she (band)

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she
Shemusic logo.jpg
Background information
Also known as Imagery By Sound,[1] 4ikai,[2] D7VON, Spillexo
Origin Varberg, Sweden
Genres Electronica, Chiptune, Ambient
Years active 2003-2013 (hiatus)
2015-present
Labels

Pony Canyon[3]

8bitpeoples[4]
Website www.shemusic.org
www.facebook.com/shemusic.org
www.facebook.com/imagerybysound
www.facebook.com/4ikai
www.facebook.com/D7VON
twitter.com/shemusic
twitter.com/imagerybysound
twitter.com/4ikai
twitter.com/D7VON
sheofficial.bandcamp.com
4ikai.bandcamp.com
imagerybysound.bandcamp.com
Members Lain Trzaska

she is a band that was formed in 2003 by the artist Lain Trzaska, and is sometimes credited as shemusic or Pjat Lain. As its main producer, songwriter, and instrumentalist, Lain is the only official member of she, but he occasionally brings in vocalists to perform.[5] On 26 October 2013, Lain announced that he was working on his third solo project D7VON that would focus on his more personal side and Dark Electro/Industrial music.[6]

History[edit]

Lain Trzaska was born on 20 June 1983, in Kraków, Poland. He moved at the age of 5 to Sweden, where he learned to play the piano and violin at an early age. Despite his early introduction to the world of music, he hadn't garnered an interest for it until much later. His passions at a young age were centered around drawing and writing comics.

In 1997, Lain began creating music using FastTracker for computer games he had created. It was around this time that young Trzaska and his friends held competitions to see who could create the "coolest" sounding song. This was what would wind up driving him further in the direction of a musical career. The combinations of his passions in art and music were what would later result in the creation of "she."

In 2003, Lain launched his project "she," deviating from his game music sound into more band-oriented music, starting with his first official release Emit and Exude in 2004. As well as having a written narrative behind the music, Emit and Exude explored a more ambient and industrial sound while still retaining some elements from his game music including chiptune and game sound elements. Trzaska explained that the goal was to establish his sound and create the feeling of something "coming into existence." The protagonist of the story remains the only one created from the music in the album as opposed to the other way around, where "Reborn" represents her creation, "Trains" represents an uncertain destination, and the rest of the story is the listener's creation.[7]

March 2005 saw the second official release from she, Digital Ambient Designs, which, as implied by the name, was an album released in an electronic ambient style. The narrative established in Emit and Exude was continued, but it's unclear from an objective standpoint what direction the story takes. As with most of Trzaska's releases, it is up to the listener to continue the story.

In June 2007, the heavily story-based album days was released by she, and was made available for free. Shortly afterward a prequel continuation to days, Nights, was announced to be in production. Traveling by Night was also released in August.

In June 2008, shortly after releasing Coloris, Trzaska was contacted by Japanese music label Pony Canyon for a record deal.[8] Pony Canyon released the Coloris album in physical and digital formats throughout the Asian market but Lain retained his worldwide copyright, excluding Japan. Further production of Nights was also in the works, but fell out of development after struggles with hardware and software, leading to a brief hiatus and rewrite of all the songs in the album. 2008 also saw the release of she's single, 2008.

In 2009, Trzaska continued through working through producing Nights as well as a second major album under the Pony Canyon label. Despite his earlier confidence in taking on both projects at the same time, he eventually began feeling the stress of the workload, and put Nights on indefinite hiatus on 3 March.[9] This allowed him to focus heavily on pushing out the album for Pony Canyon, which allowed for the release of the second major she album under Pony Canyon, Orion. This is considered to be the direct sequel to Coloris in regards to the story behind the music. After the release of Orion, Trzaska made a statement that Nights was to be put back into production.[10]

In May 2012, Trzaska announced that "she" has been put on indefinite hiatus.[11] He later clarified that only the band has been put on hiatus, not himself as an artist.[12] A few days later, Lain announced that "shemusic" (that is, his style of music blend [mainly Electro House/Chiptune and Ambient Acoustic] released under his band "she") was going to split in two. He further announced the new band was to be known as "Imagery by Sound". "she" and "Imagery by Sound" are now the two sides of "shemusic". While "she" follows its way on Electro House and Chiptune, "Imagery by Sound" focuses now on the "ambient/acoustic and electro experimental aspect of "shemusic". Imagery by Sound features the previous albums (Insomnia, days, Digital Ambient Designs) from "she" as a related musical legacy. The upcoming Nights album will be released under Imagery by Sound.[13]

In December 2012, Insomnia became the first EP released under Imagery by Sound, with the single "Darkness of my Past" coming in late August. Both were briefly released for free that October. In September of the same year, Trzaska also released a new shemusic LP titled Electric Girl, which had been put on the shelf in 2010.[14]

In March 2013, his newest side project "4ikai" was announced, set to explore the more ambient, glitch style of Trzaska's music without relation to she or Imagery by Sound's continuity. Although the name had been established, it wouldn't see an official musical release in 2013.

