Tuesday, December 31, 2002

BLISTER MEDIA: 10.15.98 -12.31.02

We'd worked together since 1991, but didn't begin our formal partnership until the beginning of September 1998. Our venture remained unnamed until mid-October. 'Blister' was not our first choice, but in fact our seventh choice. It seemed that no matter what eclectic name we thought up, someone somewhere already had a music production studio with the same name. Legal fees related to formal trademark searches were draining a tidy hole in our launch budget. Eventually we came to a point of exasperation, where it was like, let's just use the first thing available.

If I had to do it over again, I would have gone into business with our first choice and simply waited for a cease and desist letter to arrive from an offended party. That way, we could have hit the ground running faster and had a little more cash in our pocket when we did –and honestly, I think it would 100% have been cheaper.

We founded our business with a mission to become the Interactive medium's premier audio supplier –delivering not just sound, as was typical for audio shops, but the applicable coding to insure the highest quality integration and playback. In the spirit of the burgeoning dot com age, we added the identifier 'Media'.

Other shops provided 'Recording', 'Mixing', 'Music', 'Music and Sound Design', or simply 'Audio'. I knew we were different because I knew our approach to the process was different. Dramatically so. There wasn't another commercial shop I could think of that considered the issues programmers faced during the construction of these new Interactive experiences.

In fact, the only other venture I could think of that shared any similarities with our business model was Cathryn Ramin's Team Audio project out of San Francisco, and whose roster of talent included Ron Ramin and X-Files composer Mark Snow. That's good company to be in, I think!

At any rate, I'd like to believe that I brought to the table an understanding of market considerations coupled with an ear for maximizing the entertainment value of any given sonic experience, and Michael was simply a master of making things sound great streaming off the web. And to his credit, he never tired of producing hundreds of navigational button sounds.

I wanted to indicate we found beauty in chaos. I wanted to say 'disciplined but experimental'. I wanted to signal to our Madison Alley (Madison Ave + Silicon V/Alley, i.e. the ad tech community)neighbors that we were one of them, and not, you know, a place where bands just hung out and made demos. We eventually settled on the tag 'Music Noise Code'.

I love language as much as I love music –both are different manifestations of communicable sound– that memorable branding and marketing strike my ear as linguistic melodies.

Of course, I was quite pleased that when Mix Magazine's Internet Audio supplement published their April 2001 story about us (Interactive Composition Comes of Age), they even used the tag as section headers to tell three aspects of our story: Music, Noise and Code.

Blister Media – Music ..> Noise ..> Code

I still think it rocks.

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