MUSIC

Ninichi & Xelafish: Thoughts from the Composer

N%26X+site.jpg

Ninichi and Xelafish is a brand new fantasy sheet music store which I’m really excited to tell you more about. A few weeks ago, I introduced this collaborative project to you in my blog: Introducing Ninichi and Xelafish - A Fantasy Sheet Music Store.

Today I will try to offer you my perspective on where this magical music store has come from and what we’re trying to do with it…

What is Ninichi & Xelafish all about for you?

Ninichi1890bio.jpg

‘I have always wanted to create music that others can thoroughly enjoy. Music is something that I believe everyone can connect with in some way but that as an industry perhaps we haven’t helped to bridge that gap enough yet and to make music truly accessible to all.

I’ve had a lot of musical training compared to many people but still I’ve found it difficult to find music that is easy to pick up and play without hours and hours of practise, and that is also enjoyable, expressive and inspiring.

As a composer, I want players to be able to pick up a piece of music first time and to play it – and I mean really play it. Escape into another world, let their imaginations run free for a while and to enjoy wherever the music takes them.’

Tell us about the music…

‘The music created for N&X is designed to be playable by any musical enthusiast. It’s not meant to be easy and it’s not meant to be hard. We want those who have had some musical training to be able to harness this and to really enjoy it.

I also want players to be able to harness and appreciate their own musical training and to feel special and skilled at playing their chosen instrument(s). I want them to be able to play their hearts out and to go on a magical journey with us and the music.

Another aspect, which is important, is the duo/duet format. It’s a fun way for people to enjoy playing music together but it has perhaps been neglected or hasn’t been given the attention that it deserves. In our Violin Duets and Violin & Piano collections, the idea is to offer both players equal amounts of enjoyment, challenges and inspiration through the music.  Neither part is meant to dominate the other but instead both support each other, both are equally important and they are designed to have to work together to bring out the various melodies and musical journeys.’

What’s the connection with magic?

NinichiAndXelafish.jpg

‘To me, music is magical! It can take you to places you’ve never been before, it can lift your spirits both high and low and much much more! For me the connection between music and magic just makes sense. However on another level, it’s also our way of building that closer connection to the music.

Each collection of music that we release along with each individual piece will have it’s own story and characters associated with it. All sit within the magical world of N&X and as our music evolves, so will our characters and stories. 

We hope to bring something a bit different to the market and to offer something that all music and magic enthusiasts (musicians or not), can enjoy.’

Is there anything for non-musicians?

N&XRakukyraClock.jpg

‘Absolutely! Whether you’re a musician or not, we want to show you how fun and inspiring music & the world of N&X can be! We have our narrated story for The Light and the Dark, we plan on recording a Live EP, we will be continuing to build out our magical world, and there’s already a range of N&X merchandise in the works - from book-lights, tuning forks through to ancient clocks. Anyone and everyone is welcome to join us on our journey and to support our campaign.’ 

What are you hoping to achieve from this?

‘Ultimately, I would love to bring big smiles to people’s faces. I want the joy of music to be a part of everyone’s world. I want people to see the magic in what we are creating and to be a part of it. 

My dream is for my music & the N&X world to live on, beyond me, and to eventually find a life of it’s own!’

If this sounds like something you’d like to learn more about, see ninichiandxelafish.com.

Twitter: @NinichiXelafish / Facebook: @NinichiXelafish / Instagram: @NinichiAndXelafish


About the author: Ninichi is a freelance composer for video games, film and media. She is also the founder of Ninichi & Xelafish, a London-based music publishers specialising in fantasy sheet music and audio stories.

Ninichi and Xelafish is launching an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign in October 2019 & needs your help and support!

Support us @NinichiXelafish & follow Ninichi @ninichimusic

Introducing Ninichi and Xelafish - A Fantasy Sheet Music Store

NinichiAndXelafish.jpg
NinichiandXelafishlogo.png

Ninichi and Xelafish is a brand new sheet music publishing house created by composer, Ninichi, and talented writer and multimedia creative, Xelafish.  They came together to create this special sheet music store, which will be launching its first sheet music collection for piano, violin and violin duet on the 7thOctober 2019 via an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign.  

