I'm musing a bit about my Vocaloid (et al.) doujinshi circle, Myriad (@MyriadSong@twitter.com), and how its aspects and purpose have changed a bit over the years. If you don't mind, I'd like to talk about it a bit (this will be a long thread, fair warning!)

Myriad was formed sometime between late 2013 and early 2014, in the aftermath of the production of United Together Around UTAU, an overseas-made UTAU compilation album released at the 2013 Minna no UTAU doujinshi event. It's been so long, details beyond that are hard to remember.

To be honest, beyond that our goals were rather vague; we wanted to be a collaborative entity of some sort, and we knew and respected each other as people who wanted to make Vocaloid and UTAU work seriously, and felt we could make some pretty great things out of that.

We don't work exclusively within the circle -- in fact we collaborate when we feel it suits our whims -- and while we're a tight group of friends who trust each other deeply with each other's work and development, we formed that relation *because* of our work in this group.

Back then we named ourself a "circle", but we didn't expect to ever be doing any formal doujinshi work again, at most maybe an album in the future, but "circle" really just meant a "group" at the time. And then one thing led to another, and...that leads us to now.

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I think we are at a time when things like Vocaloid compilation albums, or zines, or other things of the sort are getting increasingly common. But as a Westerner, it's still difficult to get physical products of some sort made without either deep pockets or crowdfunding, and --

-- it's often difficult to figure out the pipeline for it, especially when trying to deal with international logistics. But since we at Myriad were born, in a sense, out of doujinshi culture to begin with, we were all too eager to live up to our original concept.

So we have a pipeline, and we have the passion, and we've also started to put ourselves into larger-scale projects. And as we started individually wanting to promote these collaborative projects -- especially as there's still all too many people who don't get the opportunity --

-- to participate in physical product creation due to the high barrier -- it only seemed natural that we make use of the existing pipelines we set up in order to host other collaborative projects we're involved in, even if we weren't the sole creators of them.

That leads to us being the publishers for Dark Chocolate and Maraschino Cherry, and The Big Alliance, and hopefully more things to come. But then that begs the question: what, exactly, does Myriad *do*, anyway? Are we a creative circle, or are we a publisher?

I've been thinking about this, and in my mind, I think Myriad exists as an entity on its own -- one that makes its own creative work, living at the intersection of my and the other four core members' skills, but one that also hosts and uses its resources to help others.

I don't think we exist as a circle in the traditional Japanese doujinshi sense, and I don't think we should. Our goals spring from and are heavily inspired by the existing physical-product doujinshi culture they have there, but we want to create a collaborative, creative --

-- culture that is uniquely something we can do. That's in line with the original intention of Myriad as an international circle, connecting cultures and people, and in our name -- a myriad of styles, a myriad of participants, a myriad of works.

So on a personal level, the core members of Myriad are my friends; on a creative level, Myriad makes works that reside at the intersection of our styles; and on a greater scale, Myriad's goal is to help bring together creators from around the world. Not bad, right?

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