My name is Brendan Ratliff. I provide original, high quality soundtracks and scores for all types of new and conventional media – video games, film, TV, radio and interactive AV. As a life-long musician and experienced composer/producer, I take particular pride in my ability to employ authentic techniques and instrumentation thanks to my ground-level involvement in some of today’s most cutting-edge subcultural art scenes. These skills, combined with more traditional expertise, allow me to work with clients and collaborators in such a way that their requirements are met and their projects are lent a unique and evocative bearing.
- I compose music for games, film and radio as Echolevel, and in the demoscene/8bit/chipmusic underground as Syphus.
See some examples here.
- I’ve performed live chipmusic, electronic music and traditional Irish music around the world and occasionally, when there’s time, I still do! I play fiddle, piano, guitar, bass, flute, tin whistles, mandolin, bodhrán and various other instruments – live and as a recording artist. You can often catch me playing in Irish/Scottish trad sessions or for céilís in and around Newcastle, or playing synths in industrial synthpop band Outsight. Formative experiences playing in blues, metal and punk bands of varying quality lurk in my past – no regrets, though!
Also: father, husband, food eater/cooker, music listener, pen+paper roleplay gamer, synth twiddler, obsolete computer meddler, gardening avoider, energy drink abuser and car upholstery despoiler.
After my family bought a Commodore Amiga when I was 9, I began to devour the amazing audio/visual material produced by the Amiga
Demoscene and started making my own music using tracker
software. As underground art scenes go, the Demoscene was (and still is!) THE one. Music, graphics and code – all art for
art’s sake – was shared freely, long before Creative Commons or mp3 netlabels and usually by floppy disk in the
schoolyard. By the time I hit my twenties, so-called ’8bit’ music was having another renaissance and kids were
suddenly going mad for retro, videogame-influenced chipmusic – the sort I’d been listening to and making all my
life! Well for a fun few years, I saddled up my Amiga, slung a vintage keytar around my neck and blasted out my chiptunes live
to audiences all over the UK, parts of Europe and New York’s awesome Blip Festival as
Syphus. Most of my Syphus material is available online for free, just like in the old days :)
(Second and third photos by Marjorie Becker)