To help us understand more about where the Ninichi and Xelafish printing house has come from and to understand the vision for it, let’s get to know Xelafish a bit better…

Welcome Xelafish! Tell us how you got into the world of music?

‘One of the coolest things I ever got into was piano and violin lessons from primary school. I was never the most talented at them with the best ear or technique, nor did I practice the most amongst too many other distractions except in sporadic flurries around the odd concert and exams. But I loved playing for the fun of it all the time and going on a journey through music.  If anything, the thing I enjoyed collecting the most as a kid was not the DVD or the album / soundtrack / cast recording of anything - it was getting the sheet music and getting to play something for the first time and get lost in exploring it.

I still enjoy playing when time allows and it’s still as much fun to mess around solo or play socially with friends as it always has been. I’d been playing piano and violin pieces with friend and composer Ninichi for a couple of years when we ran out of music.  It’s impossible to run out of music and although I sometimes get nightmares sheet music “runs out” (the reason is always different, the most recent, yesterday, was Boris Johnson) but we wanted to play something that wasn’t there. 

Something that fell more in-between genres of classical, folk, soundtrack music and also more Lindsey Stirling’s fantasy style, but more conventionally melody led than dance music led.  We also wanted it at the right level - easy enough to play for fun and enjoy it after a bit of work, difficult enough so it’s harder than some of the easy-play soundtracks out there and has a sense of thrill and excitement to conquer.  And we also wanted context and purpose to the music - to engage with it as if there was a reason or scenario for playing it.’

I see, so is this where the Ninichi and Xelafish partnership began?  

Ninichi1890bio.jpg

‘Luckily Ninichi is a fantastic writing talent and a lot of fun to experiment developing ideas and some music that really hit the spot began to come out until we were rarely playing anything else!  We put together an outline for a series of collections that exist in their own world and relate to each other that we could release over time.      

And rather than have sheet music as the supporting medium to a story, a recording, a film, an album (although there may well be these other things spinning off) - we'd have this front and centre of the project for a change with a Sheet Music Shop being the very centre of the story.’

Wow! Do tell us more about the Ninichi and Xelafish sheet music publishing store and your plans for it!

‘The Ninichi and Xelafish shop is a sheet music shop set in an alternate reality 1890, where spells are cast not through spoken word but via Melodic Enchantments where skilled composers can weave spells into music that can alter the fabric of reality.  And extremely fortunately for anyone interested in their sheet music here in the 21st Century, they have recently developed one such enchantment to communicate across time, space and reality to our own and have a website...

We will be starting a crowdfunder in October to fund setting up the online shop and making available the first collection ’The Light And The Dark’ plus some supporting recordings and we’ll initially be providing arrangements for Piano Solo, Violin Solo + Piano accompaniment and Violin Duet. Backing tracks for solo violin and a narrated audio through the pieces will also be available. Though we will look to expand further into other sets over time if there is enough interest.’  

Is there anything else you’d like to share with us?

Xelafish1890bio.jpg

 ‘I hope that Ninichi and Xelafish sheet music can find its place, bring people learning instruments or playing for fun a lot of joy, and offer something different to what else is out there.  

The intention of Ninichi and Xelafish is to be an exciting source of sheet music that has imagination, context and purpose that developing or recreational players can connect with and enjoy. 

If you know any musicians or music teachers that may be interested in this please do forward them to our site where there is a newsletter for updates.  It would be fun to get as much of a following as possible of people interested before our Crowdfunder goes live on 7th October 1890 and 7th October 2019!’

www.ninichiandxelafish.com

Follow us on…

N&XTwitter banner.jpg

Ninichi.jpg

About the author: Ninichi is a freelance composer for video games, film and media. She is also the founder of Ninichi & Xelafish, a London-based music publishers specialising in fantasy sheet music and audio stories.

Ninichi and Xelafish is launching an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign in October 2019 & needs your help and support!

Support us @NinichiXelafish & follow Ninichi @ninichimusic

Introducing Ninichi’s Retro Rush (Royalty Free Video Game Music)

By Ninichi | Contact | Follow

Are you looking for some retro or arcade-style music for your video game? Do you run a gaming channel and need some upbeat video game music in the background? If so, the Retro Rush Music Pack, might be just what you need! 

