The Point: Eps 1 & 2

©2022 Michael Raven

Back in late April I was doom-scrolling my Twitter feed, bored out of my noggin, when I saw a Twitter post from Cherie looking for someone to do some collaborative work. She expressed some interest and I wasn’t sure what she had in mind, so I threw out a few skill set examples to see what might appeal to her. I had considered something along the lines of what I had done with Tara Caribou last year (poetry/music) and mentioned something along those lines, as well as other methods of collaboration. Cherie tossed a couple of poems and a few short stories in my direction. When I first read The Point, it evoked memories of Blade Runner mixed with a bit of Fallout and a taste of Mad Max. I thought, well, I can try to do something post-futuristic and a bit on the ambient side of background music and maybe add in some special effects, do a bit of tweaking to clean up the background noise and boost the signal, and even out the…

We both found out quickly that a short story can take a long time to listen to. Whereas I had envisioned maybe a longish 7-10 minute piece, we discovered that it took Cherie over 20 minutes to read the story, and she wasn’t even trying to pace herself with dramatic pauses and whatnot. It was quickly decided that this needed to be episodic storytelling which, as you might guess, started to increase the length of each piece even further to account for individual credits and to set the mood for each episode. I believe the current overall length is on the order of 35-40 minutes, although I’ll confess that I haven’t actually added up the time required to listen to it.

Warning: if you are the type who requires there to be trigger warnings before you consume content, you probably shouldn’t watch the following video. We accept no responsibility for any trauma you might experience by ignoring this warning and choosing to watch or listen. This is a work of mature fiction and is not intended for minors.

Cherie was deeply interested in making The Point into a multimedia endeavor, only she got little more than nibbles from people with any artistic talent (I have exactly zilch talent in the way of visual art). I recalled in discussions with Miriam, a French Canadian writer (also from Twitterspace) that her partner, O’Wisp, was interested in exploring her art in other mediums and venues and so I made the requisite introductions. Those two hit it off pretty quickly and O’Wisp proposed the use of an art feel reminiscent of visual graphic novels which really did (in my opinion) fit in with the overall feel of the story.

I started off knowing I wanted to have each episode at least slightly different in feel, but to have the sound interconnect in some manner akin to a tapestry. I’m not entirely certain I succeeded in that goal but, if you listen closely, you might notice that I tended towards using the same or similar instrumental voices, often in similar (although not always) or complementary keys, and even borrowed a few phrasings from one episode to the next. But I discovered quite quickly that my role was not to be an equal partner in terms of volume, but to step back a bit to let Cherie’s voice take center stage.

Warning: if you are the type who requires there to be trigger warnings before you consume content, you probably shouldn’t watch the following video. We accept no responsibility for any trauma you might experience by ignoring this warning and choosing to watch or listen. This is a work of mature fiction and is not intended for minors.

I had to dial everything back multiple notches, in volume and complexity. Some of the initial episodes suffered a bit from that lack of experience in my opinion, and I think I over-compensated on a few levels by perhaps putting too much emphasis on simplicity and by adding too much compression to even out the sound. In all honesty, I had never done anything at all like background music, as a sound engineer or a musician, and it was a fresh challenge that took me a while to adjust for (by Episode 3, I think I really started to grasp what I needed to do to start making a much better product). While these first two episodes are okay sonically, I think they show my inexperience with using effects and tools outside of my experience. Add a few layers of rust onto my composition skills and these two episodes didn’t age the best in the short time since their inception. If I had a different attitude, I might insist going back and improving them. But, I frown on people like George Lucas, the director who was never able to say A New Hope was “finished”. At some point, you have to move on and release it into the wild, warts and everything. And let it be a flawed, but final piece. Or, not at all.

So, these are flawed, but final. Hopefully not so flawed that you refuse to come back and give Episodes 3 and 4 a chance next week. I’ll delve into both of those creative experiences later, but the sound changes (for the better) in the next two episodes (although I might have tweaked the levels a bit too much in some of my overcompensation for the feel of the first two). The final episode was the one that pleased me the most.

I hope you enjoy.


Cherie’s blog has a launch page with additional details. Please consider following all the contributor’s blogs or social sites in support if you enjoy what we’ve wrought. All of these videos are done without intention of monetizing the effort, so your support is the best way to show us you appreciate what we’ve done.

Cherie: https://www.darlinglynae.com/

O’Wisp: https://www.instagram.com/wisp.x8finity/

Episodes three and four are scheduled for release on August 19, 2022 and the final episode is scheduled for release on August 26, 2022, each time at or around 2300 GMT(UTC +0.00) / 1800 CST (UTC -5.00).

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