The Prometheus Project: Behind the Scenes

by Jon Sonnenberg
October 20, 2013

The Prometheus Project originally came about because I was talking with Mike Williams (who owned Plastiq Musiq at the time) about Halloween being one of our favorite holidays growing up and how the many Churches seem to ban the idea of Halloween, instead having “harvest parties” or “safe” trick-or-treat, etc. The excitement of dressing up, going out with your clan of ghouls, moving from house to house, and getting candy from complete strangers was gone. I thought that we should make a Halloween record or something that portrays a classic Halloween type story. Many monster stories came to mind, but the one that we settled on was ‘Frankenstein’. Originally, I thought it would be more of a compilation with a track from Norway as the computer/machinery, I could do a Travelogue track as the ‘Scientist’, Israel Slick would do a Red Orchestra track as the ‘monster’, etc. Mike even talked about contributing a track for this. As this unfolded, we thought that keeping it simple would be better and over several phone conversations, we ended up just having it be a collaboration between Israel and myself, the ‘monster’ and the ‘scientist’. I still think that it would be fun to do a separate Halloween themed compilation of various artists.

So The Prometheus Project is the story of Frankenstein. The songs that I contributed are from the perspective of the scientist/creator and the songs that Israel contributed are from the perspective of the monster/creation. The collaboration became more of a compilation of 2 artist or split CD. I had very little to do with Israel’s tracks and he had little to do with mine. I tend to take control when it comes to studio work and so not having control over half of the album proved to be challenging to me. It was interesting because it literally became the story of Frankenstein in musical form as well. Israel had started a different direction than he had been approaching throughout the Red Orchestra releases and his contribution was different than what I had expected - not to say that Israel’s tracks were bad – just unexpected, but I embraced it because I realized that was the literal translation of the story. The Scientist contributes into creating something which has its own ideas and thoughts. The Scientist ultimately has no say or contribution into the Monster’s actions, just as I had no say or contribution into Israel’s tracks.

My opening track starts with a synthesized bubbling sound of laboratory chemicals. Throughout my tracks, I recorded dropping wrenches, machine ambient sounds, etc to make more of a laboratory/workshop environment. In our story, Track 1 is the opening idea about creating a life form. Track 2 is talking about the creature in the sentimental sense, Track 4 is the attempt to instruct the creature when he wakes. Track 6 is the failed attempt of all of this, where things become unstable and Track 8 is the retrospection in the aftermath of the story. Those are my tracks that I contributed.