I’m Ninichi, and I’m a game music composer! I’ve worked with many talented indie game developers on the music for their games (check out my game music). It’s an honour and joy to be involved in so many wonderful projects. I’m also a great supporter of indie projects in general and know that not all games can afford custom music. 

That’s why I decided to create a few video game music - royalty free music packs for indie game developers on a super tight budget, to use. Each game music pack can be purchased, licensed and easily downloaded from my website. Once you complete the checkout process, you’ll get the files to download and away you go! You will have the music you need for your game! Yay!

The Retro Rush music pack is a collection of 5 game music tracks all in a retro / arcade-style. They’re designed with puzzle games, racing games and brick and paddle games in mind. The music is all electronic music and is designed to keep people engaged in the game whilst not being too overwhelming or distracting. 

Have a little listen and get a feel for Retro Rush via this fun preview video:

All the tracks are ‘ready-to-go’ and all should loop seamlessly. You’ll get both mp3 and WAV files and as part of the pack you’ll get some bonus stings too. 

So, if you’ve been looking for some music for your retro game, look no further! Check out Retro Rush now.


About the Author: 

Ninichi is a freelance game music composer & big supporter of indie games. If you need help with the music for your game or project, contact me now to explore how we might work together. 

Learn more About me (Ninichi) and check out examples of my game music here.

What Makes a Freelance Composer Easy to Work With

What Makes a Freelance Composer Easy to Work With.jpg

By Ninichi | Contact | Follow

So are you someone who’s thinking about whether or not to hire a freelance composer for your project? Or maybe you’re a composer yourself and are wondering how to set yourself up as someone who’s trustworthy and easy to work with?

If so, perhaps this article will offer you a few tips and ideas. I’m a freelance music composer myself (learn more about me if you like!) and have been doing this for a few years now. I create music for a variety of projects, from game music soundtracks, to films, to creating theme tunes for shows, podcast intros, outros and other jingles, and more! It’s a whirlwind of awesomeness all music-related, which I absolutely love!

If you’re thinking of working with a freelancer, you may have your concerns about how it may work and whether you can really work efficiently with them or not. It’ll be important to find someone who feels trustworthy and reliable, and who you believe is capable of delivering what you want. So here are my tips on what to look out for and what I believe makes a freelance composer easy to work with:

1. Always being fast to respond

For me, I make it a priority to always reply back to my clients as quickly as possible so that they know I’m there and are easy to communicate with. It’s hugely reassuring I think, for you to know that although your composer isn’t sitting right next to you, you can always get hold of them.

So, as a freelancer, I think it’s important to be quick to respond to clients and to be easy to communicate with. I’ve found that it shows reliability, builds trust and a stronger connection and it makes it clear that the client’s needs are important.

Also see: How to Communicate Effectively with a Composer

2. Managing expectations

I believe that it’s vital to be as clear as you can about what’s happening and when a client can expect to hear back from you. If you’re hiring a freelance composer, tell them if there’s a certain deadline required or timeline that the project and you are hoping to working to.

Otherwise if you forget, an attentive freelance composer should ask you whether your have certain deadlines in mind and should keep you apprised of their progress. 

As a freelance composer, I’ve found that if you manage people’s expectations early on and throughout the composing process, it makes things clear for everyone and usually makes the process an enjoyable one for all.

3. Being transparent about what the composer can and can’t do

I find that it really helps to be upfront about what I can and can’t help with. I don’t do sound effects for example, but can create short stings, jingles or tones that can be useful for games or shows. I also don’t do lyrics or vocals or live recordings of music, and so if I think that a client may possibly be wanting or expecting this, I’ll let them know upfront that it’s not something I really specialise in or usually offer.

You may find some jack-of-all trades but in reality I’ve found that people tend to be better at certain things than others. So, be aware of this and try to find someone who is honest with you about what they can deliver you or not. Don’t be fooled by those who will say ‘yes’ to everything, as it may not always work out well.  

4. Having plenty of examples of previous works

If you’re thinking about working with a freelance composer, check out their portfolio, website and music show reels. Listen to their music and see how you feel about it. It’s one of the best ways to get a sense of them in terms of what they’re capable of and what kind of work and projects they’ve been involved with before. As the hirer you must do your due diligence.

