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djpretzel

"Moving on" from OC ReMix (split from BGC apology)

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I just wanted to weigh in quickly (last-word freak on a thread I wasn't even INVOLVED in??) with a couple thoughts/sentiments.

Firstly, I'm hugely appreciative of & grateful for everything Jimmy's done for this community - way beyond the call of duty, heroic contributions, and even if he quit cold turkey and never did anything else EVAR, it would still be awesome work. It bears mentioning that Brandon has done a ton for the community as well, and perhaps feels slighted in some sense because he's still more active whereas Jimmy has "moved on"...

I'd like to speak to this point, because I think it's a false Boolean. You don't need to "move on" from OCR to do separate, commercial, or original work.

This is NOT a linear progression of stages... Hell, look what Jake did for B&R - a masterpiece on every level, and he's a super-pro game composer extraordinaire. If there's one thing I really want to emphasize, it's that I don't want people to feel like they have to "move on" just to work on other music, break into the industry, or explore ANY other hobby or art form that catches their interest. Participating in OC ReMix should never be at the explicit exclusion of pursuing other goals, and everyone has their own priorities. I want this community - myself, staff, album directors, artists, and visitors alike - to be as open as possible, and not hold grudges against anyone for not being a "diehard" or for spending time elsewhere, whether it be for commercial pursuits or just something different entirely. That being said, obviously I *DO* appreciate active participation, contribution, and presence... they DO make a difference, it's just not a difference that should be used to justify animus or grudges or anything of that sort. It's something I should hope said individuals are proud of, and not something that generates any sense of entitlement or superiority. I think (hope) you can have the pride without the prejudice, in this case.

But it does pay my bills and I'm happy so far. I'm disappointed that there seem to be people (like you) who would rather be resentful that I've moved on to the next level of writing music, rather than excited by it.

I agree with the majority of what Jimmy's contributed to this thread, but I did want to point out this sentence, because I think it's unfortunate phrasing/word choice. If people want to think of things in terms of "levels" - i.e. hierarchical - I can't really stop them, but I just honestly think it's a problematic & unnecessary way to think about music, and art in general. I don't think there are different levels of this variety, I've NEVER been convinced that music being commercial was any guarantor of its quality (or vice versa!!), and I've never been persuaded by any arguments that artists can't successfully straddle the world of fan-driven, free expression and work-for-hire or commercialized music simultaneously. I'm thus very uncomfortable with the phrases "moved on" and "next level" as used in this context. I DO think that deciding to make music for a living is taking a VERY brave step, don't get me wrong... I just don't think it needs to be a mutually exclusive "level," or that it represents an evolution/progression so much as a life decision, or that it necessarily speaks to the comparative characteristics or quality of the music itself. Hopefully that makes sense.

I guess I just want to encourage everyone to think less categorically...

e.g. "active" community members vs. "inactive"... "levels" of music... "moving on"... the only constant is change, but that doesn't mean that making free music is one level beneath selling it, or that you can't (or shouldn't) do both quite happily. As Jimmy says, we should be happy his original work is being met with such acclaim, and I sure as hell am, and if you listen to it, I think you'll see that he earned it and isn't riding coattails or leveraging OCR unjustly. I don't feel that way at all, and I'd like to think I'm the person best informed to make that determination.

Edited by djpretzel

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[edit]copy+pasted from my FB response to DJP when the thread was still locked :)[/edit]

Yo! Sorry about my wording in that thread. I wish I could reply in the thread to clear some air, but at the very least I feel compelled to say that in the heat of replying to Brandon's derpness, naturally some of my wording is flawed. I just wanted you to know that when I said "moved on" I absolutely did not mean it in the way you seem to have taken it, and I regret that I couldn't think of a more effective way of conveying what I meant.

I do want to point out that, while I agree with your principle based on your interpretation, to me there absolutely *is* a difference between when I was writing music as a hobby and working shitty jobs at quick-lube stations or Home Depot and that magical moment when I realized I could actually write music full time for my paycheck (as I'd wanted to do all along). Would "leveled up to writing music professionally" have been a better choice of words then? I know it still implies some degree of categorical thinking, but seeing as making the transition to writing music for a living IS an advancement of a certain kind (and I really do think most people would agree), I feel I'm justified in conveying that basic principle at least.

