Information Society - White Roses


. HISTORY . DOWNLOAD . LYRICS . LINKS .

 


. HISTORY .


In 1997, Kurt Harland of Information Society released InSoc's last complete album to date, "Don't Be Afraid."

click for larger

One song, "White Roses 1.0," never made it onto the album.  In its place, there was track 10.

Labelled "White Roses 1.0 300 8-N-1," it consisted of 55 seconds of modem noise.  The tones could be decoded by anyone who picked up on the hints in the track title - 300 baud, 8 bits, No parity, 1 stop bit.

When played into the modem of a PC running terminal software set to the above parameters, the tones translated into the following text:

For reasons that will become obvious when you hear it, the song "White Roses" is not found on this disc. This is just an audio recording of a modem spitting out this text. "White Roses" is, however, an actual InSoc song, and you CAN obtain it. It will not be easy. You must use your web browser to access the following document:

http://InSoc.org/rose.htm

When it asks you for a user ID and password, enter the following:

userid - roses

password - barbara

This will bring you to the next step. When and if you ever succeed in obtaining this 10th InSoc song, it will be YOUR responsibility to make copies of the song and distribute it to other people. Feel free to charge money for it, if you can. Spread the song around as much as you can.

Good luck.

And so began the search.

The track was a CD-quality WAV file, totalling over 76 megabytes (still a large amount of disk space back in 1997) with a runtime of 7:21.  To make it more manageable, and much more interesting, the file was split into 16 parts, each archived and scattered to various sites, including InSoc's own official site, other websites, and even the data disc which accompanied the album.  The first segment was at the website referenced in the secret message, as was the first clue to the next segment.

(Some day I hope to catalogue the clues and solutions on this page, so if anyone remembers even one or two, please drop me a line...)

The search was by and large a smashing success, with the first round of fans to successfully hack their way through all the puzzles and clues being christened members of the "InSoc Internet Liberation Force," and having their photos and links added to InSoc.org.

As instructed, fans who reassembled the entire track did their best to circulate it.  Since the file was so large, someone decided to try encoding it with an obscure new compression scheme called MP3, which ended up catching on rather well...

Unfortunately, due to the nature of the Internet, some of the sites hiding the parts of the track eventually moved or vanished, making the puzzle impossible to solve.  Since nobody was willing to throw around the huge WAV in those days, the MP3 version (encoded at a now-anemic 112 kps, and coming in at just over 6 megs) was all that was left.   Posted to various websites, and later swapped around the various filesharing services, the track was and is freely made available to all who searched for it.

"White Roses" is the sole property of Kurt Harland, not any record label or publishing company.  As noted above, Kurt has always encouraged sharing this file by all means available.  Doing so will not get you in any sort of copyright trouble.

Since the readily available, but low-quality, MP3 really isn't up to modern standards, I spent a while looking for the original WAV.  Most people who had it at one time had deleted it long ago, and were stuck with the MP3 themselves.   Fortunately, Kurt Harland happened upon a posting by me in Livejournal's InSoc community, and generously offered to share the WAV from his own archives.  Many thanks to Kurt!

True to the instructions, I'm still doing my best to spread it around.


. DOWNLOAD .


By downloading this, you too become part of the InSoc Internet Liberation Force.   That means you must spread it around to the best of your ability.  Stick it on the fileshares, burn it for friends, or just play it for your mom.


. HISTORY . DOWNLOAD . LYRICS . LINKS .


. LYRICS .


Do you feel small
Do you feel like nothing
Do you feel like you're wasting your time

Can you stand sunlight
Do you feel too much
How will you know when you're broken

But you know that the fear you feel
Comes back this time each day
And you know if you live a thousand years in silence
You'll still feel this way

Can you see home
Can you see tomorrow
Can you see the sun anymore

Do you walk the world
Waiting to be discovered
Do you want
What they said you can never have

And you know that her tears were taken
And cooked up for the queen
But you will never find her now
She's gone and her trail is far too clean

And every single moment feels like everything is wrong
And everything around you says that this is not your home
And everybody else just seems to be already there
And you can't get from here to there
Without some sort of help you've never seen

It's the white roses
It's a spinning sky
It's a field with the sun in your eyes

And do you ask yourself for help
To get you through the day
And when you're on the street you find
The world's moving away
Spend all day under water
Spend all night curled in a ball
And when you're all alone what reason
Can you see for trying at all


. LINKS .


  • Information Society - Official site, built by Kurt, but no longer updated and sometimes offline.  Well worth it.
  • InSoc.syn-optic.org - Great fansite with lots of rare images, downloadable music videos, and rare concert clips.
  • InSoc livejournal community - Fans with livejournals, and some without, gather here.
  • InSoc Yahoo group - Email list devoted to all things InSoc.
  • alt.music.info-society - Newsgroup devoted to the band, one of the original gathering places of InSoc fans.
  • LOK Music - Download tons of other lost tracks by Kurt Harland, from his soundtracks to the Soul Reaver video game series.

Click to go to LOK Music!

  • Rob Vincent - My personal site, lots of my other (non-InSoc) stuff
  • Space Mutiny - Warning: not a record label.  It's where I put my music.
  • WTH - My humor zine.

 


. HISTORY . DOWNLOAD . LYRICS . LINKS .

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White Roses and all related cntent Kurt Harland
Original content on this page by Rob Vincent, released under Creative Commons License
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