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LARP and Social Anxiety

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There’s no shame in being a new player or an anxious player.  Sometimes LARP and social anxiety overlap. read more about combatting social anxiety and enjoying your LARP game.

Introduction to LARP

Let’s start with the obvious question. What exactly is LARP? LARP stands for live-action roleplaying game. These games are a form of immersive game based off traditional role-playing games such as D&D, Pathfinder, Gamma world and so on.

Like these traditional roleplaying games where one creates you create a character based on the game rules. Then it’s time to roleplay as your character. The difference between TTRPG and LARP is that you play out that character’s thoughts, actions, and progression in live action. you act out the motivations, and actions, roleplaying what your character would do in any given situation.

For example, instead of telling your Dungeon master what your 5th level elf rogue does to sneak past the guards, you do just that. It’s a fantastic way to bring the game to life. You’re able to roleplay as Darcassan Joric, a fifth level roque with a history of drunken disorder likes and a love for the kazoo. From combat to diplomacy to adventure to friendship, there’s all kinds of situations to advance the characters’ storyline.

Joining LARP with social anxiety

Social anxiety is defined by The Mental Health Foundation as a “Beyond the typical sensation one might expect when speaking in public, meeting people for the first time, starting at a new job or school, or giving a performance, when the discomfort or feelings of shyness result in anxiety, fear, or avoidance and have an ongoing impact a person’s daily at work, in school then it could be social anxiety disorder (SAD).”

As it’s different from general nervousness in social settings, ‘jump right in’ isn’t the best solution. For most socially anxious folks, baby steps and social awareness are often the most helpful.

The Mental Health Foundation explains that “How we feel, think, and behave in social situations varies from person to person depending on our personality traits, upbringing, and life experiences. Some people are naturally reserved and shy whereas others might be more outgoing and extroverted, but anyone can have a SAD.”

This can make games that focus very highly on the socializing and person to person engagement like RPGS difficult. LARPS take it a step further by being longer, and more involved as you’re physically acting as the character.

Refuge LARP, a game based out of Calgary adores giving folks a chance to learn and to be comfortable. Their website reads, “Glad you made it! Come on in, learn about LARP, and take a break from the real world. Everyone is welcome to seek Refuge in our fantasy world. Whether you are new to roleplaying, new to LARP, or looking for a new LARP to play, we look forward to meeting you and answering your questions!”

Photo by Alexandre Silva on Pexels.com

Tips for joining a LARP with social anxiety

Social anxiety can be debilitating for inexperienced players as well as experienced. However, anxiety shouldn’t stop players from enjoying a weekend LARP game. Getting out there is rough but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth it. Here are a few tips when it comes to getting ready for a LARP game with social anxiety.

Join the social media groups and forums.

Even as a lurker, you can get more comfortable with how the players interact with one another. Try asking a question to some of the players either in a DM or a beginners’ forum. Most people will be very open to your curiosity or at the very least, know someone who can help.

You can take this a step further once you’ve figured out your character. Joining Organizations that your character may join provides another way to engage with the material as well to observe the subtleties of the game in game. Take these examples from the Refuge LARP. Depending on who or what your character is, these groups can include  The Home Guard 2.0: The Standing Army of Calanda,  or  The Arcane Sanctum 2.0: The Mage Guild of Calandonia, or  The Earth Weavers 2.0: The Order of Earth Casters, or The Silken Refuge: A Hobling run merchant house specializing in the trade of rare Silks from the island of Auric, or The Uruzaries: A High Orc/Ogre organization in servitude to the Oath sworn Shariah of the Edgeland Desert, or the  Hammer Outfitters: originally a Dwarven guild for craftsmen. You’ve got options!

Play as a monster

Cory Fliegel, the head organizer of the Calgary game Refuge says it’s easier to get started with non-player characters or NPCS. His Advice for newcomers is to start with the monster camp as it’s easy to start and simple to play. Monster camp is a nickname for the portion of the organizations that play non-player characters (NPCs) or monsters.

“Others jump right into being a PC and again, that is the choice everyone makes. Your level of comfort should be your main guide,” Explains the user guide for Refuge LARP”, You get to learn the game while gaining Experience Points (XP) for a future PC that you may play.

Playing as a goblin, orc, troll, bugbear, hobgoblin, kobold, mimic, beholder, or even an evil npc allows new players to get a taste for the game, and the rules without the stress of an entire character. It allows the fun to come first.

Get inspired

Do your research. Most LARPs have their lore, myths, history, and characters on their website. Take a look at the various options before you.

[Tip for those that don’t want to read the entire website or folks with ADHD – try a browser extension that reads out the page’s text to you. It’s a game changer for reading any block of text. Here’s what I use. And it’s free!!]

Attend with someone

Going with someone that’s been there before is a huge help. They’re able to show you the ropes and guide you through. Make sure you discuss this with them beforehand. They are sure to be an immense help, but they need to know how to help first.

