royalty f(r)ee

royalty f(r)ee was a generative audio installation that I made as part of the memelab.

royalty f(r)ee is an automated music sequencer built in the open source programming environment, Pure Data. It randomly loads and sequences sample sets provided by a diverse group of musicians. Each time an artist's sample is selected it programmatically determines the length of the sample and multiplies it by a dollar-per-minute algorithm based upon SOCAN fees. In this way, royalty f(r)ee creates original sound while simultaneously acting as a precision royalty counter. Additionally, the 'ownership' of the piece is consistently in a state of flux... the memelab starts with 100% ownership, but with each sample played by another artist, their 'slice of the pie', so to speak, will increase, vis-a-vis everyone else's. In this way, we hope to question prevailing conventions around notions of ownership, control, creativity, and creative economies. royalty f(r)ee was presented as part of open signs, a satellite exhibition of Transmediale 11 (Feb 2011), in collaboration with the Canadian Embassy and sound artists ross birdwise, nathan jonson and trevor larson.

More information for the project can be seen on the memelab site, and the source code for the project is available on my GitHub.

royalty f(r)ee from the memelab on Vimeo.

Photo documentation by Mick Morley