Friday, April 19, 2013

Psyche Chimere Discusses Psyche Corporation's Future

I recently explored further into the recent past and future of Psyche Corporation with their resident Evil Genius Inventor Type, with a voice- (among other things, *evil grin inserted here*)  to die for -  Psyche Chimere!

I asked directly about the great variety of musicians and dancers she performs with in various videos.  She tells me that her favorite dancers live in Ithaca, New York, so they always perform with her at “The Haunt” and at whatever other events can afford their transportation costs, but that she often permits local dancers, who are able and willing to contribute interpretive dance to the act, to perform with her in order to make her performances a more participative and entertaining event.

As for musicians, she has regulars that perform on guitar and cello, with occasional addition of other instruments, but she travels with those that are able to make the event and uses backup recordings of each for any that are unable to attend.  Percussion and backup vocals apparently she does herself prior to the show, but Psyche Corporation experiments with a variety of approaches to music, so nothing is set in stone.  I then asked about past, present, and immediate future performances planned.  Here's what she gave us:

2011-Last year is the first year I really expanded into more conventions outside of the Wicked Events circuit (they do conventions, [such as Steampunk World's Fair, Wicked Faire, Geeky Kink Event] and that's how I started in conventions).  This has gone well, and I tend to get more fans whenever I perform at a new convention or hosting event because then I reach people who haven't heard of me before but who are likely to enjoy my music, since I go to conventions where much of my target demographic goes.  I've just noticed over time that the people who like my music are Steampunk, Goth, intellectual, geeky and/or have a thing for Tori Amos or Kate Bush.

Future - 2012- This year I am returning to the same conventions from 2011 more or less, while tentatively doing a few new ones in other states if they're able to cover transportation.
I try not to cut back on performing unless it is done to focus on something else that helps the music. In this case, I am dedicating that time to working on the 4th album primarily for this year while maintaining a  'holding pattern' on the conventions I'm doing. I do all the conventions that are locally convenient and large, plus some faraway ones that have travel stipends, and don't actively look for [any extra] bookings this year.

I would like to take this year to push online promotions, perhaps through youtube webisodes, or drawings, or setting up LARPs for others to play in my “angelbot” universe, doing photo-shoots with local photographers once the weather gets warmer up here, and possibly putting together an extremely simple but high production value music video for another song.  Since I take such care to craft my songs, it may be quicker to generate material for consumption via skits and storylines and puppet shows done in the Psyche Corp. universe.  These are things that, in theory, anyone could do, but which are hard for me to spend a lot of time on when I have the music and school and drawings, photoshoots, and/or music-videos to do.

Thank you Psyche Chimere   We look forward to your upcoming events and the release of your fourth Album which is much anticipated by your fans!!!

More information on The Steampunk World’s Fair can be found at

Thursday, April 18, 2013

The Shadow Queen Rocks the House at Ikkikon VII

Psyche Chimere, front woman for Psyche Corporation, performed as the headliner musical performance at Ikkicon VII this last Saturday. Earlier in the day she led and taught a "Learn to POI Meetup" group on two occasions and gave an interactive lecture on the current real science and state of the art involving connecting the human brain directly or indirectly to computer mainframe operations.

The concert was not well advertised and many attendees actually thought it was a speaking event for some new anime they were unfamiliar with, but when Psyche Chimere's incredible voice began pouring out into the hallway from the concert stage, people began flowing in to see where this nectar of the Gods (or Shadow Queen in this case) was coming from. Even some of the other musical performers and professional musicians attending the convention wandered in and appeared to be enjoying the concert immensely.

As this was the first time Psyche Corporation was presented in this part of the country, many guests were surprised and puzzled at first, but then became intensely interested and began wandering over to the merchandising table (which this writer was manning) to buy every album they could get their hands on. After the concert, they got albums autographed and expressed their appreciation to Psyche for the performance, but she had to leave rather quickly due to a VIP Pass only meet and Greet being scheduled immediately afterwards.

