Assembly 2001 Party Report
by Milan Kolarovic (a.k.a Acumen).
Assembly'2001, the 3rd Assembly event for me - and I guess it's safe to say it did the charm for me. The largest Nordic demo-scene event had its 10th birthday this year, as Hartwall Arena filled up again of monitors and brite lites ;) Over 4000 people attended the 4 day event during 2nd-5th August. I myself couldn't make it on scene until Friday due to the delays and workload I still had to prepare in order to get my own Wild Demo finished in time. The event itself has grown bigger and bigger by every year, attracting more and more sideshows in form of live televion broadcasts from the scene, more media attention, more kinds of competitions, et cetera. The live AssemblyTV broadcast was seen on Helsinki Televion's (HTV) Mosaic Channel in Helsinki cable-TV network area, and worldwide through AssemblyTV.net's website.
My own small number of competition entries this year (no mp3/multichannel) cannot be only explained by to the big amount of work with my video, but also by the music themes I had made for AssemblyTV to be used with broadcasts among other things. A funny coincidence was that on Thursday, when I was still home, I logged into the stream from AssemblyTV.net to watch the opening ceremony and I heard my "Adagio for Freedom" playing in the event's Opening Intro background. Besides making music for the channel, I was interviewed on Sunday morning, mainly concerning my Wild Demo and music making. You can download the finnish interview (in DivX format) here.
Now to the actual report. I'm only going to cover those areas of the actual competitions about which I know something and was part of, mainly because I only have my notes to rely on besides my bad memory. Let's begin.
MP3 & Multichannel
This year I didn't have time personally to attend purely music compos due to my wild demo, but I took part in the jury duties along with some of the most legendary guys in the scene like Skaven, Purple Motion, Captain and many others.
A large amount of entries were submitted this year, and the jury duties for both MP3 and Multichannel compos took about 7 hours all together. Being part of a jury is fun, but also tiring, 'cause it happens in the second night in the upper floors of the Hartwall Arena.
My own favourite songs in the mp3 competition are the enchantingly beautiful saxophone song called "Let the Melody speak" by Turkka (feat. Sakari Ainali), which has one of most beautiful melodies in the chorus I've heard in a long time. It reminds me a lot of the theme of the tv-series Hercule Poirot. I'd love to get my hands on the song and remix it to a massive big beat version.
My other favorite was "Molequel Man" by Trauma Child Genesis (which consists of Teque & !Cube). If the previous song had beautiful saxophone melodies, this one has them with lead sounds.
I also liked Purple Motion's (and Logick's) "Mosaic Days", an untypical rock song with nice female vocals which arise into a head climax in form of a powerful chorus.
The winner, "When Time Slips Away" by Firestorm / Waypoint, wasn't bad at all either and deserved its place at the top.
All in all, the quality of the entries this year was in my opinion better than last year, and the material in overall was a lot competitive against each other. As for the Multichannel competition, I don't recall many songs since the overall quality was very poor, even up to the 10 finalists (only 10 finalists were chosen instead of 15 due to the quality issues). The future of Multichannel competitions at Assembly is at real stake. The risk is that there won't be any anymore.
The wild demo competition, which is known for consisting mostly of humorous homevideos, was the main (and only) competition I had been preparing for this year. For my pleasant surprise I reached 2nd place with my "World War II memoirs" video. Starting from around January, I had composed a soundtrack and edited the video to go along with it, all made out of real World War II black and white photographs. It was a close call that I didn't miss the show, since it took an extra day and 4 cd-r's before I actually had a working version I could leave with, and even then I had to jump into the last train while it was already moving out from the station. That's how close it all came in the end, and this is also the reason why the end part of the video is not as carefully thought out as I would have wanted. I had to scrape the last minutes of the video between Thursday and Friday night. I agree with you all who have critized the ending, and I have plans of releasing a DivX version of the new edition.
It remains to be seen how much my Wild Demo actually influenced people, both behind and in front of the screen, meaning that how many people making these demos will now stop to think more ways to present stories than just relying on humour, and the other factor is how the audience will from now onwards think about different aspects of story-telling. What I hope is that my influence and the contribution of my idea brought people closer to good moral values, sensibility, awareness and reminded them how things don't necessarily have to be done with familiar ways of presenting. I just hope that pure copy-cats and mimics wouldn't arise, but more genuine and unique ideas carefully planned and orchestrated.
The Wild Demo competition's victory went to tAAt's "LeGorSIKA", which is a sequel to their last year's winning demo "Legorso". I myself liked Legorso more than this sequel, but it doesn't change my opinion that they rightfully deserved to be number one. After all, I cannot imagine the workload there has to be in making a video with Lego-figures.
Also Lackluster's "13/10/99" was really beautiful, and deserves an extra mentioning. The most enchanting visuality was certainly seen there. I wonder what programs were used in creating his video's beautiful scenery.
Highlights and thumb downs ..
+ Yodel's winning console demo "Delicious" for Dreamcast had one of the most "delicious" musics I heard during the entire event, and the visuality was nothing short of tasty either ;)
+ Mature Furk won the combined demo competition with "Lapsuus", an astonishing Amiga demo.
+ All in all organizing deserves a plus. Everything worked fine, at least for a party visitor like me who hadn't brought his computer to the scene.
- Zepo (voting system) was overcrowded on Sunday, and so the organizers had to eliminate the possibility of voting for all the previous day's competitions. For those who wanted to vote for all the competitions on the last day, this naturally ment they could only vote for Sunday's events.
All in all the event went through without any major hassle, and at least I enjoyed the 4 day marathon all the way through. What comes to Assembly 2002, I cannot say for sure, but I'm tempted to try to improve both my work and accomplishments. I just hope I'll have time to do that besides other activities.
Last but not least, I want to thank you all the people who came in contact with me after the event, and for all the comments and feedback you gave. Thank you, I really appreciate it. See you all next year at Assembly'02!
~ Milan Kolarovic (a.k.a Acumen)