• Matthew Walker

2019 | A Sebaudio Retrospective

By golly jolly festive fun, has it been a rad 2019. Whenever a new year rolls around, I always reflect and map out the new year ahead - this past year however has been rammed full of brilliant projects that I've been delighted to apply myself to.

2019 will be a year I look back at with a real sense of achievement - there have been challenges, but to me they only present an opportunity for growth and development.

Below are some highlighted projects plucked from 2019 where audio was calculated and captured, boom poles were boomed, and cars were obliterated with laser canons... joking I not you. Not you I joke.

| How to Make a Video Game with Auroch Digital |

I greatly enjoy working on Auroch Digital projects. They're a tremendous studio with great heart and brilliant teams. In 2018 we began producing a feature-focused podcast, but with the appointment of a dedicated marketing and community manager, we reformed the podcast into something more conversational, topical, more engaging. More on point.

'How to Make a Video Game' has amassed a dedicated listenership, steadily growing throughout the year. We began by covering the Bristol Games Hub's Global Games Jam event in January, alongside the episodic adventures of Matt, and errr, Matt.

It's a fab podcast, one that has grown into something that resembles what I like to call 'info-tainment'. There's content there for nerds - content for passersby that'll entice, and content for those wanting to learn how Auroch Digital and game development studios go about their devvin'.

'How to Make a Video Game' host Matt Davies speaks with Dr. Constance Fleuriot at the 2019 Global Games Jam event hosted by the Bristol Games Hub.

| Why the Brain? Why Neuroscience? |

Building upon my sound recordist work, I hooked up again with videographers Barry Wilkinson of BWFilm and Ross Wilson of Wilbee films.

We found ourselves shooting for the British Neuroscience Association, producing a film that explained away stereotypes and brought light about the incredible minds that strive to understand the brain, and it's many, many intricacies. Watch below...

| Drones for Coders |

I carved out the time to apply finishing touches to my album 'Drones for Coders' - a soundscape re-purposed of video game cues from a past project, featuring the vocals

of Adam Carter-Groves, Peter Willington, and Dr Tomas Rawlings. This was a real labour of love that I just had to get finished and released, some 3 years in the making. I'm super happy with it.

The conceptual album has been received well, and it's further given me a bug for soundscape based textural composition.

| Where a Little Passion Goes a Long Way |

I had the opportunity to work with TMP Worldwide, recording audio for the film 'Where a Little Passion Goes a Long Way', that would later become an award winning film.

This was a fun shoot, working with creatives that respect all departments of production, allowing me great freedom in recording the audio needed.

This work would later reunite me with a director whom I had not worked with for a number of years, but more on that Batman fan later...

| Wormhole : Parts 1 & 2 |

Another soundscape release would fly around quicker than I could come up with a decent title for it. 'Wormhole', (named after a reverb plugin used in the mix), would be the spiritual followup to 'Drones for Coders'.

Released in two parts, this was highly enjoyable to produce. At its core, it's a piano solo album, but with experimentation of time warping and reverberation.

That's the great thing about side-projects, is that they're brief-free, meaning they're a magnificent opportunity to experiment, try out new things that you can later apply to a project that's larger-in-profile.

This album turned out more hypnotic than originally intended, but the results are quite unique within a genre I've only just begun dipping my toes. I'm enjoying the dip.

| Dark Future : Blood Red States |

This Auroch Digital adaption of the cult Games Workshop board game would prove itself to be a 2019 highlight amongst highlights. With 4 years of development behind it, 'Dark Future : Blood Red States' had a lot of anticipation surrounding it from within the Games Workshop and strategy games communities, not to mention from the development team too. I provided some preliminary work for this title back in late 2016, setting audio foundations for ideas later fleshed out in development around the mid-way part of 2019.

At time of writing, Dark Future is amassing some extremely positive reviews on Steam, its unique approach to car-combat and strategy are the immediate pulls, with a great amount of customisation across weaponry, car choice, and colour schemes. Oh, and of course, slapping your custom reg plate on the rear of your faction-slayin', desert stormin', thug-killah caaaar! Remember, THIS IS NOT A DRIVING GAME.

The soundtrack is something I'll forever be proud of. Taking influence from trash bands, 80s arpeggiation, and B-Movies, it all came together into something really quite entertaining to listen to. I think when the time opens up, I'll remix the soundtrack. I've spent a good deal of time mixing this past year, and would love to apply new techniques to the Dark Future palette. If you're a Steam user, you can grab the Dark Future: Blood Red States soundtrack over there too.

| Celestial Piano |

'Celestial Piano' is a production album that I produced for Evolution Media Music. This was an excellent opportunity to work through a different channel, with a compositional style that needed to house a visual medium I had not, and would not see - as it could be used for anything that the buyer saw fit.

