Ventura Contemporary Music

Music for the 21st Century

Eternity Server Project

The Eternity Server creates a new music piece every 2 hours.


The Eternity Project is an attempt to devise an experimental music system that achieves two goals. The first goal is to automate, via software, every process in the realization and distribution of music for which the creativity of the composer is not required. Another way of putting this is to have an automated process that accepts just the creative element from the composer and automatically creates everything else that is necessary to make the piece ready for listening anywhere in the world.

The second goal is to have a system that continuously creates new and unique music that is downloadable for finite but short amount of time. A new piece is generated which replaces the previous piece. The idea is to have a continuous flow of new music pieces rather than a catalog of individual, static recordings. In it’s highest form, the composer never finishes writing the piece and the composition can never be completely heard.

The purpose of this project is also two-fold. First, to devise a creative platform for composers that allows them to pursue their art without the need of making a transactional living from their music. Composers must earn their income in a capitalist economy that places little value on new, original art. Composers cannot continue to write music using 18th century methods and expect to survive by selling their art. The level of efficiency over the traditional composition process must therefore be increased by orders of magnitude.

The second purpose of the Eternity Project is to provide a way to stop participating in the present system that commodifies on-line music. With the advent of the internet, the distribution costs for music have been driven almost to zero, and the available revenue for traditional recordings has been largely hijacked by corporate streaming services. The solution for composers is to supply unique music that is transient, but available at no charge to all who wish to download it.

The Eternity project is one attempt at realizing this new paradigm and is currently designed to deliver minimalist process music. The composer writes 32 bars of music consisting of 4-bar cells, using four voices. This takes an hour or so a week. The cells are then randomized, offset and re-assembled into a new 7 to 10 minute piece every two hours by a computer. This is then placed on-line with a web page and MP3 player. If a listener likes what is on the player, it can be downloaded with a mouse-click. Two hours later, however, there is something different. The Eternity system can provide some 65 X 10^13 permutations of the original 32-bar cell set, or about 1 billion years worth of 9 minute pieces.

The equipment to do this is presently available and the software is all open source. This project uses MuseScore for the music notation program, Perl, SOX and LAME for audio processing, Ubuntu and the Apache web server for hosting the resulting on-line web page/player. The hardware is a $250 fanless PC that runs 24X7 with the web server in the background. This leaves the PC available for everyday use. A link through your home router IP address to a WordPress website completes the system.

Written by paulhmuller

March 4, 2022 at 5:50 pm