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Prix 1987 - 2007

ORF Oberösterreich

Res Rocket
Willy Henshall, Matt Moller

"Res Rocket"is by Matthew Moller and Willi Henshall is software that enables musicians to play together, anywhere in the world and in real time, connected through the Internet. Through "Res Rocket" data is exchanged in midi standard format, so that musical collaboration is possible across different continents. Entire studios can be joined together in real time. Well known musicians such as Sinnead O'Connor and Thomas Dolby have already collaborated on "Res Rocket" projects.

The first incarnation of "Res Rocket" was formed in November 1994 by two successful English musicians, Willy Henshall and Tim Bran. Willy Henshall, an award-winning songwriter, producer and member of the band Londonbeat, and Tim Bran, a successful engineer, producer, and member of the band Dread zone, began posting messages and sound files on Usenet (the Internet's bulletin-board)-and later on an ftp and Web site-from their West London studio. People from all over the world started replying with song ideas and sound files. By January 1995 about 600 members were regularly checking this little corner of the Internet. "The mailing list was a hive of humor and strangeness, confessions, hints, tips and friendship," says Henshall. "Meanwhile the collaborations in the ftp site were growing and getting more focused."

In a true expression of Net democracy, the name of the group was chosen by a vote of the site's member ship who picked "Res Rocket" from a list of 10 names randomly generated by a computer program.

Simultaneously several thousand miles away, Matt Moller and Canton Becker, two students at North western University in Chicago, had developed what was to become "Res Rocket's" version 1.0 client soft ware (previously called DRGN.) The two were be ginning to attract serious attention from media organizations around the world. The Chicago Tribune was soon calling Becker and Moller "the Lennon and McCartney of cyberspace."

The two pairs of musical pioneers hooked up after Becker and Moller visited Henshall and Bran's Web site and responded to a call for musical collaborators. Henshall remembers the foursome's Eureka moment: "The first time we tried an International jam was late one night at the "Res Rocket" studio in Notting Hill [London]. After about five hours of no sound, suddenly......BLAM!...a bass drum and then a wicked Chicago house-style base line appeared out of the ether. Tim and I were beside ourselves, and couldn't get to the piano quickly enough to send a part back again. We knew we had found the missing component to reach our goal of on-line musical collaboration."

That weekend Henshall got on a plane to Chicago to meet Moller and Becker. The next incarnation of "Res Rocket" was formed soon afterward in March 1995 and the initial version of the DRGN jamming soft ware was developed from there. In recent months the DRGN software has been downloaded for free by thousands of subscribers and the world's biggest band hasn't stopped jamming since! Who would have predicted that what started one night over the Internet in a studio in London and a house in Chicago would one day grow into a global music movement?