Rabbits Full of Magic

23 February 2015

 

Cult Hit

I am doing research for a videogame I am making called Super Madrigal Bros., which is based in medieval times. Mostly this is Googling images of Renaissance and Baroque paintings, opening them in Photoshop, and cutting out parts that look interesting, filing them in a folder for later. Today I ended up in a Wikipedia wormhole about someone who is definitely going to be in this game:

Paracelsus was born Philippus Aureolus Theophrastus Bombastus von Hohenheim in 1493, the son of a Swiss German chemist and physician. By age 16 he was considered a prodigy in Alchemical studies and began started studying medicine at the University of Basel, moved to Vienna, and eventually finished schooling at the University of Ferrara when he was 25. Thus began a charmed life of travelling -- first around Europe, attempting to hold official positions. He considered himself a Revolutionary, and publicly criticized traditional methods while rebelling at authority. "All they can do is gaze at piss", he sneered.

This won him many enemies and his cantankerous nature led the rest of his life to be spent travelling. He travelled around Europe as a Plague Doctor, at a time when trained physicians stayed out of that profession. Indeed, he displayed a lifelong commitment to the impoverished and suffering, of which there were many. Europe experienced nearly half a millenia of plague outbreaks occuring once a generation, and the population was consistently devastated.

One of his contributions to science was considering the health of a person as result of something bad ingested from food or the air, rather than the Four Humors of Hippocratic Medicine which were commonly accepted at the time. He devised a tincture of opium that became widely used for hundreds of years, primarily as a cough suppressant (it is related to codeine). This substance and others were packed into the beak of a strange mask, resulting in the surreal bird-like costume of the Plague Doctors. Doctors began wearing these outfits while attending to plague victims, so much so that the sight of one could terrify an unsuspecting villager. The sight of a plague doctor foretold nothing less than a local apocalypse.

It is difficult to consider this kind of life, from the 21st century. The plague continued to decimate Europe until the 20th century, and medical practices were for a long time unable to have any positive effect whatsoever. In the face of such hopelessness I'm sure any success, however incidental to procedure, would be seen as a sign of hope. If the plague doctors were powerful enough to inspire fear (their presence so often coinciding with the plague) no doubt their powers were looked up to, however fanciful. A successful plague doctor was tirelessly self-promoting, perhaps not adverse to inventing an Initiation to Grand Mysteries upon visiting an exotic location. Certainly if you were travelling around Europe, surviving while watching thousands of people die around you, granted the anonymity of a mask, and intoxicated on potent narcotic mixtures you yourself were experimenting with, you would have quite a high opinion of yourself!

In 1526 he bought the rights of citizenship in Strasbourg to establish his own practice. But soon after he was called to Basel to the sickbed of Johann Froben or Frobenius, a successful printer and publisher. Based on historical accounts, Paracelsus cured Frobenius.

Paracelsus was one of the first medical professors to recognize that physicians required a solid academic knowledge in the natural sciences, especially chemistry. Furthermore, he allowed for the access of medical academic work to learned people. Surgeons for example often were not academically trained and ranked with the barbers and butchers in the same guild.

Paracelsus is also a folk legend, and bizarre tales about his life circulated Central Europe for centuries. In the minds of many, he became a wonder-healer and spiritual protector of health. His aid to villages during the plague in the 16th century was for many an act of heroism, his works and achievements therefore often abused and falsely copied.

While attending the sick bed of Frobenius (see above), Erasmus of Rotterdam witnessed the curative powers of Paracelsus' therapy. Deeply impressed by his skills, he must have recommended him to his humanist friends at the University of Basel, one of the most progressive schools at that time. Paracelsus' contact with Erasmus also initiated a letter dialogue between them.

He died at the age of 47 in Salzburg, and his remains were buried according to his wishes in the cemetery at the church of St. Sebastian in Salzburg. His remains are now located in a tomb in the porch of that church.

After his death, the movement of Paracelsianism was seized upon by many wishing to subvert the traditional Galenic physics, and his therapies became more widely known and used.

