Music of Homestuck

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The 2009 webcomic Homestuck, written and drawn by Andrew Hussie, currently holds a soundtrack consisting of 30 digital albums. Besides static images, Homestuck makes use of flash animations and games, which often involve background music. The music of Homestuck is composed by fans, but is published by Hussie through his Bandcamp page under the What Pumpkin record label. Hussie established a small "Music Contribution Team" for the webcomic, which is coordinated by Toby Fox.

Production[edit]

The first piece of music ever featured on MS Paint Adventures was a fan-made title theme for Problem Sleuth, created by later-Slender: The Eight Pages-developer Mark J. Hadley.[2] While starting Homestuck, Andrew Hussie posted an open invitation for composers on the MS Paint Adventures forums. Clark Powell, the creator of the "Homestuck Anthem", responded to this call, becoming a member of the "Music Contribution Team".[1] Jeremy "Solatrus" Iamurri's work on Homestuck's music gave him the exposure needed to become a professional musician.[3]

After he posted various piano covers on a Homestuck fan forum, Hussie reached out to Toby Fox – who later went on to create the video game Undertale – to produce music for the webcomic's flash animations.[4][5] The song "Megalovania", which Fox initially composed for an EarthBound ROM hack titled The Halloween Hack in 2008, was used in Homestuck as well as Undertale.[6] Fox recounts that he set a goal for himself to get his music featured in the webcomic, predicting the direction the story would take and sending in music that would be relevant in the predicted situations. In an interview with Polygon, Fox said that "Over time I kind of established that I 'get' what [Hussie] wants pretty well," which eventually led him to the role of production coordinator for music.[2]

Hussie wrote on his Tumblr blog that he never gives artists or musicians context when requesting input, keeping his requests vague by only suggesting a change in tempo or the inclusion of a leitmotif. According to Fox, Hussie creates animations in Homestuck based on the music he receives rather than the other way around. He described this as the most rewarding aspect of creating music for the webcomic: "seeing what visuals he creates to go with the audio after imagining your own."[2]

The music of Homestuck is published through Hussie's own record label "What Pumpkin". With the music released on Bandcamp, payment is split between Hussie and the album creators. As the popularity of Homestuck rose, more fans requested to be on the Music Contribution Team; however, Hussie chose to keep the team a fixed size, and closed it to new members. Only team members are legally allowed to profit from Homestuck-related commissions.[1]

Fans of Homestuck have created a large amount of filk music based on the webcomic and its soundtrack. Aja Romano of The Huffington Post stated that Homestuck filk music is frequently paired with "skilled video editing," producing "wondrous results."[7][8][9]

Reception[edit]

Harper described Song of Skaia as a "cosmically soppy" album.[9]

Adam Harper of The Fader has described the music of Homestuck as "subtly evad[ing] genre, skipping through all kinds of sound worlds, seemingly guided more by emotion ... than form." He pointed at One Year Older and Song of Skaia as oddly mesmerizing albums. Furthermore, Harper described the digitally painted album artwork as "bizarre" and praised What Pumpkin's "weirdly great-looking" Bandcamp page.[9]

Reid Gacke of Only Single Player rated Toby Fox' "Megalovania" as one of the best video game songs in 2015, noting that it was initially part of the Homestuck soundtrack before being remastered for Undertale.[10] Gacke has also noted that Homestuck has "better video game music than many video games."[11]

Discography[edit]

34[a] albums were released on Bandcamp through the What Pumpkin record label, aggregating to 585[b] total tracks.[12]