I definitely have not moved on in the sense that I will never write anything for OCR again (independent or album project-wise), never comment on any thread that doesn't have to do with one of my projects, never encourage others to check out the site, never share OCR news & such on my own network, of course not. Far from it. And of course you know that since "going pro", like Jake, I've still remixed for OCR. That said, I confess there is a degree of validity to the accusation of how little I contribute to the forums that I feel guilty for--I probably should make a bit more effort to visually interact from time to time. That said, I've finally learned in recent years that for whatever reason there's a LOT of negativity on internet forums. It's not just OCR--it doesn't matter what the clique or theme is, there's just an abundance of hateful/judgemental/elitist people that infect virtually every internet forum I've ever read from, whether as a registered member, passing by, google searching, or otherwise.

I even speculated on this yesterday - https://twitter.com/BigGiantCircles/status/382561540177534977

But it absolutely does exist on OCR. And it's probably no secret that I don't deal well with it, and like many people I hate the idea of someone getting a last word in that slights me somehow, and then I feel compelled to waste hours of my time engaging in pointless (and usually very wordy) debates that truly do little more than upset my mood and cause me to lie awake in bed. (I don't consider this that, because you weren't attacking or snarking me in anyway). But Meteo and Brandon, I feel their responses were, and they were also riddled with resentful ignorance. And aside from those two, there's a handful of other people who IMO consistently dominate the forums with snarky condescension and constant negativity. And maybe pulling out of virtually all forum partipation together is a weak way to handle it, but it did remove a lot of that negativity from my life and free up a lot of wasted time. And over the years I generally managed to achieve a fairly unanimous "nice guy" status, which I'm both thankful for and more than a little amazed by, because while I do strive to actually BE a nice guy, I've definitely got more than my share of vices. I tend to blow up and unload on people from time to time usually in a quite unnecessary fashion, and occasionally I play the "Eff it, I've had enough and I don't care what people think, this is what I'm gonna say" card, which is not very characteristic of a nice guy. And then sometimes I just make bad judgement calls. And let's not leave out honest mistakes (like poorly wording a sentiment, such as "moved on to the next level of writing music").

At any rate, despite all that, I will try to pop in and be more visibly active on the forums from now on, even if that just means avoiding hot topics and debate (which to me will not always be easy) and just throwing a small comment in here and there. I'm still writing video game remixes, but I racked up a rather large IOU bill from Impostor Nostalgia that I'm still paying off (I've done several free remixes for Danny, C418, Disasterpeace, Josh Whelchel, Alex, Souleye, and I still have a rather large to-do list for various other people I owe favors too) so my absence from OCR projects is more because I just have a lot of catching up to do first. But I promise, OCR has not seen the last of BGC remixes.

Anyway, you may already know, but I'll gladly acknowledge any second of any day that I probably would not be doing what I'm doing for a living now if not for OCR, and I'm very grateful to the community, the site, and you for that. It's never been my intent to offend anyone there, and I apologize for any poor conveyance of my feelings in the past, present, and future. I had a blast hanging with you guys at PAX, I wish I could have done more of it. I'll continue to promote and shoutout to OCR in every single interview or PR-thing I will ever be a part of. My kickstarter is doing better than I'd hoped, and I'm sure you can relate it's both a very exciting and stressful time, and requires basically a full-time amount of juggling and updating. In hindsight, maybe I should have just ignored Brandon. But what happened happened, and I only hope there's no weirdness between you and I. You've always been a good friend, and I hope I never do anything to upset that.

Edited by big giant circles
grammar and stuffs

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I unlocked the thread so Jimmy could reply, and everything he said made sense to me... not much more to add, but we've kinda morphed the conversation into a larger & very valid/relevant topic, so perhaps more people want to chime in outside the context of just this one event.

But I promise, OCR has not seen the last of BGC remixes.

