Song: fed up
Team: anatu, Yin, shoshin, Papa
I’m Fed Up! And this is my therapy. What a gift and honour to have this medium to share the maelstrom of emotions we encounter through art. Here we go again with another written homage to the music we so love to make. This time it is centred around the third song in the Legacy album “fed up” which isn’t actually in sequential order from the last post but you don’t mind - do you?
The Legacy album is the second by me - Papa - and explores the responsibility we bear as stewards of the heritage our forefathers (and mothers) have bestowed upon us. I feel it immensely! Specifically, the choice we have, through our actions (or inaction) to decide what is passed on in remembrance of all those who helped shape us. So huge. The art celebrates the joy of creation, and what this represents in terms of our unique purpose in the world. One of the ways to we have lasting impact is through the stories, traditions, ambitions, and identity we absorb from those before; and what we are able to share with those after us during our short time on this planet. There’s such fragility in the love, hope, and meaning we strive for in our humanity. The ephemerality of it, and the impermanence, imputes such immense value.
What we’ve released in Web 2 so far
“narcissus” [07.01.22] represents the brogaddicio, confidence, and pride that can easily boil over into vanity, arrogance and cockiness without the humility to keep the ego in check. This can be the difference between success and self-sabotage.
“the one” [28.01.22] is a riotous rhapsody of affection.
“fed up” [18.02.22] is a snapshot in time to a moment most will sadly inevitably go through - the juncture at which a romantic relationship comes to an end. It typically happens slowly - then all at once. This time I listened to feedback, took notes, and am sharing them verbatim. fed up is a song inspired by the most active listening i’ve ever done in my life. Imagine breaking up with someone being exactly as we usually see it in the movies. Yes heartbreaking, and for me a really significant moment of reflection on how to do things better. We move.
“hopes and dreams” [11.03.22] is a response to the weight and pride of being responsible for passing on the heritage we have been blessed with. Carrying the torch and keeping it lit. Relaying the baton, without dropping it. Dislocations happen. Alternative paths and outcomes may be discovered that are divergent to pre-ordained prescriptions; and thereby taken. Regardless, we inherit some element of those before us, and proffer this to others.
”sorry it didn’t work out” [01.04.22] - change is inevitable, progress and growth are not. In work, in relationships, in hobbies and passions persisting through the hard times, with grit and determination is lauded as the be all and end all. But every now and again there is good reason to cut your losses, learn what you can, and improve by heading in a different direction. I’m always grateful for the experiences, and often sorry they didn’t work out!
Released in Web 3
The project at hand (prologue) is to experiment with the release of this music across conventional means of distribution in Web2 (platforms like Spotify and Youtube) as well as cataloguing the systems and processes involved in releasing art and music across Web3 (NFTs, blockchain, and crypto).
So far our incredibly talented visual team has reimagined the themes of the music artistically based on the premise of the album - that despite the conditions we all have the potential and ability to flourish. we aim to establish the community, credibility, and track record to enable this message to transcend and connect with the world.
the one was selected for playlists on platforms such as Spotify which automatically expand its reach and puts it in front of new audiences.The key seems to be a combination of regular output, music released in a singles format, and utilisation of a pitching mechanism early in advance of a release which looks like this:
In terms of sharing the work across Web3 the most common tools are twitter and discord, which we’ve now set up! It feels like the very early stages of trying to work out how to stand out in and amongst the very many talented projects out there, perhaps that is not the point and this is simply somewhere for the art to live and breathe. I am comforted by the idea that a project like the cryptopunks languished in obscurity for years before being appreciated fully by the world. Yet their mere existence had incredible value in terms of what that signified to artists and creators about what was possible on the digital art frontier.
It remains to be seen what prominence on community spaces (akin to playlists on Spotify) might look like for Web 3 platforms, aggregators, and curators of content. Increasingly these influential mediums play such an important role in filtering out a huge mass of information for us all to hone in on specific niches we love - such that those niches are able to find their audiences. For instance, a verified tezos collection on objkt.com or fxhash elicits opportunities to feature on their homepage recommendations for greater visibility.
The solana blockchain (native currency SOL) is a layer one smart contract platform that positions itself as having faster transactions and lower costs than the dominant player in the NFT space - ethereum. Its detractors argue that solana ownership is hugely centralised, based on lots of VC investment holding sway over its future, however its advocates argue it is a thriving ecosystem that celebrates utility and scalability.
