Interview with Ken Snyder and Steven Velema — Tree of Knowledge (知恵の樹)

Ken “coda” Snyder and Steven “surasshu” Velema are freelance composers who have made a name for themselves in the chiptune and module music tracking scenes for their consistent performance in 1-hour tracking competitions: timed contests in which composers are given only an hour to compose a full song with a set of randomly chosen samples.

Their latest project is Tree of Knowledge (知恵の樹) — a lovingly crafted tribute to the sound of PC-9801 home computing platform, which played host to a vibrant game subculture in Japan throughout the ‘80s and ‘90s. Its powerful FM synthesis-based sound hardware gave rise to numerous composers still working in the industry today, such as Ryu Umemoto — whose recent work includes Cave’s arcade and Xbox 360 shooting game Akai Katana and the recent Xbox Live Arcade release Nin2-Jump.

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