It was 2019, and the world was about to be shaken by a pandemic that would profoundly devastate the very structure of society. Already minimal job opportunities were dwindling further, restrictions made movement impossible and limited the freedom of every individual, psychological and legislative violence began to weigh heavily on the lives of individuals like a crushing boulder.
What happened next is, for many people, shrouded in a kind of fog. It seems that many of us have forgotten the family tragedies, the people setting themselves on fire in the streets, the unconstitutional laws, the chaos, and the oppressions; it’s almost as if all that chaos, which still reigns unabated on the planet for other reasons today, for many never existed.
Yet all of us have been deeply marked by those events: some have suffered the unstoppable impact of the events and have fallen into depression, some have given up on life itself, some have managed to instrumentalize the whole affair, and some, in the midst of all that chaos, have found the strength to react in various ways.
We, in our small way, belong to this last category, and the eLxAr project is nothing but a reaction to the chaos that began to reign on this earth too many years ago.
In the midst of sending out hundreds of resumes that never received a response, to people replying, “Sorry, you’re too old, the government taxes us more if we hire over 35s,” and facing increasingly heavy limitations, the choice could only be between two possibilities: the first was to succumb to depression, accepting the fact that life itself had been denied through the destruction of the very possibility of living; the second was to understand that having nothing to do equated to having plenty of free time… and having plenty of free time meant time that could be spent on studying, and perhaps creating something exciting to truly believe in.
The very first idea was to study for independent game development: the idea was to take the great passion for retro games, especially in the RPG genre, conveyors of important messages regarding morality and ethics, and turn it into action. A small project that I had decided to call “Chosenplay” at the time, which would create pixel art games containing relevant and important messages, so as to entertain people but also make them reflect.
With little funding but plenty of time on hand, the studies began: pixel art, game design, programming. Days spent creating prototypes, maybe even participating in some events.
Until the moment came to face the fact that, to create a game, we also needed music. Music that we had no chance of acquiring, let alone paying a musician/producer to create!
It was at that moment that, aware of my familiarity with musical performance due to many years of piano study as a young boy, I decided that I had to learn to compose and produce my own music.
As I began studying the concepts of music production, mixing, and mastering, my partner in… well, everything, I would say: life, projects, etc… Alex, started to take an interest in the project.
She was, and still is, a tremendous artist. With a background in drawing, capable of embroidery, designing for “fashionable” fields, sketching jewelry, even working with the metal itself to create them. An all-around artist much more talented than I could ever be, at least in terms of the “graphic” aspect of the work. So, the first idea born during a mountain hike was to create a project managed by both of us, centered around creating video games where she would design the graphics while I would handle the rest.
Even then, we were discussing what our “principles” should be, in terms of work. Principles I’ll talk about in the next post of this little personal blog.
Meanwhile, I continued studying music production, primarily for Trance and Synthwave genres, which I deemed most suitable as a video game soundtrack, at least for the electronic genre. And so, almost by chance, as learning to produce music began to fascinate me, I ultimately decided that it might be interesting, within our project, to also create music as a “secondary activity.” The genre chosen, for several reasons I may discuss later to avoid prolonging, was “synthwave.”
Once we decided to create this “secondary music project,” given that Alex has always had a tremendous voice, we also decided that she would become, in the future and after some training, the official voice of this little project.
So, I began creating instrumental tracks (which you could hear, if you wish, within our debut album “Looking For The Sound”), while Alex began training daily to improve her singing skills.
In the meantime, we also started thinking about the name for our project. The first idea was to use our initials “LA,” but it would have been extremely incompatible with the synthwave genre, which has “Los Angeles” as one of its major visual inspirations.
So, we thought of “LxA,” to represent the union of our skills… but it didn’t sound quite right.
The idea then was to think about what we wanted to achieve with this project and what our passions were: creating video games, mainly in retro style, RPGs, in pixel art + creating something that could potentially “heal” a world that increasingly seemed sick at its core, in its energy.
The word that came up was “ELIXIR,” the universal medicine used in most fantasy RPGs.
ELIXIR + LxA became “elxAr,” the name that would best represent both the union of our abilities and the set objectives: namely, the creation of a project that could use our artistic abilities for social purposes.
And so, for the first time, the eLxAr project was born, with the idea of creating video games and music, combining our skills, creating something that could be positive for this world.
I believe that as the first article of this personal blog, I can stop here, but fear not: in the next ones, I will continue to talk about how the project has evolved, our decisions regarding themes and behaviors, how the project became purely musical, and much more.
For now, I hope that this small magnifying glass on our world has helped you understand, at least a little more, what we are trying to do and who we are.
Music Producers, Illustrators, Game Developers, and Bloggers | Nature Addicts | FightingAgainst the Exploitation of Life.