Tag Archives: Shaw-Han Liem

Ep. #262: Mare Sheppard, Jim Guthrie, & Shaw-Han Liem

The overlap between independent gaming and independent music is one of the most fascinating cultural intersections I’ve come across in recent years. Both reflect somewhat subversive interests and have garnered large, loyal, fervent, and outspoken followings and are more often than not, spearheaded by some of the most inventive and clever minds of our time. Jim Guthrie and Shaw-Han Liem are each respected musicians who’ve appeared on this show before and they’ve found new fans through their soundtrack and scoring work for games. Mare Sheppard is the co-founder of Metanet Software, an indie game development company, likely best known for creating the popular game N. Here, Sheppard, Liem, and Guthrie and I discuss things like playing as many games as Mare could get her hands on, learning about programming, art and film, making a small company, human versus perfect, small teams and personal places, getting re-acquainted with games via Toronto’s indie game community, little Jim at the arcade and no quarter, really getting gaming culture as an art form, indie gaming versus mainstream gaming, incremental progress, minimalism, maximizing your resources, Shaw-Han’s work on Sound Shapes for PlayStation, working with Sony, no risk and more freedom, working with a major and working with an indie, what does the fan say, entitlement and rudeness, Jim on gaming and music audience differences, passion levels, too cool for school, smart and outspoken gamers, cultural and media shifts, very specific customer feedback, processing online hype and noise, Mare’s hopes for gaming’s future, an eerie conversation about guns recorded before the Orlando tragedy, Jim’s desire for gamers and devs and musicians to create larger and more interactive project teams, Shaw-Han’s interest in the sophisticated emerging gaming technology, generational shifts, N++ and experimentation, Shaw-Han’s interest in how a dev or gaming mentality might inform his work as a musician and inventor, instructive work as a creator, cashing in, Jim will be streaming a lot of online content, the games Below and XO, Jam Pants, fans are terrible, the song “I Don’t Wanna be a Rock Star,” and then it was Game Over.

Related links: metanetsoftware.com jimguthrie.org robotandproud.com vishkhanna.com

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Ep. #218: I am Robot and Proud

I am Robot and Proud is the moniker of Shaw-Han Liem, a gifted musician and computer scientist who calls Toronto home. Liem co-designed and composed the music for the award-winning 2012 Playstation game Sound Shapes, and he continues to work as a video game music composer. Since the beginning of this century, he has been making a colourful kind of pop-oriented electronic music that blends organic and synthetic sounds, as I am Robot and Proud. His eighth album is called Light and Waves, it’s out now via Darla Records, and has prompted I am Robot and Proud to play shows across Japan in October and November. Here, Liem and I discuss a weather report from Toronto, making the new album with a live band, past collaborators and playing solo versus being in a band that can be a pain in the ass, camaraderie, being part of a music community, the Robot band, musical Stockholm Syndrome, touring Japan with the help of a local promoter, how Robot songs are made with the Robot band, Mike Smith, Light and Waves surprises, Robin Buckley, getting into video game music composition and co-creating Playstation’s Sound Shapes, knowing your steez, Jordan Howard, game versus film soundtracks, the gaming universe, how Sound Shapes works, that’s edutainment, Guitar Hero, growing up in Mississauga and playing music with Evan Clarke and Jeremy Strachan, Blue Light Blockade, how forgettable I am, being big in Japan and small in Canada, rock-centric electronicism, venues for weird music, gaming fans and collectors of all stripes, not knowing why things resonate more in Osaka than Peterborough, Yellow Magic Orchestra, what’s next for I am Robot and Proud, the song and meaning behind “Kira Kira Zig Zag,” and that was that.

Related links: darla.com robotandproud.com vishkhanna.com

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