►Introducing: “Music from my friends”

Finally had the time to finish production of the first track that’s not composed by myself, so it also is the first track to go on the new page I added to my site some time ago and which had been empty until now.

It’s an instrumental track, more precisely classical chamber music (string quartet and flute), with a dreamy, slightly sad but beautiful melody, composed by Rita Faleiro and produced by me (production environment was ReNoise, using samples and the final mix was done in Audacity).

Go to this page to listen to the track, a free download is also available.

Hope you enjoy 🙂

►War of Tiny Creatures (or: play Worms on Linux)

Last posts were always related to music, so I think (or hope) my readers will “excuse” me for posting “off-topic” this time – although I could even write about astronomy, if I had anything to write about it, because this is my own blog, duhhh… but now I’m really getting off-topic lol…

This post is about an oooooold “addiction” of mine (and many other people as far as I know), more precisely a video game (and believe me, I’m not the video-game-guy AT ALL, I hardly ever play anything…):

Worms Armageddon

Yes, that funny game from 1999 by Team17, about a “nuclear” war between worms.

What?! Don’t know it? Go right now and read more about it, then keep on reading here.

Anyway, this post is not only about this game and me having re-discovered it (again, yes, for the second time, first time was about two years ago, playing against my house mates in my university days), but about something much more special, at least for me:

I am playing it – with almost EVERYTHING working! – on my Linux laptop, yes, you’re reading correctly, here’s a screenshot:

Worms Armageddon on Linux
Worms Armageddon on Linux  (scaled down to fit, click to see full resolution)

I have to say that this is something I always wanted to do (as I don’t have any windows anymore), but until most recently it was very complicated and didn’t work well at all and you had to mess around manually with patches for WINE.

And so I thought I’d share this with you, might come in handy for someone else on the internet out there aswell.

Well, the secret is a program developed by a programmer and “Worms Addict” who calls himself Lookias, that program is a wrapper and also includes – obviously, that’s the heart of all – a patched version of WINE and libraries.

Lookias Frontend to play Worms on Linux
Lookias Frontend to play Worms on Linux

With this program, all you have to do is install W:A (don’t want to know from where you get it or how, that’s not my business) and then you can directly launch it from there, it will run at first attempt (at least did so in my case). You will find instructions in the package itself and also on the other site I list further down on here.

Great work, Lookias!

The only issue I had was sound, first wouldn’t work at all, but then I did a search on the net, and found the solution (which is NOT well documented on the websites I will list further down on here), so I thought I’d better share it aswell.

Sound will start working if you set “Audio Acceleration” in the WINE Settings dialog (under the Tab “Audio”) to “Software Emulation”. Yes, strange at least, but really effective. Will work 90%, which means, sometimes sound will stop working for a minute or so but then start working again, by itself.

With this, the game is 100% playable, and really well. Only thing I didn’t test (never played it before anyway) is Online playing. But as far as I can read from other users’ experience, this should work aswell.

So, here are the links:

Official Website of W:A

Lookias Website (here you get the fantastic frontend)

Website of ViolatoR (quite well written userguide for the frontend)

Have fun!!! 😀

►The Alternative Music Lounge: Jon Gomm

This time, I’d like to present you a musician who until quite recently was almost unknown, the moment that Stephen Fry (an english actor and television presenter) discovered him and decided to share his music to his 4 million twitter followers, saying just one word: “Wow” (read more here). So, by now I might have about 50% of my readers thinking:

« ah, another of those “assisted fame victims”, who raise to world fame and then fall down into the gutter quicker than you can say “G sharp minor seven” and in reality show nothing special »

But the other half of you (hopefully!) waiting with expectation for more details and, obviously, for hearing his music.

Well, if you’re still with me, here we go:

His name is Jon Gomm, he is a guitarist living in Leeds, England and until recently used to do about 200 gigs per year in very small venues or even on the street, just to survive.

Now he is touring Europe and received offers from around the world.

I got to “know” him yesterday, on the portuguese tv talk show “Herman“, where he was guest and played one of his songs.

I was impressed, he manages to combine several special techniques with great virtuosism and musicality, making his guitar sound like three or four instruments at the same time.

This includes complex percussion patterns on the guitar’s body and strings (the drums part), tapping, slurs and harmonics combined with pedal effects and a very neat trick with the tuning pegs, changing forth and back the tuning of the actual note in a way that sounds like a pitch bend (the electric-acoustic guitar part) and adding walking bass lines on the 6th string (the bass part), finishing it all up with his voice, which sounds really nice aswell.

But enough said, have a listen for yourself:

Jon Gomm – Passionflower

Here’s his website: Jon Gomm

About this series:

One of the ideas I have for this blog is to start periodic post series about a few interesting topics. Like one post a week or a month, about the same topic but always bringing you new (or classic but little known) musical discoveries.
This series that I gave the name “The Alternative Music Lounge” is about presenting you bands and projects that I like a lot or respect much because of the quality of their music although they haven’t made it into the so called “main stream” and therefore probably will remain unknown for many people.
Whatever might be the reasons for this (sometimes their creations are just too good, too unique, lacking any “commercial characteristics”, othertimes it’s just another case of being disregarded by the music industry, we all know what’s usual to happen…), I think the’re more people out there who might like their music but just didn’t have a chance to discover it yet, so I hope these publications of mine might be helpful.
By the way, if you’re a musician and think I might like your music and would like to propose your creations for being featured in a post of this series, you’re welcome to comment this post or any other future post of this series, stating your project’s name, a link to where I can listen to some tracks and a way to contact you.
I promise to try and listen to everyone’s tracks and respond, even if I happen to not accept the proposal.