His motto was "Alterius non sit qui suus esse potest" which means "Let no man belong to another who can belong to himself." -- Wikipedia


 

Digital Baroque

Had a huge brainstorm last weekend and decided to make a Super Madrigal Bros. videogame. If you don't know, SMB was a chiptune band started by Momus in 2001. I had been working on electronic music based on Gameboy samples for an album dedicated to Bjork (I was ~18) and impressed him with a demo enough to qualify for a spot in the duo, which was a conceptual idea he had had that was really quite flexible and naturally put together. I think at one point he may have even been singing, but he was organizing a tour and running a label and this was perhaps a concept he could have followed through had he not had all of that to deal with in addition to being an brilliant post-rock pervert DIY David Bowie. At any rate we put out an album and went on a tour in 2002 across the USA with three other additions to his personal label American Patchwork, inspired by Harry Smith-style and eclectic electronic folk people like Bruce Haack. The additional bands were Rroland, Phiiliip, and The Gongs, who all released some of my favorite music of all time during this period. Phiiliip was described as an electroclash version of early Beck, and had a Van Dyke Parks-meets-T-Rex thing going for him. He brought along some of the dancers from Fischerspooner and they performed during our sets in the New York shows. The Gongs were like third-album Velvet Underground-meets-The Incredible String Band, and they all played custom-made instruments with silly names like The Chucky, or a home-build drum machine made from a log found in Lake Eerie. Peter Blasser still makes futuristic analog-electro-acoustic instruments at http://www.ciat-lonbarde.net/. Rroland joined us for some dates in California, where he was a cool married middle-aged man (to us teenagers) who played amazing bubbly synth landscape expressions of his past lives. All incredible stuff.

Anyways back to the videogame I am making. The original idea was to use old art, because during the reign of SMB (2002-2004?) I made a great deal of sprite art, stills for websites, video art, etc, and of course we had all these songs and sounds and remixes and stuff. Plus it would have that pixel look that people love. I mean, I love that stuff, who doesn't. But my HD wouldn't work! I plugged it in and it said "File system not recognized."!!! It asked me if I wanted to format!!!

Fear not, I figured it out, cos I am a huge nerd who knows to how hack RAW file systems. Luckily that means my entire life's worth, all the music I have recorded, all the bands I have played with, all the videos I have made, have not been lost! That's kind of cool.

Transferring everything will take hours, probably all night long, so I can't access any of that stuff until my computer finishes up. It doesn't matter, I have this inspiration, I have wanted to make a videogame for a long time but just never had the right spark, so here I go. I have access to Unity and am programming in that, which is nice because (1) it has some great youtube tutorials and (2) can output to more or less any format, from Windows and OSX to Android and iPhone and even PS3/4, and the XBones. Nintendo is still out of reach but that's ok, they are wizards from the future and I wouldn't want to dilute their magic.

By the end of this week I aim to have a demo up for download. It probably will not be much, maybe a half dozen screens worth of level design that is mostly just pretty backgrounds layered on top of each other like a diorama. At first the desire was there to make a Castlevania clone, but the more I think about it the more I think it should be about exploring these strange lands and listening to this strange music instead. There can be enemies, but maybe they can hurt you but you can't hurt them. The game controller has a really sophisticated physics system built in, so I think you could build sliding puzzles or something. I don't know, I'm still learning. Right now there is a main character, who can walk left and right, and who has 2 different jumps with a single button. The sprite flips horizontally when you move from right to left and back again, so it does not look like he is moonwalking. There is a camera and it follows your movements, which is handy. The ground is a bit from a painting stretched out and colored green, it's only a placeholder. The background is from an idyllic landscape by Salvator Rosa, and the main character is from a Jan van Eyck, both Renaissance painters. I am not sure I will stick to this style the whole time or if the whole thing is going to be a mishmash of styles. I really want to do pixel art so there may be some levels like that. I also am interested in incorporating woodcuts, because lots of important books and grimoires from that time period used those. Then again since I'm digitizing it I may as well color and shade them myself. As you can see, I have my work cut out! I think art/sound is going to be 90% of this game!

