I’m a frustrated musician, in that I would like to be a musician but I have been cruelly prevented in chasing this dream by A) a lack of innate talent and B) a lack of will or discipline to learn.
Sure, I’ve dabbled. There have been attempts to get some kind of music project going with friends, but despite their input and enthusiasm, the issues described above have always got in the way. As time has rolled on, and responsibilities have become greater, I’ve come to accept my limitations.
But as time rolled on, I also read about the clever ways people were using computers to generate art. I’ve always been a computer person, but I’d let my coding skills lapse. As I aged, I became more interested in minimal music, drone, electronic noise and the like. Being invited to write for Both Bars On exposed me to more varied stuff as well, as did listening to the Brainwashed Radio Podcast. Seeing and hearing the vast array of stuff on Bandcamp crystallized the idea in my brain.
If I can’t make music myself, I could write a program to do it. It wouldn’t need to be smart, or use any of the tools or techniques used by generative artists to make human sounding music. It would be truly random (for certain values of “truly” – see a future post about that).
If I could generate a track, why not a whole album? If I could generate an album, why not many?
Who is making these albums? What are their names? What label are they on? What year was this made?
Were there multiple artists making music? Did they know each other? Were they part of a scene? Did groups share members with each other? What would the family tree of this scene look like? Would Pete Frame draw the diagram, and would there be a TV docu based on it?
I was reminded of Bill Drummond writing in 45 about the fictional Icelandic underground he created. I thought of the blog For Those Who Tried to Rock, which chronicled the bands, gigs, dreams, and attempts at rock glory by small-town musos.
That’s how the project found its current form. A way to make up for time lost to inability, and share with the world multiverses of (admittedly similar) fictional artists, and their art.
I’m just the curator.