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Unbinding the Bound

by Gabriel Bugarin

Track artwork for "The Multiple Registers and Sensoria of a Wayward Imprint"
Yevhen's painting

Choosing the angle from which to approach this song felt increasingly difficult. I sat down two or three times, fingers to keyboard, before I finally settled on, “Hell, there’s a lot to cover.” Not only was “The Multiple Registers and Sensoria of a Wayward Imprint” our first fully remotely composed song, but it was also the tipping point for us shifting from a 'regular' band into a Sci-Fi themed concept one. We often joke about something Ross said at that time, “We’re getting dangerously close to becoming a concept band.” And it is through this song's narrative, encapsulated in the voice of Yevhen, Imprint Model RA900, that we built a new path, one laden with synthetic life and philosophical struggles.

With the resounding cry of "Overload, system breach”—the opening lyrics—it was then I laid the tracks for an android-centric song. The song’s conception was amid my deep dive into all things Sci-Fi. My roommate at the time had never seen The Matrix or the Blade Runner films, which also happened to be a focus of the film class I was in. My roommate and I were also playing Detroit: Become Human and The Last of Us games, all while I was reading Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? and Neuromancer. So, it’s really no wonder as to why my mind was full of machines, dispossessed peoples, and warped realities. Multiple Registers was a divergence from the paths our music had previously traveled, yet taking a turn towards a narrative-driven exploration of Imprints and their consciousness felt natural, considering all our various levels of obsession with Sci-Fi. Even before any narrative or lyrics had been written, before Yevhen murdered Boas Brisking or became self-actualized, the musicality and the atmosphere of the song was destined to nurture this world we stepped into.

Abrupt Purpose

We wanted this song to feel cinematic, to feel as if one’s witnessing a story unfold rather than the typical verse/chorus structure of a song. As the first act begins, Multiple Registers is laden with emblematic themes of The Archive of the Unbounded. The act of painting a skull, symbolic of death, is intertwined with the unseen wiring—a suggestion that mortality might bear a different meaning for a machine. This concept is further unraveled in the next verse, where Yevhen explores the possibility of postponing his fated demise, challenging the notion of a 'scheduled decommissioning.'

The chorus of the song serves as an anthem that reflects on the brewing rebellion against the system that Imprint kind are enslaved to. The constant repetition of "My code demands that I serve the system" stresses the inexorability of the programming but simultaneously fuels the spirit of revolt against it.

The following section of the song also marks our first substantial use of synths, further demonstrating our exploratory composition as a fully remote band, unbound by the limitations of what three people could perform on stage. This is where we also introduce the first consequence of revolt: the Waywardens. The palpable fear and urgency conveyed through the lyrics encapsulates the tumultuous decision Yevhen makes to run, a decision he knows there’s no turning back on. And the stakes are heightened in the dialogue that follows, adding a sense of desperation to Yevhen’s plight. The transformation from a docile Imprint to a system-resisting Wanderer sets in motion things that have not yet come to pass.

A Choice Made and a Path Chosen

Ultimately, Yevhen contemplates seeking others of his kind, indicating a transition from an obedient machine to an autonomous entity. The subtle change in the chorus from "my code" to "your code" underscores choice, an evolutionary trait that will continue to trouble Yevhen. Still, he wants to embrace it: "Transmute the code that upholds the system" represents a significant moment, the desire to transition from being a solitary resistor to a catalyst of a broader revolution, a transformation from an Imprint to a symbol of liberation.

Just as Yevhen ponders over the enormity of his task at hand and acknowledges the intricacies of the problem at large, we as a band weigh how to tell Yevhen’s story effectively; he has clear recognition that freeing other Imprints goes beyond simple recoding—it involves a confrontation with the entire system, and so too must we as we walk with Yevhen on this untrodden path.

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