Those who did not have time to get autographs were assisted with that either just before or just after the VIP Meet and Greet. The fans then lined up to get their picture taken with the "Shadow Queen" and I was more than happy to learn and use whatever I-phone , camera , or other device they carried so as to give them a few photos with the artist that they could take home with them. They seemed to be really enjoying this and were so reluctant to disperse that, in order to avoid a fire hazard blocking the hall, the con staff had to move this informal "Photo Op" group to a different location where Ms. Chimere continued to answer their questions, discuss future possibilities (most wanted her to perform at conventions in their home area or state) and finally ended with hugs all round before dispersing.

I think it is safe to say, she managed to build a new, diverse and loyal following among Ikkicon VII anime convention attendees from many different states.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Caelestis Designs releases Edara’s Kickstarter campaign! (via G*M*S Magazine)
Caelestis Designs is proud to announce the launch of the Edara: A Steampunk Renaissance Kickstarter Project. Indianapolis, IN – April 1st 2013. Caelestis Designs is bringing its creative project Edara: A Steampunk Renaissance, a table-top role-playing game, to Kickstarter in an attempt to raise crowd…

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Psyche Corporation's Psyche Chimere Grants an Interview

Here at The Art of Steampunk (aka S.S. Kali's Hourglass), we try hard to ally with others that want to share good fun and creative art in all it's forms.  We also tend to really like art that leans toward sci-fi or what the Lotus Comic staff define as "Nerdy" vs "Geeky" .  Along that line, I would like to bring your attention to a singer, storyteller, comedian, and drop dead gorgeous performer that does cyberpunk/darkwave type performances with one of the finest voices in the industry, yet using such bizarre items as a percussion track based on the DNA sequence of the polio virus.  I think you will like her.

Psyche Chimere
Psyche Chimere (also called the "Shadow Queen") of "Psyche Corporation" is the lead singer and much of the creative genius behind the group's work, although she would be quick to point out that it would have been impossible without the help of her dancers, musicians, videographers, sound engineers, and fans.

(and yes the E in psyche is pronounced as it refers to the Greek Goddess of the soul or spirit and wife of the God of love - Eros)  

Her entire artistic musical vision is backed by a very complex and wonderfully fascinating dystopian fictional world where dreams (that allow you to fully experience any fantasy you wish) are designed, bought, and sold.  The brightest and most promising of dream designers at one dream manufacture group (that is, at Psyche Corp.) eventually hacks the program and takes over the minds of some of their most powerful clients, subliminally, in order to get herself put into power as the Shadow Queen, ruler of the world.  Thus begins the reign of the Shadow Court, made up of the executive board of Psyche Corporation, which lasts for centuries, led by various CEOs known as Shadow Kings and Queens.  Centuries after the first "Shadow Queen", a new Shadow Queen arises who is so feared by the rest of the Shadow Court that the executive board plots to overthrow her.  Their super advanced technology and bio-engineering makes it essentially impossible to kill her, or at least stop her from simply reassembling herself afterwards, so they find a way to send her back in time and strand her in a time and place where the technology is too backward to build a time machine to return.  Of course, that's where the Steampunk angle sometimes comes into play.    

Here is our first real interview with her:

Psyche Chimere

1)  So tell us Psyche, what is your own musical background?

I studied opera for 6 months at age 13, and again for 6 months at age 17.  I also studied piano from the age of 5 to 6.
[editor's note: She also said in an earlier interview in Filligri Magazine (Nov 2011) that at six years of age, when her parents finally stopped requiring her to keep up such an extreme pace of learning new piano recital pieces for local community events, she started playing only what she liked and experimenting with music.  Eventually she began composing her own music by the age of 12.]

My skills at computer music production were self taught.

2) Who are your dancers, and what types of styles have they studied?

The two dancers that most often perform with me are Arydaea who studied belly dance and Akiri who studied ballet.
[editor's note:  She also has other costumed and choreographed dancers already in place with the Texas Street Team for shows in and around Texas, and accepts offers from local dancers who are willing to add interpretive dance to performances if the event is unable to afford transportation costs for her regular dancers, thus the assortment of dancers on some videos.]

