March 30, 2015 – Even though it feels somewhat silly to be writing a retrospective of 2014 in mid-March 2015, I'm not one to ever shy away from doing silly things. And this isn't strictly about "the game music of 2014" so much as it is about the experience I had as a person writing about it and trying to spread appreciation and awareness of it. If you're at all a reader of RPGFan Music (and I hope you are!), you probably know that from an editorial standpoint, the year began rather sleepily, as Mike, Derek, myself, and many other editors at the site did their very best to keep all things musical rolling even as real life and the main site kept us plenty busy. That turned around quite a bit towards the end of the year with the introduction of Rhythm Encounter co-host Caitlin and five other wonderful editors (Marcos, Mike 2.0, Davi, Brigid, and Brad) that have now, along with the legacy crew, made RPGFan Music one of the most vibrant, joyful, and interesting places for a lover of good people and good music to work.
Tons of great music came out in 2014. Arrangers arranged, musicians musicked, and somewhere in there we made a bunch of music podcasts and wrote a ton of reviews. As an audience, you interacted with us more than ever, and that was an absolutely amazing experience. We had fun with all kinds of guests (including the boatload who spent hours of their evenings to join us on Music of the Year), interviewed many talented folks, and at some point even let Rob in for a few minutes to say something about Bloodborne. (Probably? I'm not sure, I wasn't really listening.)
The point is, as a person who started at this site without any clue of what the heck I was doing, to be involved in such a community has been one of the best experiences of my life. The thing with music is — especially game music — many of us interact with it on an emotional level. We get those sharp pangs of nostalgia that seem to rebuild the entire scene from our memories, all just from hearing a few notes of a tune. Take a look at the comments of any YouTube video of game music (admittedly, this is normally a dangerous proposition), and you'll see the way that many people can barely articulate how much a particular piece means to them. And it's that emotional connection that makes us so excited or sad or whatever emotion we feel when we listen to this music.
As I look over this, our third Music of the Year feature, ready at last to be shared with you the reader or listener, I can't help but think about all the people who put so much time and effort into it. This was truly a team effort from each and every person involved, and I am so deeply grateful for the people who worked alongside me to make it happen. There's so, so much music talked about across these pages, and it's that music that made us all able to work tirelessly on making this thing, which is exponentially huger than last year's.
In fact, take half a second to glimpse back only two years and realize that back then, we had barely been RPGFan Music for long, we had no music podcast, and our Music of the Year feature was a fun but humble affair that included four editors. The notion of creating a music podcast wasn't even something we were sure would work, let alone work regularly. In the brief years between, we've grown to a dedicated staff of seven plus many folks from the main site. Rhythm Encounter is now up to 20 regular episodes, not including the six additional Music of the Year shows — that's a whole lot of time for all of you people to listen to me say some variation of "this song is awesome ungh!"
Circuitous route to the point aside, what I'm trying to say is a simple thank you. To my fellow editors who believe in the mission of RPGFan Music; to you readers and listeners who read and listen and talk to us and share your own favorites; to the musicians who create all of this wonderful music to begin with. I can't believe I get to work with such good people on something I love so much, but I guess I'm just a lucky guy. It's an incredible cliche to say "I had no idea we'd end up creating this," but it's so very true, so I must say it. I had no idea we'd end up creating this. And you know what?
I'M REALLY FEELING IT!