Ahead of his performance at this year’s Choice Music Prize awards at Vicar St on March 3rd, Mick Flannery releases a 12 song chess album and companion NFT Collection called ‘Night At The Opera’ with profits from both being shared with Effective Altruism.
The album which will be released initially to Bandcamp only is made up of 12 short songs that tell the story of 12 famous chess games and their players. A new take on songwriting where the piece moves of famous historical chess games dictate the bass notes of a song. The song in turn tells the pieces when to move. The NFT collection is a selection of videos illustrating the marriage of chess game and song. Mick collaborated with his sister Sarah Barthelet and her husband Luc Barthelet on the creation of the NFTs which were made using Unity
Speaking recently to Irish Tech news Mick said “Money was always going to be digitized so the emergence of Bitcoin is not that unexpected. And even though there are energy concerns surrounding layer one blockchains, it’s hard for me to see a more important use of energy than the conservation of people’s time and work.” A preview of the NFT Collection can be seen here alongside Mick walking through the different aspects of the collection. The collection goes live on the Ethereum Blockchain and will launch at 7.30pm on February 22nd. More information on this project can be found via this discord group dedicated to the project.
The album and project initially inspired by Croatian chess player and youtuber ‘ Agatmators’ youtube channel, Mick selected 12 different famous chess games to apply this songwriting method to, including games with Judit Polgar, Awonder Liang, Adolf Anderssen, Rashid Nezhmetdinov, Vassily Ivanchuk, Mikhail Tal, Bobby Fischer, Albert Einstein, Alexander Alekhine, Gary Kasparov and the album and NFT Collections namesake game ‘Night At The Opera’ which recalls the famous game that Paul Morphy played in 1858 at the Opera House in Paris.
Speaking more on the project Mick has said:
“A lockdown-induced chess-obsession was the inspiration for these songs. A chess piece e.g knight, pawn.. is given a corresponding musical chord, and thus the song structure follows the moves of a chosen (mostly famous) chess game. The lyrics of the songs deal primarily with the often complex lives of the grandmasters. The audio will be widely available. The NFT idea is connected to videos where people (chess-nerds) can watch the chess game play out in time and harmony with the chords of the song. There’ll be 2D and 3D versions of these and they’ll be sold as digital tokens with 20% of all profits going to effective altruism”