3) Do you use the same musicians most of the time, and if so, what are their names, instruments, and backgrounds?
Usually it varies.  It used to be Exit on live guitar, then it was Paul Hoppe on live guitar, now we are looking for another guitarist.  Recently acquired Mike Lunapiena on cello for the live show. They've all played in other bands.  Exit in 99cent Special, Paul also plays in Villain's Lament, Mike does a solo act called the Wandering Cellist and plays for Music Under NY.
[editor's note:  I think they are considering taking on a drummer, drum set, middle Eastern, African, still in discussion actually, but this is art baby!...They aren't rolling in money, so it will have to be someone that loves what they do more than with big dollar signs in their eyes, and they still have to be able to do it well.]

4)  What do you consider to be your biggest influences in both music and the lovely dark fiction woven throughout your lyrics?

Within Temptation, Poe, Elisa, Kidneythieves, MSI, Loreena McKennitt, Squonk Opera.  Don't think I sound like them though.

Dark fiction um..  Maybe Asimov, Bruce Sterling, some book I read in middle school whose title I forgot but which was about telomerase injections, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, but really it's probably things from dreams I've had.

5) Who did your video and sound mixing on the various videos and how did you convince them to work for such beautiful, but mostly unfunded, projects?

Seriah Azkath did the camera work, and he and I worked together on sound and everything else for the first two videos, with acting help from local friends who played characters and extras.     I wrote up all the screen plays.  The 3rd video was directed and filmed by Brandon Herman.  I did everything else except for playing the parts of the extras and other actors which we gathered from local steampunk people and friends.  Some people are just willing to help out a friend, as in the first two videos, and in the 3rd video, I think it was still mostly friends and friends of friends helping out, but some people may have joined because it seemed exciting.

Sharkbanana in a glamour shot
6) What do you, your obese unicorn, and Sharkbanana get up to in your almost non-existent spare time?

We have tea parties with the Queen of Helicopter Graveyards.  Very solemn and mechanically unpropelled occasions.  

 7) Are you planning on trying to return to the future any time soon, or would you prefer to stay a while longer and screw over "The Corporation" in this time line?

I cannot return to the future until time machines get invented ['again'], so I have to stick around til then at least..  It'll be a while before the Corporation  arises, but I would like to keep an eye on technological processes relevant to the Corporation so that all things are in place when the time comes, so to speak.  It would be fairly embarrassing to try to devise a nightmare when you're missing a key electroencephalotransmogrifier or something.  You might just get mustard greens instead.  Who wants mustard greens when you're expecting Freddy Kreuger, right?

I quite agree!  Mustard greens wouldn't make for a very interesting nightmare I'm afraid.   You, on the other hand, dearest Shadow Queen, Psyche Chimere,  you are quite a dream yourself!  Many kinds of dream on many levels, and all of them wonderful, except for the terrifying ones of course.  Thank you so much for sharing this with me today...and for not turning me into mustard greens or anything...I do hope you will permit an audience again at some point in the future. 

As for you more gentle and funny alter ego ... Stay strange, we love you that way!!!

Saturday, April 13, 2013

The Austin Vampire Ball

So what do Vampires and Steampunk have in common?  Far more than you may think.

First both communities range from fans that like to watch cool people in even cooler clothes doing fun and entertaining things, or that are fans of fictional stories with these communities as a centerpiece all the way through "lifestylers" who embed the look, the culture, the values, and the people of these cultures in almost every aspect of their lives.  People like that consider "costumes" to be what they wear to work every day (assuming they work a typical corporate job) and their lifestyle to be who and what they really are.  Naturally the same could be said for many other cultures, but the fact remains, that the cultures have more in common that just the tendency of Vampires to show up a lot in Steampunk fictional novels and plays.  They often have individuals, friends, and even families that truly are a part of both communities at once.  As such, I think it appropriate to mention this very interesting new event in the heart of Texas:  The Austin Vampire Ball.

Do I think it's worth attending?  I wouldn't miss it for my own funeral!  See you there.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Twisted Skies Steampunk Card Game

I haven't seen the final product of this game, but I know the quality of the game maker, Jim Trent, (one of the Steampunk Community's own!)  so I am recommending others take a good look at his work.

Monday, April 1, 2013

30 Alchemical Gadgets (via G*M*S Magazine)
By Thilo Graf This pdf from Rite Publishing is 14 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, 1 page advertisement, leaving us with 10 pages of content, so let’s check this out! By now, you probably are aware about some of the idiosyncrasies of my preferences. I’m conservative…