:nicework::nicework::nicework::nicework::nicework:

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I unlocked the thread so Jimmy could reply, and everything he said made sense to me... not much more to add, but we've kinda morphed the conversation into a larger & very valid/relevant topic, so perhaps more people want to chime in outside the context of just this one event.

If we're gonna do that, can we maybe split into another thread? I love the idea of a discussion on the topic, but not under the label of "Apology to BGC" :)

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I just wanted to point out it was not an intention of mine to mutate this issue as far as its gotten or keep this conversation going beyond offering favors in amends. This slipped out of my hands pretty quick.

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I just wanted to point out it was not an intention of mine to mutate this issue as far as its gotten or keep this conversation going beyond offering favors in amends. This slipped out of my hands pretty quick.

I know it wasn't. Your apology has long since been accepted and if anything, I think Dave is right, that this is a great topic of discussion that I'm glad to see. But, hence my request to change it to its own thread, and not draw any further awkwardness on you.

Also, you don't owe me any favors. Fu'git abaht it. :)

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For my part I'm extremely jealous of BGC's success. :-)

Ditto.

Making it onto the Mass Effect team? I would have called that a career right there. Though i am sure there are business aspects to writing music that I have never considered and probably would not care for.

To be on topic, I get kind of giddy when I see posts from guys like Mcvaffe, BGC, Morse, Gecko, Another Soundscape (where did he go anyway?) and others who were a huge part of OCR back in the day. It's great that you all have moved on but realize that in most cases we don't want to let you go. :)

Speaking only for myself of course though I am sure others feel the way I do.

Edited by Garpocalypse

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Yeah I guess I was being a dink too. I was kinda burned by the community way back when I was starting up, so I guess I have some subconscious resentment towards a few of the vets and judges; I'm working on moving on and letting bygones be bygones: I think you did say something somewhat insensitive in one of my earliest posts, but it was only 1 thing and for me to hold a grudge against it for years to come is pretty absurd. You're a cool guy BGC and I'm sure Liontamer is too...bit of a different story and uh a bit off-topic but you get the gist lol.

I hope you continue to contribute to OCR and maybe someday way down the road we can do a collaboration :nicework:

(BTW I rly love your work for Mass Effect 2 (did you do 3 as well??) - I even recognize a few samples that you used lol)

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@Hoboka, it's cool man. I hope I never said anything that was intentionally offensive to you. I have a bad memory, and my years of judging sorta all run together. I know I went through phases as a judge where I was sometimes probably unnecessarily harsh or critical in my feedback, but it wasn't easy being a judge, and years later, I can't imagine it's gotten any easier. :)

So if I ever offended, please forgive as well.

Also thanks! I did not write for ME3 sadly, but they did reuse a bunch of my ME2 tracks. I guess that's good :)

A bit off topic too, but while I'm flattered by all the kind remarks about my career, I cannot stress enough that while being hired by Jack to work on the ME2 score was a defining achievement in my life, it by no means "made" my career. At the time it happened, I also made the mistake of assuming it did, and that I would pretty much just get to sit back and let the work come to me. I could not have been farther from the truth. For what it's worth, 2011 (the year after ME2) was the single poorest financial year of my adult working life. I learned the hard way what it REALLY means to put yourself out there, try to network and find more work. And that it simply wasn't enough to have "worked on Mass Effect 2" printed on my business card. It wasn't enough to get me any prospective AAA work, and it alienated me from a LOT of indie developers. It was actually a very unique obstacle to overcome. And by no means am I ungrateful for the experience--I wouldn't trade it for anything--but it was NOT a free ticket to easy street either :)

Almost all of my composer friends/colleagues/contacts I've talked to on the subject will agree (from Danny B to zircon to Alex Brandon to Sam Hulick and many many more), it's a constant struggle to keep any kind of steady (enough) workload. I've even talked to a AAA composer who wrote a full orchestral score to a video game adaptation of a certain HUGE Hollywood movie, and the following year made BARELY a 5 digit income. For the whole year. It is absolutely not easy to make a living with music. And don't get me started on self-employment taxes :)

Edited by big giant circles

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@Hoboka, it's cool man. I hope I never said anything that was intentionally offensive to you. I have a bad memory, and my years of judging sorta all run together. I know I went through phases as a judge where I was sometimes probably unnecessarily harsh or critical in my feedback, but it wasn't easy being a judge, and years later, I can't imagine it's gotten any easier. :)

So if I ever offended, please forgive as well.