In November 2014, Trzaska announced a new she album to be released during spring 2015, with a single from the album to be released a few weeks before it.[15] This release was pushed back to December 2015, when she's next album, Chiptune Memories, was released.

In January 2015, almost two years after Trzaska's announcement of his side project "4ikai," the EP Hyperborea had been released, officially establishing a sound to the 4ikai name. The following March, two new singles ("Thaw" and "Winter Dynamics") were also released under 4ikai.

In October 2016, Trzaska released a new she EP named Abyss. One month later, Trzaska announced a continuation of the story developed in Coloris and Orion would be coming out in the form of a third album in late 2017.

In February 2017, 4ikai saw the release of the 5-track EP Analogica.

Musical style[edit]

While she's music can be labeled as electronica and chiptune, it incorporates elements from ambient and classical music. Using a mixture of old 8-bit computers and modern equipment, she's music is produced in the bitpop style.[citation needed]

While she's albums are electronic in nature, they can vary in genres from album to album. For example, she's first release, Emit and Exude, is a blend of industrial-electro with electric guitars; the third release, Pioneer, is a chiptune album that uses a Game Boy as the main instrument, and the first major release, Coloris, is a dance-electronica album.

Lain often uses acoustic instruments with synthesizers[3] (this stems from his musical roots in classical piano).

An effect Lain often uses is "synthetic distortion", i.e. making the music sound 'glitchy' or 'laggy' like a damaged mp3 or CD. This creates an impression of the music being damaged.

Lain often uses Renoise, a DAW based upon the heritage and development of tracker software, to create his music.[16] He often masters his music using Sound Forge.

Visuals and design[edit]

Myspace-era promotional art for shemusic.

The graphics, illustrations and designs surrounding she's releases are directly connected with each album and both the images and music are intended to tell a story. For example, the days album was created as a short story where each song introduces a new chapter.[17] Lain describes that while the sounds, effects, and lyrics give clues to the story of the album, "the listener would find himself creating images and events in his head, completing the story".[3]

A recurring theme in she's art is that some images seem to be damaged or poorly compressed in certain parts. Just like with the music distortion, the images are designed to give the impression that the file is incomplete, broken and not correctly displayed.

Lain uses symbolism in his images, often tying the imagery into story elements.

Story[edit]

In the she universe, there are many terms you may not be familiar with. Use this glossary to help you along the way:

  • Human Identification Data Base (HIDB)
    • A system that was built to record every birth as an ID in a digital database.
  • Luna-4
    • A large space city where pop culture, fashion and music all come together.
  • New Internet Technology Network (NITN)
    • The newest version of internet communication technology.

days (2007)[edit]

To read the story yourself, click here.

The story begins with two cities closed due to high amounts of digital radiation. Upon finding a letter (addressed to "Amy" from a friend) near the aforementioned area, a local reports the discovery to a group of scientists and historians. Baffled by the concept that there still may be life in the area, they begin to seek entrance into the closed down cities. After a year, they are granted clearance by the government to investigate the areas disclosed in "Amy's Letter" for a 12-day period.

During the investigation, two memorycards were found containing fragments of voice clips, music and photographs. However, no animal or human life was found, and the government closed down the area, dismissing the case as an imaginative construct. After the closing of the investigation, the scientists were able to piece together most of the music, audio and images found on the damaged memorycards. Mere weeks later, an alleged hacker leaked the files online for public viewing. The files are still available to this day.

The listener's role is obtaining the leaked files and piecing together for themselves what really happened to Amy and her friends in the days leading up to the investigation.

Amy's Letter[edit]

Amy's Letter appears to have been written by a female. Despite most of it being damaged, the following is the transcription from Amy's Letter:

Hello Amy, it's been a long time, hasn't it?

Sure, you remember don't you-... the times we-...

...-he files over again.

...- and the trees. A gentle breeze cought the balloons and I remember you chased them for the longest time. You managed to catch the red o-...

...-it was all blue.

I found this dusty memorycard inside the broken piano in the hallway. You know the one we never got around to moving from the dirt pile.

Someone must have hiddden the tape because it was carefully pla-...

...-re also old pictures, but I couldn't make anything out because of all the decay that have-...