Key marketplaces that house the art on Solana include:
Three key considerations were important for us. First to ensure we could affordably offer the NFTs in this collection to early patrons investing in the art. Second, that we could easily split the value flow back to the creatives at the heart of the project in an automatic, trust-less, way embedded in the smart contract. And third, to learn as much as possible about the minting process across Solana and share this for others to use.
To mint a collection here it is a prerequisite to submit an application to the Launchpad program on their website (1 - 2 days for sign off). There are no listing fees (0%) but there is a 2% charge on all transactions. Since it is the dominant player in the space, this one seemed the best choice except for two recent projects “Baloonsville” and “King of Chess” which were both scams on the platform (also known as rugs where people make promises to get you to buy the NFT then run and don’t deliver). Great news is that Magic Eden refunded buyers and now requires private doxxing (reveal your identity) of creators before they are able to launch a collection. The expectation in their literature is to do lots of hype for the pieces to do well on the platform. This is not something we can promise so it is a pass for now.
The most straightforward of all, simply requires effort (no coding or technical prowess). You can see the process here, each transaction costs $0.75 approximately, and is subject to failures, which for a larger collection can add up. The platform has no listing fees but a 3% marketplace fee which occurs on every sale. I tried minting a few but the process was very laborious. For each NFT there is a waiting time of approximately 20 mins per mint and even that is subject to a time expiration whereupon you have to start again. This might perhaps make sense for a 1/1 collection but not necessarily for a larger one.
This one strikes me as being most well suited to generative pFp (profile picture) collections. Instead of creating an entire image, you create layers of an image and they get jumbled up during the minting process to create unique pieces. The tool used to do this is a “Candy Machine” in the Web3 universe. Hoping one day we do go for that but for now all our pieces are handmade individually with love! There is a handy creator portal guide on their website which details the application required to access their platform and get verified.
I managed to secure (purchased for 3 sol) a Fellowship OG + Launchpass which enables access to a creator machine that is good for 1,000 NFTs being minted on solana. You can read here about the savings on hand relative to competitors with regards to fees so that is a big bonus. I tried to do the process on my own however and didn’t get very far! My launchpass got submitted to the creator machine but the credits didn’t get reflected on the platform. They fixed that super quick when I raised a support ticket! There is also a Candy Machine mechanism to contend with so I'm in touch with their team for help as i’ve now redeemed the launchpass (1-2 days lead time). It requires you to generate your own metadata however so is a bit more involved from a technical standpoint. Usually for each of these platforms which automate the process a little, the candy machine typically creates metadata for each NFT in a generative collection as part of the code! So doing it yourself is very time and labour intensive.
Metadata is the secret sauce that prevents large files having to be hosted on the actual blockchain (too much data) so instead there is a technical workaround where the big stuff is held off-chain then called upon when needed!
The problem with the chain itself hosting too much (in terms of size) is that it then becomes difficult for the people (nodes) that maintain it to do so. The ethereum node is 1,100 GB for instance in total comprising the Defi, DApps and NFTs as it stands, without all the off chain storage data. Gemini estimates that simply storing 1 GB of data on the Ethereum blockchain costs about 17,500 ETH (or $75.75 million as of November 2021).
So instead of that image (or video, or music etc) being stored on the blockchain; their references are. So NFT has a unique ID (the hash of the token), a URI (the location of the token), and the address of the owner. Whilst the actual images are stored on a decentralised file system called IPFS (InterPlanetary File System) typically. It is specifically good for NFTs as the URL of a file in IPFS is tied to the content of the file, so changes cannot be made without changing the URL. Basically there is no centralised organisation there with the power to mess around with your content, IFPS is decentralized!
Advanced and definitely for tech savvy creators to have fun with - not me (yet) however. There are some handy tutorials on youtube as well as plenty of resources to take advantage of across platforms like Github. What is true is that a number of big collections have taken advantage of this platform to launch as much of the work is automated by the code. Once I got to the screenshot below I decided to take a pause and move on (for now) - will come you soon!
Like a knight in shining armour. A heroine swooping in to save the day. Holaplex landed on my lap. This tutorial is brilliant (their youtube series not so much) and it involves a few key steps which enable you to have a storefront, mint your NFTs on solana, and split value flow easily amongst creators. Make sure you have both a phantom wallet and an Arconnect one otherwise you are toast! Everyone of the creators needs to verify they are part of the project first individually through their wallets before. It costs approximately 0.01 sol per NFT to mint.
Excited to keep creating, learning and growing.