Also thanks! I did not write for ME3 sadly, but they did reuse a bunch of my ME2 tracks. I guess that's good :)

A bit off topic too, but while I'm flattered by all the kind remarks about my career, I cannot stress enough that while being hired by Jack to work on the ME2 score was a defining achievement in my life, it by no means "made" my career. At the time it happened, I also made the mistake of assuming it did, and that I would pretty much just get to sit back and let the work come to me. I could not have been farther from the truth. For what it's worth, 2011 (the year after ME2) was the single poorest financial year of my adult working life. I learned the hard way what it REALLY means to put yourself out there, try to network and find more work. And that it simply wasn't enough to have "worked on Mass Effect 2" printed on my business card. It wasn't enough to get me any prospective AAA work, and it alienated me from a LOT of indie developers. It was actually a very unique obstacle to overcome. And by no means am I ungrateful for the experience--I wouldn't trade it for anything--but it was NOT a free ticket to easy street either :)

Almost all of my composer friends/colleagues/contacts I've talked to on the subject will agree (from Danny B to zircon to Alex Brandon to Sam Hulick and many many more), it's a constant struggle to keep any kind of steady (enough) workload. I've even talked to a AAA composer who wrote a full orchestral score to a video game adaptation of a certain HUGE Hollywood movie, and the following year made BARELY a 5 digit income. For the whole year. It is absolutely not easy to make a living with music. And don't get me started on self-employment taxes :)

Yeah, it's tough as hell to make a living with music.

I worked with an awesome musician from Colombia. He worked for Def Leppard on their Hysteria world tour and then opened in front of 10,000 people for the Finnish band Stratovarius. Two weeks later, he was washing dishes in a restaurant. The only time he made a living at music was from around 2003-2008 when he toured with a band here in Canada playing 200 shows a year. Doing so cost him being with his wife for half of her pregnancy and the first six months of his kid's life.

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I agree that this is a rather sad topic. BGC, much love and totally get where you're coming from with your posts.

My thoughts are that we all have lives and I don't believe anyone should harbour grudges if someone doesn't actively contribute to the community in a BIG WAY if they did before. Some people change, some people move on to other things. As someone who wants to be a game composer, that is currently what i'm focusing my efforts on right now as well, and if that means I am less active on OCR as a result and will be more so in the future, then so be it. MUCH love to OCR if that ever happens, because they have been stepping stones on a career path that honestly, seemed impossible to me a few years back, and while still out of reach somewhat, I have a belief in myself and my abilities now that wasn't there before. I would stick around OCR more if I could in that situation but it probably wouldn't be as feasible.

As for negativity on the forums, I try to avoid that sort of thing generally. Its quite easy to ignore things that aren't directed personally to you, but personal attacks do sometimes happen, I have had my fair share. However, I find being on the forums and a part of OCR isn't all cynical and negative, and I find there are plenty of great points to sticking around. Not to say I disrespect BGCs view or decision.

What I'd say I have a problem with tho, is when people seem to just completely vanish and cut off from OCR completely and utterly, including everyone who's a part of it. This is only if they still seem to be around in some way, be it on facebook or something. Thats hurtful for the people who you leave behind if you don't have a good enough reason for cutting everyone off, or don't give one. I can name a few people there, not giving out any names, but I find it quite a sad thing when you cut off cold turkey from a community thats frankly, given you so much, not just music and experience wise, but socially as well. I have FRIENDS here, and I wouldn't want to just give them up for my career.

Seeing as this is kinda his thread, I have to say that I don't believe BGC ever did that, I'm *not* singling him out here or holding him responsible for that in any way, shape or form. I want to make that clear. For the record, i'm not talking about a dictatorship, and I wouldn't publicly call out people who did this, but I would personally disapprove, thats just part of who I am right now.

Edited by WillRock

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If we're gonna do that, can we maybe split into another thread? I love the idea of a discussion on the topic, but not under the label of "Apology to BGC" :)
We could. Or we could just make this a thread of non-specific apologies to you.

