News

News stories, articles and updates from composer Simon Wilkinson. All my latest music projects, releases and placements are listed here. You'll also find occasional articles, news stories and general things that catch my ear in the world of documentary music and film soundtracks. You can search for specific articles on the right and if you want to follow my updates just point your RSS feed here.
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New iPhone Game Lonely Sun Featuring My Ambient Music

LONELY SUN – Be Gravity's Guiding Hand – Game Trailer

Check out this trailer for the new iPhone game Lonely Sun from Rinikulous Games which features some of my atmospheric ambient space music. Lonely Sun is a side scrolling game that puts you at the center of a fledgling solar system.

“All that stands between you and the fulfillment of a distant sun’s destiny are five unique, both visually and auditory, hand-crafted levels – one for each of the five levels. Every level divided into three stages has its own strange landscapes, distinct dangers, and gravitational forces to surmount on your way to building a complete star system.”

Lonely Sun (Rinikulous Games)

Get the game from the iTunes store here:

https://itunes.apple.com/ca/app/lonely-sun-be-gravitys-guiding/id1084945377

Follow Rinikulous Games and Lonely Sun here:

https://twitter.com/RinikulousGames

https://www.facebook.com/Rinikulous-Games-1780720392186550

http://www.lonelysun.com/

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Parallax Frequency Shift Featured On Free Ambient Compilation Album

I’m very honoured to have one of my ambient space music tracks featured on the final compilation album release from the wonderful Free Floating Music netlabel.

The collection is titled Reflection and includes 18 tracks of calm and atmospheric instrumental music from artists including Altus, Bing Satellites and many more.

My contribution is the track Parallax Frequency Shift which is taken from my Perpetual Dimensions ambient space music album.

What’s even better is the album is a free download, in keeping with Free Floating Music‘s mission to distribute free and legal ambient music.

The album is released under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial NoDerivs license, meaning you’re welcome to download and share the album for free personal listening (so if you want to use the music in your own videos you’ll still need to seek permission from the artist but I’m always happy to discuss licensing if you want to contact me).

So why not go grab a free download of the album or take a listen to some of the tracks from the player on the right.

Free Floating Music also have a nice collection of other ambient albums and compilations, all available for free download from their Bandcamp page or see their official site for more info:

https://freefloatingmusic.bandcamp.com/

http://freefloatingmusic.com/

“Music for drifting and dreaming.”

Free Floating Music

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New Space Music Album Perpetual Dimensions Now Out

Perpetual Dimensions (ambient album sampler) by Simon Wilkinson

Today sees the release of my latest ambient album called Perpetual Dimensions. A collection of 7 tracks spanning 87 minutes, Perpetual Dimensions is an album of atmospheric and ethereal space music. It’s the follow up to my last ambient album Cryosleep Dreams and includes a musical collection of deep bass drones, sparkling highs and shifting landscapes of panoramic musical vistas.

Equally suited to focused immersive listening on headphones or as atmospheric background music for meditation, relaxation and subconscious drifting. You can watch a promo video containing short previews of all the tracks set to atmospheric deep space visuals above.

The album can be purchased directly here on my site or also on Bandcamp, iTunes, Spotify and most other music streaming services:

On this site:
http://www.thebluemask.com/music-tracks/perpetual-dimensions/

Bandcamp:
https://thebluemask.bandcamp.com/album/perpetual-dimensions

iTunes:
https://itunes.apple.com/album/perpetual-dimensions/id1143008762

Google Play:
https://play.google.com/store/music/album/Simon_Wilkinson_Perpetual_Dimensions?id=Bwpfdpydtc5rzseo6yfu3gljmz4

Amazon:
http://amzn.to/2aYHQvR

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Bigfoot Documentary Series Featuring My Music

Episode 1: The Birthplace of Bigfoot

This is episode 1 of a new documentary series featuring my music, about the legend of Bigfoot. Sasquatch: Out Of The Shadows is a YouTube documentary series which will be updated monthly with new episodes.

“This episode explores the history behind the ‘Bigfoot’ moniker as we know it today, sites such as Bluff Creek & Willow Creek that gained notoriety as a result, as well as sightings in the area and the ongoing investigation of the Patterson-Gimlin film site.”

Sasquatch: Out Of The Shadows (Episode 1)

The series is produced by Aleksandar Petakov of Petakov Media and you can follow the YouTube channel of the documentary here.

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More Time Lapse Videos From Martien Janssen


Here’s another beautiful time lapse video from photographer Martien Janssen who has used my music in several of his previous projects (see here). The video is shot in Siargao in the Philippines and features my track Exodus.

“This is the second time lapse movie of a trilogy, created from 100 time lapse scenes all around Siargao and the neighbouring islands.”

Martien Janssen

You can find more of Martien’s work on Vimeo:

https://vimeo.com/travelimagez/videos

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The Hoia-Baciu Forest – Aerial Photography Video From GVT Media

Here’s a wonderful new video featuring some great aerial photography from Cosmin Giurgiu at GVT Media. Shot in the beautiful Transylvania region of Romania, The Hoia-Baciu Forest features beautiful aerial footage of the stunning landscape accompanied by my music track Shadowland.