But what I produced was spacious, and it was satisfying to have put together. Keeping the arrangement as a solo piano EP, with celestial undertones, and ethereal colour - all dressed with a mix that allowed the composition to feel transcendent.

| Mars Horizon |

Mars Horizon is a title and IP you'll hear me posting about a lot in 2020. An Auroch Digital video game that allows players to take charge of their own space agency, with the intention of getting humanity to Mars first before anyone else! It's a very exciting game concept, with great scope.

Mars Horizon allows players the chance at landing humanity on Mars, with your own space agency!

This is a game that I've been attached to for a short while, and I'm eternally grateful to Auroch Digital for the freedom they've granted me in producing something I've always wanted. I'm thinking largely about the romance and drama of space for this audio soundscape, and soundtrack. The more I work on it, and the more I listen, and re-listen - the more pride I feel in the work that we're doing on this title.

More in 2020 on this one!

| Autarky |

Following 2017's 'ClairCity: Skylines', I hooked up once more with PlayWest, producing some simple but very characterful tracks for Autarky, a factory management sim set in 1950's Poland.

PlayWest allow their students great scope in producing titles, with the intention of a full release. I only wish this was a scheme around when I was studying. Still, it's fantastic that students in 2019 and beyond are being granted these kind of opportunities.

| The Flourishing Centre |

Podcasting has rapidly become a workflow option that I both enjoy greatly in producing, and find ever so popular amongst clients and collaborators.

I began working with The Flourishing Centre in 2018, and was overjoyed when they asked me to be a part of a rebrand of their podcast for 2019. We've been producing episodes all year round, further amassing an audience that really gravitate toward and feel the great benefit of the episodic content - with an overarching theme throughout positive psychology.

This is a podcast headed up by Emiliya Zhivotovskaya, international coach, speaker and consultant, using positive psychology and holistic wellness to enable individuals and organisations to flourish!

Emiliya and her team are absolutely tremendous to work with. The content that they produce is often deep, and so engaging to listen to - backed by science, and including practitioners throughout various branches of industry.

| The Bristol Pitbulls Podcast |

It quickly became apparent throughout 2019 that the term 'podcast' was becoming a hot property. I was being contacted to produce for a variety of outlets it seemed, and heading into Q3 of the year, up stepped The Bristol Pitbulls.

The Pitbulls have been playing their home games in Oxford for the last 8 years, following the closure of Bristol's ice rink - 8 years!

They're now on the home stretch, before they move back to Bristol and into the brand new rink at Cribbs Causeway, at the end of the current 19/20 season. As part of this move, they wanted to reinvigorate the podcast fanbase they had previously with a new podcast, with the intention of covering more topical subjects centred around Ice Hockey.

I was absolutely flattered to be invited to produce The Pitbulls Podcast, and once we move into that fresh venue, we'll be covering all sorts of content!

| Living in Crime Alley |

Toward the end of 2019, there was still time for one last project, one so impassioned and driven by a force of great energy. That force being director and writer Rob Ayling. So finishing as I began the year with a heavy focus on location based audio recording, I was invited to record, and produce the post audio for the award winning 'Living in Crime Alley' Watch below...

This is a fan film that really looked to raise the bar in terms of story-telling within Gotham City, but from the perspective of its people - the people living in such harsh times.

The film had already won an award for its screenplay before we even arrived on set, and has since picked up another x5 fan film nominations (at time of writing).

There was so much heart that went into this production, spearheaded by Mr Ayling. View the BTS stills from below, and you'll see what I mean...

It goes without saying that I had an absolute blast working on this, and it was such a perfectly sizeable project to cap the year off with. Rob and I had great fun 'world building', putting the audio soundscape together, and bringing this version of Gotham City to life. The crew were excellent, the cast tremendous, and the film deserve such praise.

Whenever I get the chance to work on project, I do my absolute best to quickly understand the source material, the idea, or the concept - this year though also saw a dedicated focus to level up, I needed to, having become a new Dad towards the end of the year previous. This (for me), had to be a big year, and I'm so glad, so so glad I achieved that. I learnt so much more about myself, and what more I can now offer a project, both in skillset and in person.

I'll of course be looking to build on this success as we move into 2020, with some great opportunities already lined up.

I'll see you there, oh and have an excellent Christmas ya filthy animals!

#MatthewWalker #Sebaudio #SoundRecordist #Audio #LivingInCrimeAlley #RobAyling #AurochDigital #DarkFuture #MarsHorizon #BWFilm #BristolPitbulls #TheFlourishingCentre #EmiliyaZhivotovskaya #2019 #Retrospective #HowToMakeAVideoGame #DronesForCoders #Wormhole #CelestialPiano


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