...-usic and recordings of his friends, laughing as they played games, acting as everything was alright and ignoring the fact that everything would end so silently it did-...

...-ad it's happening. Never planned on this though but I went back to our secret place under the containers. The drawings, rocks and pellets were all there. I ne-...

...-as we used to.

Oh that's right, Derek gave his best regards, pri-...-at was still his favorite. I remember him study the facts and believing he might survive thi-...-till grew white flowers that he used t-...

...-alot. I still look at the pictures we took with your camera and I put the memorycard with the rest o-...

...-and the colors starting to fade and all.

I'm still waiting for you to come back and I hope everything is fine with y-...

...-ont know if it will surive the contamination levels though. Im hoping you get a chance to read this letter when Im gone ju-...

...-re-... I miss you-...-a-...-t-...

Remaining Mysteries[edit]

Aside from the most obvious mysteries presented above, there are a few other contributing details that can be regarded as unexplained facets to the story.

Image Paradox[edit]

All the photos found on the memorycards had timestamps indicating an exposure at three separate times of day taken all at the same time. While bizarre, it is disputed that the exposure to digital radiation could be the cause of the errors.

HIDB Entries[edit]

The HIDB had been scoured for entries matching the Derek and Amy mentioned in "Amy's Letter," but none were found. This has been the basis for the claim that the writer might have been suffering from EDD caused by the solar nuclear energy present in the area before the incident. Regarding the addressee, "Amy" is also the alias of a known hacker that has roamed the NITN before it was even made public. Accordingly, t's possible the letter was intended to be fan mail. As for Derek, there are no leads.

Day 11[edit]

On the eleventh day of the search, backward letters were found punched into an old container in a font that was mechanical in appearance. Further investigation found that the letters were actually somehow written from the middle layers of the metal.

The following is what was found on the container:

1 1 ?Right em NAht.mE reht0yna tnsi eREht and ..hTGir Em YLNo EHt__eM mA I

Later on it was stated the decay was likely the explanation behind the discovery.

Mysterious Photo[edit]

The "Mysterious Photo" (as seen on the right) was one of the pieced together images collected during the investigation. It depicts a girl's legs, but it is currently unclear who exactly it is in the photo. Speculation states it may be the "Amy" written about in the letter, or perhaps a different girl entirely.

Coloris (2008)[edit]

Orion (2009)[edit]

Orion is the second installment in the story established by Coloris. To read the story yourself, click here.

The story begins with a young girl, Sarah, who has lived an uneventful life in a royal family. In a futuristic castle overlooking the space station Luna-4, she's lived a life secluded from the "poor" children, learning advanced sciences and mathematics as she ages. As she grows older, she begins to wonder about the alleged danger of the outside world.

Upon finding a forgotten key to a forbidden hallway, she goes beyond her established childhood boundaries and discovers the place she knew as her home was an enormous research lab conducting experiments on humanoid AI and life emulation. She hurriedly makes for the exit, tripping an alarm on her way. As she evades drones, the events play out as heard in the song "Escape." She seeks refuge in a parked aircraft and eventually falls asleep inside. While she sleeps, the aircraft makes its way to a distant planet.

Upon waking, Sarah finds herself in the presence of a pilot from the facility she came from. She makes a break for it as the pilot calls for police. In fear of returning to the research facility, she hides again, this time attempting to blend into a crowd of people at a nearby dance club. Here, Sarah bumps into the protagonist from Coloris, who is aware of the situation and tries to help Sarah blend in by dancing with her. This proves to be useless as Sarah's mechanical traits begin to show underneath the bright club lights. The two girls escape outside with authorities trailing behind them. Getting into the nameless girls' car, they break away in a high-speed pursuit, evading police as the events of "Ride" play out.

Managing to successfully escape authorities, they sleep through the night at the girl's home.

The rest of the story is to be put together in the mind of the listener.

Discography[edit]

Most of she's releases are available for download on the official she Bandcamp, excluding Coloris and Orion, which were released under the label Pony Canyon.[3]

The Electric Girl album was originally planned for a release in 2010, but was later postponed until November 2012. She's newest album "Chiptune Memories" was released in December 2015.