Title Composer Release
Homestuck Vol. 1[a] Andrew Huo, Curt Blakeslee, George Buzinkai, Kevin Regamey, Malcolm Brown, Mark Hadley, and Michael Guy Bowman 9 August 2009
Homestuck Vol. 2[a] Bill Bolin, David Ko, Gabe Nezovic, George Buzinkai, Michael Guy Bowman, and Robert Blaker 14 December 2009
Homestuck Vol. 3[a] Bill Bolin, BurnedKirby, Curt Blakeslee, David Ko, Gabe Nezovic, Malcolm Brown, Michael Guy Bowman, and Nick Smalley 15 December 2009
Midnight Crew: Drawing Dead Alexander Rosetti, Andrew Huo, Clark "Plazmataz" Powell, David Ko, Gabe Nezovic, Hilary "Pie" Troiano, Ian Taylor, Kevin Regamey, Mark Hadley, Michael Guy Bowman, Robert J! Lake, and Toby "Radiation" Fox 4 February 2010
Homestuck Vol. 4[a] Andrew Huo, Bill Bolin, George Buzinkai, Malcolm Brown, Marcy "Shadolith" Nabors, Mark Hadley, Michael Guy Bowman, Robert J! Lake, and Toby "Radiation" Fox 13 April 2010
Homestuck Vol. 5 Alexander Rosetti, Andrew Huo, Clark "Plazmataz" Powell, David Ko, Erik "Jit" Scheele, Gabe Nezovic, Jared Micks[c], Jeremy "Solatrus" Iamurri, Mark Hadley, Micheal Guy Bowman, Perry Sullivan, Robert Blaker, Robert J! Lake, Seth "Beatfox" Peelle, Steve Everson, Toby "Radiation" Fox, and Tyler "Seppuku" Dever[d] 23 June 2010
Alternia Toby "Radiation" Fox 18 July 2010
Squiddles! Alexander Rosetti, David Ko, Erik "Jit" Scheele, Ian Taylor, Jeremy "Solatrus" Iamurri, Malcolm Brown, Mark Hadley, Michael Guy Bowman, Nick Smalley, Robert J! Lake, Seth "Beatfox" Peelle, Steve Everson, and Toby "Radiation" Fox 26 August 2010
The Felt Alexander Rosetti, Clark "Plazmataz" Powell, David Ko, Erik "Jit" Scheele, Jeremy "Solatrus" Iamurri, Mark Hadley, Robert J! Lake, Thomas "EidolonOrpheus" Ferkol, and Toby "Radiation" Fox 2 December 2010
Homestuck Vol. 6: Heir Transparent Alexander Rosetti, Clark "Plazmataz" Powell, David Ko, Erik "Jit" Scheele, Jeremy "Solatrus" Iamurri, Joren "Tensei" de Bruin, Mark Hadley, Michael Guy Bowman, Robert J! Lake, Seth "Beatfox" Peelle, and Toby "Radiation" Fox[e] 5 January 2011
Strife! Joren "Tensei" de Bruin 16 February 2011
Alterniabound Alexander Rosetti, David Ko, Erik "Jit" Scheele, Joren "Tensei" de Bruin, Malcolm Brown, Mark Hadley, Peter "abortedSlunk" Turner, Seat "Beatfox" Peelle, Thomas "EidolonOrpheus" Ferkol, and Toby "Radiation" Fox 14 March 2011
Medium Clark "Plazmataz" Powell 14 April 2011
Mobius Trip and Hadron Kaleido Michael Guy Bowman 31 May 2011
Homestuck Vol. 7: At the Price of Oblivion Clark "Plazmataz" Powell, Erik "Jit" Scheele, Joren "Tensei" de Bruin, Malcolm Brown, Mark Hadley, Michael Guy Bowman, Robert Blaker, Robert J! Lake, Thomas "EidolonOrpheus" Ferkol, and Toby "Radiation" Fox 31 May 2011
Sburb Tyler Dever 13 July 2011
The Wanderers Alexander Rosetti, David Ko, Erik "Jit" Scheele, Jeremy "Solatrus" Iamurri, Joren "Tensei" de Bruin, Malcolm Brown, Michael Guy Bowman, Nick Smalley, Robert J! Lake, Seth "Beatfox" Peelle, Steve Everson, Toby "Radiation" Fox, and Tyler Dever 14 July 2011
Prospit & Derse Jeremy "Solatrus" Iamurri 22 August 2011