Stay Tuned


Archives

Mar 1, 2007   Mar 4, 2007   Mar 15, 2007   Mar 18, 2007   Mar 27, 2007   Apr 4, 2007   Apr 5, 2007   Apr 7, 2007   Apr 11, 2007   Apr 14, 2007   Apr 18, 2007   Apr 20, 2007   Aug 8, 2008   Aug 12, 2008   Aug 16, 2008   Aug 17, 2008   Aug 20, 2008   Aug 21, 2008   Aug 22, 2008   Aug 25, 2008   Aug 29, 2008   Sep 2, 2008   Sep 6, 2008   Sep 19, 2008   Sep 28, 2008   Sep 30, 2008   Oct 1, 2008   Oct 9, 2008   Oct 16, 2008   Oct 21, 2008   Nov 1, 2008   Nov 12, 2008   Nov 13, 2008   Nov 18, 2008   Nov 19, 2008   Nov 22, 2008   Nov 29, 2008   Dec 2, 2008   Dec 8, 2008   Dec 9, 2008   Dec 19, 2008   Jan 5, 2009   Jan 8, 2009   Jan 14, 2009   Jan 16, 2009   Jan 17, 2009   Jan 18, 2009   Jan 21, 2009   Jan 24, 2009   Jan 25, 2009   Feb 2, 2009   Feb 4, 2009   Feb 8, 2009   Feb 9, 2009   Feb 11, 2009   Feb 15, 2009   Feb 16, 2009   Feb 19, 2009   Feb 21, 2009   Feb 23, 2009   Feb 24, 2009   Feb 25, 2009   Mar 1, 2009   Mar 2, 2009   Mar 5, 2009   Mar 12, 2009   Mar 14, 2009   Mar 16, 2009   Mar 19, 2009   Mar 20, 2009   Mar 23, 2009   Mar 26, 2009   Mar 29, 2009   Apr 1, 2009   Apr 2, 2009   Apr 7, 2009   Apr 8, 2009   Apr 11, 2009   Apr 13, 2009   Apr 15, 2009   Apr 20, 2009   Apr 22, 2009   Apr 23, 2009   Apr 25, 2009   Apr 29, 2009   May 3, 2009   May 13, 2009   May 16, 2009   May 18, 2009   May 21, 2009   May 22, 2009   May 23, 2009   May 26, 2009   May 27, 2009   May 30, 2009   May 31, 2009   Jun 1, 2009   Jun 3, 2009   Jun 6, 2009   Jun 7, 2009   Jun 11, 2009   Jun 14, 2009   Jun 18, 2009   Jun 23, 2009   Jun 24, 2009   Jun 25, 2009   Jun 27, 2009   Jul 2, 2009   Jul 3, 2009   Jul 7, 2009   Jul 16, 2009   Jul 19, 2009   Jul 20, 2009   Jul 23, 2009   Jul 25, 2009   Jul 26, 2009   Jul 29, 2009   Aug 2, 2009   Aug 5, 2009   Aug 7, 2009   Aug 8, 2009   Aug 15, 2009   Aug 20, 2009   Aug 22, 2009   Aug 27, 2009   Sep 1, 2009   Sep 4, 2009   Sep 6, 2009   Sep 8, 2009   Sep 13, 2009   Sep 17, 2009   Sep 22, 2009   Sep 27, 2009   Sep 30, 2009   Oct 2, 2009   Oct 6, 2009   Oct 13, 2009   Oct 17, 2009   Oct 19, 2009   Oct 28, 2009   Oct 30, 2009   Nov 1, 2009   Nov 2, 2009   Nov 4, 2009   Nov 10, 2009   Nov 15, 2009   Nov 19, 2009   Nov 23, 2009   Nov 24, 2009   Nov 25, 2009   Nov 27, 2009   Nov 30, 2009   Dec 3, 2009   Dec 8, 2009   Dec 13, 2009   Dec 15, 2009   Dec 18, 2009   Dec 23, 2009   Dec 24, 2009   Jan 1, 2010   Jan 2, 2010   Jan 3, 2010   Jan 4, 2010   Jan 6, 2010   Jan 7, 2010   Jan 11, 2010   Jan 19, 2010   Jan 24, 2010   Jan 29, 2010   Jan 30, 2010   Jan 31, 2010   Feb 1, 2010   Feb 4, 2010   Feb 5, 2010   Feb 8, 2010   Feb 12, 2010   Feb 13, 2010   Feb 14, 