Keytar, Drums & Art

2 03 2008

As already known, I’m a fan of Daft Punk. Being one since 1997, the sound of Around the World (among other tunes), eletronic beats, and synthesized melodies never stopped being my favorite musical preferences.

In 2003, Interstella 5555 was released. The animation gave Daft Punk’s album, Discovery, a whole new feel, accompanied by the art of japanese studio Toei Animation which set a no-dialog narrative from the first to last track. Amazing.

Now, in 2008, although shorter, that same experience returns. Kap10Kurt‘s “keytar-and-drums digital art” makes it into animation. Produced by french studio Mathematic, the song Danger Seekers, has its own video clip, being already defined as something in between manga and “motion design”. I simply define the combination as sublime…both audio and visually.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

For the First Time

25 02 2008

Darkness enveloped the night, revealing that the sun had set hours ago. The moonlight, on the other hand, illuminated the huge Victorian garden and allowed only few shadows to form on the grass. Next to a large apple tree, two pale corpses lie down beneath the leave filled branches and talk to each other.

“So we have the night for ourselves?” asked intuitively the male figure.

“Not really, but all we’ve got to do is keep a lookout on the mansion. It’s not that bad” the young girl’s speech evaded her friend’s intentions.

“I think Paul can handle himself. It’s not like he needs two babysitters.”

“I have my doubts” her lips touched the edge of the man’s lips as she began to get up. “When we get back, we’ll start from here”.

Salem’s smile was hypnotizing. There was no need for her to offer a helping hand, as he quickly picked up the pace. Both of them clambered the tree, moving form branch to branch.

A larger branch awaited them at the top of the tree and though not comfortable it seemed to be strong enough. Both Julius and Salem sat down next to each other. Past the gardens and below the brightly lit moon awaited an old Victorian mansion. The sight was ideal.

“Do you think it’ll be long?” his pale skin reflected the moonlight as he spoke.

“How should I know, Julius? Do you even remember your first time?” Salem’s answer exhaled sarcasm.

“You’re not serious?” Julius’ eyes squinted, “It was a long time ago. With you.” The corner of his lips formed a faint smile.

“At least there’s something you recall” an inevitable sneer escaped the brown eyed girl’s mouth.

In silence, both Julius and Salem, searched the old mansion windows with their eyes for any sign of movement. In spite of the vines and plants that crawled upon the wooden structure, the moon gave off a white light that aided the inspection. Plants and weeds intertwined, paving a   green contorted path all the way to the long forgotten garden.

Not caring whether Salem was in the mood to talk or not, Julius spoke. “I don’t get it.” His statement sounded natural and naïve, as if he were confronting an impossible conundrum. “How come the mansion hasn’t ever been under investigation? It works and has worked perfectly for us, but I find it unlikely that parents have never suspected of their young daughters coming to a place like this for privacy.”

“My father did. Don’t you remember?” the irony was inherent to Salem’s words.

Julius stared at Salem. His eyes cursed her in advance, sparing him the need of actually opening his mouth.

“That was-” his sentence was interrupted midway through.

“I know, many years ago. Still, we’re lucky the police mistook him for a crazy person. Since the property’s been bought though, now they need a warrant to get in.”

“I wouldn’t be so sure. Someone could be on our trail, looking for us.” Julius’ insecurity made his words tremble.

“Not likely.” Salem sounded as detective ready to explain all the logical steps to her conclusion. “We don’t make mistakes. We don’t draw attention to ourselves. Every time a couple enters the house, someone needs to be on the lookout outside. You think I enjoy spending my time here? Besides it’s not like we hav-”

A female scream slit the night’s silence and froze Julius and Salem in place.

“Up until now” Julius quickly offered payback to all of Salem’s sarcasm.

“Paul…” Salem growled as she stared at the house and her eyes quickly twitched from side to side in search of him.

“Hey, relax. He’s inexperienced and it’s normal to make mistakes.” Julius sounded like a father protecting his own.

“And from the looks of it, he has no idea of what he’s doing.” Snapped Salem as her eyes still searched for a sign of Paul.

“You worry too much. There’s nothing wrong.”

“But if there is…I’ll kill him. Again.”