As an added bonus to this, many games have incentivized introducing new players. Refuge LARP organizer Cory F. provides an incentive for bringing new players in with you and explains that “While only one member may benefit for each new player that purchases a membership, there’s no limit to the number of new players you can bring and receive rewards for! Plus, as a thank-you to both players may pick from a list specific magic items!”

Bring a friend

What’s better than one new player? Two new players!! It’s much easier to fumble through the first day when you know you aren’t alone. Chatting with friends, or folks on social media is a terrific way to meet people that are also LARP newbies.

Ask about Out of game (OOG) options.

Many games will have options for folks that want to take a break. Whether that’s a separate area where you can check your phone, have a snack, or go back to being you for a bit. Some games have a visual aspect to them such as a white headband or a hand on your head to tell other players, “Don’t interact with me.” It’s essentially the LARP’s version of AFK. Each game with have a slightly different approach, so it’s always best to ask.

If you are worried about potential panic or anxiety attacks, also ask about the first aid options. LARP games are meant to be fun not a health hazard.

Give yourself some slack

The first game can be overwhelming. There are a lot of new things to learn and stories to hear. Every new player goes through this, I promise you. Nothing you ask is going to be a surprise to the current players. They’ll either know the answer or send you to someone that does. Consider it your first quest!!

Remember that these are games that are meant to be fun. Take It seriously but not so seriously that it stops being fun. Here are some relaxing songs to help you focus and calm throughout the entire process.

Lost Tales: Our Secret Place By Dreamhop Music

Celestial Choirs By The Guild Of Ambience

Mysterious Music By Arondight Studios

Magic Library By Blue Turtle

Northwind By Brunuhville

Traditional Irish Folk Music By Lantern

Seeking Solitude By Daydreaming Of Persephone

Haunted Cemetery By Michael Ghelfi Studios

Coronation By CIRI

Got more tips to add to the list? Let us know in the comments below!!

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Interviews

Adding Immersive Horror Music To Your Horror Games

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Everyone knows that music makes the game, especially when it comes to horror. Adding in immersive horror music to your game will impress your players. . Read below on how to add a spooky soundtrack to terrify your players.

Introduction To Horror Games And Their Music

When players think of horror games, they want to be scared. This is the case for video games, LARPs, escape rooms, haunted houses, D&D games, and so much more. When your players take part in this game, they want to be terrified, usually.

Photo by Monstera on Pexels.com

Atmospheric soundtracks aren’t only in one specific genre. Music is important through many diverse types of games, and consoles. Regardless of whether you’re playing Carrion for the switch, Vampire: The Masquerade LARP, Call of Cthulhu RPG, Fatal Frame 2: Crimson Butterfly on PS4 and Xbox One, or SCP; secret laboratory on Steam, there’s still an element of music to it. Follow the video game topic on Switching styles, by signing up for our newsletter!

Think about the last horror video game you played. What kind of audio did they have? What kind of background noises or music? It was probably something creepy that made the hair on your arm and neck stands up. That’s because it’s supposed to.

“In recent years games developers, especially within the Horror genre, have become masters of creating soundtracks that have a terrifying eeriness and an atmosphere that keeps you on the edge of your seat,” Explains the writers at Anara Publishing.

Consider walking into a haunted house in your local community center. There’s music but it’s not Halloween-themed or horror themed it’s Swing covers of Disney songs. That’s not going to encourage people to be scared. They’ll most likely be more confused than anything else. It’s the same thing with other genres. Players aren’t scared if the horror boss battle is serenaded, by “Hot N Cold” from Katy Perry.

Fun Fact: When you get chills or goosebumps from a piece of music (or really from any aesthetic experience) is called frisson. The phenomenon is still being studied, by researchers around the world. (.)

Immersive Horror Music For Gaming

When it comes to adding an element of realism and terror to your game, it helps to have some options. Below we’ve compiled a few of our favourite horror-themed music. Whether you’re adding this to your Friday night MTG theme night, your monthly vampire masquerade session or even your biweekly Cthulhu D&D game, we’ve got you covered.

Creepy Music Mix #1, Instrumental Halloween Music

Dark Piano, Lucas King

Tormented Hybrid Horror Music Mix, Horror Music World

Dark Mystery Orchestral Remix, Cthulhu Mythos Music

The Yōkai Compendium, Realm of Dementia

Dark Victorian Music, Cryo Chamber

H.P. Lovecraft music, Cthulhu Mythos Music

Phobia; Tense Cinematic Background Music, Soundridemusic

Halloween Spooky Ambience, Cozy Rain

Goëtia, Peter Gundry

Detective Background Music, FesliyanStudios Background Music

Horror Cinematic background music, Elysium Audio Labs

Horror Ambience, ESN Productions

Tim Burton Vibes Compiled, Sundew Baggins

Darkest Dungeon – Combat Music composed, by Stuart Chatwood for Red Hook Studios

Want to support Switching Styles? Check out our merchandise at Redbubble. There’s a little of everything for everyone: coffee mugs, aprons, notebooks, posters, pillows, and of course musically inspired fashion. Read more nerdy titles on Switching styles like Heavy Metal Heroes; The Superheroes You Didn’t Know You Needed, and With Ether Q&A.