2010   Feb 15, 2010   Feb 22, 2010   Feb 23, 2010   Feb 26, 2010   Feb 28, 2010   Mar 5, 2010   Mar 6, 2010   Mar 8, 2010   Mar 9, 2010   Mar 12, 2010   Mar 13, 2010   Mar 14, 2010   Mar 18, 2010   Mar 20, 2010   Mar 25, 2010   Mar 28, 2010   Mar 29, 2010   Mar 30, 2010   Apr 1, 2010   Apr 6, 2010   Apr 9, 2010   Apr 16, 2010   Apr 18, 2010   Apr 23, 2010   Apr 28, 2010   May 1, 2010   May 2, 2010   May 3, 2010   May 5, 2010   May 6, 2010   May 12, 2010   May 13, 2010   May 15, 2010   May 17, 2010   May 24, 2010   May 27, 2010   May 30, 2010   Jun 3, 2010   Jun 7, 2010   Jun 8, 2010   Jun 9, 2010   Jun 10, 2010   Jun 14, 2010   Jun 16, 2010   Jun 17, 2010   Jun 18, 2010   Jun 20, 2010   Jun 21, 2010   Jun 22, 2010   Jun 24, 2010   Jun 25, 2010   Jun 26, 2010   Jun 27, 2010   Jun 29, 2010   Jun 30, 2010   Jul 4, 2010   Jul 5, 2010   Jul 8, 2010   Jul 9, 2010   Jul 11, 2010   Jul 12, 2010   Jul 13, 2010   Jul 15, 2010   Jul 19, 2010   Jul 21, 2010   Jul 23, 2010   Jul 26, 2010   Jul 29, 2010   Jul 30, 2010   Aug 8, 2010   Aug 13, 2010   Aug 14, 2010   Aug 20, 2010   Aug 21, 2010   Aug 27, 2010   Sep 1, 2010   Sep 9, 2010   Sep 15, 2010   Sep 17, 2010   Sep 24, 2010   Sep 27, 2010   Oct 2, 2010   Oct 3, 2010   Oct 4, 2010   Oct 8, 2010   Oct 11, 2010   Oct 21, 2010   Oct 22, 2010   Oct 28, 2010   Oct 29, 2010   Nov 1, 2010   Nov 6, 2010   Nov 12, 2010   Nov 13, 2010   Nov 17, 2010   Nov 22, 2010   Nov 25, 2010   Nov 27, 2010   Dec 5, 2010   Dec 8, 2010   Dec 10, 2010   Dec 14, 2010   Dec 22, 2010   Dec 25, 2010   Jan 4, 2011   Jan 5, 2011   Jan 11, 2011   Jan 12, 2011   Jan 16, 2011   Jan 17, 2011   Jan 18, 2011   Jan 22, 2011   Jan 23, 2011   Jan 25, 2011   Jan 26, 2011   Feb 1, 2011   Feb 14, 2011   Feb 15, 2011   Feb 18, 2011   Feb 19, 2011   Feb 21, 2011   Feb 24, 2011   Mar 25, 2011   Mar 26, 2011   Mar 27, 2011   Mar 28, 2011   Mar 31, 2011   Apr 4, 2011   Apr 8, 2011   Apr 14, 2011   Apr 19, 2011   Apr 20, 2011   Apr 24, 2011   May 7, 2011   May 16, 2011   May 17, 2011   May 19, 2011   May 20, 2011   May 22, 2011   May 23, 2011   May 24, 2011   Jun 1, 2011   Jun 14, 2011   Jun 16, 2011   Jun 23, 2011   Jun 29, 2011   Jul 16, 2011   Aug 5, 2011   Aug 9, 2011   Aug 10, 2011   Aug 11, 2011   Aug 19, 2011   Aug 20, 2011   Aug 24, 2011   Aug 25, 2011   Sep 6, 2011   Sep 11, 2011   Sep 20, 2011   Sep 28, 2011   Oct 12, 2011   Nov 6, 2011   Dec 1, 2011   Dec 3, 2011   Dec 9, 2011   Dec 21, 2011   Jan 3, 2012   Jan 4, 2012   Jan 10, 2012   Jan 11, 2012   Jan 21, 2012   Jan 23, 2012   Jan 25, 2012   Feb 1, 2012   Feb 6, 2012   Feb 13, 2012   Feb 14, 2012   Feb 17, 2012   Feb 22, 2012   