I'm sorry I could never love you the way you wanted.

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WillRock, I'm only speaking for my personal sense of what a "community" is, but I don't think it should be a community's role to pass judgment on members who may withdraw from it for personal reasons. Instead, a community's role should be to create a sense of belonging for its members and to support them. I think anyone who finds him or herself separated from the community for some reason should be wished the best. If that person ever crossed paths with the community again, I would hope he or she found a welcoming environment waiting.

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WillRock, I'm only speaking for my personal sense of what a "community" is, but I don't think it should be a community's role to pass judgment on members who may withdraw from it for personal reasons. Instead, a community's role should be to create a sense of belonging for its members and to support them. I think anyone who finds him or herself separated from the community for some reason should be wished the best. If that person ever crossed paths with the community again, I would hope he or she found a welcoming environment waiting.

I understand your point Will, but I think Ash is right. It all comes down to "Don't worry, be happy". Less negativity, moar happy people! ^_^

Also, BGC rocks :-D

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I've even talked to a AAA composer who wrote a full orchestral score to a video game adaptation of a certain HUGE Hollywood movie, and the following year made BARELY a 5 digit income. For the whole year. It is absolutely not easy to make a living with music. And don't get me started on self-employment taxes :)

I'm not sure if this is offtopic or anything, but if its true I make more than twice what actual working composers make at my day job (which I love), then I have to wonder what the point is. I guess I can feel considerably less jealous if I'm objectively benefiting more in my current situation than I would trying to reach for something I'll probably never get, but I can't even imagine that. What I make today just covers my wife and I and barely contributes to a good savings, I can't imagine working with much less just to pursue a dream of art.

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I'm not sure if this is offtopic or anything, but if its true I make more than twice what actual working composers make at my day job (which I love), then I have to wonder what the point is. I guess I can feel considerably less jealous if I'm objectively benefiting more in my current situation than I would trying to reach for something I'll probably never get, but I can't even imagine that. What I make today just covers my wife and I and barely contributes to a good savings, I can't imagine working with much less just to pursue a dream of art.

The point is some years are good, some years are not as good, but you always have to be hustling when you are self employed. The other point is that a salary is not the only form of compensation, though it is a decent metric, because eating and having a roof is pretty fulfilling. If your end goal is only to maximize personal revenue, writing music is probably not optimal, but if your end goal is to literally and figuratively ANNIHILATE A FAMOUS COMPOSER AT STREET FIGHTER 2, then you just need to imagine how good it is to be me. Welcome to the League of OA.

I personally have had my OCR role diminished recently because of my career, a soon-to-be-kindergarterner, and *NEW* OCR roles, as well as the fact that Larry's opinions have been ridiculous of late.

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The point is some years are good, some years are not as good, but you always have to be hustling when you are self employed. The other point is that a salary is not the only form of compensation, though it is a decent metric, because eating and having a roof is pretty fulfilling. If your end goal is only to maximize personal revenue, writing music is probably not optimal, but if your end goal is to literally and figuratively ANNIHILATE A FAMOUS COMPOSER AT STREET FIGHTER 2, then you just need to imagine how good it is to be me. Welcome to the League of OA.

I personally have had my OCR role diminished recently because of my career, a soon-to-be-kindergarterner, and *NEW* OCR roles, as well as the fact that Larry's opinions have been ridiculous of late.

And to think that this was my dream job too. Hustling between contracts and applying daily for new gigs doesn't sound like the high life for me lol. I don't envy you and BGC's career paths...but I still intend to take further school for it and make it a sort of side job >:3

Still, it makes my respect for you dudes grow over 9000 times and stuff. I wish my stupid anxiety wouldn't hold me back from attending magfests and other such OCR gatherings q.q

Also thanks! I did not write for ME3 sadly, but they did reuse a bunch of my ME2 tracks. I guess that's good :)

Hmmm...I was wondering why ME3's OST quality felt inconsistent at parts =p ...the only new track that I really digged from ME3 was Leaving Earth now that I think of it :3

Edited by HoboKa

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