of the album is Kaunis kesäkaupunki, ’beautiful summer city’. The name is humoristic in a very Finnish, ironic way. More than a genuine description of a specific city, the statement can be used as a cheap compliment for essentially any Finnish city—even the less outstanding ones.