Virgo Releases a New EP and Accompanying Video Game

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Maybe you've seen Virgo perform live before, an otherworldly figure dressed in white or silver. Sometimes she looks like she's just floating up there onstage, as if gravity doesn't affect her. 

Elizabeth Ann Clark, the mastermind behind Virgo’s multimedia persona, is originally from California. After moving to Miami a couple years ago she put a hold on her filmmaking career to start exploring the world of electronic music.

The first time I listened to Virgo’s music, sitting in her apartment in Brickell a little over two years ago, it reminded me of a more indie, darker version of Goldfrapp — something a little colder, more Nordic with a Fever Ray aftertaste. Back then, she was sketching what would become her first songs. A few months later she made her live debut at an intimate party at the Garret, above the now-defunct Grand Central. Most people in the room couldn’t take their eyes off her. 

Now, after releasing a couple of singles, some remixes, and playing many shows — including last year's III Points, which she'll be playing again in 2016 — Virgo has released her four-track Water Planet EP. The release also includes a teaser for an accompanying video game, which will be an audio/visual experience that involves open world exploration on land, underwater, and via flying orbs, all soundtracked with Virgo’s music. 

We spoke to the part-time alien Virgo about game development, her new EP, and maintaining her character.  

New Times: In your recent release you combine two of your main passions: music and visual art. How did you come up with the concept behind Water Planet?
Elizabeth Ann Clark: At the time I was playing around in Unreal Engine by Epic Games a lot. The water shaders were uncanny in a way that made me want to build an entire world with the music and now the video game. It all developed without fully understanding the final evolution and what became my vision of an alien planet submerged in an endless ocean.

What do you consider the main difference between your previous songs and Water Planet?
The first singles were a world of their own. I approached each independently, and with Water Planet the songs belong together and are meant to be played in sequence. Also, I have had more time to develop my melodies, compositions, and sound design all while transforming as an artist.

You created an entire character around Virgo. Was that something you envisioned before starting your music project or did you develop it on the go?
Before diving into this project, I had a strong vision of where I wanted it to evolve, and slowly it came to life. At the same time, I never want to put limits on anything, or lose the organic feel. For now, the Virgo persona will always be morphing.

Did you develop the Water Planet video game yourself? What was the most difficult part of doing it? And when is the actual video game coming out?
Yes, I developed the game in Unreal Engine, all the level design, and preliminary code I have done myself and my label mate, Aoud, also codes and sequences the logic. At the Revera Corporation, we’re really excited about music and video games, and are currently developing future games. The hardest part of game development is having a consistent work flow. I find myself getting overexcited about the design of the level, and wanting to dive right in, but there are steps to follow, which I learned early on while building Water Planet. As for the release, I hope to have the game ready by mid-June.

What kind of audience do you think will enjoy the video game?

Water Planet video game is for everyone, even nongamers. It features a first-person perspective while exploring, swimming, and flying in an orb transport across four unique levels that pair with each of the four songs from the EP. There is no fighting, no guns, only peaceful and curious exploration, and a few hidden Easter eggs.

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