Pronouncing 'Aeriae'

Here's a one minute mp3 tribute I made to the various radio presenters who, over time, have had to suddenly decide how they were going to pronounce the torturous names of the entity that is me - Aeriae - and my tracks. My thanks to all the folks I included, in particular Andrew Maxam who has played a lot of my music on Liquid Electric on FBi FM, sometimes under wacky pseudonyms like 'Nicole Kidman'.

PRONOUNCING AERIAE (click to listen - 2.6mb streaming mp3)

How do I say it myself? In the beginning, I said 'Air-ree-eye'. But as some folks began to say 'Air-ree-eh' ('eh' rhyming with 'hey') I sometimes found myself saying what they said. So now I don't mind either way.

I chose the name for a combination of aesthetic and practical reasons (I especially like how it looks) but amongst all the factors I thought of, I forgot about pronunciation. The two commonest ways people say it are both logical responses to the spelling, so I think that's a decent outcome for a made up word which often induces mental tripping-over on sight.

General 2011-2012 update

2011 was a slower year on the Aeriae front, basically because I spent the majority of my time developing a cute Interactive Fiction game called Six about twin sisters playing hide and seek with their friends at their sixth birthday party. I entered the game in the 2011 Interactive Fiction Competition where it was voted into second place in the field of 38 games, an achievement I am really happy with.

Away from Aeriae, I probably co-produced at least 80 hours of improvised electronic music with a friend of mine over the course of the year in a duo act which we still have no agreed name for, and whose goals we are unsure of. But it's been a lot of fun, and creatively, it's been a new area for me to explore. The Aeriae material is exactingly created, and in some ways grows out of the exact opposite approach to that of improvisational music.

My second Aeriae album, Victris, is complete and ready to go, and has actually benefited from having even more time spent on it revisiting the production. That said, I’d been unsure of how to release it. I’m interested in the support gained by releasing through a label (unlike Hold R1, which I self-released) and though I can’t count unhatched chickens in too much detail in this post, the good news is that it looks like a label release will come about in the 2nd half of 2012.

Aeriae presents 'Leadlight' - a new horror computer game for the Apple II

After a year and a half of development, I am pleased to announce that my Survival Horror Interactive Fiction game for the Apple II, Leadlight, is ready for play:

http://leadlightgame.com



15-year-old Belinda Nettle is studying at Linville Girls High School in Australia's Blue Mountains. After falling asleep in the library one afternoon, she wakes from her mundane existence into a nightmare. Her classmates are transformed, nameless terrors seek her out across the schoolgrounds, and traps and tricks threaten her life at every turn.

Can you help Belinda survive this terror-filled night and solve its mysteries? And will there be a new day?

* Brings modern survival horror feel to a classic gaming form
* Defeat enemies and uncover secrets to improve your score
* Experiment with weapons and clothing to improve your stats
* Solve puzzles and uncover frightful secrets
* Avoid gruesome traps, or back up a move if you fall prey to them
* Evade capture with the HIDE command


The game is free to play, and can be run online in a browser-based emulator, or offline with one of the downloadable emulator packs for different systems. Just visit the website to get started.

There's also an illustrated Player Guide and a website FAQ explaining how to play interactive fiction if you've never tried it before, and a coded hint sheet for help with the puzzles.

The game recently competed in the 2010 Interactive Fiction Competition, where it placed 14th out of 26 entries in the public vote. This was a very strong result for a piece of 8-bit Apple II software drawing on a genre which didn't even exist when the Apple II computer was in its heyday, and competing against a majority of games designed with state of the art authorship systems with unlimited resources at their disposal.

Realising this game was one of the biggest creative and programming/engineering challenges of my life, and I’m really pleased with the result.

I hope you enjoy the game, and if you do, please let other folks know about it.

With this project complete, I can at last return my focus to completion of the second Aeriae album, and it is indeed extremely near completion.

Announcing Aeriae album 2, VICTRIS, and a videogame, LEADLIGHT

The second Aeriae album is significantly along in development. It will be called Victris and I hope to release it before the end of 2009 through my own label Call-151 Records. The label will have a more solid identity this time around, though if you look on your Hold R1 CD, you will see the Call-151 logo on it. The logo has also featured in Aeriae print ads and material over time. Coming onboard for Victris's graphic design is Alex Lee of What is the Apple IIGS? fame.

All I will say about the new album content is that I feel that the sound is both more detailed and more overtly melodic than Hold R1's. This reflects the expansion of my production abilities and of my compositional ideas respectively. The latter were probably more in thrall to the impulses of the IDM project on the first record.

Another project I am working on, and which I hope to unveil around the same time as the album, is an 8-bit horror game for the Apple II computer called
Leadlight. The game brings some modern Silent Hill and Resident Evil like flourishes to the old text adventure game model, and is programmed using the Eamon game engine. The game is set in a private girls' school (you play a girl in year ten) and I see it as my eight bit take on something like Dario Argento's film 'Suspiria'. The game will run in a java Apple II emulator on the Aeriae website, so to play, all anyone will have to do is visit an URL. There will be no fiddling with disk images or ROMs or emulator software, etc.

So why make a game by such a weird and ostensibly difficult manner in this day and age? The Apple II has always been a major creative inspiration for me, and I love programming it. On Hold R1, I used
Fantavision on the Apple II to animate the AMay videoclip. My label Call-151 is named for the Apple II monitor command, and I keep getting sound and imagery ideas - and sound samples - from the computer for the Aeriae project. I had wondered whether I would ever find time or motivation to make this horror game, and somehow it just seemed to be a cool idea to put the game out alongside the next Aeriae record. I hope people who know adventure games will dig it, and people who've never seen them may be intrigued. Mind you, I'm still writing and programming the game, and it's not impossible it will run into some impassable technical hurdle, but fingers crossed.

The (recent) Past

This post to be followed within the near future by post 'The Future', announcing the forthcoming releases from Aeriae.

Following is a non-ordered sampling of Aeriae action I've been involved in since I released Hold R1 late in 2007:

- I remixed Catcall's 'August'
- I remixed Delta Goodrem's 'Believe Again'. I love this remix and I perform it at every live show
- I saw Moldover's video on Controllerism, which inspired me to believe I could do an incarnation of Aeriae live
- I spent five months building a live rig in hardware and software engineering from the ground up
- I began to participate in Clan Analogue
- I played several shows
- I produced a Severed Heads cover, which should see the light of day on a Clan release in the near future
- I produced a track for the soundtrack of videogame 'Netrikulator' which wasn't used in the end. This track, 'Passage 9', is particularly game-oriented, and I definitely hope to get it into a videogame at some point
- I remixed Chaingang, my favourite Sydney rock band
- I remixed Damn Arms for a competition, but in retrospect I'm glad this track wasn't released, even if not winning meant not winning $8000 of software and hardware. What was weird was that Damn Arms split up just after the competition was announced
- I had the most crippling bout of RSI in my right hand and arm that I've experienced in life (which is to say out of about three major episodes). Able to do very little for months, I tried to maintain sanity by watching Monkey and classic Dr Who DVDs, and worked with dreadful slowness at the computer on Aeriae material, using my left hand only
- I was fast enough to nab one of the initial steel embossed alternate editions of Autechre's 'Quaristice' when it came out