Pluribus: a collective electronic music process project video thumbnail
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$1,890 pledged of $5,000 goal
backers
$1,890 pledged of $5,000 goal
backers

About

Hi Kickstarters!

We’re excited to introduce you to Pluribus.

It’s a unique music making process we’ve developed that enables a new type of artistic collaboration. We firmly believe music-making is for everyone, not just trained professionals; and through this multi-user process, people of different musical abilities can create completely unique and original music together, sounds that can only be born from multiple minds working together in concert.

Check out some Pluribus pieces here.

Max is sending notes to Etanna from the theramin, Etanna has access only to those notes as she controls the rhythm.
Max is sending notes to Etanna from the theramin, Etanna has access only to those notes as she controls the rhythm.

Think of it like this, through history each instrument has been controlled by one individual human mind.  Even in a band or tribe, each participant takes control over one instrument (one person plays the drum, another the guitar, etc.) and adds it to the group’s sound-  in this way music is born from multiple people.

Well, we take this concept of collaboration a whole step further.
Using new technology, we make it possible for multiple minds to control a single instrument- for a single sound to emerge from the efforts of a group of people. 

Juan Carlos setting up the different experiments in PLURBIUS.
Juan Carlos setting up the different experiments in PLURBIUS.

Let us explain it a little more. Normally, a musician is making at least three decisions whenever they play. They decide what notes to hit, the tempo and rhythm of those notes, and how loud to play them.
With Pluribus, we are trying to spread all these decisions among multiple people.  One person can focus on controlling the volume, another can focus on the rhythm, another on the specific notes. 

In addition to the three decisions normally made by a single person, a musician has the ability to translate their vision into music, which requires a certain amount of skill, skill which is earned through years of practice and study.  

As we split up the decisions required to create music, a person with considerably less learned skill is now able to contribute meaningfully to a complex piece of music. The relation between the creative vision and the fulfillment of it is simplified and the doors are open for raw musical creation to emerge from many minds acting as one.

Lydia controlling the velocity (loudness) of the music while Max and Etanna are controlling notes and rhythm..
Lydia controlling the velocity (loudness) of the music while Max and Etanna are controlling notes and rhythm..

Right now Pluribus can separate the music into three distinct decisions, but the implications are wide open.  Soon the decisions will be split even further into scales, meters, tuning, timbre, envelope- there are limitless possibilites.

We're having a lot of success with Pluribus and are really excited to delve deeper, that's why we need your support.  We want to develop the software further and then release it so that other groups of people anywhere can participate in experimental music collaborations- just like the ones we've been doing.  

FUNDING OBJECTIVES:

We’d like to build on what we’ve already created and expand what we’re able to achieve, to do that, we need some new equipment. Right now we are using a laptop that has limited capability. To push Plurbus forward, we need two higher-end desktop computers, two monitors to go with them, and two more keyboards for expanding the musical elements we can control independently and the amount of people who can participate. We also need two other music 'controllers' and a new music software license from MAX (which is how we built Pluribus).  In addition to the equipment, this Kickstarter campaign will also help cover the cost of our CD manufacturing.

Max and Etanna using Pluribus
Max and Etanna using Pluribus

OUR QUALIFICATIONS:

Reading this you might be wondering, how can these folks do this? How are they qualified to fulfill this project? Let us explain:

JC Mendizabal has a Bachelor's of Music from San Francisco State University. The degree is in music composition and electronic music. He has worked with MAX (a software development tool) since 1990, which is how we have developed PLURIBUS. In addition to work on his own, he has taken multiple tech courses in programming and has worked with computers since the early 1980s.

His commissioned work, "Canto Para Ser Perseguido," was played by the Symphonic Orchestra of El Salvador and another commissioned score "El Mozote" was presented at Santa Clara University in California.

RFCL has worked together to not only create PLURIBUS, but other interactive installations with audio and visual components in San Francisco. Radio Free Clear Light have, since 2010, staged several interactive-performance events that focused specifically on audience participation. One of these events, entitled “The Web of Words,” emphasized spoken-word participation: visitors were asked interview questions and their replies were live-looped, manipulated and gradually converted into ambient soundscapes. Another, “Drone,” focused on tonalities and micro-tonal relationships, with visitors singing and playing along the all-encompassing drone-chant. Complementing the auditory facet of the performance, our live video shows mix collages of found footage and original visual art with live video-feed. We invite you to watch some of the videos on Youtube.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pgUIq_DxjEk

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qrfXNQ-ZZQs

We'd love your support for this unusual and unique project. Pluribus helps break down the boundaries between novice and professional musician, it helps people of all skill levels create music together, which we believe is something worth pushing for.

Listen to Pluribus pieces

Risks and challenges

The first thing we'll need to do is purchase the new equipment, which we have already researched. After that we'll record our musical experiments, mix and master the CD and get it printed.

We have released over 60 albums through our micro-label, Black Note Music (www.blacknotemusic.com) and we post new singles to Soundcloud every week. (www.soundcloud.com/rfcl) The process of recording, producing, and releasing music is second nature to us. For this reason we are confident that with new tools in hand we will be able to take PLURIBUS to the next level.

All we need now is your support. Please let us reward your backing with incredibly unique music, art and our sincere appreciation!

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 5 or more About $5

    For only five dollars you'll enjoy a digital download of 3 tracks- made of course, using PLURIBUS.

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    Pledge US$ 10 or more About $10

    For just $10 dollars you'll enjoy a digital download of the album- made of course, using PLURIBUS.

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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    You'll get a physical copy of the PLURIBUS album with four bonus tracks available only on the physical cd and heartfelt thanks on facebook!

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    Pledge $40 or more About $40

    You'll get a physical copy of the PLURIBUS album with the four bonus tracks available only on the physical cd. In addition, we'll send you one of our previous releases too!

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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    You'll get a physical copy of the PLURIBUS CD with the four bonus tracks available only on the physical CD and your name listed in the 'thanks' section of the CD liner notes. In addition, we'll send you one of our previous releases and a 10x10 inch print of RFCL’s art.

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $120 or more About $120

    You'll get a physical copy of the PLURIBUS album with the four bonus tracks available only on the physical CD and your name listed in the 'thanks' section of the CD liner notes. In addition, we'll send you 2 of our previous releases and a 10x10 inch print of RFCL’s art.

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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    You're invited to come play with us and experience what your contribution has made possible. (sorry, no expenses paid to join us, but you'll enjoy cookies, tea and lively conversation after we play!) Plus you'll enjoy everything listed above (the PLURIBUS album plus 3 of our previous releases and a 10x10 inch print of our art.

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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    You'll enjoy all the goodies including CDs and three prints of RFCL art as well as two nights with us making music with PLURIBUS. We'll design the experiments for the night around your name, or any name of your choosing and use it as the foundation we build upon.

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Funding period

- (30 days)