Battle of the beats: Martial arts arrives on Beat Saber dance platform

The Fight is the Dance

Sometime last year, an amazing VR production team, Mod very kindly opened up their studios and introduced me to a Willy Wonka world of mixed reality, VR and all the stuffs of pure imagination. Among all these goodies is a hit VR game called Beat Saber. A game with light-sabers, where players hit shiny blocks to time – like Dance Dance Revolution, but SHINIER. I decided a mod had to happen, so I can fight through music – Pirates of the Silk Road is the result.

Pirates of the Silk Road

The making of Pirates of the Silk Road

Playing Beat Saber, the martial artist fangirl in me was in love. I didn’t want to dance (which is what the game seems to be designed to do) , I wanted to see about fighting, or ok…fight dancing.

So, cue creation, I invited some kick arse musicians…Michael Sheridan (guitars) and Kirke Godfrey (additional drums + mix), and we made a track that allowed for dance and martial arts all at once.

I teamed up with Chongwei Zhang (Zhang Shifu) from TK Martial Arts, who is a serious multi-championship winning martial artist/ stuntperson/actor/ fight choreographer. He generously provided advice and choreography ideas to this fight-dance genre we seemed to have created. Then of course, I had to program a whole lot of boxes in Beat Saber world to somewhat capture all that bad-assery.

Zhang Shifu on sabers.

Do not let my calm exterior fool you, I’m MOSTLY doing my best NOT to let the saber kill me.

This is the result of all that collaborating, where the composing process is all about programming fight moves in game world, writing the piece, re-testing a move and moving beats to suit…composing has never been this physical and this stupidly fun.


Buy Pirates of the Silk Road HERE

Download/Play Beatsaber mod HERE:

Special thanks (again) to

Mod for loaning space and doing up this fantastic mixed reality shoot (Michela, Mish, Illia, Maize you folks are way awesome!). This all started because Michela threw me down a mod challenge, so it’s really her fault. 🙂

Macquarie University (Rhett Loban) for loaning time, space, people and equipment so we could test and test again. Rhett is a PhD candidate who has done some amazing VR work on the Torres Strait Island VR experience,which has won him The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander STEM Professional Career Achievement Award

Beautiful art of Pirates of the Silk Road by Queenie Chan who is a super talented manga artist. Check out her stories!

My music and martial arts collaborators Michael Sheridan, Kirke Godfrey and TK Martial Arts – Zhang Chongwei

Most of all, thank you to the testers who test played the mod.

Here’s to friends, testers and shiny sabers!

Twisted Tales – Little Matchgirl


Ok as promised. The 2nd single this dec before we all head off to xmas lands.

This be little matchgirl. She hails from the world of Hans Christian Anderson’s The Little Match Girl.

The story and the twist is self explanatory, our little match girl isn’t selling matches this time but dreams.


The single lives here 

Twisted Tales – iAlice Canon a Cecila!

So oops. I didn’t exactly make 2 singles in the last mth. so here’s one of 2 this mth . The next comes in a seperate post.

Say hi to Alice in Wonderland in iAlice Canon a Cecila!

I naturally asked what happens when a mirror goes into a mirror into a mirror. Because this is what Alice is no? This dream thing. I thought it might be nice if the music was palindromic overall.  Which is to say the musical notes invert/ retrograde themselves along some very poorly established lyrical foldlines. so look out for words like “mirror” “copy” for some musical retrogrades, and “invert”, “topple” for the whole theme played upside down.

Because…why not?


What do the lyrics mean? I have nothing for u. Because the lyrics come from me taking a walk through my comic book collections. Here’s a little less than a peek.


The single lives here 

Twisted Tales – Cinderella — dance of the undead belles

How’s everyone? So…2 releases this month. Because…captain obvious would note that I have missed an october release. My most sincere and heartfelt apologies. Time has gotten away from me like a slippery eel on hyperdrive.

