PROJECT PROPOSAL/BUSINESS PLAN

Crystallinesphere’s Project Proposal

Why Is This Project Being Produced?

Firstly, this project is being done due to being part of a module for the BA Creative Sound and Music course in Newport uni. Secondly, for personal reasons; it is an area of music that I am very interested in exploring, one that I may eventually dedicate my life to exploring. 

The Intended Project

The project that will be implemented for CSM5 will be a combination of 3 different areas. These are a 7-song “Mini-album,” a piece of music software and some accompanying videos to some of the tracks. These 3 areas will be then packaged as one product, “The Continuum package.”

The “Mini-album:” This will consist of a 7 song “Mini-album” named “Continuum” and the premise is to produce tracks of sonic art and pop on a sliding scale. At one end of the “continuum” will be a track of pure 100% sonic art and at the other will be `a track of pure 100% of “pop.” As the album progresses these songs styles will mix e.g. 100% sonic art, 80% sonic art and 20% pop, 60% sonic art and 40% pop, 50% sonic art and 50% pop, 40% sonic art and 60% pop, 20% sonic art and 80% pop, and 100% pop. 

The music software: The software will be a small visual piece of software that produces music based on the tracks of the “mini-album.” It will be similar piece of software to Leafcutter John’s “Forrester” software and will be bundled with the “Mini-album.”

Accompanying Videos: There will be accompanying videos/animations of some of the tracks. These will be done with the tracks that most stand out and will be bundled with the album and software as one complete package. There will be a navigation menu on the cd/dvd for easy access to each piece of work.

Packaging and branding will also be produced for this product.

This project will be carried out using the alter-ego “Crystallinesphere” which will act as a focus point and conduit for the music. The alter-ego will become a brand.

The Purpose Of The Project

The purpose of the project is to make media that challenges peoples perceptions, whether they are perceptions of how music should sound, the way people experience the world or even what popular music could be. The completed project will then be used as a promotional aid to generate interest publicly and professionally i.e. radio stations etc and will be either free or at a small cost to cover production. This promotion will hopefully lead to maintaining a career as an artist/musician.  If enough interest is obtained then the product may be released commercially to generate a revenue for the artist.

The vision of this project is to produce media that will “Expand your gourd.”

Why Is This Project Relevant?

I believe this project is relevant due to reasons of current trends. Popular music is still a very big market as is evident in the media but the addition of a more experimental edge is also becoming apparent as can be seen in the research part of this website through online radio and forums etc that champion more experimental forms of music. We live in an age of rapid innovation and the creation of new forms so I believe this project is very relevant.

Target Audience

The Project is aimed at other artists/musicians, people who enjoy experimental music and popular songs, people who like to experience new forms of music, students, web surfers and people who like to expand their model of the world.  

Is there a market? Yes there seems to be an expanding market pertaining to the areas of music proposed. Popular song forms are rife and can be seen in the media all around us. The important factor to consider is one of the more experimental side of the music. There seems to be a growing market for this also with a wide variety of festivals, online magazines and radio, labels etc dedicated to the distribution and championing of experimental music (As can be seen by the market research on the blog for this area).

The Creative Process

Originally my process consisted of coming up with a concept and fitting the music to that concept. With the reading of a few books (Mentioned in research blog), This concept will still be used, but in addition there will be more works based on an intuitive feel for music, that will dictate the tracks direction. Improvisation will be a key factor in this process also.

How Will This Project Be Carried Out?

Software to be used: Logic Pro, Pro Tools, Ableton Live, Maxmsp, Final Cut, Adobe Flash, Adobe Photoshop.

Hardware to be used: Mbox, Laptop, Studio, Various instruments and their hardware if required, Graphic Tablet.

Firstly, the Album will be written and the foundations laid, this will be done using mostly Ableton Live, Logic Pro and Pro Tools to record the initial sketches. The relevant hardware will also be employed. The final album will then be produced using the uni studios and the software etc already mentioned. Various methodologies relevant to the areas of sonic art production and composing, and popular music production and composition will be utilized in the creative process. 

Secondly, the music software will be created using a platform called Maxmsp and its accompanying package Jitter. This will be done employing my laptop as the main hub.

