FFO: Before Your Eyes, Sea of Stars, Raji: An Ancient Epic and Elliot Hsu
Favourite Track : Solar Alerting Post
Triodust was kind enough to answer a few questions I had about their body of work and local music scene. Here is what they had to say.
Q1: You've been creating music for the OPUS series since at least 2015. What is it like as a musician to grow alongside a series like this for so long?
A1: It’s been quite the honor to be a part of the OPUS series from the very beginning. However, as each entry grows in scale, bigger challenges appear, as you would expect, and solving them has taught me a lot about things like managing emotional arcs, and taking multiple contexts into consideration. I hope the series continues to grow, as will I in an attempt to keep up.
Q2: What is the electronic music scene like in Taiwan right now?
A2: The electronic music community is still quite small in Taiwan, so it’s hard to say if there’s a scene (maybe even more so than underground indie bands). That said, there are still people doing amazing work!
Waves of Doppler (Chia-Wei Hsu), who happens to be OPUS: Echo of Starsong’s sound designer, played a crucial role in the game’s audio. The deep drones and ambient tracks you hear during cave exploration was his work. So if you want to hear experimental or techno stuff, you should check him out.
Lu Luming, who was a member of 「Empty Space on a Chessboard」, has been featured frequently in Taiwanese film and cinema recently, most notably in the horror film “Detention”. Maybe it’s because of his IDM days, his film scores always seem to focus on texture, rather than melody, which is somewhat unorthodox, but very intriguing to me.
Sam-Seng-Hiàn-Gē infuses their experimental pieces with samples of traditional Taiwanese folk music and culture, which adds a multicultural layer to the sound of their glitch work, and creates a very different kind of listening experience.
There’s definitely an Electronic music community forming in Taiwan, and I look forward to hearing what they bring to the table!
Q3: You have worked on several film scores over the years. Was that something you always had in mind when you started making music?
A3: It was all by chance really. I was first drawn to the Vocaloid scene on Japan’s NicoNico, and was inspired enough to start making music when I listened to songs by AVTechNO! during college. Back then I was a big anime nerd, still am now.
Because I studied design, many of my seniors were working on animations, and people were looking for someone that could write music, which led them to me. So it really was all by chance.
Over time the projects I’ve been involved in include (but are not limited to) film scores, advertisements, games, and interactive exhibitions. Generally I’m down for anything as long as I have enough interest in the subject to be able to imagine what the world it takes place in sounds like.
Q4: What have you been listening to lately?
A4: I’m currently obsessed with FFXIV, Ólafur Arnalds, and symphonic pieces in RPGs like Chrono Trigger, NieR: Automata, and Final Fantasy. I noticed that I have a strong preference for musical forms because they generally have clear choruses, which allow the pieces to peak at necessary moments and create an emotional impact that sticks. Songs like FFXIV’s ULTIMA, NieR’s Kaine, and Ólafur Arnalds’ 30:55, are all wonderful examples.
By contrast, the soundtrack for a game like Genshin Impact uses a lot of minimalism throughout its commonv battle themes. Unlike the melodies in musical forms, they’re more focused on creating an atmosphere, and don’t tire the listener easily. This kind of subtle, understated vocabulary is what I’m missing right now, and it’s something I want to get better at.
Find more of their music below!