It’s been a bit busy 3 shorts this month amongst 2 other great things I can’t yet announce. This is me forward to some films finishing their festival tours so I can show them to you. 🙂

It’s interesting with Twisted Tales, when I made it, I had wished for it to be like a kind of Dorian Gray thing. That the ugly things in my tales would stay…only in stories, in musical portraits, but as the last few years would suggest, perhaps the ugliness is leaking out of the portrait. Those were the times of comparative innocence. So,…if I broke the world and we have somehow ended on the evil timeline. I apologise and maintain the very weak defence that correlation is not causation.

I offer my 1 cent on the current chaos here.


This month’s first release is Cinderella. Based on the concept of dancing plague of 1518 where people supposedly poisoned into a fervour by mushrooms, danced to their death.



It also loosely borrows from Jack the Ripper…and as the title suggests, Cinderella.

In this little tale, I wondered what it actually meant to have Cinderella leave by midnight. Actually, who ever said that Cinderella was one. Why not many?  Is Midnight a person? What if midnight was a rogue plastic surgeon that somehow kept a whole lot of damsels and pretty men dancing and whenever one of them looked tired or aged, he would snatch them from the dance floor, slice and dice their tired faces to perfection and place them right back? a fresh faced beauty?

It’s a gory little tale, but in our worlds a little obsessed by celebrities and perfect looks, are we not locked into our own creepy little manic dance?


Till the 2nd release this month



A fairytale for our times

In the light of recent interestingness in the world and (I don’t just mean the US) perhaps a tale from the indian subcontinents for perspectives, because stories are all I can offer. Stories that are beyond the mainstream Western narrative is what I happen to like specialising in.

Here’s my 1 cent.

5 blind men and an elephant

5 blind “wise” men were presented with an elephant by a king who asked them to describe to him what the elephant looked like

. One felt the body, and declared…
“The elephant is a wall”
One felt the tail …
“The elephant is a rope”
One felt the ears
“The elephant is a fan”
One felt the trunk
“Elephant is a snake”
One felt the legs
“Elephant is a pillar”

Of course, because they could not understand why the other held such different views, the wise men came to blows because they were really passionate about being able to tell the king their version of truths. This is a pity because all it needed was ONE curious one to keep following along the elephant to get the whole picture….which is to say, everyone was partially correct and wholly wrong.

The king was very glad to tell them that AFTER the WWF style bar brawl when everyone got hurt. The king…i must say…is an asshat shit stirrer who makes fun of blind people.

Stories of dualities (red vs blue, good vs bad, left vs right )dominate the mainstream, but real life is much more colourful than that.We live in a sometimes, frustrating ocean of greys. And all tales, including Twisted Tales, come through subjective lenses of how one views the world. Because by a strict definition of the truth…everyone oversimplifies. Everyone lies because words from singular pop corn articles consumed in minutes and shared at a mouse click are blunt beasts that cannot tell a whole story. So you can only keep reading

In a world where it has become urgent that the other sees our point because, climate change, impending sense of world war 3, general doom, injustice, inequality etc etc, perhaps the only way we can get through is to see where they are coming from in the first place. Go to their side of the elephant. We might learn something…or not. But we don’t know till we do don’t we? We could be right in the end, but we should know why we think are right instead of arguing with slogans.

So if you are left, go to right leaning forums. Vice versa. If you are rich, listen to poor people stories and all that in between.

By all means don’t do this at all and go through the echo chambers of social media, where your friends will likely agree with you..and then whip yourselves into righteous fury that helps no-one . But if you seek to communicate and find answers in these distressing times then step into supposed alternate realities, follow the breadcrumbs.

Some stories will be squirm worthy. Some hard to take,but eventually most will offer understanding in those frustrating shades of ambiguity and greys…if that is what you seek.

Then know who funds the stories.…Check the media’s stories, who funds them, what’s driving their industry. If they are found to be lying, don’t be too hard on the journalists.