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Interviews Reviews

Interview With Notedead

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Are you ready? Are you sure you’re ready for this? We don’t think you are, but you better get ready. Switching Styles has the answers you need with this interview with Notedead.

Introductions All Around!

Max Preuss (drums) and Trymer Martin (guitars/vocals) combine to form the band, Notedead. It all started where all great bands start, with a passion for music. The band found their start during the 2020 global COVID-19 pandemic, despite the hardships. Everything was rough. That didn’t stop them. For Notedead, this was a new beginning. The band formed in 2020 and has been rocking the world since.

Q&A Between Switching Styles and Notedead!

In an interview with switching styles, they’ve opened up about their band, their process, and their goals. Read below to get to know Notedead even better!

What is it about music that makes you feel passionate?

 Music emits emotion. I long to feel what the artist felt when they wrote the song and kind of experience it together. Music is also everywhere, from malls to elevators. And rhythm is in footsteps and your heartbeat, it’s everything.

 The emotions a song can put you through makes me feel alive

How did Notedead start and how did the Covid 19 Pandemic impact your band?

 Early on in Covid times when everything stopped and when we couldn’t jam with our bands Trymer started writing his own stuff and asked Max to write drums along with it. We both quickly realized that our writing for our respective instruments clicked together.

We started ripping out songs super-fast, so we decided to continue writing under our own band together which is Notedead.

How is being an Edmonton-based band impacted Notedead?

 It’s funny because only half of the band (Max) is Edmonton based and the other half (Trymer) is from Lacombe so it’s almost a long-distance type band relationship.

 The local music scene in Edmonton has a great group of people who support and encourage us, and we are forever grateful.

What inspired you to start playing and making music?

Trymer:

 Before I got into my own music I listened to my dad’s classic rock/metal, Iron Maiden, Black Sabbath, Foreigner, ZZ Top, etc. Anyways but I’m in grade 5 I had some project to do at school and there was another classmate who did his project, but his was on Sum 41 and it caught my eye, so I got the CD “all killer no filler” at a Walmart in Manitoba, and that cd changed me.

From there I adopted my first taste of music away from my parents and it inspired me to want to play guitar, the ball started rolling from there!

Max:

Rock band. I loved the game because I was able to some of jam along to my favorite songs while simultaneously learning a basic version of the drums. I got very good at that game, and it made my transition into real drums very easy.

My music teacher in junior high band class then asked if anybody knew how and I volunteered to learn some percussion. The rest is history, between drum lessons, drumming for my high school jazz band & winning jazz artist of the year, it’s safe to say I’m a real drummer now

What bands or genres inspire your sound?

 Counterparts, Napoleon, Dance Gavin Dance, to name a few… but it’s really so hard to say what inspires our sound, so many bands growing up shaped us into the musicians we are and what our preferences are as well.

We also use it a lot! Of dead notes haha

Describe your creative process when you write new music.

 We both write our music on Guitar Pro. being as we are far away from each other, and we both enjoy the punctualness we can read. Trymer usually comes up with the first riff and then sends it to Max and Max writes the drums and then we work together from there, writing the song section by section.

Sometimes there will be a pre-discussed idea before we start on our next track, but we always write song by song and never add too much to our plates.

What’s your favorite venue for performing? Why?

 We don’t play shows as we are only a 2 man band writing songs to share with people, but if we could Trymer would want to play the St. Andrews United Church in Lacombe as he used to play local punk shows there growing up (it’s kind of odd I know, but it was so much fun!) and Max wishes we could play at Polar Park Brewery in Edmonton but it unfortunately just closed down.

What are some of your current projects?

 Currently, we have some new music in the bank but nothing to confirm aside from our new album “Separate Paths”. However, Max is in 2 other bands, Withered Days and Sol Runner.

What advice would you give to musicians just starting?

 Listen to music as often as you can. Find something that you wish you could make your own and take that drive to make your own with your inspiration and feelings

 Don’t give up, you’re going to suck at times, but music is a lifelong partner if you let it be.

Is there anything you wanted to mention that I didn’t ask about?

 Yes, our new album ‘Separate Paths’ is out September 9th

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Introducing Refuge LARP Calgary

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Live Action Role-playing is a wonderful way to enhance practical skills, social skills, and overall creativity. One example close to home is the Refuge LARP out of Calgary.

What is LARP?

LARP or live-action roleplaying is an immersive game with the storytelling of traditional role-playing games such as D&D, Pathfinder, Gamma World and D6.

Photo by Lisha Dunlap on Pexels.com

Like traditional roleplaying games where one creates a character within the specifications of the game rules, and plays out that character’s thoughts, actions, and phrases. However, in a LARP, it’s merely live action. This means that you act out the motivations, and actions, roleplaying what your character would do in any given situation. From combat to diplomacy to adventure to friendship, there are all kinds of situations to advance the characters’ storyline.