Julius was tired of convincing Salem otherwise. He knew she had a point, but there was no need to overreact. The silence returned, this time creating tension and heightening the tingling in their bodies. Both of them cautiously observe every movement in the nearby area.

Julius slowly places his left hand on Salem’s shoulder. Mistaking it for a gesture of affection, she shrugs. He grabs her attention again by pointing to something in the distance with his other hand. Salem’s eyes open widely and her pupils dilate.

Julius lightly Salem on the back, waking her up from a frightened state. He positions himself, ready to jump, and she does the same. Both of them knew the faint alternating red and blue lights in the distance demanded drastic action.

“I knew he would screw up.” Salem had returned to her normal self.

Under the guise of the night, the couple quickly left the large tree. With one leap half the distance to the mansion was covered. Through the shadows, concealed in darkness, Julius and Salem ran until they reached the mansion’s main entrance. With little time to spare they leapt onto the canopy above the front doors and crept inside through the second floor windows.

“Paul!” Julius’ voice easily made its way through the structure of empty rooms, long hallways, and rotten wood.

“Here! In the room.” A distant quavering male voice answered to the call.

The wooden floor barely had time to creak and the couple ran to the room’s entrance. Reaching the open door, both of them assessed the scenario that awaited them. A big and old suite filled with the stench of decadent bricks and oak. The broken window handle revealed the dust and mold clotted on the glass and its corners. Everything seemed forgotten and left aside, except for the bed.

A huge bed structure made of marble stood in the middle of the room. Its surface shone in the dim light and both the sheets on the mattress and on the canopy smelled like fabric softeners. Above the sheets, however, lay a dormant naked body. The lady’s curves accentuated the lust in every man, but her skin seemed to be gradually loosing its blush and its life.

“Is she alive?” Paul was still putting his pants back on when Salem demanded answers.

“It depends on what you consider alive.” Replied Paul with a grin.

“Why did she scream?” Julius continued the interrogation while Salem approached the body.

“I don’t know. Everything was fine.” Paul retraced his steps, as if searching for a mistake “We were kissing, hugging each other, and all of a sudden her expression changed. She stopped smiling and screamed. That’s when I bit.”

“You are stupid” Julius already had all the answers at the tip of his tongue “She saw your teeth. But I bet that perverted look of yours didn’t make things any easier.”

“She’s got a light pulse. Should wake up in a few hours, but we can’t stay here.” Informs Salem, strictly as a coroner would.

“Why?” Paul’s innocence takes hold of his lines.

“Because your inexperience drew unwanted attention.” Julius’s authority was of a father’s and a general, at the same time “Grab the sheets, I’ll carry the girl. Salem, you lead.”

Paul pulls the bed sheets with one effortless tug, Salem opens the old broken window with one precise kick, and Julius places the girl’s body over his shoulder with ease. As they approach the window, Julius identifies the deep mark of two canine teeth on the girl’s neck. Two nearly identical, symmetrical and equidistant holes with no sign of blood or bruises.

“Nevertheless, Paul, it was a nice bite. Not bad for your first time” Julius smiles in approval.

All three figures exit through the window and in an instant leave the mansion. It is deemed lifeless, as it has been for the past century, when perplexed police officers search it for clues. “A prank call”, they conclude as they exit the property and leave the place as it always has been, camouflaged from civilization.

Betrayal Gone Red

5 02 2008


We desired to be together. I did with my entirety, but she did only half. A part of her wanted to be with me and a part didn’t. Her words descended as cruel speech from a father upon his child. My inside ached, but I understood. I respected Decay and it would feel as a betrayal on my behalf.

As I treaded back to sulk into the darkness, my thoughts wouldn’t leave me alone. Nevertheless, I was rescued. The five steps that felt like kilometers were interrupted by the calling of my name. I turned and faced back. I couldn’t deny her voice.

It was unexpected, yet perfect.

Our lips touched.

Thoughts left my head and only a calm peaceful tide could be felt. Rejuvenating.

At the end, we knew words would not help at anything. We had already been careless for exposing ourselves in public, but it seemed worth it.

I smiled. She smiled back.

Then her eyes felt empty and her body fell.


Half of Decay’s sword had already pierced her from behind.

