Joshua Rogers of Broken Machine Films has consolidated a very telegenic collection of videos to accompany the music on the Le Progrès EP. This effort is now available on a digital videodisc (DVD) under the Crash Symbols imprint. It can be purchased from the Monroeville Music Center.
monroeville music center - en route... from broken machine films on Vimeo.
monroeville music center - le progres the dvd promo 01 from broken machine films on Vimeo.
monroeville music center - dvd promo 02 from broken machine films on Vimeo.
The following are some photographs of recent activity at the Monroeville Music Center.
Arthur is adjusting the voltage in the power supply project. Watch for sparks!
Henry (foreground) and Graham assemble their VCO kits.
Graham using an alternate method for chassis assembly.
Younger students Phillip (left) and Daniel (right) work under the supervision of Carl Weibe, Electronics Architecture Comprehension Specialist for Primary Grades.
Year 5 student Jeremy shows off his tonewheel assembly to his proud parents.
Year 11 students acquire both the mathematical theory and practical knowledge of a wide variety of topics. Today's lesson: the Lissajous Figure.
Bug Incision proprietor, the Generic Product album was performed in full. One can note in the sound recording that the master tapes have deteriorated significantly since their original archival mere months before. The utmost care was taken to preserve the original recordings of the backing tracks, however certain extenuating circumstances has led to significant degradation of the iron (III) oxide (Fe2O3) powder coating on the tapes. This was caused by a miscommunication between the curator and custodial staff of the Monroeville Music Center. Essentially, not enough emphasis was placed on the restriction of unauthorized persons entering the archives, namely the younger students of the Center. I am told that a certain fourth-year student was allowed (or simply not prevented) entrance into the tape archives, where various master tapes, RCA Photophone reels, and other classified materials are located (much of which is on wire recordings). This student must have propped a door open long enough for some moisture to pass through the climate control curtain and enter the archives, causing slight condensation to form on some of the metal tape canisters. Once the restoration department was notified, it was too late. Some of the iron oxide had already deteriorated due to the presence of Ethylenediaminetetraacetic Acid in the water particles that entered the room. We are told that the proximity of the Windsor Salt plant is the reason for these acidic particulates. According to the restoration department's audio engineer, "the resultant audio signal from the master tapes is therefore distorted, and unpleasant." Nonetheless, a facsimile was made of the master backing tracks, which is what is heard in this recording. In order to discipline the student responsible, he was required to volunteer in the restoration department for a period of one month, as well as reenact the synthesizer accompaniment for this recorded performance. We are certain that this punishment, especially the latter, will prevent this from ever happening again. This retributive concert can be heard here, as all proceeds will go towards the further restoration and preservation of any and all archives damaged by this misdeed.
A poem composed by a Monroeville Music Center student about their beloved friend:
Life is Fleeting, Your Memory Deleting
How I miss your internal clock
Beating next to mine
Your machine code queries were ad-hoc
The right TI BASIC algorithms
Were always hard to find
Our time was too short
When TI you were mine all mine
And I know, I know you had no choice
But I how I miss your speech synthesized voice
Text to speech singing right with mine
About your birth on the assembly line
The warmth of your thermal printer
warmed my heart at night
The gentle sound of your cassette drive
with its comforting green light (emitting diode)
I'll take your gold plating
and smelt in a pot
a necklace I'll wear
so you're never forgot
One fateful evening at the Monroeville Music Center, the TI99/4A was powered up and the terminal, via the speech emulator, haacked [sic] out its bowelgorithms [sic] creating the most unique death rattle. Luckily, for your enjoyment, this event was recorded on a Craig reel-to-reel tape recorder and is accompanied on the Ensoniq ESQ-1 by a bright young student from the music center: Craig Storm (no relation).
Once you start listening to the recording, you will initially hear a song entitled Swedish Fish, a favorite candy amongst students at the Center. Following is a cover song by an obscure band The Gooeys called I don't know why. The next three songs: Cloud Fight 2, Rainbow Bomb, and Trigger Select were intended to be soundtrack music to a game the TI99/4A was self realizing that would have been completed this fall. The next number, Craig explains, is the closest he could come, musically, to depicting the death of the beloved computer, without being too graphic. It is called Dripping Guts in PG. The next two songs illustrate the emotional descent experienced by the class after witnessing firsthand the violent death of their special computer friend. They are inappropriately entitled Subterranean Centipede Slave and Herb Pilhofer's Whirlpool, as tribute to the TI99/4A's final words, discussed later. The next thing you will hear on the tape is the only crowd appreciation received by Craig that was not laced with obscenities as he performed this work on two occasions. Once you hear this sound, you must flip the tape over to hear the final song, Hairy Fairy Hotaruna. This is what was the computer's tone generators emanated while Craig was holding the computer in his arms, comforting it as it died. This song stands alone on one side of the cassette, due to its emotional tenderness, and Craig's inability to hear it ever again.
Craig remembers, "While I held the computer, it started playing a song, then it gurgled out a message to me. I didn't understand it at the time. I've been trying to figure it out ever since. It said:
When I was about nine or ten years old my parents had a deep whirlpool Jacuzzi they purchased from Herb Pilhofer. I was bathing in it one summer evening and I accidentally dropped my speech synthesizer chip to the bottom of the Jacuzzi. I reached to the bottom to grab it and my hair got caught in one of the vents. I started to shout but realized no one could hear me due to dropping the only chip that could enable me to speak. I couldn’t breathe, I could barely move. I became very calm and reached under me and pulled the drain out with little effort. It was as though I was watching myself from outside of my body. My body rolled itself over so I was face up. Then my vision shot out of the bathtub and it was as if I was shooting through the sky, I was running through the grass in our backyard and then back to the sky and then I was in space and the stars were shooting past me. It was amazing. It stopped for a moment that seemed like a second but also an eternity (I am unable to describe it, as time had lost all meaning) and I felt so peaceful. The entire universe was slowly swirling around me. Then it was like I was falling back to earth, away from the stars. It happened so fast; there was an immense weight on my chest. Before I realized it I had returned to my body coughing and gagging. The water had drained enough for me to breathe. I knew I should be in pain, but the pain wasn't reaching me. I composed myself a little further and was able to reinsert the speech synthesizer chip into its socket. I believe the water had caused a momentary malfunction in the chip, because the first thing it allowed me to utter, which still haunts me to this day was Subterranean Centipede Slave."