No matter where the thrill of adventure and imagination can be found. There’s a story for everyone in a LARP game.

Introducing Refuge LARP Calgary

“Being a Hero is what LARP is all about,” explains the organizers, “Take on a role as a daring fighter, a dashing rogue, a powerful scholar casting magic or a combination of the three!”

The LARP website explains, “Our story focuses on our players as high-fantasy heroes pitted against seemingly insurmountable odds. Many times, they are victorious, but other times, well, that remains to be seen.”

LARP or Live Action Role Playing Games are an immersive roleplaying game played in person instead on paper. Refuge LARP Calgary is one of the longest running campaigns in Alberta. Starting the LARP in 2011, they’ve gained quite a following for the immersive fantasy game.

The Story of the Game

The story that’s the background for all roleplaying within the game is based on the mythical land of Calandonia. About the size of Europe theoretically, it provides a huge level of exploration for the characters. This land is the main area for game play and the most prominent of the world’s realms. It’s the seat of power.

There’s an overarching storyline with many different facets. There are many ways to engage with the storyline. From simple encounters with a goblin in the woods to more intricate engagement with the arch mage and grand council. The political ties between them makes it even more interesting including arch mage, grand council, and the Dwarven Enclave to name only a few of the participating rulers.

Joining meta organizations or Organizations that your character may join provides another way to engage with the material. These include  The Home Guard 2.0: The Arcane Sanctum 2.0: The Silken Refuge: The Uruzaries:  and Hammer Outfitters:  to name a few.

Refuge LARP Calgary Prep Playlist

Don’t hesitate to check them out. If you want some inspiration, here’s a LARPing playlist to get you in the LARPing mood!!

Medieval Fantasy Background Music By Realm of Dementia

Epic & Powerful Fantasy Music By Mortifer V.

Dark Chocolate and Classical Music By Sundew Baggins

 

Medieval Fantasy Tavern By Daydreaming of Persephone

An Epic Ride By Blue Turtle

Magic Bookstore in The Woods (Iroh’s Bookstore) By The Vault Of Ambience

Tree Temple By Ambience Lab

Exoplanet Nature II By Michael Ghelfi Studios

Dark Atmospheric Music from The Shadowlands By Cryo Chamber

Up To the Mountains  By Unwind Station

Share your larping inspiration with the Switching Styles community by tagging us on your socials.

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Featuring Notedead

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This content was sponsored by Notedead. Thank you for supporting local music blogs like Switching Styles!!

Are you sure you’re ready for this? Are you ready for truly hardcore music? We don’t think you are, but you better get ready. Notedead is one of the most hardcore bands in the province, and they’re not stopping any time soon.

Introductions

The band formed in 2020 and has been rocking the world since. They’ve been releasing music since their debut in 2021 with the release of their Best Wishes EP. Then the single “Labyrinth” was released a year later.

Max Preuss (drums) and Trymer Martin (guitars/vocals) combine to form the band, Notedead. It all started where all great bands start, with a passion for music. Despite the hardships, the band found their start during the 2020 global COVID-19 pandemic. The covid pandemic was a tough time for Canadian musicians. Venues were closed. Live performances were limited. Finances for everyone were rough. Everything was rough. That didn’t stop them. For Notedead, this was a new beginning.

Getting Started.

Trymer started writing instrumental tracks solo during the quarantine. Channelling the pressure, uncertainty, and anxiety into the melodies, he created three of Notedead’s first songs. But something was missing, and that something was Max. As a drummer, Max had felt the impact of the pandemic firsthand. Trymer reached out and Max took to his role like a fish to water. They both quickly realized that their writing was an amazing match. That’s the exact moment that Notedead was created.

You may think you know the post-hardcore genre, but not like this. Max is a drummer, not only for Notedead but also for Withered Days and Sol Runner. His skill combined with Trymer’s artistry makes entirely unique music. This band brings something fresh to the post-hardcore genre. The band is inspired by classic rock and metal legends; Iron Maiden, Black Sabbath, Foreigner, and ZZ Top. That’s not all. Notedead’s influences also include contemporary bands such as Counterparts, Napoleon, and Dance Gavin Dance. Notedead is breathing a new kind of life into the genre with its music.

“A dynamic, immersive, and progressive assimilation of heavy influences. Rangy guitars work that balances urgent and melodic astutely and a pummeling vocal delivery intertwines deftly with the instrumental unit”

Raves Katie from Carry The 4 PR.

Their Music

This post-hardcore Canadian band is bringing out all the stops in their music. Notedead is bringing forth impressive drums, emotive lyrics, and an emotional connection to each one of its listeners. All their music has such a profound level of depth to it. Each note, each strum, and each word have a meaning and a purpose. That purpose is to connect with the listener within that moment.

Their most recent release is an album called “Separate Paths.” This album of 11 hardcore songs has been available as of September 9, 2022. Not even one of the album’s songs is flat when it comes to emotions. The songs all tell a story of humanity and share a part of the human condition. Pain, anger, joy, rage, and misery, it’s all there in their music.