Homestuck Vol. 1-4[a] Andrew Huo, BurnedKirby, Curt Blakeslee, David Ko, Gabe Nezovic, George Buzinkai, Kevin Regamey, Malcolm Brown, Marcy "Shadolith" Nabors, Mark Hadley, Michael Guy Bowman, Nick Smalley, Robert Blaker, Robert J! Lake, Steve Everson, and Toby "Radiation" Fox 24 October 2011
Homestuck Vol. 8 Clark "Plazmataz" Powell, David Ko, Erik "Jit" Scheele, Hilary "Pie" Troiano, Jeremy "Solatrus" Iamurri, John "Tensei" de Bruin, Malcolm Brown, Mark Hadley, Michael Guy Bowman, Nick Smalley, Robert J! Lake, Seth "Beatfox" Peelle, Svix, Thomas Ferkol, Toby "Radiation" Fox, and Tyler Dever[f] 25 October 2011
Song of Skaia Mark Hadley 1 January 2012
coloUrs and mayhem: Universe A Dallas Ross Hicks, David "Dirtiest" Dycus, DJ 最テー, Eston "silence" Schweickart, First Turn Fold, Frank Haught, Gec (Eligecos), Ian "MyUsernamesMud" White, James "soselfimportant" Roach, Kera L. Jones, Kevin "UWBW" Grant, Magnum (CharredAsperity), Marcus Carline, Max "Imbrog" Wright, Nathan "EbonHawk7x" H, Paul Tuttle Starr, Plumegeist, Rachael Macwhirter, Ray McDougall, repeatedScales, Samm Nieland, Sinister Psyche, Toby "Radiation" Fox, William Ascenzo, and Yan "Nucleose" Rodriguez 2 April 2012
coloUrs and mayhem: Universe B Brian Schaefer, David "Dirtiest" Dycus, David DeCou, David Ellis (A Lunatic's Daydream), Elaine "OJ" Wang, Elisa "Moony" McCabe, Elliot "TheLastBanana" Colp, Gabe "zorg" Stilez, Gec, Haunter, infiniteKnife, James "soselfimportant" Roach, Kris "Astarus" Flacke, Liam O'Donnell, Mai Yishan, Marcy "Shadolith" Nabors, Max "Imbrog" Wright, Maya Kern, Monobrow, Nathan "EbonHawk7x" H., Plumegeist, Ryan Ames, Shandy, Solarbear, The Black Curtain, Thomas Ibarra (AutoDevote, SparksD2145), Toby "Radiation" Fox, Tristan Scroggins, viaSatellite, and Will Kommor 13 April 2012
Homestuck Vol. 9 A Lunatic's Daydream, Alexander Rosetti, Astro Kid, Clark Powell, Erik "Jit" Scheele, George Buzinkai, Jeremy "Solatrus" Iamurri, Malcolm Brown, Mark Hadley, Michael Guy Bowman, Nick Smalley, Robert Blaker, Robert J! Lake, Seth "Beatfox" Peelle, Svix, Thomas Ferkol, Toby "Radiation" Fox, and Tyler Dever 12 June 2012
Symphony Impossible to Play Clark "Plazmataz" Powell 12 August 2012
One Year Older Erik "Jit" Scheele 15 August 2012
Genesis Frog Alexander Rosetti 23 October 2012
Cherubim Alexander Rosetti, Clark "Plazmataz" Powell, Erik "Jit" Scheele, Malcolm Brown, Michael Guy Bowman, Robert Blaker, Robert J! Lake, Thomas "EidolonOrpheus" Ferkol, and Toby "Radiation" Fox 14 April 2013
[S] Collide. Joren "Tensei" De Bruin, Malcolm Brown, Seth "Beatfox" Peelle, and Toby "Radiation" Fox 6 April 2016
Act 7 Clark Powell and Toby Fox[13] 13 April 2016
Homestuck Vol. 10 Alexander Rosetti, Astro Kid, Clark Powell, Curt Blakeslee, David "Dirtiest" Dycus, Ducksual, Erik Scheele, George Buzinkai, Kalibration, Luke Benjamins, Malcolm Brown, Marcy Nabors, Mark Hadley, Max Wright, Michael Guy Bowman, Robert J! Lake, Seth "Beatfox" Peelle, Solatrus, Tensei, and Thomas Ferkol 12 June 2016
