Today, I am very happy to welcome friend and composer Ben Steed, to discuss about his newly released EP In Season (Windfallen). Ben Steed is a British video game composer, chiptune artist and ambient producer who releases music under several monikers including Windfallen, 海NET and his own name.
NG: What prompted you to create this EP in the first place?
Be: For some time I have wanted to take a step onwards from the previous projects I had been working on, mostly under my own name. With this new project, Windfallen, I wanted to take a fresh approach towards compositional styles and themes, with more focused sound sets and atmospheres. This EP has evolved hand-in-hand with the various video game projects I have been working on this past year, and I feel that writing this EP has informed my contribution to these projects, just as much as they have informed the development of the EP.
NG: Does this EP have specific inspirations from other composers or musical pieces?
Ben: There are countless artists out there who have inspired what I do and continue to inspire with this new EP, that it would be a disservice to those who I don’t mention. But I will say that this EP, and project in general, has taken a great deal of inspiration from the chiptune and video game music communities. Credit is due to the fantastic Chiptunes=WIN online collective for their inspiration, encouragement and collaboration. I really recommend their compilations.
NG: What inspired you for your choice of artwork to accompany this EP?
Ben: Luis Felipe Ocampo is a fantastic artist who I have worked with on many occasions. His artistic style is always so striking and full of depth, and he’s not afraid to bring his own suggestions and flavour to the table. I knew I wanted the EP to be themed around Autumn, and the artwork had to reflect that. I feel that the cover really represents not only the EP’s direction, but the entire Windfallen aesthetic as it current stands; warm, solemn, maturing.
NG: Do you plan to make other “seasonal” creations?
Ben: I do have the intention to make a Spring follow-up. We’ll see how that goes!
NG: Is there one musical piece you wish you had composed yourself?
Ben: There are no pieces I wish I had composed myself, but there are countless pieces out there that I adore. Right now I’m completely in love with the album 新しい日の誕生 (The Birth of a New Day) by ２８１４.
NG: Can you tell us more about your other current projects?
Ben: Right now I’m in the process of setting up a digital and cassette record label with the aim to release deep ambient and drone, and I hope to have it fully launched in a couple of months. Best way to keep up to date would be on my Twitter and blog. The aim is to present a dreamy, oceanic, ‘escapist’ aesthetic with the music I plan to release on this label. I’m really excited and have a lot of high hopes for it. I already co-own a multi-genre netlabel, PegasiaMusic, that releases music frequently for free download.
Regarding my own music, I’ve been venturing into the world of the ever-ambiguous genre of vaporwave and have been working on a few things in the scene under the moniker 海NET (SeaNET). I also have a few anonymous projects floating about.
NG: How would you feel about composing book trailer music?
Ben: I’ve written music for a few books already and it’s really fun! I enjoy different approaches to composition, and themes for books are always an interesting context for composing.
NG: Thank you very much for accepting this interview, Ben. I am sure my readers will be glad to find out more about your music!