Mortality Tables - The Engineer

Released: June 16

The Engineer is quite unlike anything I have heard in quite a long time. It is this peculiar blend of story and musical accompaniment that sets an ever changing mood throughout its short runtime. The story which plays out is one that takes inspiration from the life of the author's father, who worked and lived in a manner similar to our protagonist in the story, one Jack Smart. We follow him through what amounts to practically an entire lifetime, from his first day on the job to the day of his retirement, getting little peeks into his inner world and knowing his thoughts and feelings. Though the story is told in the third-person, the extent to which we are firmly placed into his shoes is incredible. The story itself is compelling and engaging, but I will abstain from sharing too many details of the story itself as I feel everyone should take the small fifteen minutes out of their day to hear it for themselves. 

While the story itself is compelling on its own, it is the sonic accompaniments that tie in with it that really make it something truly unique. The format reminds me a bit of the early slideshow projectors that had a cassette tape to be played in sync with the slideshow, with music and sound changing with each shift to the next image. The Engineer replicates this aesthetic but uses it to portray a heartfelt story rather than some elementary school public service announcement and has an incredible twenty-nine electronic composers contributing their sounds. Each piece is quite short, each lasting anywhere from a minute to just a few seconds. These audio "responses" as they are called fit in rather well with the changes in the story, building on to the plot and creating an even more immersive experience. 

What is most impressive to me is just how well each piece correlates to the point in the story in which it appears. The story does not have a wide range of settings but each piece seems specifically adapted to the setting and the context at the same moment. Going from a description of the environment to a small piece of Jack's inner thoughts causes a shift from one piece to the next. The level of coordination here is nothing short of amazing and I highly recommend you give this story just fifteen minutes of your time. 


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