The Hoia-Baciu Forest – Truth or Legend is the first professional travel documentary ever made in Romania about this place. It will be a 30 minute movie with two trailers. The documentary will be released at the end of 2016, on the days of Saturnalia (mid December). The two trailers will be released in February and May 2016, in order to promote the documentary and raise part of the money needed for the production.”

www.hoiabaciuforest.ro

Cosmin is a professional videographer, editor, documentary producer and photographer from Romania and you can license his aerial footage and other videos for use in your projects. Check out more of his work here:

http://www.ghidvideoturistic.ro/ghid-turistic/filmari-aeriene.asp

You can also contact Cosmin directly with any questions here:

http://www.ghidvideoturistic.ro/ghid-turistic/contact.asp

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YouTube Content ID Problems & False Claims

Content ID False ClaimsIf you’ve ever uploaded a video to YouTube you might be aware of their Content ID system. Basically whenever a video is uploaded, it scans the content and tries to match anything within it against its huge database of known music and video content.

So if your video includes (for example) a Michael Jackson song, you’ll likely find yourself with a Content ID claim from Sony Music Entertainment (SME) on your video. And to be honest, this is absolutely fair enough – they do own the rights to the music so if anyone is going to earn advertising from that music, it should be the rights holders.

It’s a pretty clever system and it actually works fairly well, most of the time. If the song has distinctive vocals, melody, drums etc. then it will probably correctly identify any music used in the video. But what happens when it makes a mistake? For example, it doesn’t always work so well on more atmospheric music with no drums or vocals – like ambient or instrumental music! Or maybe you used a loop from Garageband or a commercially available sample collection that other people have also used.

In these instances, it’s not unknown for the system to incorrectly match a similar sounding track against a completely different track. These false positives maybe share the same chord progression or musical key but without a vocal to latch onto, the system sometimes wrongly matches similar sounding instrumental tracks.

This is where the system gets infuriatingly difficult to actually resolve the issue with a human. If you get an incorrect/false Content ID claim on your video, you can file a dispute and try to explain the problem within YouTube’s ‘File a dispute‘ process. But guess what; the people who investigate and judge your dispute are the very people who filed it (not YouTube, but usually a record company or rights management company acting on behalf of the song). So the claimant can effectively act as judge and jury on their own cases…

In my experience, these initial disputes are often just blindly ignored by the claimant (or possibly even automated) who will commonly just click ‘Reject’ against your claim without even checking whether what you say is true, in the hope you’ll just go away and leave them to earn a few pennies off your video.

At this point you have one last chance to file a counterclaim (though many people stop there, particularly if they are using material without permission and don’t want to get into legal trouble or risk a copyright strike on their account). It seems that it’s only at this point that the claimant might actually begin to take a look at your video to see if what you say is true, if only because they can at this point, also be held legally accountable for their decision.

If you are genuinely using copyright material without permission (which you shouldn’t…) the claimant will probably stand their ground (as you would expect…) and either pull the video or mute any music they own the rights to. I don’t actually know what usually happens here because I’ve never used other people’s music in my videos!

But I have had false/incorrect Content ID claims put on my own music! Currently if you include my 100% original music track Outpost 31 in a YouTube video, you will automatically get a claim from WMG (on behalf of Sumerian Records) saying that you are using a track called ‘Filth Friends Unite‘ by a band called I See Stars. I had never even heard of this track or band until I got a claim on my own video so I looked them up to see if there were any confusing similarities.

WMG/Sumerian Records & I See Stars

This is Filth Friends Unite by I See Stars (top) compared to Outpost 31 by me (bottom):

I SEE STARS – Filth Friends Unite (Official Music Video)

Content ID false claim by WMG: Outpost 31 Test

As you can hear, theirs is a kind of thrashy pop-punk, metalcore song with vocals and guitars (song starts about 45 seconds in) whereas mine is a slow, downtempo, orchestral, electronic instrumental.

The 2 tracks are completely different: different tempos, different musical keys and don’t share any samples, dialogue, loops or anything else that could be remotely confused. So I can only assume there is some kind of glitch or error in the Content ID database or metatags that is causing it to wrongly match two completely unrelated tracks.

Yet every time I try uploading a test video containing my song, I get an automatic Content ID claim. So I file a dispute, which I would expect them to look at and realise there’s been a mistake and release my video. But instead they just sit it out and leave the claim to expire after 30 days, presumably because they know they have no case (or more likely because up until now, they receive any advertising revenue generated by your video during that crucial 30 day period when you’ll probably get the most hits on your video – see update at the end of this post).

The reason I’ve uploaded my test video above with my music on is to highlight the problem – I’m not trying to get this particular video released from the claim (that always happens anyway after 30 days when the claim expires and if they want to uphold it and take it further legally I’m happy to do so – I will definitely win!) I just want to get whatever the problem is, fixed, so that my clients don’t also receive false/incorrect claims on their videos.