I drew my sword and as a reaction his lackeys arrived.

I used the opportunity to swing my blade. In a swift movement he retrieved his from her body and the blood escaped from the wound dragging her life with it.

The scene held my eyes in place almost long enough to join her. The high pitched swing of the blade woke me up and I evaded just in time. He held no grudge at attacking and drew a second sword from his belt. My avenging chances were slimming.

His men approached as well, but they were no match. As always, stupid enough to follow and stupid enough to fight. They lacked the intellect and the ability to truly assess the situation and confirmed the definition of disposable henchmen.

With one thrust I cut open three chests. Their leather armor was red and prevented much of the blood from being seen. An old technique to diminish the opponent’s moral. Luckily the falling of bodies and screams of agony easily substituted the strategy.

Decay seemed to laugh. I could not be sure. It was dark and he wanted me dead. I had no idea a kiss could change that much.

I wanted to swing, but my arm faltered. It hurt. It bled. Decay had somehow hit me.

My thoughts were in my way. They kept me out of focus. Where was her body?

Another musical attack headed my way. The sound metal cutting the air felt unpleasantly close.

I rapidly crouched and then tackled him with my shoulder. It worked.

Decay lost his balance. Holding two swords did not help regain the standing position. He tripped backwards, unfortunately on her body, and fell helpless.

One blade on the floor and the other held with both arms. He cowered. He acted as a child, upon the sight of a hungry bear, would.

But the bear had no words. The bear’s heart ached. The bear’s soul felt void. The bear wanted blood.

With one hit his sword flew far away. He held his clenched fists up and thought they would protect him. I took no chances. I cut them off.

I dropped tears from my eyes and the sword from my hand. I dropped my closed fist on his face. A successive session of blows and punches at first hit the flesh. Screams accompanied most of them and fueled my rage.

Some time later they stopped and I started to feel the hard and impenetrable tarmac. It seemed over.

I got up and searched for her. Tainted red and with a pale base she laid there on the floor. Back punctured and without a soul. I held her next to me. I hugged her hopping comfort would come out of it.

Decay knew everything, which meant he was a spy. A public enemy dressed in red armor portraying the eagle emblem. A traitor to the nation. And I, a traitor to a friendship.

It was all betrayal. Did the reason or consequences matter?

I would ensure they would both get a proper burial.

Would I deserve one too?

Interview: VGL and Jack Wall

25 05 2007

Interview originally made on the 24th of May of 2007

With the confirmed return of Video Games Live to Brazil we can’t help ourselves but ask how it all started. Jack Wall and Tommy Tallarico are the answer. They are the founders of this famous concert that stopped by last November and now promises to com back. Wall talks about this and other topics in the interview.

Jack Wall is a veteran game industry composer that recently brought to Brazil what was one only a video-game addict’s dream. The Video Games Live concert used music in a way that surpassed that simple concept that only interested gamers. VGL has been touring since 2005 throughout the world and has shown that not only can the gamers enjoy their favorite tunes, but also those who have never touched a controller before. Long story short: The VGL concert has revealed that video game music in orchestrated form can in fact please everyone. Jack, before any questions, thank you for this opportunity.

Arthur Protasio: So…How was Blizzard’s Worldwide Invitational? It looks like VGL scored in Asia too.

Jack Wall: It was fantastic! What a set we had!! State of the art LED screens with video strips and 3 giant screens. Loads of lights and effects. We spent a week programming all of that before we went. It was a very exciting show! Loved it!

AP: Did you get to play a lot of WoW or was it the Starcraft 2 trailer that interested you the most?

JW: Actually, I did not get to play anything! I was too busy producing the show with the folks at Blizzard and my partner Tommy. It was fun though – we did get to walk around here and there and see thousands of people enjoying themselves and I did get to watch some of the Starcraft competition.

AP: It’s amazing to see how much you’ve achieved. How did it all start?  Why did you get started working with games and what was your first job?

JW: Hey I’m just interested in music I guess. I really like the career I have – every day is different and exciting! I started back in 1996 with a very little known game called ‘Flying Saucer’. It was only released in Germany by a now defunct company called Software2000. It was actually a very fun PC game and I loved it and the experience of making the game. It was so eerie and ethereal at the same time. From there, I continued to do several games by the developer (also out of business) called Postlinear Entertainment up in San Francisco, CA. I made good contacts at that company and then went off and started work on Myst III: Exile and that game really put me on the map!

