Imagine academy award winning open-source productions

  • By Marwan Refaat
  • Last update: Aug 13, 2022
  • Comments: 7

Notion backup


Imagine open-source academy award winning productions...

The box office, triple-platinums, and masterpieces of the future will be built by an open-source hive mind. It will be bidirectional, iterative, generative, evolutionary and transcendent.

Great products are built by teams of dedicated people when multiple engineers find that hyper-generative frequency. Great artistic productions are no different.

Engineering = Art

Github = Art Version Control

🧭 Mission

Create shared art, share art created.

🔭 Vision

Build Product(ions)


iF YOUR house doesn't look like this please leaveGoogle Chrome Screenshot on 07-03-2022 at 12 55PM

Random Thinking

Evolution of multimedia goes from text to sound to image and then it's combined magically into movies/musical theater

Seems wise to start with music and as momentum builds incorporate more mediums meaningfully. Art is art, maximum generation is good though constraints need to be built such that energy isn't spread to thin. Can this be defined productively?

Why GitHub

GitHub is where the worlds most influential products are built, soon it will be where the worlds most powerful productions are created. Imagine if creative people across the world could contribute piecemeal to an academy award caliber production. Open source has had some mind-boggling effects on the information sphere and the creative space is next. Aligning creative visions is a major challenge and the iteration process for creativity is particularly challenging. Using a version control system like git in combination with performing art is unconventional but could unlock a lot.


DevOps and CI/CD really helps streamline the engineering process, imagine the same type of tooling and chained looping processes applied to the creative process. Automated A/B testing of lyrics run on music and computer vision algorithms trained to pre-identify which footage is likely to perform better that is then improved with real-world data based on deep analytics. The marginal return of some engineering to art could be tremendously high. GitHub actions is a great place to start with this, one idea of a small automation could be a GPT-3 fine tuned model that classifies which of two verses it thinks is better.

For example:

curl \
  -H "Content-Type: application/json" \
  -H "Authorization: Bearer $OPENAI_API_KEY" \
  -d '{
  "model": "text-davinci-002",
  "prompt": "Predict whether verse 1 or verse 2 is likely to perform better:\n\nVerse 1:\nToday is gonna be the day that they're gonna throw it back to you\nAnd by now, you should've somehow realised what you gotta do\nI don't believe that anybody feels the way I do about you now\n\nVerse 2:\nToday was gonna be the day, but they'll never throw it back to you\nAnd by now, you should've somehow realised what you're not to do\nI don't believe that anybody feels the way I do about you now\n\nThe verse that will perform better is:",
  "temperature": 0,
  "max_tokens": 2048,
  "top_p": 1,
  "frequency_penalty": 0,
  "presence_penalty": 0

DALL-E Generated Album Covers

Given some lyrics from a song an album/single cover can be generated such that music can be released with minimal investment in accessory artwork until it’s proven to have some traction after which the art may be revised.

For example, the following lyrics from wonderwall generated these potential covers:

And backbeat, the word is on the street that the fire in your heart is out I'm sure you've heard it all before, but you never really had a doubt I don't believe that anybody feels the way I do about you now Marwan_And_backbeat_the_word_is_on_the_street_that_the_fire_in__bc685f53-9019-484c-9170-901ee0f7ae6e-1

WebHooks to Deploy Alpha Songs

Superfans can have access to the song creation process and get to listen to the music being built one commit at a time. Imagine hearing a "timelapse" of your favorite artists album as it is being made and potentially even having the opportunity to "vote" or test out parts of the album. The culture behind be a part of a pilot for software is exciting and the potential for music to have the same should be a thing. Getting to a hear v0.1.0 of your favorite artists single could be very cool and controversy on which version is best could add an interesting vector of conversation to the mix.

File Structure


The "Snippets" folder contains intial ideas for songs (lyrics, beats, riffs/melodies). The "Music" folder is for when you're building onto snippets or combinding multiple ideas.

The general idea here is to make things composable and atomic such that a bottoms-up approach can be taken to building art. If you're familiar with MineCraft and the "blocks" system then that is a perfect analogy here. The idea is for specialists to introduce blocks and generalists to piece the blocks together and then for the credit to be shared accross both.

Real-World Performances

It would be remarkable if contributions made via URLs eventually made their way to IRL in the form of real-world concerts which would then be published to the GitHub and/or live-streamed. People contributing to the performance would get free perks and VIP access tickets as well as backstage passes etc.

Earnings Distribution Algorithm

In terms of business model the idea is to be a hybrid between a tech-company and a record label


  • Note that the example above is Roblox's model and is just an exemplar of a potential distribution but these aren't the numbers we're settled on

An automated way to distribute royalties and earnings from performances to contributors in a manner that's pro-rated based on the contribution would incentivize people and would allow both generalists and specialists to benefit financially from their creations. this algorithm would ideally be automated and fine-tuned over time based on voting by the community and while unlikely to be perfect at first it could get better and fairer over time.


Do-occracy: doing > debating

The beauty of using GitHub is that everything can be reverted so if you have an idea, do it and ask for forgiveness later, the stakes are low here and things are highly reversible! "No buts" should be reduced to an absolute minimum (practically zero) and "yes ands" should be encouraged, we don't need people to kill bad ideas, people aren't good at that and the forces of nature tend to do so in due time anyways. Resistance should kill bad ideas not people.