Thirdly, the accompanying videos will be produced based on the tracks written and created using a camcorder and software such as Final Cut Pro and Adobe Flash. 

Lastly, the packaging will be done mostly utilizing Adobe Photoshop.

Who Will Be Completing The Project? 

The majority of the project will be completed by myself. Other musicians will engaged in the project when needed.

Where Will The Project Be Completed?

The main bulk of the project i.e. composing and design etc will be carried out at home using my personal laptop as the main hub. The finished product however will be produced in the university studios to give the tracks a professional edge. Certain environments will be utilized depending on tracks and filming, for example, An industrial scene filmed in an industrial place. Traveling to relevant locations will be a consideration.

How Long Will It Take?

Following is the schedule for the completion of this project:

June ’10: This month will be used to make my musical direction more concrete. This will be done by experimenting with different styles and moods of music till a good working method is created. This month will also be used to brush up my technical skills; instrument wise and software wise.

July – September ’10: These 2 months will be used for writing tracks. I will set myself the project of completing a track a week. This should produce roughly 8 tracks by the end of this period. These tracks should form the foundations of my CSM5 project. This time period will also be used to experiment with creating maxmsp patches which will also form part of my project.

September 6-10 ’10: This is a period of summer school at the uni. This amongst the activities of the summer school will be a time for feedback on what I have produced to date.

September – October ’10: Adjustments to my work based on the feedback from the previous week will be carried out. My max patch should be nearing it’s first draft also. It will be a time for fine tuning the arrangement of the pieces. Ideas for packaging and video composition will be sketched out here. 

October – December ’10: This will be a time of collaboration, mainly in the studio with other musicians (If needed), making the final cuts of the mini album.

December ’10: This will be a period of completing artwork, software, video edits.

January – February ’10: This will be the final phase of mixing and mastering the tracks. I will listen every few days to the tracks to find ways for them to be improved (If needed) and the said adjustments will be made. The max patch will be turned into a stand alone application at this point. The menu screen for the cd/dvd will also be designed and completed in this time. The last 2 weeks will be spent on providing the finishing touches to all aspects of the project.

How Much Will It Cost?

It will not cost much to produce in the way that most of the software and hardware has already been obtained. Any extra cost will be funded through a student loan. Any additional equipment will be loaned from the university.

Future Business Models

After the completion of the graduate course. The project will be used as the main promotional tool to generate interest. While promotion is ongoing, a business model will be put into place to generate revenue for the artist. This model will be a progression of 2 business models. With the proliferation of digital hardware and software, the means to promote and distribute digitally is more present than at any other time. I am proposing that the initial business model will be a self-distribution model which means that I will be solely responsible for recording, promoting, and distributing the works. The main platform for this will be the internet. The main income will come from digital sales. This model then should progress to manufacturing and distribution deal which is where I am responsible for everything except manufacturing and distributing the product. This will allow me to concentrate more on the creative side of my work. If this is not possible to obtain a license deal may be sought. This deal allows me to retain the copyrights and master recording of my work. The use your work to generate income. 

The income generated from these pursuits will be used as a source of funding to re-invest in the business.

Other Considerations

Royalties and licensing: The protection that will be put in place to safeguard my works will include The Performance Rights Society (To collect royalties), A creative commons license (The Attribution Non-commercial No-derivatives license will probably be employed) and a publishing deal may be obtained. Joining the PRS and obtaining a creative commons license will be the key elements here.

Live Performance

Live performance will be a prominent element of the promotion and business side of the product. The Live shows in other words, will be used to generate a following and to generate an income, mostly through merchandising to start with, i.e. selling copies of the cd at gigs. There are many avenues available for live shows, such as Art Galleries e.g. G39 in Cardiff, Experimental music festivals e.g. The Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival and Live venues such as The Luminaire in London.

Promotion

There are also many avenues for the promotion of my product. The main platform used for promotion will be the internet. For the purposes of promotion forums such as electro-music.com will be used to generate interest. Radio stations such as Resonance104.4fm will be used as a way to introduce the tracks to an audience. Online magazines will be contacted for advertising.


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