AP: Which soundtrack would you consider to be your most successful, and which game did you get the most involved with?

JW: Probably the one I’m doing right now! I have had a pretty good run. Myst III, Myst IV, Splinter Cell, Jade Empire. Now I’m working on Mass Effect that one will be really big in North America on the Xbox 360. I know the Xbox isn’t so big in Brazil, but I hope some of you get to play it. It’s amazing!! It’s a role playing game with a serious action element set in the future – a great sci-fi drama. It will compete directly with Halo I think, but realistically, people who play Halo will also want to play this game and there really won’t be so much competition!

AP: How did you come up with the idea of turning reality into what is now the most successful live touring game concert in the world?

JW: My partner, Tommy Tallarico, and I got together about 5 years ago and started brainstorming on some things we might want to do together. This idea of creating a live touring concert experience quickly rose to the top of our list! We wanted to bring gaming to a communal setting and we’ve had some really nice success with it.

AP: Did the Brazilian edition of VGL meet your expectations?

JW: So far, the Brazilian audience is the most excited audience in the world!! We loved it and we’re coming back!!!!

AP: With the second edition of VGL being confirmed to Brazil in the month of September. How does it feel to come back?

JW: We love coming back to the same market again – especially in Brazil! Last year, we only confirmed our show in Rio mere weeks before we came and just about sold out! Well, we’re hoping to have tickets on sale much earlier this year and we hope to do multiple shows!!!

AP: What can the audience expect? Any special scores like last year?

JW: We’re planning that now and I really don’t want to say until we are ready to announce. We might just come and surprise you!

AP: Do you enjoy playing games? If so, what are your favorite games and what do you think is the most important aspect of a game?

JW: Well, I have a 10 year old daughter. We play a lot of Mario and Guitar Hero together. I also love the Halo series, Myst, Splinter Cell and a few others.

AP: What is your advice for anyone who wants to follow your footsteps?

JW: For composing, it’s all about the mixture of talent and your network of people in the industry. There’s a great network in the states – especially in California, so if you can get out to California and meet some people that goes a long way. Also, you can join the Game Audio Network Guild ( and learn more about how to do all of that. I would recommend a great conference called the Game Developers Conference ( It’s held in March every year in San Francisco, CA in the US. For putting on concerts? Uh… no… no advice.

AP: What are your future plans or upcoming projects?

JW: I have some irons in the fire for composing, but I’m also planning a European Tour for VGL with Tommy right now. Beyond that, we’re getting fired up in Asia as we speak. But this summer, it’s all about 9 shows in North America, followed by… BRAZIL in September!!

AP: Any last thoughts?

JW: You BETTER come see our shows in Brazil!! Take care!

Review – Conker: Live and Reloaded

4 05 2007

Conker probably hasn’t been your favorite video-game character, most likely loosing to Mario or Sonic. Though his first appearance was as a cute squirrel racing along friends in Diddy Kong Racing, he was dramatically changed to fit in his own Bad Fur Day. Five years later [the original game was launched in 2001], he’s back to allow that same thrill to those who hadn’t the chance to check the Nintendo 64 game.

Live and Reloaded starts by stunning you with the graphics. If you remember what the Nintendo 64 game looked like (and please do check out a few screen-shots if you don’t) Live and Reloaded is just simply eye candy. The game was launched for the Xbox and sometimes when I play I still get the feeling it’s not far off from a 360 game. Conker’s fur is amazing and all the environments are well detailed. You’ll be amazed with the cutscenes and the reflections. This remake gives you the feeling they actually remade every ounce of graphical detail and it deserves its merit for that.

The story couldn’t be better. After all Conker’s biggest appeal is the story with all of its suggestive themes and movie spoofs. By uniting all sorts of cute characters that seem to be in the wrong game a mixed story is made up when Conker drinks too much at a bar and has trouble finding his way back home. All sorts of themed “worlds” come into play and Conker does it all, including using a shotgun to blast hungry zombies, using a cute dinosaur to eat angry cavemen, and peeing on fiery demons. Although you won’t get to experience a novel worth of characters and events, Conker’s goal is too treat you in a way games have never done before and create mixed feelings (all in a good way) with all the minutes of cutscenes to be watched. You’ll understand why this story is an experience that doesn’t rely on time…as you’ll always laugh at Conker’s controversial personality along with Matrix, Saving Private Ryan, Terminator, and many other moments.

