Pharmacose is as a collaborative rock project I formed in 2017 with Lu Rubino. At the time, I was recovering from a life-altering acute mental health episode. Though difficult, the experience gifted me a desire to assert some agency in my life. I decided to try to record some of the songs I had written over the years, and a mutual friend introduced me to Lu Rubino. I hired him as a producer, and together we worked on what would eventually become Pharmacose’s first release, Prescription Fiction.  

What resulted was a collection of songs written before and after my diagnosis that told the story of my mental health over the course of close to a decade. The recording process helped me cope with that episode of my life, and my hope was that others would listen and be inspired to get help if they were struggling with mental illness.

In preparation for its release and with Lu’s help, I put together a live band that included him as well as Albert Cruz and Kevin Horne. We had some shows lined up, and things were starting to get exciting, but right before the first show, COVID-19 hit, and our shows were canceled.

Unfortunately, due to life circumstances, Kevin and Albert moved on. With Lu and I unable to work together for the foreseeable future, I was back where I started three years prior. I refused to give up, so I decided that if I wanted to keep releasing music I’d have to produce some of it myself. I began my journey down the bedroom producer path. It was not my first foray into production, but it was my first serious attempt. 

I had always wanted to write and record a concept album, and with the lockdowns ongoing, I realized that it was as good a time as any to start. While brainstorming, I decided it would be less complicated to write a story in prose form and use songs to help support its tone and emotion rather than trying to retrofit a storyline on top of a collection of songs. I also thought it would be more fun. Thus, Ascension’s Constraint was born.

I initially planned to release the story as a serialized novel. Every month or so I would release a part of the book, and I’d pair it with a song that was relevant somehow to the whatever was happening in that part of the book. That worked well for four releases before I realized that that pace was unsustainable. This website is part of a revision of that strategy. 

Rather than release 4000-5000 words with each song, I’m going to release 1000 or so that will detail one or two “scenes” in that part of the story. This way, I can release one song about every 5 weeks and keep the story moving more quickly than a snail. It’s not ideal, but I think it’s a suitable compromise. You’ll find these scenes in “THE STORY” section of the site.

You’ll also find a “MUSIC” section on the site. The posts will be organized by song and will be presented in a blog format. In it, I’ll give some production notes and also try to fill in the story’s inevitable gaps that will be the result of this new release paradigm. 

The process with be fluid for the time being as I get what I have written put up on the site. I also have a fair amount of writing to do to get the scenes caught up to the songs. I’ll close by saying that I know where the story is headed, and eventually I do plan on completing the novel. The site will have to suffice for now.

Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoy.


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