Notedead is aiming to be one of the greats coming from right here in Edmonton, Alberta. The goal was never to impress people. It never has been. It’s been about the music. The real goal is to write great music that speaks to the human heart. Find their music online on Apple Music, Spotify, YouTube, and Bandcamp.

Check them out and let us know what you think!!
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Reviewing “Politician Man” by Adrian Sutherland

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Just in time for the Canadian Election, Adrian Sutherland releases a single, “Politician Man”, discussing the issues of drinking water in communities throughout Canada.

Introducing Adrian Sutherland

Adrian Sutherland is an artist with more than just creativity and talent but a quality musician and a quality father. Adrian Sutherland is a Canadian artist from Attawapiskat First Nation on the James Bay. He’s not just a singer, songwriter, musician, speaker, author, and advocate but He’s also a father of four, a grandfather to four, a traditional knowledge keeper, and a respected cultural leader, fluent in Mushkegowuk Cree.

Northern Canadian roots rocker, Sutherland has become an increasingly popular artist. His Spotify Wrapped shows a huge following with over 10k listeners in over 57 countries.

Photo of Adrian Sutherland

As an artist, he’s taken to using his musical popularity to spread information and hope among Canadian citizens. Sutherland wrote this American-style song himself. With the writing help of the brothers Chris Gormley and Matt Gormley, the lyrics send such a vital message. During the Canadian election, this is a rather poignant message.

Introducing Politican Man

A press release by Adrian Sutherland explains, “The powerful protest song – Sutherland’s debut single as a solo artist – has been gaining audiences ever since its premiere on October 17, 2019, four days before Canada’s federal election. The video and its important message earned national media coverage at that time and continues to garner attention today.”

The federal election is a chance for a citizen to have their voices heard. People can fight for what they believe in, make a stand for their values, to stand with the people that can’t stand for themselves. The meaning behind this song isn’t just political. It’s much deeper than that, especially for Sutherland. It’s a far more personalized message.

Message Behind The Music of “Politician Man” by Adrian Sutherland

“The seeds for the song were planted in July 2019, when Attawapiskat First Nation – Sutherland’s fly-in Cree community on the James Bay in remote Northern Canada – declared a state of emergency over contaminated water,” describes Sutherland. This contaminated water has elevated levels of Trihalomethanes (THMs) and halo acetic acids (HAAs) which can cause skin irritation as well as increase the risk of cancer. These can’t be cleared by boiling the water.

“Attawapiskat should be drinking the same quality of water the people in Ontario and Canada take for granted,” Attawapiskat Chief Ignace Gull said in an interview with CBC, “We shouldn’t be going through this kind of stuff, to declare a state of emergency. If this happened in Timmins, they would deal with it the same day.”

Nigel Nakogee, 17, holds a sign in front of the Attawapiskat band office on Tuesday, protesting the community’s water quality problems. Published via CBC

In the Globe and Mail, you can Read Adrian’s previously written editorial piece about the lack of clean drinking water in Canada’s communities. Sutherland has never had clean water running into his home. This is a sad case for countless communities throughout the country. Countless communities throughout Canada are under water advisories.

Keep up to date on Short-term drinking water advisories including Boiled Water Advisories (BWA), Do Not Use Advisory (DNU), and Do Not Consume (DNC). There are also numerous long-term drinking water advisories available here.

“For his entire 44-year-old life, he has had to collect clean drinking water from elsewhere. When he was younger, his family used to draw water straight from the river. These days, Attawapiskat has two dispensaries where families access drinking water,” reads a press release from Sutherland.

This prompted Sutherland to write a song in response. Coming from a very personal place, Sutherland is using his platform to send a message about this issue.

“At almost the exact same moment, insensitive comments about water from a thoughtless politician in Ottawa sparked massive public outcry, and national media coverage. Politician Man, a song that speaks to Canada’s troubled relationship with First Nations, was Sutherland’s response.”

“The relationship between Canada and First Nations has been difficult for a long time, and in many ways, it still is,” continues Sutherland Politician Man is about this relationship, and the need for all of us – politicians, chiefs, Indigenous people, all people – to start listening to each other, and move past the blaming. We all need to do our part to make real change happen. That’s the message behind Politician Man.”

About The Music Video

The music video portion was created by Justin Stephenson, an acclaimed animator and filmmaker and produced by RoseAnna Schick. produced and engineered by Carl Jennings in Hamilton, Ontario, this is a fantastic masterpiece of a music video. Not only that, but it’s also been screened in over 20 film international festivals gaining several rewards including the following.