Music from the album days is used as music in the movie 12 Fl oz.[18]

Major releases[edit]

  • Coloris - 17 June 2008
  • Orion - 16 September 2009
  • Chiptune Memories - 3 December 2015
  • Nameless major project[19] - TBA, 2017
  • Nights (under Imagery by Sound)[20] - TBA

EPs and compilations[edit]

  • Emit and Exude - 4 May 2004
  • digital ambient designs - 16 March 2005
  • Pioneer - 20 December 2006
  • days - 17 June 2007
  • Chiptek - 1 November 2008
  • Journeys[21][22] - 10 May 2011
  • Electric Girl - 29 November 2012[23] (10 November 2010 was intended release date)
  • Insomnia by Imagery by Sound[24] - 6 December 2012
  • Come See Me[25][26] - 21 September 2014
  • Come a Little Closer[27] - 18 March 2015
  • Abyss[28] - 14 October 2016

Singles[edit]

  • And Beyond - 5 July 2005
  • Songbird - 10 February 2007
  • 2008/Chiptune Superstar - 20 December 2008
  • Make Me Real[29][30] - 25 March 2011
  • Always Yours[31] - 13 December 2012
  • Distortia[32] - 13 January 2013
  • Since You Left[33] - 3 March 2013
  • Break The Silence[34] - 28 March 2013
  • Come See Me[35] - 25 June 2013
  • Archetype[36] - 19 July 2013
  • Easy Action[37] - 13 September 2013
  • Axiom [38] - 28 April 2015

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Imagery by Sound". Retrieved 19 August 2016. 
  2. ^ "4ikai". Retrieved 19 August 2016. 
  3. ^ a b c d "she – Official website  » About". Retrieved 19 August 2016. 
  4. ^ "8bitpeoples". Retrieved 1 March 2013.  - she's discography page on 8bitpeoples
  5. ^ Robson, Daniel (25 September 2009). "She "Orion"". Retrieved 19 August 2016 – via Japan Times Online. 
  6. ^ https://twitter.com/shemusic/status/526197554057588736
  7. ^ Trzaska, Lain. "About she". shemusic.org. Retrieved 23 June 2017. 
  8. ^ "Pony Canyon’s 2009 New Artist "she" talks to Ningin - exclusive interview". Ningin. 12 December 2008. Retrieved 4 May 2012. 
  9. ^ Trzaska, Lain (25 March 2009). "Nights put on Indefinite Hiatus.". shemusic.org. Retrieved 23 June 2017. 
  10. ^ Trzaska, Lain (16 August 2009). "New Album and Nights Update". shemusic.org. Retrieved 23 June 2017. 
  11. ^ "Twitter / @shemusic". Retrieved 4 May 2012. 
  12. ^ "Twitter / @shemusic". Retrieved 4 May 2012. 
  13. ^ Trzaska, Lain. "What is Imagery by Sound?". Imagery by Sound. Lain Trzaska. Retrieved 17 May 2012. 
  14. ^ sheofficial (8 October 2012). "she - Electric Girl (album teaser) Out Now.". Retrieved 19 August 2016 – via YouTube. 
  15. ^ "she on Twitter: The New shemusic Chiptune #chiptune #music #8bit". 
  16. ^ "she - Timeline - Facebook". Retrieved 19 August 2016. 
  17. ^ "Pony Canyon's 2009 New Artist "she" talks to Ningin - exclusive interview". Retrieved 19 August 2016. 
  18. ^ "12 FL OZ". 1 January 2000. Retrieved 19 August 2016 – via IMDb. 
  19. ^ "she on Twitter". Retrieved 31 December 2016. 
  20. ^ "Imagery by Sound - About". Retrieved 19 August 2016. 
  21. ^ "Journeys, by she". Retrieved 19 August 2016. 
  22. ^ "she on Twitter". Retrieved 19 August 2016. 
  23. ^ "she on Twitter". Retrieved 19 August 2016. 
  24. ^ "Insomnia - EP by Imagery by Sound on Apple Music". Retrieved 19 August 2016. 
  25. ^ "Come See Me, by she". Retrieved 19 August 2016. 
  26. ^ "she on Twitter". Retrieved 19 August 2016. 
  27. ^ "Come a Little Closer, by she". Retrieved 19 August 2016. 
  28. ^ "Abyss, by she". Retrieved 14 October 2016. 
  29. ^ She - Make me Real, promotional content on she's site regarding the release date
  30. ^ Twitter / shemusic, A tweet about Make Me Real.
  31. ^ "she on Twitter". Retrieved 19 August 2016. 
  32. ^ "she on Twitter". Retrieved 19 August 2016. 
  33. ^ Twitter / shemusic, A tweet about Since You Left with Soundcloud song embedded.
  34. ^ "she on Twitter". Retrieved 19 August 2016. 
  35. ^ "she on Twitter". Retrieved 19 August 2016. 
  36. ^ "she on Twitter". Retrieved 19 August 2016. 
  37. ^ "she on Twitter". Retrieved 19 August 2016. 
  38. ^ "Axiom, by she". Retrieved 19 August 2016. 

External links[edit]