When was the last time you paid for a newspaper… and if not…who funds them? Who pays the journalists? Can the journalists be relied on to tell the truths or are their paychecks dependant on whose side they are on?Or how many clicks they generate with outlandish click-bait titles?

What do you do if everyone is telling half truths? Keep reading. Sometimes certain things converge. Think of it like cross examining suspects in a crime scene..

Then…when you get a moment, thank the storytellers that keep tales alive, in the face of such trying climate for the arts and storytellers. Then,once again…
Read from more than one source, read analysis from beyond the main narrative (I mean beyond the western media…but keep reading that too). Test each one, read again. Understand history, your own and others, understand people…form an opinion. Question that opinion. Rinse. Repeat. Go beyond your social circles. Keep trying to understand.

Our world is colourful, my conclusion is that dualities and absolutes are for the lazy or machines running on simple boolean code .

Then know that there are those who would thrive on your hate, because hate prevents us from seeing the whole elephant. .

Listen. Understand. Because in these times of confusion, stories are all we have. Differing stories will at first confuse us, it could cause anger. It’s ok…if you keep testing the logic of every tale and every opinion we read,somewhere along the way. Some things will converge and a whole picture (clearness may vary) will emerge.

You are going to see the whole elephant or at least a silhouette. For some of us, we will see the sick shit stirring powers that started it all in the first place and dropkick them instead.  There are those who profit from hate, know how, know why.


Right…folks. That’s all I got. Now go be curious, awesome people who see WHOLE elephants in rooms. That’s my 1 cents worth, because most of you who made it this far into the article probably already do…see them elephants in varying wholes. 🙂


edit: Fixed Typo. Turns out my elephant had many ears and no trunk. Sign of our mutating times. Thanks Karl Goodloe 🙂


Of cult leaders that return again and again

Has it been a month already? Here’s the next. I present Pied Piper.

Pied Piper has a long history. It started from this little comic I made a real long time ago on a whim. (This probably jumpstarted Twisted Tales.) This tells the tale of Pied Piper who wasn’t paid and keeps returning as a cult leader to “take the children away”

You can check it out here

I was always interested in what made cults since I knew someone who joined one. Until that happened, I had always erroneously assumed that joining a cult was something the very silly did, but I realise desperation and hopelessness are the harbingers of cult joining.

The lost, the socially displaced – these are usually the prime demographics of cult followers.

So it was hard to write this in a way that simply showed a scene from a cult, mainly Jonestown, but as far as possible, produce no indication of any judgement of people who join cults, because I simply believe them to be victims of circumstances. I wish things were better for them and that they had found better answers to their predicament.

Check out the tune here!

ps: apologies for the lack of postings. I’m still battling film deadlines. I should swim out of this sometime nov/dec. Shall promise to get better organised 😛

All very good fun though




Twisted Tales – Goldilocks – The curious makings of a Serial Dater

It has been quite the 2 months. Such is the unpredictable life of film composing. One minute you are sitting in your studio doodling personal projects and watching life go by — albeit worrying if you should follow up on film projects, the next your phone rings and it’s projects upon projects with the same deadline.The forlorn look given to a quiet phone is now a forlorn look given to a phone that does not stop ringing. (Please keep ringing…I’m only fake complaining)

It’s no miracle or accident. It’s a collection of films I’ve said yes to in the last couple of months. Then producers disappear for a bit to make the miracle of films happen. Then they come back very unpredictably and all at once. Which is so very great and also very terrifying. But me no complain. Excited to show them films around soon but films have a habit of having to stay hidden for a year or so while they make festival rounds.

I have a few other projects up me belt that I hope to be able to breathe word about soon.

Meanwhile my error 404’s songs continue here


But the releases of Twisted Tales must and SHALL prevail and I present GOLDILOCKS. The girl (or is it the boy) who finds his or her lover too big, too small, too hard, too soft.

