Spirit Chow

:,_.,-~´¨`~ .,:¤:,. ~´¨`~-,._,:

I compose music when the fell mood and appropriate fancy strike.

Stylistically, most of my music is mellow and instrumental, with some rhythm. It could be categorised as synthpop or chip music.

Most songs are currently only available as tracker modules, but any halfway decent media player, such as WinAmp or Audacious, can play them acceptably. The best songs also have OGG or MP3 versions. If you really like tracker music, get Modplug Player or XMPlay for very precise playback.

Most of these were written using Impulse Tracker and Schism Tracker, except for any midi pieces or live recorded playing. For direct wave editing and mixing I use GoldWave, Audacity and DDClip. Most of the samples used are blatantly ripped from other sources, though I have touched up or recorded some myself.

Except for most of the samples, these compositions are available under CC0, which is like public domain.

Information table
This is a pretty HTML table listing all my music in a more concise form, along with some statistics. The next website update may feature an enhanced list of songs.

NOTE: All music downloads are offline at the moment! Sorry... I'm hoping to properly remaster the whole lot and get some streaming links up.

Original music

Mimu Muzak 5   OGG (5984 kb)   IT (165 kb)
My most popular song, most recently retouched on 27-Nov-2011.
Unlike the other modules, this one was originally thrown together using a tracker program I made. Later I transcribed it to IT format and finalised it. The samples are a bit lo-fi, but they come together nicely. The song is based on two basic, catchy hooks, exploring some variations thereof, perhaps making the song a bit too long. Originally, this song was badly out of tune. After enough retuning, even the funky piano riff has come to please.
Length 5:24.

There is an excellent chip remix of Mimu Muzak 5, by WYZ, as part of a Vidipro demo program for the ancient MSX computer. User dreamerm42 uploaded a recording of it on Youtube.

Mimu Muzak 4   IT (166 kb)
An easy listening song, clearer and softer than most on this page. Of special note is the jovial bass line, the basic melodic interplay in the second half and the slightly out-of-place arpeggio at the end. The string sample I used should probably have been a tad softer.
Length 3:20.

Mimu Muzak 3 Remake   IT (105 kb)
A complete remake of my third original song. A nice piano-based melody; simple, perhaps a bit repetitive, but nonetheless passable. The original version had a certain breeziness which is not fully captured in this remake, but technically this version is better.
Length 3:43.

Catnip   OGG (5559 kb)   IT (430 kb)
Mostly built around chorus voices set against bass and a beat, this song starts with a slow intro, exploding into twitchy action after a hit of catnip. I'm not sure if the ending is really appropriate, as it just repeats the main theme with an added retro arpeggio... but the theme is kinda catchy. For the OGG version, I tried mixing the percussion and melody separately, for subtle reverb improvement.
Length 5:49.

Vallis Nivis   OGG (4661 kb)   IT (669 kb)   mini-ringtone (157 kb)
That's Latin for Valley of Snow, probably. Tinkling snow crystals meet a reverbed synth bass against a basic beat background. The melodic progression in this song is more ponderous than in earlier songs, while retaining a passable chord series for the main hook. Some cheap influence from Jarre may be detected in the bouncy bass. I have a set of lyrics that might kind of fit, and hope to put together a full song at some point, replacing one or two instruments with a live synth recording while at it.
Length 4:34.

The Cutesy Board   IT (385 kb)
This piece barely got third place in the fourth Kestit music competition, and is one of my big favorites. Technically this one is somewhat impressive, as I had to cram everything into just eight channels. A few chip samples are used, and coupled with slides and arpeggios they give a properly hacky demo mood for the song. The name refers to a cute message board I once happened upon.
Length 2:42.

Pause to Consider   IT (415 kb)
It is often a good idea to have a pause for thought. Curiously, one night I just felt inexplicably happy and had to compose something. This positive song was a quick result. Slow but determined, it combines burgomeistery timpani drums with soft samples.
Length 4:20.

Sliding   IT (248 kb)
A mellow tune played with an enigmatically named avianpiano and a progressive sound ripped from my trusty DX-11. The rhythm is too basic and a solo close to the end really should use a proper sample. I have also received flak over the piano slinging that pervades the piece. But, Sliding can't be all bad, seeing as it scored a respectful second place at the music competition of the first Kestit LAN party.
Length 4:02.

Polite Yet Strict   IT (316 kb)
A song with plenty of imagination and not quite enough technical prowess. While waiting for a high school mathematics class to start, I was bored and was tapping a rhythm with a pen. Upon realising it sounded good, I built this song on top of it, starting with the promisingly pitch-slid bass line. Alas, the rhythm samples are too hard and at points the song slips into near-cacophony. This is offset by particularly creative dual melodies. Also, I used an intentional diminished 7th chord for the first time in this song. If you know how, check out the individual melody channels to appreciate the intricacy.
Length 3:43.

Neat Teens   IT (216 kb)
Are teens neat? If tidiness is referred to, definitely not. This song is kind of spacey, with a neat hi-hat rhythm swirling in the background and the clear crystal sound of love working as a secondary melody base. If you like straightforward beats with threads of variation alongside, give this a try.
Length 3:46. n34t!

Star Stream   S3M (96 kb)
Another early song, this tries to get away from over-emphasized rhythm. It is pretty, if technically unimpressive. The name refers to the popular screen saver effect of a starfield going past.
Length 3:38.

