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The moment when I first came into my own as a composer

Updated: Feb 25, 2023

Today, four years ago, my fiancé and I and several friends from Soundskills recorded the music video for the first of my triumphal pieces of music -- Mio/Homura ~ EXTEND ver., video below (and also in the Watch section of this site). Some of you who saw this site in its very early years (c. 2017) will remember that this was the song on the front page when this website began, before it went offline for a good while. There was even an entire photo gallery with behind-the-scenes videos and images from the making of this video.

The title implies the existence of an original, non-extended version, and there is. In 2012, I wrote the original in two weeks for a competition on Newgrounds, despite not knowing the first thing about mixing, or even how to wrap my head around it. Some friends were giving me bits and pieces of help but without any context on why I needed to do it a certain way, I wasn't going to be able to apply it well. And it would prove disastrous.

But this is exactly the thing I want to raise: when you're unaware of how to do a certain thing, but you have dreams of achieving it, does that mean you stop dreaming because you're not capable?

Does that mean that you stop dreaming because nobody around you is willing to sit down and help you to understand, and to meet you where your mind and musicality currently are? I should hope not!

I received a lot of hatred for the original version of Mio/Homura, not least because I was going against the likes of a popular person whom, I want to stress, never caused that hatred. Some of their fans thought that they were doing that person a favour by going after me in private messages trying to bring me down -- they weren't.

Judges in the contest picked me and my ideas apart -- as it was their task to do. But the sheer satisfaction when I came and brought the extended version of the piece to the people who left me those reviews that day -- the sheer satisfaction upon seeing their jaws drop -- was enough.

My point is, the words can often be noise. It is hard to sift the genuine feedback from the noise. Especially when we're starting out, it's hard to achieve what it is we're aiming for when we lack the terminology to describe it, and so we're not able to communicate it. But even so, don't let up. If a dream fills you up with joy and longing, don't let up!

And it won't be long before one day, you will gain the know-how and the strength to silence that noise. You will finally come into your own.

A drawing of my painted face, eyes looking straight at the viewer, smiling. I only used shades of yellow for this.
This was an early makeup concept for Mio/Homura that I drew. The dark patch on my skin was ultimately dropped.

I didn't know it back then, but the day I released Mio/Homura ~ EXTEND ver. was the day that I finally came into my own as a composer. It gave me the confidence that I now insist on having -- the confidence that I encourage many musician friends to have. It laid the groundwork for the style in which I would write a good bit of my stuff in later years.

I write this, because I feel like many of you, my friends, either have gone through similar experiences, or will inevitably have to face experiences like these. I write this in the hope that you, too, might take heart. We -- and others perhaps -- could perceive what happened with the original Mio/Homura, for example, as a failure, but we never know what groundwork it could lay for us.

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