If you’re a composer looking to offer examples of your work, try to showcase your best work or a good range of what you’ve been involved in. Make them easy to find on your website and also have a clear credit list and testimonials available so that people can see what you’ve done and what others say about you.

5. They ask lots of questions

To fully understand a music brief, the context of the music for your project and to understand your needs and what you’re hoping to achieve – a freelance composer should be asking you lots of questions!

They should be interested in understanding as much as they can about your project and about what you’re looking for in the music. It’s their job to realise your vision and so if they aren’t asking you any questions, how can they deliver you anything useful?

Perhaps I take this to another level, since one of my clients testimonials seemed to mention my deep questioning before getting started, but I find that it really help me to fully understand what they’re looking for and to therefore not waste time going back and forth iterating a track that may have initially missed the mark. I ask lots of questions upfront to gather all the information I need to create music that fits, and then try my best to fulfil that vision. Amazingly, nine times out of 10, that works beautifully and I rarely get asked to make any adjustments to the music that I make.

Read: 8 Top Tips on Building a Strong Working Relationship with a Freelance Composer

6. A genuine interest

If you feel that your freelance composer is genuinely interested in what you’re doing, they should be great to work with! I don’t tend to take on any projects that I don’t think I’ll enjoy or have some interest in. I want to see all the games, films and shows that I create music for succeed. They’re usually really interesting, quite unique and I end up feeling ultra proud to be a part of the whole process.

By choosing to work on projects that I find interesting and really like – it means that I have a real passion for it and will be giving my clients my all. It’s not just ‘another job’ for me but is instead a real joy and something that I want to be involved in.

There are my 6 key thoughts on what I think makes a freelance composer good to work with. Hopefully there are a few ideas in there that may help you with your search for the right composer to work with. If there are other thoughts that you feel are important, feel free to share them with me, as it’s always useful to know how else we can improve the process of working as a freelancer and remotely.

If you want help with music for your project, feel free to message me or to browse my site to get to know me a bit better! I hope this has been helpful and goodluck with your project! 

Next see: How to Work Well with a Game Music Composer


NC-small.jpg

About the Author:

Ninichi is a freelance composer based in the UK, with clients all across the globe, from the US, Europe, Asia and the Middle East. She has created music for games, films, tv shows, commercials and more. Visit her homepage now and explore her music.

Introducing Ninichi’s Chiptune Pack (Royalty Free Video Game Music)

Chiptune Pack.png

By Ninichi | Contact | Follow

Do you need some chiptune / 8-bit style music for your video game or gaming channel? If so, the Chiptune Pack, might be just what you need! 

I’m Ninichi, and I’m a game music composer! I’ve worked on a variety of wonderful indie games – helping to create custom soundtracks and music for game trailers, films and more (see my game music). It’s a great honour to be involved in so many amazing projects; however, I’m also a great supporter of indie projects in general and know that not all games can afford custom music. 

So, for those in this situation, I’ve created a few ready-made music packs which are available to purchase and license now via my website. Once you complete the payment, you can download all the files and away you go! You have music ready for your game!

The Chiptune Pack is the first of my royalty free music packs to be made available. It’s an awesome set of 5 different 8-bit style tracks perfect for creating that old-school video game feel. The tracks all loop seamlessly and are provided in both mp3 and WAV format. 

Check out a fun preview of this music pack & get a feel for these chiptunes now…

The idea behind these video game music packs is to make things as easy as possible for you so that you can ‘get your music and go’, but at the same time, I’ve created all of this music myself and so hope to ensure that the quality of the music remains high.  

There are also some bonus mini-tracks included as part of the package. These can be used as opening themes or for shorter game levels or whatever you feel works best. It’s all up to you!

I hope that you find this chiptune set useful. If you’re creating a pixel-style game and want that 8-bit / 16-bit feel, check out this chiptune pack now.

Also check out my Retro Rush video game music pack and keep an eye on my royalty free music / licensing page for updates and new music which I hope to keep sharing and making available to you. 


NC-small.jpg

About the author: Ninichi is a freelance game music composer and film music composer. She creates music for indie gamesfilms, podcasts, tv shows, commercials and more. 

