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The annual UniBrass contest returns to Bangor University on 8th February 2020, marking 10 years for one of the largest Brass Band contests in the UK. University brass bands from around the country will be welcomed to Bangor to compete across two sections; the Trophy and the Shield. Full details about the contest and the venues will be announced in due course. The UniBrass Organising Committee are hoping to make UniBrass 2020 “the biggest contest yet.” The contest began in 2010 at Lancaster University. It was also held at the University of Warwick in 2014, and in Yorkshire for two…

Imperator: Rome, the newest grand strategy from Paradox Interactive, was released on the 25th of April. At the time of writing, it is the 26th of April, and I have logged 12 hours in the game. So, without further ado, a review. What is familiar? As always, loading up a Paradox grand strategy for the first time results in overwhelming confusion-but this is a universal experience in these games- if you are new to the genre, I recommend watching some gameplay before jumping in, unless you are a bastion of patience. On the other hand, for someone who has played…

Gaz Thomas, 36, is a local from Llandudno Junction who started making games as a hobby in 2008, while studying at Bangor. His website, freegames.org, is now the first-ranked free games site in the United States, and his most popular creations can be found embedded in over 14,000 others. Sitting at a little table in a lunch-rushed Bangor café, he told Seren how he got to this point. How did you get into game design? “I spent 7 years in Bangor University as a student. I was doing electronic engineering, and then I started doing a biochemistry PhD, and I…

Introduce FilmSoc for us? Film Society is a collective of students who make short films together. We also hold socials through Bar Uno, our sponsor, and Pontio which allow us to appreciate film through quizzes and screenings. What challenges and rewards are involved in running a society like FilmSoc? We believe the challenge leads to the reward, making and helping others make film is a challenging prospect. It takes time, patience and commitment, so learning to organise schedules is key. However seeing how that turns out is always a reward, we’ve created some amazing films and we are so proud…

One of Ireland’s finest acts “Villagers” kick started their tour of the UK in Bangor’s very own Pontio, supported by the ethereal musical artistry of Leila Moss. They began their set with “Again” from the RTÉ Choice Music Prize Irish Album of the year 2018 nominee “The Art of Pretending to Swim”. Otherworldly electronics delicately paired with folk-like sounds from brass instruments and acoustic guitars were a breath of fresh air. Moody lighting and dry ice made the whole experience seem celestial. Frontman Conor O’Brien brought a level of intimacy between himself and the crowd with his performance of “Hot…

On the 5th of March, just in time for international women’s month, the Women’s Prize for Fiction announced it eagerly anticipated longlist. The list consists of 16 books from all corners of the world, they all are written in English. The list is made up of well known as well as new authors, seven of these are debut novels. It also contains last years Booker prize winner, a previous winner and a non-binary transgender author for the first time in the prizes 24 year history (with permission from the author). The judges who picked these books included Professor Kate Williams,…

…is pretty fun. I figured I’d start the article by getting to the point. I suppose I’ll elaborate a bit, tempting as it is to chuckle, hit save, and put this in a side column. Pulsar is a developing game which throws five players onto a spaceship in an open galaxy and tells them to swim. It normally follows this up by swiftly drowning them- and then you learn that it uses permadeath. The permadeath is a pretty regular customer at the beginning. The main disadvantage of the game is that you really do need a full team of friends…

This march is International Women’s Month, with people across the globe celebrating the women who inspire them. Quite a few of these women have been characters from TV, with many people describing how their favourite female characters and actresses motivate them. This in itself is a good indication of how things have improved in terms of representation of Women in TV and there’s some good examples of this. From actress Ellen Pompeo who earns over $20 million per season of the hit medical drama Grey’s Anatomy, to Phoebe Waller-Bridge who’s been responsible for some of the past few year’s best…

By Sinclair Davis Folklore, mythology and film studies; German studies. These are probably not the first words that spring to mind when thinking of designing games. But perhaps they aren’t as far removed as one might think. These are the respective PhDs of Dr Eben Muse and Dr Melissa Kagen, the professors at the head of Bangor University’s ‘BA with Game Design.’ And the course is fresh out of the gates! Consisting of six modules over three years, the program has only now completed three semesters – halfway. Muse and Kagen share an ambitious goal – in three more semesters,…

If you’ll be contemplating dying alone this Valentines Day like myself and food editor, Paige, here are some books to help deal with this. After all, Shakespeare himself invented the term lonely. ‘The Lonely City’ by Olivia Laing When Olivia Laing moved to New York City in her mid-thirties, she found herself inhabiting loneliness on a daily basis. Increasingly fascinated by this most shameful of experiences, she began to explore the lonely city by way of art. Moving fluidly between works and lives — from Edward Hopper’s Nighthawks to Andy Warhol’s Time Capsules, from Henry Darger’s hoarding to the depredations…

By Zach Reading On Saturday 2nd February, 767 students from 21 bands arrived from around the country to participate in the premier event for University brass banding. This was the first time UniBrass has been hosted in Wales and it was masterminded by Chair and postgraduate Marine Biology  student, Sam Hartharn-Evans. The competition was split across two stages with Pontio’s Bryn Terfel Theatre hosting the Trophy bands and the Shield section taking place in Alun Hall. As the morning wore on and many bands arrived in Bangor for the first time, the trek from outside Pontio to contest control situated…

By Jord McEvoy ‘Where’s the music?’ is a cry heard all too often around Bangor, and on the surface, it may well seem that question has some validity. If you look away from the nightclubs and in the smaller, more enigmatic venues however, you will see that there is a lot more to Bangor than initially meets the eye. Our student populace has allowed us to expand on the arts and culture which were already prominent in the area, with the likes of Blue Sky Cafe offering sets from people both local and from all around the country. A mix…

For those who don’t know you, tell us about yourself and your links to Bangor? Hi, my name is Rory Farmer. I studied both my BA in Creative Studies and MA in Filmmaking at Bangor University. Since then I’ve also been lucky enough to teach for the School of Music & Media for a semester and currently work in the local television industry, so I’ve got really strong roots here in Bangor. You studied the Filmmaking MA here at Bangor, how crucial was it to progressing as a filmmaker?    The MA in Filmmaking was so vital in preparing me for the…

BU Jazz Band performed at The Menai on the evening of Friday 30th November. The performance commenced at 8:30pm to a large, bustling audience. The band’s energetic opener served to add to the energetic atmosphere and the night was off to a fantastic start! The ensemble was composed of around 15 members, including vocalists who all contributed a high level of enthusiasm, which added to the lively nature of the evening. The performance encompassed a range of songs from the subdued ‘Moondance’ and ‘Come Fly With Me’ to the upbeat ‘New York New York’. After a short interlude, the second…

Shifter, a student-made game in progress, is a mystery adventure with a sci-fi twist. Within the story, so-called ‘Shifters’ are capable of morphing into the forms of other people, allowing them to move undetected through the game world. The player character has just lost their father and, with his death, the answers to their fast emerging power. The gameplay revolves around this ability to transform, and a strong central plot. The game is an early prototype, by Anneka Dinham, 19, from Wolverhampton. She is a second year student in Game Design here at Bangor. She also happens to be a…

Bangor alumnus Rory Farmer brings us the first recipient of our newly-created Short of the Month spotlight, a feature designed to cherry pick the very best sub-20 minute films that you can watch on the go for an instant cinematic hit to keep you going. Blue Milk is a hilarious superhero mockumentary, following the life of travel agent Joe who – after an encounter with some iffy milk – develops the ability to turn things blue. Mad skills, I know. Taking cues from sources as diverse as The Office, The Tick, and the sharp-cutting sharper-satirising work of British auteur Edgar…

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