🎥 Yorkton Film Festival – Best Performing Arts & Entertainment – Jun 18, 2020   

🎞️ Moving Parts Film Festival – Best Music Video – Sep 26, 2020  

📹 Indie Shorts Buenos Aires & Indie Shorts Miami – Best Music Video – Dec 8, 2020

📽️ Phoenix International Short Film Festival – Best Music Video – Jan 4, 2021  

🎬 London Music Video Festival – Best Music Video – Jul 1, 2021 

“Politician Man” by Adrian Sutherland is not only an impressive work of art but also an impressive message. Visit here to see how you can make a difference in your community. Keep up to date on the progress of the Canadian Government here. Write and send a letter to Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Tell him it’s time to end drinking water advisories in First Nations.

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Interviews Reviews Switching styles

Adele is topping charts with 30

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Adele Announced as Winner of IFPI’s Global All Format Album Chart with her new release of 30. Adele, the internationally known UK superstar tops both IFPI Global Album Sales Chart and IFPI Global Vinyl Album Chart in 2022.

This is an exciting countdown from artists across the globe. IFPI is an organization that represents the recorded music industry throughout the world. They have announced Adele’s 30 as the winner of the Global Album All Format Chart for 2021. That’s not all. Her album 30 tops the IFPI’s Global Album Sales Chart. It also charts the inaugural IFPI Global Vinyl Album Chart. That’s quite the achievement to say the very least. Check out her new album below!

30, is one of the most anticipated studio albums from 2021. There were others but none of them that had quite the impact. Adele released the album on 19 November 2021 after a six-year hiatus. 30 went on to reach #1 in over 20 global markets including the US. In America, 30 became Adele’s third album to be on top of the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

“It has been wonderful to have Adele back and releasing music over the second half of last year. Her dominance of all three IFPI Album Charts speaks to her unique songwriting talent, her iconic voice and unrelenting global popularity,” Frances Moore, the Chief Executive of IFPI, said, “We are thrilled to award Adele and all of her team the IFPI Global Album All Format chart award and send huge congratulations for a stellar year.” 

Top 10 Global Album All Format Chart 2021 

With Olivia Rodrigo’s SOUR at #2, The Kid LAROI’s F*CK LOVE (Mix Tape) at #7 and Doja Cat’s Planet Her at #10 this top album list has a little bit of everything.

RANKARTISTALBUM
1Adele30
2Olivia RodrigoSOUR
3Justin BieberJustice
4Ed Sheeran=
5The WeekndAfter Hours
6Dua LipaFuture Nostalgia
7The Kid LAROIF*CK LOVE (Mix Tape)
8ABBAVoyage
9Morgan WallenDangerous: The Double Album
10Doja CatPlanet Her

(Source: IFPI) 

Top 10 Global Album Sales Chart 2021

The Global Album Sales Chart highlights the continuing importance of globalization with the sales of, K-Pop stars BTS (#4) and SEVENTEEN. Then the Japanese group Snow Man’s first studio album Snow Mania S1 charted at #9. 

RANKARTISTALBUM
1Adele30
2ABBAVoyage
3SEVENTEENAttacca
4BTSBTS, THE BEST
5Ed Sheeran=
6Justin BieberJustice
7Taylor SwiftRed (Taylor’s Version)
8SEVENTEENYour Choice
9Snow ManSnow Mania S1
10Taylor SwiftFearless (Taylor’s Version)

(Source: IFPI)

Top 10 Global Vinyl Album Chart 2021

The first-ever Adele tops Global Vinyl Album Chart. This chart was, introduced to reflect the continued robust growth of the vinyl format. It’s achieved a kind of traction that’s not going away anytime soon. The chart represents a diverse mix of old and new albums including Fleetwood Mac (#3), The Beatles (#7), Nirvana (#8) and Pink Floyd (#9) charting right alongside those from Olivia Rodrigo with SOUR (#4) and Billie Eilish (#5). 

RANKARTISTALBUM
1Adele30
2Harry StylesFine Line
3Fleetwood MacRumours
4Olivia RodrigoSOUR
5Billie EilishHappier Than ever
6Taylor SwiftRed (Taylor’s Version)
7The BeatlesAbbey Road
8NirvanaNevermind
9Pink FloydThe Dark Side of The Moon
10Taylor Swiftevermore

(Source: IFPI)

Who is the IFPI?

The IFPI is known as the voice of the recording industry worldwide. They are an organization that represents over 8,000 record company members across the world. As a group, they have quite the motto; They are dedicated to promoting the value of music, as well as campaigning for the rights of record producers, and overall expanding the commercial use of music worldwide.

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Follow the IFPI on @IFPI_Org on Twitter and IFPI_Org on Instagram.

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Covers Interviews Parodies Remixes Reviews Switching styles

The Impact of Music on Your Mental and Physical Health and Energy

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Whether you’re aware of it or not, there is an impact of music on Your Mental and Physical Health and Energy. This guest post was written by By Jessa Brooke.

Music makes you feel, a slew of emotions that sometimes depend on your mood but also can depend solely on the music we listen to. Have you ever been driving and a fast-paced song starts to play and before you know it, you are speeding or zipping around a little faster? If so, you are certainly not alone! Why does music make us feel a certain way? Is it our emotions, the words of the song, or the beat?

