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BlipTalk with Silent Requiem

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Jacob C McNamee started using the pseudonym “SILent REQuiem” back in 1998 when he got his first Amiga600 from a local thrift shop. At the time, he was making what could be loosely referred to as noize-industrial with funky undertones.  Silreq continued making music until 2003 when a computer crash caused the loss of an albums worth of new music, financial troubles had also caused him to sell most of his recording equipment, keyboards, and his amiga. Silreq took a break from music between 2003 and 2005, where he concentrated on not being homeless. Since his re-emergence he has released a constant stream of noize that sounds something like a broken robot, Satan and your mum. . . oh wait a minute, that was last night. . .

Blip: Before you got into making chip music, what type of music or art where you into?

I was, and still am, into all kinds of music, but I’m very picky on what I listen to. Art wise I was into strange sculpture/paintings and grandiose styles like H.R. Giger and Salvador Dali, but I also liked the subtlety of Edward Gorey. I really enjoy well written comic-books, like ones written by Neil Gaiman, Frank Miller, Gibbons. (yeah I said COMIC-BOOKS not graphic novels, the term graphic novel is a really piss-poor way of trying to legitimize comic-books). I also enjoy good comic book artists like Sam Keith, Dave Mckeen, Frank Miller, Alex Ross. I really enjoy the short stories of H.P. Lovecraft and Neil Gaiman, they are 2 of the few artists I could actually read growing up. And I really I enjoy language which I consider to be an art in itself.

As for art I was making before chipmusic, i did a bit of sketching, inking and painting. I have done a few clay sculptures of goblins. Most I’ve my time was spent making pen & paper rpg’s and table top wargames which I still do to this day, constantly simplifying. I did a lot of writing science fiction/steam-punkish type stuff which spilled over into my game making. Music wise I did a bit of tape manipulations using noise and simple synths/drum machines, I did play flute, guitar and piano for a little bit, but was never any good at any of them. My real early musical experiences that were productions involving an Amiga and Protracker in Highschool.

Blip: How did you first become aware of the possibility of chip music?

I guess it was the first time I ever played video-games. But the 1st time I became aware of the methods, was programming a c64 and my IBM PC jr. in BASIC/BASICA as a child, of course I was just making noise and random tunes.

Blip: How does your background influence your current work?

I don’t really know, I kind of just fuck around till something happens that I like, i’m serious about this. Even when I have an idea, the end product never sounds like what i started with, “happy accidents” as Bob Ross would say. I also prefer others interpretations of my music than my own.

Blip: Where do you see yourself in the greater chip community?

I really thought I was a nobody for the most part, but somehow I made it to Blip, though I still wonder if this is just a big prank and when I go on stage to do my set Nullsleep is going to punch me in the face, knocking me out, followed by Bit Shifter and Glomag taking turns pissing on me and then posting the incident on Vimeo. Performing at Blip still seems so unreal, it is one of the greatest honors someone in the chip community can receive.

I really enjoy doing the “8bc open mic podcast”, promoting others is always more fun and fulfilling then promoting oneself.

Blip: Who are you most excited to see at blip? Why?

For one Little-Scale, because I’ve interviewed him, but never met him in person. David Sugar, because I thought he quit chiptune. I, Cactus, because he is a god among chip musicians.

Blip: Where do you see your progression as an artist heading? Deeper into chip music, or perhaps something different?

Chiptunes are like a drug sometimes, so I see myself going deeper, and hopefully I won’t bottom out and get boring.

Silent Requiem is playing Thursday 8pm with visuals by Jean Y. Kim

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