Feb 24, 2012   Feb 27, 2012   Feb 29, 2012   Mar 5, 2012   Mar 8, 2012   Mar 11, 2012   Mar 17, 2012   Mar 22, 2012   Mar 27, 2012   Mar 31, 2012   Apr 4, 2012   Apr 6, 2012   Apr 8, 2012   Apr 10, 2012   Apr 13, 2012   Apr 17, 2012   May 4, 2012   May 6, 2012   May 30, 2012   Jun 5, 2012   Jun 11, 2012   Jun 13, 2012   Jun 20, 2012   Jun 29, 2012   Jul 1, 2012   Jul 16, 2012   Jul 18, 2012   Aug 6, 2012   Aug 8, 2012   Aug 10, 2012   Aug 12, 2012   Aug 22, 2012   Aug 24, 2012   Sep 10, 2012   Sep 11, 2012   Sep 22, 2012   Sep 28, 2012   Oct 5, 2012   Oct 18, 2012   Nov 12, 2012   Nov 13, 2012   Nov 20, 2012   Dec 9, 2012   Dec 17, 2012   Dec 20, 2012   Jan 4, 2013   Jan 9, 2013   Jan 11, 2013   Jan 13, 2013   Jan 19, 2013   Jan 20, 2013   Jan 30, 2013   Feb 1, 2013   Feb 4, 2013   Feb 7, 2013   Feb 9, 2013   Feb 18, 2013   Feb 22, 2013   Mar 1, 2013   Mar 12, 2013   Mar 21, 2013   Mar 26, 2013   Apr 1, 2013   Apr 3, 2013   Apr 18, 2013   Apr 22, 2013   Apr 27, 2013   Jun 18, 2013   Jun 27, 2013   Jul 4, 2013   Jul 7, 2013   Jul 8, 2013   Jul 11, 2013   Jul 15, 2013   Jul 22, 2013   Aug 11, 2013   Aug 23, 2013   Aug 27, 2013   Sep 5, 2013   Sep 10, 2013   Sep 14, 2013   Sep 19, 2013   Sep 30, 2013   Oct 23, 2013   Oct 27, 2013   Nov 21, 2013   Dec 7, 2013   Dec 17, 2013   Jan 1, 2014   Jan 2, 2014   Jan 5, 2014   Jan 9, 2014   Jan 15, 2014   Jan 16, 2014   Jan 23, 2014   Jan 28, 2014   Jan 29, 2014   Jan 30, 2014   Feb 8, 2014   Feb 11, 2014   Feb 14, 2014   Feb 17, 2014   Feb 22, 2014   Mar 9, 2014   Mar 18, 2014   Mar 20, 2014   Mar 28, 2014   Apr 6, 2014   Apr 8, 2014   Apr 16, 2014   Apr 21, 2014   May 1, 2014   May 5, 2014   May 15, 2014   May 17, 2014   Jun 1, 2014   Jun 4, 2014   Jun 12, 2014   Jun 13, 2014   Jun 30, 2014   Jul 25, 2014   Aug 9, 2014   Aug 20, 2014   Aug 27, 2014   Aug 29, 2014   Oct 1, 2014   Oct 14, 2014   Oct 25, 2014   Oct 27, 2014   Nov 4, 2014   Nov 28, 2014   Jan 2, 2015   Feb 1, 2015   Feb 15, 2015   Feb 19, 2015   Feb 23, 2015   Mar 4, 2015   Mar 5, 2015   Mar 9, 2015   Mar 11, 2015   Mar 13, 2015   Mar 22, 2015   Mar 29, 2015   Mar 30, 2015   Apr 12, 2015   May 1, 2015   May 15, 2015   May 25, 2015   Jun 8, 2015   Jun 10, 2015   Jun 24, 2015   Jun 25, 2015   Jul 25, 2015   Aug 14, 2015   Aug 25, 2015   Aug 28, 2015   Sep 25, 2015   Nov 18, 2015   Nov 21, 2015   Dec 22, 2015   Dec 26, 2015   Dec 31, 2015   Jan 11, 2016   Mar 19, 2016   May 1, 2016   Jun 11, 2016   Jul 9, 2016   Jul 19, 2016   Aug 18, 2016   Nov 11, 2016   Nov 19, 2016   Feb 20, 2017   Apr 20, 2017  

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Subscribe to Posts [Atom]