While all of these things can impact how a song makes us feel, there are also other factors at play. Have you ever considered the frequency the music is playing on or the vibrations from the sounds in the song? The vibration and frequency of music are just as important as the words and beat. Especially when we begin to look at the impact of the song on our emotions and energy.

Photo by Aline Viana Prado on Pexels.com

When a slow song comes on during a workout, it has the potential to slow you down and even cause a distraction while you try to change to something more up to the speed you are working at. This has a lot to do with the beats per minute (BPM), as BPM increases, our heart rate increases. The vibrations from the tunes cycle through your speakers and vibrate your eardrums, causing a physical response. Have you ever listened to lower BPM music before bed to help you relax? It has a similar, although reverse, effect. The increase or decrease in vibration creates sensations in our bodies and also prompts a response in our brain. Another interesting aspect of vibration can be found at concerts, or when subwoofers are used for listening to music. The lower vibration music creates a deep bass that you can actually feel vibrating through your body. Sometimes it even takes your breath away! Think about a concert that you’ve gone to, where you were closer to the speakers. Do you remember feeling the vibration as the music pulsed through your body? It is a powerful feeling, isn’t it? Music and the vibrations that we feel from the beats in songs have a physical and energetic impact on us. However, frequency has an even bigger impact on our energy, and you might be surprised to learn that it can actually impact us physically as well.

Photo by Anna Tarazevich on Pexels.com

Frequency is very interesting and is within every sound we perceive and even exists in such high and low ranges that we cannot hear them. The low end of the frequency spectrum is called infrasound. Infrasound is inaudible at certain levels (typically a human can detect tones as low as 12 Hertz) and can cause physical damage around 4-8 Hz or lower. Different parts of the human body resonate at their own frequency, for example, your eyeball holds the frequency of 19 Hz.

There is an interesting story called Ghosts in the Machine that discusses the physical effects of this frequency on vision as documented in a laboratory by several technicians. Another fun fact about frequency is that music was once set at 432 Hz as a standard for production but has since changed to 440 Hz since an adjustment in the early 1900s. The reasoning behind this is highly speculated, and a lot of countries still use 432 Hz as their standard for tuning instruments. Higher frequency sounds are said to have a lot of benefits on our physical and emotional well-being, for instance, 639 Hz is said to help with communication, relationships, and love (associated with the heart chakra and the colour green). There are a lot of options online for listening to music tuned to higher frequencies and sound baths are a great example of ways to experience the effects in person. Typically, a sound bath will include various instruments such as a gong, bells, chimes, and sound bowls. Some sound bowl sets have bowls tuned to several higher frequencies, and you can find great examples of these sound baths as produced by Dynasty Electrik. Another example of how frequency sounds are used for healing and/or changes in the body are binaural beats or subliminal sounds, although subliminal sounds are typically affirmations spoken at very low levels rather than a specific frequency, they can be combined for powerful results. It is easy to see the impact frequencies can have on our mental and physical well-being just from these few examples.

The next time you turn up your favourite song, pay attention to all the sensations you are feeling. From the words to the vibration, and if you venture to test out different frequency sounds, notice how you feel afterwards. Experiment with headphones versus a home stereo or even a sound system with a subwoofer.

If you ever feel like your mood or energy is taking a little dip, find a 20–30-minute 528 Hz song that you can play in the background while you clean, drive, or work. There are even 8–9-hour songs you can find on YouTube and listen to while you sleep, just be sure for these you focus on relaxing, healing, and energy clearing. You might have some interesting dreams if you listen to a frequency that is trying to help you get amped up! Music has so many great benefits and we can all attest to the effects a great song can have on our mood. Now you can take this newfound knowledge and experiment for different effects. Oh, and a sound bath is always a great idea! If you are new to the effects of frequency healing, a Sound Bath Is A Great Way To Relax And Enjoy A New Wave Of Sounds To Lift Your Energy.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

High Vibing Songs

Here are some amazing songs that provided a much-needed boost with a positive impact on your mind body and soul.

“Silent Night Sound Bath” By  Dynasty Electrik

Forest Bathing” By Dynasty Electrik

“174 + 285 + 396 + 417 + 528 + 693 + 741 + 852 + 963 Hz Frequency Mix” By Walk Ower 121

Sound Bath – Pure Frequency Specific Sound Baths | 30 Minutes Each Chakra” By Healing Vibrations

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Interviews Reviews

Featuring Adan Meza

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Adan Meza is a Chicago-based musician with academic history.

Introduction To Adan Meza

As a proud Latin, Chicago native, and pre-service teacher, he didn’t start as a musician.

“I didn’t consider myself a musician” he explained. Although he was friends with many musicians growing up, it never quite stuck with him. Until one day, it did.

Adan is a relatively new musician. Adan began as a musician about 2-3 years ago. It wasn’t until 2015, that he started creating music. Starting his music career 2 – 3 years ago, he’s gained online traction with the band “Almost There But Not Really” between 2017. He’s shined as their bassist.

