Music Music For Video Games That Don't Exist

Dara Baile

Oh hey! In truth, I’ve been composing here and there lately, but I haven’t made much time to post between work, research, and other things.

But here’s a cute little sketch I made for The Video Game That Doesn’t Exist; it’s the music for the second town; not the protagonist’s home, but their first stop. This is the place that lets the hero know that they will find other pockets of peace along their journey.

“Oh, you’re looking for the Carpenter? He’s in the green house, to the north of here.”

As with most of my other work, I wrote this using the free digital audio workstation LMMS and a really great set of free SF2 files provided by the St James Orchestra, which you can find on Zanderjaz.

I can’t say that I will be updating this more regularly, but I sure hope you don’t forget me in the gaps!

Are there any levels you’d like background music for? This video game doesn’t (and is likely to never) exist, so there are no wrong answers!

Thanks for listening. I appreciate you.

Music Music For Video Games That Don't Exist

Jump On The Earth

While I don’t tend to have a lot of time to write new music these days (I’m learning how to program for my PhD and doing a lot of editing for my fee gig as an assistant editor, but this isn’t LinkedIn!), I have been writing little fun projects with my students to couch my theory lessons.

One of my students is learning how to employ different drum patterns, and I made a little goofy groove over the very first pattern he learned, the ubiquitous 4-on-the-floor. We decided it would make a good piece for The Video Game That Doesn’t Exist. In this scene, a new, radical frog NPC has come into the picture in order to give us a new skill.

“Whoa dude! Let me teach you how to double jump!” 🐸

This was written in LMMS, and most of the instruments I used can be found in the main library and the ZynAddSubFX synth. It’s nothing too fancy, but it’s been a while, and it’s about time I showed you a bit of what I’ve been up to!

Music Sketches

Across The Empty Sky

Here is a little unfinished electronica experiment sketch that I built inspired by Patricia Taxxon’s Theory of Pop Harmony. I really enjoy her ideas and I highly recommend giving her video a look if you’re interested in a fresh take on the Four Chord Piece. She does a great job of balancing education and entertainment, and I had her final song, Our Axis, stuck in my head for days afterward!

Who needs more than 4 chords anyway?

I would definitely call this more of a sketch, and I would love to develop it a bit more someday. As always, I used LMMS to create this, which I highly recommend for anyone dabbling in creating electronic music.

Thanks for listening!

April Ducks Art Series

April Ducks 17-19

If you can believe it, we’ve only got two more April Ducks posts (this piece included) left! I’ve been making a good deal of art lately, but it’s mainly been in my bullet journal (I try to keep it cute so that I will keep using it!). Is any of that art something you’d be interested in seeing? Let me know!

Without further ado, here are the April Ducks from the 17th to the 19th!

I do really enjoy the little cheeseburgers.

I’ve been preparing for my PhD program as well, which starts next month. It’s been really exciting to uncover all of the skills I will need to develop in order to get this project off the ground.

I feel like this fella really needs a name.

While a large portion of my time has been spent on education and work, I do still hope that I manage to keep this blog full of silly side projects.

I think someone got a little duck potion in their coffee!

I guess we’ll have to see!

Thanks for visiting!

General Blather

The News!

Well, I think the cat’s already out of the bag, but just in case we’re not in constant contact, here’s the news I mentioned in passing.. I just received my official offer this morning for a PhD program at the University of Huddersfield! I’ll be starting next month, in mid-September.

I’ll be studying music through an evolutionary lens, specifically focusing in on the role that selection plays in music evolution. This is a very interdisciplinary project that will involve some creative computing, so there should be a lot to share! If you are interested in learning more about my program (or if you’d like to read my proposal, which always has the possibility of being a fine example of the best-laid-plans proverb), let me know!

More art and music are coming to this space, of course. But I thought this news needed its own post!

Thanks for being here and celebrating with me!


Five Minute Monster

Hey there! Today I’ve decided to show off a goofy way that my electronic composition and production students and I use up any additional time at the end of our lessons.

One of my Friday students had 6 minutes at the end of his lesson, and we took 30 of those seconds to decide that we should see how much of a piece we could write in the remaining time. We each chose an instrument in ZynAddSubFX (one of my favourite synths, it comes included in LMMS). The instrument he chose was strongly emanating 80’s sci fi energy, so I picked a complement and we got to work.

The file is actually called “ICantBelieveWeWroteThisIn5Minutes.mp3”

He chose the direction for the ostinatos and the secondary underpinning, and I plunked the notes into the piano rolls. There were a total of 4 patterns, and since we had 20 seconds before the end of our lesson, we opted to plunk the aforementioned underpinnings in at random.
It’s not likely to win any awards, but what a delightful little piece to come out of this little arbitrarily limited project.