The sound is pretty much OK. That means it does the job, but doesn’t have anything especially fantastic about it. The music in the background isn’t especially noticeable, but the sound effects are good and have a few points that stand out. You’ll hear Conker panting when running for his life and you’ll be amazed at the voice-overs from other characters. You get the feeling that sometimes the dialogue seems a bit too spaced, meaning it’s one line, brief pause, and then the next, but it’s not enough to detract from the gaming experience.

The gameplay is as okay as the sound. It does what it has to do: provide a decent gaming experience where players don’t get frustrated on the account of the controls or other game elements. That’s what exactly happens, though two things caught my attention: the camera that’s used when Conker draws a weapon and the fact that sometimes the floor seems slippery. An over-the-shoulder camera is no problem; but when it makes you feel imprisoned it’s bad. Conker’s standard camera would’ve been the best option for the whole game, except for the shotgun part where you do have laser sights. Other than that you wouldn’t need a different camera to see if your bat would hit an enemy or not. Jumping difficulties on slippery floor is something most platformers have had for a long time. The fact that you can’t jump when you’re really near to an edge and fall to certain death, is something that proves to be pretty annoying. Years of gaming have taught us that you’re supposed to get the most out of your jump and to do that you must wait to last second of your run. Here the rule doesn’t apply and although it doesn’t happen all the time; when it does, you get that dumb look on your face. Thankfully Conker’s focus is the story, therefore it’s life and continue system is pretty forgiving. Not to mention that when you die for the first time you get to experience a unique conversation with Death.

I haven’t tested out the multiplayer via Xbox Live, therefore I can’t tell wether it’s good or bad. I have tested it offline and it seems to be fairly interesting battlefield-ish take involving war between the Tediz’ and Squirrels’ coalitions. What I do notice is that the unique multiplayer modes from the Nintendo 64 game were taken out. Those were different and fun games where players got play in different scenarios and objectives. Hence the Heist, where the objective was to fill your safe with money bags by stealing from the other players. It’s sad to verify that these modes are no longer here.

Overall…Live and Reloaded is an excellent experience especially because of it’s story and single player mode. Since that was also the main attraction in the Bad Fur Day, there’s not much point in returning unless you’re feeling nostalgic and want to check out Conker’s remade fur. Don’t get me wrong it’s some gorgeous eye-candy, but not enough to justify buying the game.

Human After All (?)

23 04 2007

Being a fan of Daft Punk, their show is hands down one of, if not the best, I’ve watched. At the 2006 performance in Rio de Janeiro their finale was flawless. While the song “Human After All” played, images of people, animals, and nature were shown on their digital pyramid. It all had a postive and happy vibe about it. But then I thought the opposite. What if “being human” isn’t necessarily good? This is the result, spanning from the first world war to present time.

Sendo um fã de Daft Punk, o show deles é um dos, se não o melhor, que já assisti. Em 2006 na performance deles no Rio, o final foi impecável. Enquanto a música “Human After All” tocava, imagens de pessoas, animais e natureza eram mostrados na pirâmide digital. Tudo tinha um clima positivo e feliz. Mas ai eu pensei no oposto. E se “ser humano” não é necessariamente uma coisa boa? Esse é o resultado, abordando desde a primeira guerra mundial até hoje em dia.

Times Like These

26 03 2007

Times like these…

Remind me of a new age

And bring back images from old days.

Times like these…

Can’t be fully enjoyed,

because I can’t have enough.

And are sometimes, something I already miss…

because I don’t try to look tough.

It all comes to an end,

A nostalgia of things that are yet to come.

For what I do happens now and here; most definitely not in vain

And I can’t help but to be happy for it all.

Yet I feel sorrow for the same,

Resulting in satisfaction, over all.

To live, to lose, and to gain,

This is life

Welcome to the chain…

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