Thursday, July 13, 2000

An Internet Audio Tour de Force from Blister Media

Reprint of Press Release (draft vers.) created by and issued in tandem with the launch of the initial phase of the project, regarding Blister Media's role in producing audio for Texaco sponsored Sesame Workshop, 'Passport Kids' Web site. As follows–

July 13, 2000

Kids Create their Own Songs, Jam to Others'
at the New Sesame Workshop 'Passport Kids' Web site


Audio on the Internet is in its infancy. Two year old New York City interactive music house Blister Media has consistently pushed the interactive audio envelope, recognizing that the Web will not reach its full potential until it delivers a rich audio-visual experience.


Sesame Workshop's online service, Passport Kids, lacked a dedicated musical interface. In planning to redesign the site, SW's Robert Michaels asked Blister Media how they might incorporate an interactive educational musical experience. Blister Media presented three concepts; the winning concept allows kids to create a personal song by combining musical elements from around the world (an audio identity that parallels the visual avatar kids create on their personal SW Web page). Other kids can visit the page, listen to the song, and jam along by adding other instruments.


From creating your own song, the project evolved to enable others to interact, play along, and jam, with your song. Blister created five rhythms, offering as much geo/cultural diversity as possible - African, East Indian, pan Asian (Japanese), Latin, and Modern; and offers a choice of 10 melodic instruments: mandolin, acoustic bass, didgeridoo, gamelan, accordion, steel drum, trumpet, zurna, sitar and panpipe.

Blister creative director Michael Sweet composed pieces from which individual songs can be built.


1. Make My Song... create a musical avatar.
2. Jam with my Song... allows another to play along.
3. Global Groove (now open to the public)... allows users to hear instruments
(demo mode).


• Click on the passport icon to go to your page.
• Click on make my tune.
• Roll mouse over instrument icon to play a note.
• Click to play the instrument.
• Double click on the instrument link and a pop-up screen offers more
• Choose a rhythm, drag the instruments, select from four melody blocks.
• Can combine two instruments, plus rhythm.


Sound files are generated on the fly using Beatnik and custom instrument samples collected by Blister Media from around the world. Blister Media wrote code for an engine built upon Beatnik, allowing users to integrate sound files and instrument
into rhythm patterns, a new use of the Beatnik technology. Songs are built around a looping measure of four sections to each rhythm. One composes with 'blocks' of sound, rearranging them as desired to create nearly endless musical possibilities.

Explains Michael Sweet, Creative Director, Blister Media:

"Sesame Workshop is our most ambitious Internet audio project to date and takes the state of interactive online audio into new territory. It comes down to having thought of the idea first. But it's not just about the technology, but what it can do. If you forget about the technology you might end up trying to put your music into a box that it won't fit into. We try to push the limits of the box. Or get into the box and push the walls outward. This is what we've done with Beatnik in building the Sesame Workshop audio site."

Beatnik and Flash
Pentium II or better, Power Mac

Audio and Audio Coding Credits:

Blister Media: Terry O'Gara, executive producer
Michael Sweet, creative director

Site Development:

Modstar, NYC

Launched July 13, 2000 phase one. Full site now open exclusively to Intel users.
Full site opens to public (date TBD).

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