Not many music games aim to cultivate their players’ artistic expressivity: players can’t usually develop their own musical identity through performance or composition, nor can they create interactive mechanisms, such as instruments. How can we approach these game and sound design challenges?

My favourite chiptune has stolen all its influences (from pop, prog rock, funk, (italo) disco, reggae, baroque, Chinese traditional music, and what not) and disregarded the idea to sound “human”, warm, organic, original, or any of those notions (which are often very esoterically misused anyway). The evolution of chiptune was powered partly by video game culture, and partly by hacker/cracker (demoscene) culture. I think composers on both sides of that spectrum had a healthy ear for absurdity.

Drones! I composed most of my Protokols album between 2011 and 2016, experimenting with the parallels and contrasts between avant-garde classical music and (ambient-)techno. Both genres reveal a certain ambiguity between ancient and futuristic. One element that plays a role in evoking that universal feeling is the drone: a sustained, enchanting sound – often monotonously drifting more or less in the background – conveying a sense of trance or meditation, however...