Composable, remixable, modular, shared building blocks, that are owned and properly rewarded but shared (shared distributed ownership, people need credit and ownership but it's not about monopolizing and restricted, open source and shared but without being volunteer work, work deserves compensation and ownership is cool but generally don't restrict future creation)


"Scenic landscape of composable building blocks of creative ideas combined together by different people to create a shared piece of art that everyone owns a small piece of and is greater than the sum of its parts, cinematographic mood - @Marwan (Waiting to start...)"

How do we make life more like minecraft? Composable, creative, open, sandbox, shared yet owned, built collaboratively with shared resources and a general collective sense of community without compromising the importance of ego, individualism, and power. People want to feel powerful and people want to build wealth but they also want to be a part of something greater and contribute the wealth they made to something greater. Ownership can only be distributed if it's granted to start with.


GitHub is for Art

Running To-Do List



  • Init repo and start the movement
  • GitHub action that automatically takes any .m4a file and converts to .mp3 (completed but broken)
  • Find a legible way to host video content on a GitHub README page
  • Create guide for GitHub Codespace with pre-configured extensions
  • Add instructions to the file explaining the folder structure
  • Replace running to-do list with GitHub issues workflow


  • Build an automation with Dall-E for album covers (scope out idea)



  • Add some rap lyrics on one of Jonah's beats as an early experiment


  • Create a Transcend DistroKid to distribute music to Spotify/Apple Music
  • Create a Transcend BeatStars to distribute music to Spotify/Apple Music
  • Test out DistroKid and BeatStars and determine which platform to use


  • Find one producer "in the wild" who would be interested in hopping on this experiment by contributing a stem


  • Incorporate Transcend to start opening accounts under the entity name


  • Start Y Combinator Application



  • 1

    Create wiki directly within core repo


    The GitHub Wiki Product is too limited when it comes to the feature set and so using markdown files directly within a wiki folder in the core repo seems to make more sense.

    GitHub Wiki Limitations

    • Commit history is detached from the core commit log
    • Multimedia attachments are not possible (with the exception of images)
  • 2

    Version control terminology in context


    Explain common version control terminology within the context of Transcend, so as to apply the principles to performing arts productions.


  • 3

    Benefits of version control for art


    The learning curve and operational cost of using a version control system is definitely not negligible, but the return on investment makes it worth it for engineering teams and therefore version control system are used ubiquitously. A strong case needs to be made for why the performing arts industry can benefit from git as well.

    Rough Ideas

    Distributed collaboration

    Traceable Evolution

    • Legal/copyright implications (in-built signing)
    • NFT factor
    • Artist connection of viewing evolution
    • Contributing to the art
    • Fractional royalties


    • Automations
    • AI assistance
    • Automated distribution


    • Remixes and different pathways


    • Built-in early listeners
    • Issues and projects


    • Auto-fill that learns over time

    Packages and Plugins


    • Preconfigured artist environments per role
    • Cross platform and cloud


    • Notifications/in-built CRM (you view progress in real time)




    Workflow Templates


  • 4

    Overview of top down vs. bottoms up design approaches


    The core difference in the Transcend process is the idea of a bottoms up approach (one wherein multiple parties come together to build a shared vision from the ground up), this compares to the legacy way of creating productions which typically is prescribed by a director/artist at the top and little collaboration is allowed when it comes to the vision.

    Key Points

    • [ ] General concept of top-down approach
    • [ ] General concept of bottoms-up approach
  • 5

    File linter GitHub Action


    The goal is to create an automation/workflow that automatically renames files/folders per a standardized convention (perhaps lower-kebab-case) to ensure integrity/standardization of file naming.

    Core Features

    • [ ] Lints file names per a standardized convention
    • [ ] Lints folder names per a standardized convention
    • [ ] Recursively checks files/folders such that nested entities are still accessed


    • [ ] Prettifies the contents of the file itself
    • [ ] Replaces ampersands and other common non-url compatible with something legible (e.g. &and)

    Potential Resources

  • 6

    Add Auto-Quantization Feature to Github

    Two strategies to auto-quantization:

    1. The user provides the tempo of the track in BPM using a tempo app on their phone which allows you to tap out the tempo you're playing in
    2. An AI that finds the average tempo of the audio and quantizes it: []
  • 7

    Document Splice version control UX


    Splice has built a user-friendly product for version control on the core DAWs (i.e. Ableton, Logic, Fl Studio, Garageband, etc.)

    Core Features


    • Versioning system where with each save from within the DAW new version is automatically created and uploaded to their cloud
    • The online Splice Studio app then allows you to open up a desired version of a project back up in the DAW it was created in
    • Descriptions and comments can be added to the versions to add some context (e.g. added background vocals)

    Key Limitations

    The inability to integrate the versioning from Splice Studio with GitHub means the version control is "stuck" within their online app, some of the limitations this creates include:

    • Collaboration outside of the Splice Studio online app (everyone must use Splice)
    • Lack of versioning on GitHub obscures the evolution of changes
    • Versions being off of GitHub limits open access and could cause merge conflicts
    • Versions on Splice would not be synced with versions on GitHub unless every single save was manually uploaded to GitHub