I’ve had fun making this. I sampled bed springs in the opening of the track and overlaid this with some very tortured erhu playing. You could call it Chinese orchestral rock since there’s a fair bit of electronic erhu (Chinese violin), guzheng (Chinese Zither). I think it’s some kind of Chinese meets Viking metal Bohemian Rhapsody Frankenstein thing of a song. Why? Because because I can.

Enjoy, tell your friends. I promise to be back with more when I get my head around film schedules.



Your Royal Madness


Error 404 series – Computer Music

I originally intended this as 8 bit music but ended up having a bit too much fun with Reaktor’s Razor which is incidentally an excellent vocoder.

Part of a series of musical error 404s I made up for my entertainment. Recorded and written in an hour. A rule I have no intention of breaking. But you can get there by going to pages on my site and imagining pages that don’t exist.

Snegurochka — a song for the wintery days

A tune for the winter. For those shivering along with me, hope this warms you a little.

For those in the heat, hope the wintery-ness of it all cools you right down.

Here’s a summary of Snegurochka found in some old…surprisingly legible notes.


As you can hear, I have combined both story versions.

I’m still not sure what Snegorochka means to me as a song other than a little ditty about losing oneself in a joyous,delirious moment. Perhaps this is what it is. There…who said Twisted Tales was about dark things. Or maybe delirium isn’t such a good thing, but maybe…this is a little respite in the world we live in where I get a sense that world events are spinning out of control.

Enjoy it. Tell friends. More in a bit!





Error 404 series – metal also…june july updates.

Error 404 – Metal

Lots to report but first…another Error 404 feature. This was due last week, then there was too much on. So here it is…one day late (technically on time if we consider international clocks)

Here’s a double feature of Error 404. There was a challenge laid down that I never actually EVER did metal. I’m not sure if this qualifies as a legit attempt…but points for trying eh? Also, I don’t think my throat likes metal too much.

Again since it’s part of my error 404 page a random refresh on a page that does not exist on aka will/might play this version to u.

Here is Error 404 metal  in English (Russian)

AND Russian. Special tks to my little brother Zhihao for translating it to Russian and teaching it to me. I only hope I’m intelligible. Here’s to possibly badly pronounced  Russian.

Note: Domovoi is a Russian poltergeist of sorts. I thought it made sense to feature local monsters with every translation rather than try and translate the kraken.

This month’s round up

It’s been a busy month. The joys of freelance composing is that one minute you could be lounging about biting your nails and being anxious about people getting back to you about jobs, then in another instant ,a few things that you say yes to suddenly reappear with deadlines from hell.

I no complain. It’s joyous. But after a few all nighters and working through weekends since late last month, I’m sitting in the sunshine a bit to catch my breath before plunging back in….tonight. The forecast is that I’m probably going to be swamped until the end of the year. This is a great thing.  For now, right this instant… this is me furiously catching up on blog posts, promised releases etc etc. Gotta air that composer brain a bit.

This month’s highlights? One of the scores I had to write was particularly watery and bendy. So I got it into my head that maybe I should sample instruments immersed in water and write the entire score with whatever I can pull out of the water — so to speak.

I’ve been having a little bit of fun investigating underwater recording. (hydrophones) . Here’s a DIY method, (recommends condoms)  but I ended up using balloons…I believe it’s the same effect. I recommend the ones used for animal balloons. Normal shaped ones aren’t a particularly good fit. (so to speak)


The director (Luke Marsden) is a helluva good sport and was coerced into helping with recording. Welcome to low budget film making. Here’s a wok scraped underwater recorded with SM58 underwater.

It did occur to me after that maybe there was some risk of electrocution after the fact. Ah well!  For Music and SCIENCE! (I did double bag the mic)

Few other projects I’ve been working on too with differing levels of insane sound and music experiments. I love it and can’t wait to tell all BUT I’ve been sworn to varying levels of secrecy so that’s all I can report. At least for now. Single release of Twisted Tales end of this wk. Expect something wintery. The land of OZ has been freezing over a bit.



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