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Prism Fission

Prism Fission

9 September 2017

CreativePact (32 posts)

In this CreativePact, following a couple of months in the creative doldrums, I will be working to complete Prism Exhilarated, a unique media music release by ‑otron.

Prism Fission: prologue

AJ Pact | Prism Fission | Prism Fission: prologue

It's 2017 Pact time, and this Pact sees an about turn in terms of approach. In both Man and Maschine and Soundboard Record I focussed on the first steps of material generation; this time I'm looking at the other end of the chain and trying to finish something.

What is that thing? It is the next album release by ‑otron, called Prism Exhilarated. Like its predecessors, this album will be released on cassette and as a digital download. However, the physical version comes with a twist: each cassette will be a completely unique rendition of the album, meaning that if you have Prism Exhilarated on cassette you have a musical object that no one else has.

How will achieve said outcome? Well, it will use a system of overlaying audio files, similar to that adopted by my iOS open outcome record Futures EP. Essentially, each track on the album will feature 2-3 'unique processes', which are elements that have multiple assets which are selected from to generate a unique rendition.

This time though, it will run by way of a Python script, with the end objective being a system that can generate unique music renditions on a server. For Prism Exhilarated however, the sonic outputs from Python will be dubbed directly to their own cassette tapes.

So how far along is Prism Exhilarated? Here's a run down:

  • All the album's tracks have been written and arranged.
  • Most of the tracks' unique processes have created.
  • The album running order is set and balanced for cassette (using my TapeLister app).
  • The main theme for the album artwork has been created.
  • I have a cassette recorder for dubbing.

Looking at that list, were it a regular album Prism Exhilarated would already have been released. However, due to the unique media formulation involved there is still quite a lot left to do:

  • The Python audio engine needs to be written.
  • Two tracks need their final unique processes completed.
  • Two tracks require additional unique process options.
  • Audio assets for all tracks need to be generated.
  • Artwork needs to be finished off.
  • Pro-finished blank cassettes of the correct length need to be sourced.
  • Cassette recorder needs some TLC.
  • Cassettes need to be dubbed.
  • Finally, begin the promo and release machine.

That's quite a list, and I don't believe I'll complete all of that in this Pact. But, considering the project has stalled over the last couple of months, if I can complete the tracks and be solidly into the Python audio engine then I'll be on my way.