Praise   OGG (4062kb)   Lyrics
Yes, a song with vocals! *shudder*
The song is module-based, but after putting it together I wrote lyrics to fit that, and went back to improve the module. I recorded the vocals and did much more editing than a beginner would have expected, finally mixing everything together with some cool effects on top. The melody is somewhat repetitive and I don't know how to make the vocals sink in professionally. Also, I make an admittedly sucky vocalist. Still, Praise has some very nice bass/crystal dual action going on.
I really should remix this one. Drop the melody by a few semitones and layer the voice a bit more, maybe some live synth instrumentation.
Length 4:54.

Remain My Love   IT (309 kb)
This is actually a duet but I only excel at writing sucky lyrics, so you just get the instrumental with chorus sounds approximating the intended singing. It is pretty well balanced, and I really like some of the synth solo action. This song was based on a now superceded big Blossom Realms story, and is supposed to sound kind of suitable for, say, a movie's end credits.
Length 4:32.

Covers and remixes

Chilled Honey   OGG (4234 kb)   IT (232 kb)
Noxy wrote Transnoctem's Honey Rhapsody, and I suggested a few chords here and there. I had the feeling the song would work splendidly as a jazz piece, and produced this cover version! The song uses only chip samples for melody, with sampled percussion. The end result is a calm, chill-out song. I would actually recommend you get the OGG, since I applied advanced mixing techniques to fatten the sound... although I may have gone overboard with the compression?
Length 4:26.

Ace Of Maze Overdone   OGG (2819 kb)   IT (389 kb)
Werp made the original Ace Of Maze back in the summer of 1998, and it was simply the catchiest module I had ever heard! The natural thing to do was to hog the song and remix it. Several times. Werp never was too fond of the original anyway since it was so simple. Compared to that, this version only maintains the basic outline, with lots of overdone distortion and rhythm splayed all over. And an original, catchy piano solo thing just before the 2-minute mark.
Length 3:04.

Munchky Pillars   IT (248 kb)
A short but sweet remix of Jeroen Tel's original Noisy Pillars tune 3. Obviously I could not hope to match the dynamicity of the C64 SID sound chip, but this cover is fairly true except for the missing metallic xylophone rhythm sounds. The background arpeggio pretty much makes the whole song.
Length 1:24.

At the Foot of Boot Hill   IT (229 kb)
Naturally you remember Cannon Fodder. This is a remix of the beautiful, memorable song that plays when the recruits line up to the gate, waiting for their turn. Right next to them is a green hill, filled with graves. The moody tune haunts the scene perfectly. This remix takes few liberties, and just tries to be a credible reproduction apart from the end. The only thing I am unhappy with is the severe lack of professionality in the percussion. The original version was evidently done by Joseph Richard and possibly Jon Hare.
Length 5:55.

Scinty Starlet   IT (170 kb)
A remix from Ultima Underworld 2, the sequel to the genre-defining original first-person CRPG, that managed to even improve on its predecessor. This song captures well the ethereal, somewhat creepy feeling of the deserted Scintillus Academy of Magic. Unlike most music today, the rhythm in this uses five and seven beats instead of the overused four. The original, really cool UW2 soundtrack was credited to Jon Blackley and Dan Schmidt.
Note: Some of the Ultima Underworld fan remake teams have made music remixes as well, many of them more polished than this.
Length 2:40.

Shadows of Darkness Finale   OGG (11173 kb)   Script
The valley of Mordavia is shadowed by the grim visages of great dark bugs. Only one man can alter the course of fate, and he is already under the power of evil forces. Add special effects and a smashing soundtrack, and you have a worthy finale for Quest for Glory 4. The game is great, but especially at the end stupid bugs used to prevent you from experiencing the full drama. (Now fan-made patches exist to fix lots of bugs in old Sierra games!)

To properly enjoy the ending, I put together an audio show after finding a utility that allows decompressing sounds from the game's resource files. After hours of remixing the midi music to fit in perfectly and adding sound effects, I needed more speech. Erana's voice was not quite right in the game, so I got Noxy to record those lines. Her voice, in fact, fits quite well – and much better than the hammy Hero performance. *cough* She also helped retouch the script. I tried to limit the hero's speech so I wouldn't have to grimace every time I listen to it, but, well... Otherwise, this audio show captures the emotion of the ending scenes fairly well.

Credit where credit is due:
Quest for Glory 4: Shadows of Darkness is copyright 1993 by Sierra.
The game was written, designed and directed by Corey and Lori Ann Cole. Many of the sound effects are credited to, and the incredible musical score was composed by, Aubrey Hodges. He has a powerful new arrangement of this soundtrack and others available at his site. The midi soundtrack of the original game was ripped and polished by Tom Lewandowski of Quest Studios, which I then edited further. The music was rendered with Timidity++, using the GUS patch set by Eric A. Welsh.
The featured voice actors to the best of my knowledge are: Jennifer Hale as Katrina, Jeff Bennett as Ad Avis and Igor, Jim Cummings as Boris and Hans, Jess Harnell as Franz, Neil Ross as Ivan and Erasmus, Susan Silo as Olga and Fenrus, Gregg Berger as Dmitri, Stu Rosen as Yuri, Mitzie McCall as Bella, Russi Taylor as Tanya, and Cam Clark as Davy.

The Sharpest Lives in C minor   OGG (1917 kb)
This one's for Noxy, but maybe you'll like it too. This is an instrumental piano cover of The Sharpest Lives by My Chemical Romance. Unlike most piano covers of this song, I play the melody with the middle keys, not the high keys – more appropriate for a rocking song like this, I feel. I have no formal music training at all, so it took mixing pieces of 6 takes to get a full song without big mistakes.
This is the debut track for the band Transnoctem, as well as for my shiny new Yamaha P-95B keyboard.
Listen to the cover with vocals on YouTube!
Length 3:07.