CS Senior Combines Music and Programming

By Kelly Bilodeau

With well over twenty-thousand students and more than eight-hundred clubs and organizations, finding a niche at Maryland can be overwhelming. For Adam Weiner, it was his early interest in music production and DJ’ing that eventually led him to the Terrapin Beats Society.

Adam pursued a flyer advertising the club during his freshman year and since its first meeting, the Terrapin Beats Society has grown tremendously. What started out as a few people sharing original music (check out Adam's here), turned into over fifty members producing live concerts and hosting a radio show.

When Adam assumed the presidency his junior year, he set out to improve the level and broaden the scope of the group’s productions and performances. Adam was exposed to show production in high school, when he was involved with concerts in Manhattan. He wanted to bring the environment of these professional and large-scale music experiences to Maryland, but he knew it wouldn’t be easy. From fire marshals, to facility managers, to companies like Imaginex, a visual production company born out of Maryland’s Startup Shell, Adam established a relationship with anyone and everyone you can think of.

Terrapin Beats Society Presents Grand Pavilion Takeover

With a bit of delegation, countless meetings, and a ton of hard work, Adam and the group were able to snag their first major headliner, Paper Diamond, and successfully host their first music festival. Since then, the Terrapin Beats Society has put on a concert each semester, and each one is bigger and better than the next. “I learned a ton about the Student Organization process through our concerts. Now, I am on the SGA Student Groups Committee and the Stamp Advisory Board. These are things I would have never seen myself being involved in.”

After three semesters, Adam decided to step down as president and direct his efforts to creating a smooth transition between him and the next president, rather than waiting until after he graduates. “I am less involved this semester on purpose. I want them to be capable of making decisions for themselves.” Adam is thrilled to see that the group is not only sustaining itself, but has attracted new membership and has already improved upon certain functionalities within the group.

As for after graduation, Adam plans on delving into the exciting realm of startups, but he eventually plans on joining two of his former classmates out in Los Angeles, California. Before Jesse Warren and Cory Rivera graduated, the three friends created Skyris, a startup that fuses Adam’s talent for music producing with his proficiency in programming.

The vision for Skyris originates from the way music used to be shared and purchased. Does Tower Records ring any bells? Years ago the Walkman could be found in any teenager’s hand and CD stacks took over rooms and cars. Turn back the clock even further and you’ll find vinyl records with lyrically inspired cover art. Now, music enthusiasts either illegally download songs off the internet, stream music off websites like Spotify and Pandora, or purchase songs through iTunes. “There was an awesome experience connected to buying a CD or a vinyl record. We think this experience has been lost.” Skyris aims to pair the physical experience associated with purchasing an artist’s latest work with the convenience of digital music libraries.

Their first product is Skyprint, a unique art design and reflection of the music, linking the user to an online music paradise. Skyprint consists of a dense chipboard and an art print overlay. “The visual art is done by someone who was inspired by the song and who worked with the artist directly. You are buying this physical embodiment of the song.” On the back of Skyprint is a URL and serial code that allows the user to claim the song online.

Adam has designed the digital experience, which is part of what distinguishes Skyris from the multitude of online music sources. Users begin to curate a gallery of songs with each successive purchase of a Skyris product. In addition to the MP3 file, Skyprint provides the user with the stems of the song, like the drums, baseline, and vocals. This is an aspect of Skyris where Adam’s DJ’ing and music producing experience has the most influence, as it makes each individual song accessible to remix. Currently, the genre of music consists of mostly EDM, or Electronic Dance Music, but each of the artists that Skyris does collaborate with makes a custom video for the users who purchase their music. Adam adds, “There is no experience that links you to the artist like Skyris.”


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