After many long months of development and testing, I’m thrilled to announce Isomer’s composition debut! And if that’s not exciting enough, Isomer’s first project was recently selected for programming on basic.fm this fall.
“Valley of the Tharsans” is a sci-fi radio play with a keen sense of nostalgia for the science fiction of the early- to mid-20th century, when finding intelligent alien life on nearby planets seemed completely feasible. The piece is narrated by the head of Lanscorp, a mega-corporation that is the first to send colonists to Mars in 2016.
The aliens’ “natural” music, created entirely by Isomer, is based on models from the 1922-3 work “Hyperprism” by Edgar Varèse, an important early 20th-century composer who elevated the role of rhythm and timbre to equal that of pitch and harmony, thereby adding new dimensions to the way music is structured and perceived.
The sound of the narrator was created using acoustical analysis and resynthesis techniques to transform the natural sound of the actor’s voice. Additionally, the speech patterns found in the narration were fed into Isomer as models, allowing the musical output to tightly conform to the actor’s performance.
“Valley of the Tharsans” is science fiction through and through: its narrative surrounds the discovery of an intelligent alien race, and its musical score was created by artificially intelligent software from musical models that, when originally conceived, evoked a futuristic musical landscape.