(shared with permission of my student, who has now requested that we end many more lessons like this.)

Just in case you’re one of my small handful of avid readers (thank you thank you thank you!), I’m taking July off from posting; everything is fine, I’ve just got a few projects I need to focus on for the time being. Expect my next update to be on Monday, the 2nd of August!

Thanks for listening!

April Ducks Art Series

April ducks 14-16

Gosh friends, I have been SO busy! A good number of the projects I’ve been up to have been so long-term that I seem to have very little to share of my recent work. Lucky for us, I have a few ducks in the *wings*.

I’m sorry. Anyway, here they are.

Funnily enough, I was busy when I made this duck as well, so it was both hastily made and hastily presented.

Also, I celebrated my 10-year wedding anniversary this last week. I’ve been feeling very positive and lucky lately.

I feel like Swamp Duck is an untapped market in the monster movie genre.

The last of this set might be my favourite. Isn’t she sweet?

Downright magical!

Thanks for visiting, and for your patience while I fill space with latent ducks!

Music Music For Video Games That Don't Exist

Ordinary World

Hey! How was your week? Mine was quite exciting; I got a bit of news that I can’t wait to share with you! Things are still in the works, so I’m keeping it hush-hush, but if you simply can’t wait another moment, feel free to drop me a line and ask!

Here’s a piece I wrote this last week for The Game That Doesn’t Exist. It was designed to be a Pastoral piece that plays at the beginning of the game, the tutorial level where everything is gentle and peaceful, and nothing can reasonably hurt you in a way that matters. It’s Arcadia, Joseph Campbell’s Ordinary World, Palette Town, The Kokiri Forest, the sleepy little be-flowered village from whence our hero hails.

Long ago, in a far away land, there lived a young girl and her trusty canine companion.

I wrote this one (as I often do) using the free digital audio workstation LMMS and a fantastic (and free!) set of soundfonts provided by the St James Orchestra, which you can find on Zanderjaz. My biggest inspirations were Toby Fox (he is fantastic at creating a feeling!), Yasunori Nishiki, and the immortal Nobuo Uematsu.

Thanks so much for listening!

April Ducks Art Series

April Ducks 11-13

Did you miss them? Wait – don’t answer that. In the month of April, I challenged myself to draw as many ducks as I could. I ended up drawing a total of 22, and this is part of the slow duck rollout. I’m not sure when I’ll be out of ducks, but if it helps, we’ve now crossed the halfway point.

Even though they’re goofy, and not terribly well-crafted, they still make me happy.

Geo-duck, because I didn’t want to draw that unpleasant mollusc.

Sometimes artists put a lot of pressure on ourselves to make marketable work. When you make a living off of your creations, it can feel like an act of defiance to create something for the sole purpose of entertainment. And while of course I am just as much a fan of money as the next duck enthusiast, making these ducks felt.. important somehow.


I’ve been working on a few projects lately that have been important.. Learning challenging songs outside of my comfort zone for students, fulfilling commissions, completing a proposal for a PhD program that I may or may not be accepted into..

Flying! Get it? Because ducks have wings, why would he be flying a plane? Silly duck!

It makes me happy that I have the privilege to dedicate a little time to creating something silly for myself, something that I know has no possibility for failure.

Thanks so much for visiting!

Collaborations Music

Chuir Iad Mise Dh’eilean Leam Fhìn

With the pandemic being in full swing for over a year now, my Gaelic Choir hasn’t been meeting in person. But we’ve all been doing our best! We’ve been meeting via zoom to learn pieces, so that when we are able to meet in person again, we’ll have things to sing.

When lockdown first started here, I arranged a traditional Gàidhlig piece for 3 voices (SSA) that my dear friends and fellow choir mates, Naomi and Shay, were kind enough to lend me their voices to record!

We recorded our parts separately on audacity, but it seemed to work pretty well! I’ll let you read the translation while you listen if you like!

I’m the top voice, Naomi is the middle part, and Shay is the lowest part.


They sent me to an island alone
An island of the sea, far from land

William likes our Anne
Ruairidh likes the cattle maid

They sent me to an island alone
An island of the sea, far from land

Allan likes the brown-haired woman
Ruairidh likes the cattle fold

They sent me to an island alone
An island of the sea, far from land

far, far, far from land


This was a really fun arrangement to make, and it was fun to hear our voices together, even if we weren’t actually together. I’m hoping to write another arrangement soon, and maybe the three of us can even sing in person soon enough.

And don’t worry, more ducks are coming.

Thanks for listening!