She is an incredibly diverse composer with an extensive credit list to her name. If you'd like help with music for any project, feel free to contact her now.

Follow her @ninichimusic

Introducing Ninichi’s Fantasy Atmospheres 1 (Royalty Free Ambient Music)

Fantasy Atmosphere 1-Royalty Free Music.jpg

By Ninichi | Contact | Follow

Have you been searching for atmospheric, mood creating music for your video game, film or videos? If so, Fantasy Atmospheres 1, could be just what you need! 

I’m Ninichi, and I’m a freelance composer! What that means is that I create music for games, films and other media (see my homepage). I’m usually commissioned to create custom music for different projects, however, I’ve also made some of my music available to license here on my website.

Fantasy Atmospheres 1 – offers a unique set of 4 beautiful scene setting tracks designed to create a sense of calm and magic for your projects. Each track has it’s own distinct melody yet all 4 tracks blend easily together to form the perfect soundtrack for any project.

If you’re looking for a way to create some added depth and ambience to your project, check out Fantasy Atmospheres 1 music pack now.

Here’s a quick sneak preview of two of the tracks available in Fantasy Atmosphere’s 1…

All the tracks are ‘ready-to-go’ and can be looped seamlessly. You’ll get mp3 files that are easy to download and use straight away. There’s also a bonus track included in case you need that little bit more music for your project! 

If that’s not enough though, don’t fret – there’s Fantasy Atmospheres 2 available now also. 


Ninichi.jpg

About the author: Ninichi is a freelance game music composer and film music composer. She creates music for indie gamesfilms, podcasts, tv shows, commercials and more. 

She is an incredibly diverse composer with an extensive credit list to her name. If you'd like help with music for any project, feel free to contact her now.

Follow her @ninichimusic

Introducing Fantasy Atmospheres 1 & 2 (Royalty Free Video Game Music)

Fantasy Atmospheres-royalty free music pack.jpg

By Ninichi | Contact | Follow

Do you need some atmospheric background music for your video game or YouTube channel? If so, my Fantasy Atmospheres 1 and 2 music packs might be just what you need! 

I’m Ninichi, and I’m a game music composer. I create custom music for indie games, films, shows and other media. It’s a wonderful feeling to be involved in such awesome projects and to help bring them to life. I believe that music offers something unique which can really help to enhance a game or film and to shine a new light on it. However, not everyone is in a position to commission me to compose music specifically for them, which is why I’ve created these ready-to-go music packs!

That’s why I decided to create various video game music packs (see all music packs) which I hope will enable indie game developers on a tight budget, to still access and have great music for their games. My music packs are royalty free music packs, which means that once purchased, there’s no need to pay any on-going fee for using the music in your projects. So once you’ve purchased it, away you go! (Do note, however, that you are not allowed to create variations of the music or to sell it on in any way).

Fantasy Atmospheres 1 - offers a special collection of 4 ethereal tracks perfect for those magical moments. Tracks included in the pack are: Air, Eternal Star, Frosty and Lullalume. All are designed to create a sense of calm, magic and mystery.

Fantasy Atmospheres 2 - is a follow on and build from the first music pack. It has been created for those needing more variety and a larger collection of atmospheric tracks. This royalty free music pack includes the 4 tracks: Flowers in Spring, Transient, Whispering and Wonderous - all of which will take you on a journey into far away magical lands!

See Fantasy Atmospheres 1 and Fantasy Atmospheres 2 now.


NC-small.jpg

About the Author: 

Ninichi is a freelance game music composer & big supporter of indie games. If you need help with the music for your game or project, contact me now to explore how we might work together. 

Learn more About me (Ninichi) and check out examples of my game music here.

4 Ways to Source Music for Your Game

4 Ways Source Music for Game.jpg

By Ninichi | Contact | Follow

Music is an important element to any game. As a game music composer (see more about me!), I really believe that it helps to enhance the overall experience, to bring it all together and to set the general tone of the game. Great music can help to make your game more memorable, more fun to play and can even to make it stand out.

However, it is not always easy or obvious where to find the right music for a game or which approach to take. If you’re wondering what your options are and which way to turn, perhaps this article will help. There are also many other useful tips, articles and resources on my blog so do take a minute to browse through those as well.

