June 10, 2010 5:00 PM | jeriaska
The Gamma installation series is part of indie game collective Kokoromi's mandate to inspire and present diverse, experimental game content to a wide public audience. At this year's GAMMA IV party, whose subject was one-button gaming, a live DJ set was performed by Kyoto artist Baiyon during his second consecutive appearance at the San Francisco Game Developers Conference.
Baiyon was responsible for art and music design for Q-Games' PixelJunk Eden and PixelJunk Eden Encore for the Playstation Network. Renditions of Eden game tracks "Summer in winter" and Flat frog" make appearances in the above video from the GAMMA IV event. The following brief discussion took place recently on the subject of the artist's participation at GDC and collaboration with game designers and musicians of diverse backgrounds.
Noby Noby Boy designer Keita Takahashi maintained in your interview on Gamasutra that you would not enjoy GDC as much this year as you had last year. Was that the case?
Baiyon: Well, it's not that Takahashi-san says, "GDC's no fun." I think the conference has grown more business oriented over time and he's nostalgic for the days when it was only about game designers sharing their own ideas on how to create better products.
Personally, I was not around to experience the earlier era of GDC. It's difficult for me to comment on this. For my part, I can say that I honestly enjoyed sharing a session with Richard Lemarchand from Naughty Dog, performing at GAMMA IV and meeting many more people this year than last year.
You have a series of EPs on iTunes called "In the Collaborations." What were you looking to accomplish by working with a different artist each month?
For some time the idea of collaborating with other musicians has appealed to me. It was always a question of what might be the best format for such an endeavor, and I finally decided on releasing a series of collaborative music tracks. I hope that people can anticipate it much like a monthly magazine publication, wondering in advance what the next collaboration will be and how it will turn out.
At the end of 2009, I started my own label Descanso. The fourth installment was just released, and there's a larger response with each new EP. It makes me feel that there is a lot of potential for this series. So far, In the Collaborations 01 was with August Engkilde (bassist from Senor Coconut, Burnt Friedman and The Nu Dub Player), also including a remix by Lorenzo Chiabotti. That was followed by Collaborations 02 with Shane Berry, featuring a Takuya Morita remix. Collaborations 03 is with Hirokazu Tanaka, a.k.a Hip Tanaka Ex., who composed for Metroid, and also EarthBound with Keiichi Suzuki. The most recent entry, Collaborations 04, is with Takeshi Nishimoto, the guitarist from I'm Not a Gun with John Tejada. This one has a remix by Akiko Kiyama of Contexterrior and District of Corruption.
If you had the resources to make any game of your choosing, what would you create?
A game about love.
[This article is available in Japanese at Digital DJ Network. Translation is by Yoshi Miyamoto. For more about Baiyon, visit the artist's website. For more about GAMMA IV, see the interviews with chip musicians Crashfaster and Starpause. GAMMA IV photo and video coverage by Jeriaska.]