Round 4 NieR

Round 4 we are heading in a different direction again, this time into vocal music, but not any vocals.... Chaos Language!! Our beloved game this month is NieR!

I'd also like to take this opportunity to welcome ChiptuneKirby to the Challenge Planning team!! They will be contributing significantly to future planning of challenge rounds, along with the VGML Team. ChiptuneKirby has assembled most of the information for this round of the challenge. Thanks!!

Original Challenge:

Heya, this round is gonna be special one, you’ll be composing for vocals in the style of NieR! The key part of its unique sound is the “chaos language” created specifically for the series by Emi Evans, the lead vocalist. How it works is the structure and flow of the speech is based off of a chosen language. Emi Evans would then bring in sounds from other languages and combine them together to create a distorted evolution of the original language.

It’s not completely random, Emi Evans will give individual words common elements such as some shared ending and starting sounds. Probably the best way to develop your own chaos language lyrics is to take a language you are familiar with and then search around for a language that sounds unique or interesting to you and combine them. There’s no limit to languages you can borrow from, so feel free to explore before settling on one.

Here’s a short break down of how most languages work sound-wise:

Each sound in a language is called a “phoneme”. The English language has somewhere around 44 distinct phonemes. Just to specify, they are different from letters in the alphabet. For example, the letter “e” is pronounced differently in “bread” and “ear”. Other languages have different sounds such as the Spanish “rr”, “ll”, and ”ñ”. You can look up the phonology of a language on Wikipedia to get a list of sounds they contain.

Sounds on their own can be a little meaningless so when structuring your lyrics it’s a god idea to also consider the parts of the words. These are called “morphemes” if you want to look them up. There are two simple categories: One will be the root of your word, for example “catch”. The other is a suffix (such as“-able” or “-ing”) or a prefix (such as “-un” or “-dis”). So when you come up up with imaginary words you can keep some coherence by structuring it like you would a normal word.

You’ll be writing lyrics for a vocalist, so please remember to keep their vocal range and pronunciation in mind when writing! If you’re ever stuck, keep in mind that the main idea behind chaos language is to allow emotions to come through the sounds of the human voice, so relying a lot more on your instincts can help. Try pronouncing the words as well to get a feel for how they sound.

Cover Challenge:

Your challenge this round is to create a cover of a track from NieR. It could be a vocal cover, but an instrumental version is also acceptable.

Art Challenge:

Your art challenge is to use NieR as your inspiration, create either an original character or scene that would fit within this game world, with a particular focus on Chaos Language. This image could be used for the Album art for this round.

Arrangement/Orchestration Challenge:

For this month you can select any previously created track from the original music created for the Zelda round, Minecraft or Hollow Knight rounds. Select a track you loved and talk to the composer to get a copy of the necessary midi to allow you to create your own orchestration of the track. For the orchestration you can choose to create a track for VGMLOVE (or own virtual orchestra to be) or any other ensemble that you wish. If you are doing a Hollow Knight orchestration you can focus specifically on a Wind Orchestra arrangement for the chance to have it performed live.

Prize Draw

Our round 4 reward is kindly supplied by Orchestra Tools! The Whisper sound pack could be won by anyone participating in the Original or Arrangement/Orchestration challenges. The only requirements is that you post at least one feedback to another challenger for the round.

Summon ethereal tones and channel atmospheric harmonies with four softly played wind instruments — a flute, a muted cornet, a flugelhorn, and a bass clarinet, alongside a rich ensemble of intricately processed pads, plucks, and keys.

All four instruments come complete with a wide range of articulations and three mic positions each. With a super-soft legato, and a choice of short, expressive, or long swells, these sounds possess a delicate, intimate character that span the range from tonal to textural. Perfect for writing solo passages or creating complex evolving textures.

While designed to be played individually, these four instruments also perform well as a group.

Murmuring winds, drifting melodies, and billowy landscapes of sound; Whisper gives you a rich and distinct sonic palette for scoring, sound design and music production.