PSY-FI: Beats to Relax/Study/Explore Space to

Alyssa Armstrong

April 14th, 2023

Major: Mechanical Engineering (Minor: Studio Art)

Genre/Medium: Music and Digital Art

About the work: Everything starts with a sketch. All my projects so are the result of time, skill, and effort, but they all began with an idea and the courage to chase it. In PSY-FI I represent the culmination of my experience in Psyche Inspired. It’s crazy to think that I would have never created these artworks if I didn’t apply to this program. It’s even crazier to think that I might have never tried making a lofi song had I not been selected.

Lofi music is usually playing when I’m drawing or studying (both of which I do a LOT) but I’ve never made a song before. I’ve played violin, ukulele, and drums (I’ve dabbled in guitar and piano too) but I didn’t know anything about music production. However, as an artist and engineer, I am always learning new things, so the idea of diving into a new art form excited me! With the help of Youtube, I learned how to use a digital audio interface (DAW) called Waveform Free and the basics of music production. The song features a chill upbeat melody paired with an offset drum pattern (As a drummer I love songs with interesting grooves). I layered other instruments such as electric piano, pads, and bass to create a warm atmosphere. Oh and you can’t forget the classic vinyl crackle for lofi. Throughout the song, I plugged in audio clips from past space missions. At the beginning of the song, I have a clip from Apollo 11 to represent the beginning of the Space Age. Midway through the song, clips from the Space Shuttle Discovery program symbolizes the second era of space exploration. Near the end of the song the Discovery clip “Nice to be in orbit” represents our hopes for a successful mission that will put Psyche in orbit around the asteroid Psyche.

The illustration depicts Psyche as the “Lofi Girl”. The Youtube channel “Lofi Girl” popularized the genre by making playlists to relax/study to that featured animated illustrations of the Lofi Girl. Psyche has always been the star of my pieces for Psyche Inspired and the more I draw her, the more of myself is reflected through her. In this illustration, she is sketching ideas for new projects as she listens to “PSY-FI”. In the window, the spacecraft is orbiting the asteroid Psyche. In the background, there are Easter eggs of my past projects: “Soul of Psyche”, “Launch on the Runway”, and “Persevere Through Adversity”. Psyche herself is wearing the crochet shirt and armbands I made in project 2. PSY-FI is the culmination of these projects and the finished pieces you see all came from a sketch. So if you’ve made it this far through my monologue, I hope you know that with an idea, perseverance, and the willingness to learn, you can do anything.

Listen on Soundcloud…

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Date Added: 04-13-2023
Credit: Alyssa Armstrong

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