THE GRUBBLES James Roach (attributed to The Grubbels, a fictional band) 14 September 2017
Hiveswap Act 1 OST James Roach and Toby Fox 14 September 2017
Hiveswap Friendsim James Roach (with minor contributions from Toby Fox) 15 December 2018
  1. ^ a b c d e f The first four volumes of the soundtrack were later removed from sale and compiled into the Vol. 1-4 release, which featured several additional tracks. Several tracks from the original releases were not included in the compilation, due to either disputes with the composer or to being shortened versions of tracks already present on the album.
  2. ^ This number does not include the tracks present on the original Vol. 1-4 that were not present on the compilation, or the songs removed from Vol. 5.
  3. ^ Jared Micks' contributions to the album were removed after it was discovered that one of them was an unauthorized remix of a non-Homestuck song.
  4. ^ Also contains a cover by Michael Guy Bowman of How Do I Live, written by Diane Warren.
  5. ^ Also contains a cover by Michael Guy Bowman of I Don't Want to Miss a Thing, written by Diane Warren.
  6. ^ Also contains a cover by Michael Guy Bowman of How Do I Live, written by Diane Warren.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Lauren Rae Orsini (September 3, 2012). "Behind the wonderful and weird soundtrack to Homestuck". The Daily Dot. Retrieved September 13, 2012.
  2. ^ a b c Funk, John (2012-10-15). "Land of Memes and Trolls: The Epic and Ridiculous Self-Aware World of Homestuck". Polygon.
  3. ^ Faircloth, Kelly (October 3, 2012). "Stuck on Homestuck: How Andrew Hussie Turned a Tumblr Craze Into a Teenage Empire". Betabeat. The New York Observer. Archived from the original on 2012-10-05.
  4. ^ "GI Show Yoshi's Wooly World, Minecraft: Story-Mode, Undertale's Toby Fox". YouTube. Game Informer. 2015-10-15. Retrieved October 15, 2015.
  5. ^ Elliott, Jacob (2015-09-22). "Strange 'Undertale' offers bittersweet, horrifying game experience". The Daily Nabraskan.
  6. ^ Kaharl, Jonathan (2015-12-19). "Earthbound (The Halloween Hack) - SNES (2008)". Hardcore Gaming 101.
  7. ^ Romano, Aja (2013-02-25). "Homestuck Songs: The 5 Best Videos On The Internet From The Popular Webcomic". The Huffington Post.
  8. ^ "A Noob's Guide to Homestuck, the Favorite Webcomic of Internetty Teens Everywhere". Observer. 2013-09-10.
  9. ^ a b c Harper, Adam (2014-11-08). "System Focus: Fandom Music Is As Underground As It Gets". The Fader.
  10. ^ Gacke, Reid (2015-12-10). "Best Song of 2015". Only Single Player. It’s a brilliant fight and an exciting tune and easily one of the best video game songs of the year. Interestingly enough, it was also a part of the Homestuck soundtrack and was essentially remastered for Undertale.
  11. ^ Gacke, Reid (2015-10-09). "Best Game Soundtracks of 2015". Only Single Player.
  12. ^ White, Katherine (2016-06-12). "Listen to This: 20 of the best 'Homestuck' songs in honor of its ending". The Maneater.
  13. ^ "[S] Act 7". Youtube.