But they’re putting blanket claims on any video that uses this particular track so if you want to license Outpost 31 and use it on YouTube (or if you have licensed it and got a Content ID claim) please contact me and I’ll explain the process of how to successfully file a dispute if you get one. I can guarantee that Outpost 31 is 100% my own work – my track was written and released several years before theirs and I have all original multitrack recordings to prove I created it with no samples (not that there’s even a similarity to dispute!) I’m sure it’s a genuine mistake but they have no right to put claims on my work.

I’ve tried contacting both WMG and Sumerian Records numerous times via email, on their Twitter accounts, Facebook pages etc. to politely ask for help but they refuse to acknowledge any kind of response. I’m sure it must be some kind of technical error within the Content ID system but for some reason no-one at WMG or Sumerian Records is willing to talk to me.

And this highlights one of the worst things about Content ID. YouTube have no interest in looking into genuine false claims or monitoring the way claimants are abusing the claims process; they just want to appease the record labels and minimise the admin involved (hence there’s no way to contact YouTube and ask for help). I know this kind of thing also happens a lot to other people but YouTube won’t get involved. Just search Google and you’ll find thousands of genuine Content ID problems and similar issues that are continually ignored.

When Content ID works correctly it’s a pretty workable solution to help copyright holders rightfully monitor and administer their work, but when it doesn’t work it’s an extremely frustrating and poorly implemented procedure with no real right-to-reply that always works in favour of the big companies.

Update: The one good thing which YouTube have just announced is that instead of diverting any advertising revenue to the claimant for the 30 day period (while the claim is supposedly ‘investigated’) they will now hold the revenue and make sure the winning party in the dispute receives any advertising earnings if and when the dispute is finally settled. But the system still makes it incredibly frustrating to try and resolve when things go wrong (as I mention here in a brief interview with CBC). YouTube should provide some kind of mediation to help resolve technical problems and wrong IDs within their Content ID system.

If you receive any Content ID warnings using my genuinely licensed music on YouTube, please contact me and I’ll help you to try and resolve it (there are certain steps to take during disputes which can make it easier). I absolutely own 100% of all my copyrights and I don’t sample anyone else’s work, so no-one should be making any false claims on my work!

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Field Of View Extended Dakotalapse Video Featuring My Music

Field Of View – 4K Ultra HD Timelapse

Field Of View is the amazing new timelapse video from Randy Halverson at Dakotalapse which you can watch above. Randy describes some of his photography below:

Field Of View is a compilation of timelapse I have shot in the last year. The first shot of the sunset supercell was done on July 23, 2015. That storm dropped multiple Tornadoes in eastern South Dakota, I was shooting it from central SD. I shot timelapse of that same storm for almost 4 hours into the night. Other locations in the sequences are Aurora in central, western South Dakota and the Bighorn Mountains of Wyoming. The Red Desert in Wyoming, Badlands and Buffalo Gap National Grasslands area of South Dakota. Bighorn and Teton Mountain areas in Wyoming.”

Randy Halverson

There’s also an extended 30+ minute version of the video available in 1080p featuring my atmospheric ambient music tracks Halo’s Edge and Orbital Drift which you can get directly from Dakotalapse here:

http://dakotalapse.com/2016/03/field-view-4k-uhd/

As with all of Randy’s work, the photography is stunning and it makes for a beautifully calming video to watch, so I highly recommend supporting Randy by purchasing the full version!

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New Day Under New Sky Compilation Featuring My Ambient Music

New day under new sky – compiled by Solarsoul [Official Music Video]

A new ambient music compilation album called New Day Under New Sky has just been released featuring my track Coronal Mass Ejection. Compiled by Solarsoul, the album is a beautiful collection of calming atmospheric instrumental music and also features some well known names from the ambient music world such as Jonn Serrie, Phillip Wilkerson, Numina and many more talented artists.

“Mankind will not forever remain on Earth, but in the pursuit of light and space will first timidly emerge from the bounds of the atmosphere, and then advance until he has conquered the whole of circumsolar space.”

Konstantin E. Tsiolkovsky

You can hear excerpts from all the tracks in the teaser video above or get the album direct from Beatport and Juno below:

https://pro.beatport.com/release/new-day-under-new-sky/

http://www.junodownload.com/products/chasing-dreams-new-day-under-new-sky/3006105-02/

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Koi’s YouTube Channel For Minecraft Fans Featuring My Music

E40 – Designing the Skeleton XP Farm Building – Koi's Minecraft Bucket List

If you’re a fan of Minecraft, Nintendo or No Man’s Sky, why not take a look at Koi’s YouTube channel which is dedicated to all of these. It’s a family and kid-friendly channel where he regularly uploads videos on mods, tutorials and lots more and you’ll find a lot of my music used throughout the videos.

Check it out and subscribe here:

https://www.youtube.com/user/KMSJC/