Recently, he left them to focus on his projects. He learned more about himself and more about the art of music itself.

Adan M. Music Key Projects to Date

Current projects that he’s working on include continuing his studies at the University of Illinois Chicago, as well as teaching bass to music students. As a bassist teacher, he’s bringing a lot of experience and expertise to the next generation of musicians.

Though Simbi, he’s teaching people from all around the world with topics including proper playing technique, the names of notes on the fretboard, practicing short basslines and finally digging into the scales.  Using Ariane Cap’s Music Theory for the bass player as a base, he brings his expertise and simple music theory to each of his lessons. One of those lessons is even available on switching styles. One of these lessons is published right here on Switching Styles!

As a bassist, he considers it an important part of any song. There is a difference between the guitar and the bass. For the rhythm of a song, “bass and drums are so monumental.”

Adan Meza’s Academic Journey

Bass lessons aren’t the only thing that Meza does with his time. Meza brings forth his experience and his heritage into all his projects. He has quite a range of experience beyond that of a musician with experience as a debate coach at Chicago public schools, a volunteer assistant at neighbourhood schools program at the University of Chicago and a graduate student that studied international studies at the University of Chicago.

He’s also a graduate student at the University of Illinois Chicago and the college of liberal arts and sciences. He currently has his B.A. in international studies from the University of Chicago and MAT history program with an expected completion of fall 2021.

“I grew up on the southwest side of Chicago and attended Chicago public schools before studying at the University of Chicago. I saw history as a way to explore my cultural roots as a Mexican American and now I hope to use it as a tool for advocacy. My love for teaching developed during my time in the neighbourhood schools’ program where I tutored primary school students,” Adan Meza explains in a bio.

“In 2015, I became the debate coach and head tutor at king college prep before going abroad on a Fulbright in 2017. Before starting my mat program in the fall of 2019, I finished working as a student advocate at Malcolm x college under gear up. I am now sponsored by growing your own Illinois which helps students of colour become students in high need areas. I hope to teach in a public school back in my neighbourhood, so I can contribute back to my community.” continues a bio from the university.

Final Thoughts; What’s Next for Adan Meza?

Keep up to date on his upcoming projects via his online presence on LinkedIn, or Simbi.

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Interviews

Disc Golf Newcomers Welcome

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Edmonton, AB – Compared to many sports, disc golf has some of the lowest barriers to entry across Canada. This has contributed to its quick growth.

From 2019 to 2020 alone, there’s been a 33% increase in disc golf games according to Udisc, a mainstream disc golf scoring app and PDGA. That’s not all, according to PDGA’s Annual Report, there are over 53k members worldwide with over 70k in 2020.

There are many reasons for its recent boost in popularity. Disc golf is a wonderful game. It’s a competitive sport that has low barriers to entry, increased accessibility, socially distancing, and noncontact.

Photograph by Jeffrey of Flickr

For those that aren’t familiar with the sport, its name is spot on. Its rules are similar to golf except instead of golf balls and clubs, there are discs or frisbees. Just like golf, the objective is to get the disc in the targe, or the hole in as few tries as possible.

Disc golf has gained popularity throughout Alberta at the start of the pandemic and has exploded in popularity since. Now new and returning players are needing a course to play. There are over 8,000 disc golf courses worldwide, with more being installed every day. Finding a game of great and local disc golf can be difficult depending on your location. There are several organizations throughout southern Alberta, as well as community groups that host the games.

The PDGA has a huge database of disc golf courses with thousands of them throughout the entire globe. In terms of Alberta, there are over 60 different courses spread throughout the province.

The sport itself is low cost, minimal risk, and low difficulty. With all of that in mind, it’s no wonder that the player base has increased so much in such a brief time. Especially in Alberta, this is an increasingly popular sport like golf but utilizes frisbees or discs instead.

Tim Plamondon of the president of the Edmonton disc golf association explains, “that’s how I would describe it. At the end of the day and it’s just golf and anyone majority of people know golf and understand conceptually what it is. You whack a ball into a hole.”

Plamondon explains that it’s a wonderful and open community. It’s a trait he’s certainly seen displayed on the field.

“It’s extremely common to compete with people who are also boosting you as you play. Disc golf is a sport where everyone wants everyone to succeed,” says Plamondon.

Disc Golf Parodies

Here are some musical parodies about disc golf to get you in the mood to start this new sport.

“Disc Golf King” By Bizzair (Profanity Warning)
“Winnebago” By Vally & Rocket
“I Hit A Tree Again” By Back Of The Box Disc Golf
“Sound Of Silence” Disc Golf Parody By Isadg
 “Disc In The Trees” By Discgolfmonkeys
“Paired In Dubs” A “Wicked Game” Disc Golf Parody By Montcalm Gems

Final Thoughts

Check out the Calgary Disc Golf Club Events, as well as these additional databases, Disc Golf United Course LocatorUdisc Course DirectoryPDGA Course Directory, or DG Course Review, to find a disc golf course nearby you.