In the meantime, here are 4 of the main ways to source music for your game:

  1. Stock music library

  2. Asking friends or a student / amateur musician

  3. Hiring a composer

  4. Making it yourself

1. Stock Music Libraries

These are also sometimes referred to as royalty-free music libraries, production music libraries or simply stock music. For those on a really tight budget, stock music can be a good option as it offers a variety of music available to use on a royalty-free basis, at a very low price. Some music is completely free, sometimes it requires attribution, other times you’ll have to pay but usually a low fee between $5-75 per track. Here are some of my tracks available to license on a royalty free basis.

There are also music packs available from certain sites, which are often even cheaper. They offer many tracks that you can download in one go and which can essentially make up your entire soundtrack. However, there are downsides to bulk packs and stock music generally in that they won’t be customised to your game and so are unlikely to fit perfectly and creating consistency across a full soundtrack can be tough to do.

It can also be quite a time consuming process to go through lots of tracks to narrow down and find something suitable for your specific needs. See the article: Pros & Cons of Using Royalty Free Music in Games to explore this a bit more.

2. Asking friends or a student / amateur musician

Do you have a friend who could help with the music? Is there a student or wannabe composer who might jump at the chance to get involved with your game? If so, this could be an avenue for you to explore further.

Friends are often happy to lend a hand, especially if it’s your first game and there are many student musicians and hobbyist composers out there who may get excited when they learn about what you’re developing. The downside with this option is usually to do with time, quality and reliability/accountability.

If you’re relying on someone to help you out for free, it’s difficult to hold them accountable to you and to make sure that they deliver what you need, when you need it. This can be absolutely fine if you too are a hobbyist and/or are just trying things out for fun, however, if you’re serious about getting your game to market then you may want more ‘serious’ folk in your team.

For composers/musicians starting out, their experience may be lacking and so you may find that the quality of music and the ease with which you can communicate and work with them is challenging. You’ll need to be patient and to be willing to spend time guiding them. You may need to spend time going back and forth quite a bit until each track starts to sound like something you’d like to use.

3. Hiring a composer

This is probably the most ‘professional’ route you could take and so if you want high quality music, which is customised and created specifically for your game, this is the best option for you. It does, however, come at a price, and so you will need to be willing to invest in the music to your game. (See 5 Reasons to Invest in the Music to Your Game).

There are many different types of composers out there, with some specialising in certain styles/types of music and some specialising in certain fields – so not all composers will have experience creating game music for example (they may be a classical composer or a film composer), and so it’s important to learn as much as you can about them and their music and composing experience, before deciding who you want to work with.

This is why I make it easy for people to listen to examples of my game music and to see my credit list and testimonials so that you can hopefully get a sense of what I’m about: - what I’m like to work with, my experience and music. This is the type of things to check out when trying to decide who you might want to hire and work with.

Here are some tips if you want to explore this further: 5 Top Tips for Hiring a Game Music Composer for the First Time

4. Making music it yourself

If you are a musician and feel that you have all the skills needed to create great music for your game, then I’d definitely consider this as an option. The great thing about doing it yourself is that you will have full creative control. You can decide what you want, when you want it and when it’s good enough for your game.

The downside though is that if you take the time to create the music for your game, that’s time taken away from possibly doing something else. So, you will need to have that time to dedicate to the things that you feel are important or you will need to prioritise and think carefully about how you want to spend your most precious commodity.  Making music can be an incredibly fun process if that’s your kind of thing, however, it is very time consuming. So think carefully about what’s right for you.

See Pros & Cons of Creating Your Own Game Music for more on this.

Those are the 4 main ways to get music for your game. I hope this has been useful for you and helps with your decision-making and next steps. It is also very possible to combine some of the above options and so don’t worry if you’ve made a start down one road but feel you might want to explore another.  It’s still all very possible to do. If you want to talk through this some more, contact me to explore how I might be able to help you with your game or project. Good luck! 


NC-small.jpg

About the authorNinichi is a game music composer and music enthusiast. She has composed the soundtracks and music to several indie games, films, tv shows, podcasts and more. Contact her: to explore working with her on your game, film or media project.

Check out examples of Ninichi's game music & read more articles like this on Ninichi's blog

Follow her @ninichimusic