The Prison came about through a series of events that started in the 1960's. At that time the LP (Long Playing) record was typically released in a cardboard jacket with artwork and text that usually described the music in some way. When I would buy a new LP I would sit down to listen and at the same time read the album jacket - the liner notes - for information about the work. It was mostly technical information, who the players were, where it was recorded, and occasionally reviews from music critics; in some cases there were notes from the artists as to the intent of the work, and so on.
I enjoyed reading and listening and found myself many times putting on music just simply to accompany a book I was reading. The more I did this the more I thought it might make an interesting experience if the elements of reading and listening were thought of from inception as a combined form.
I had been working on a few melodies at the time the idea occurred so I swept everything together with the idea of writing a short story that could be accompanied by music, or book with a soundtrack.
I chose a simple story that I thought would be familiar and comfortable and began to write the lyrics and style of the music to follow along loosely. There was no effort to synchronize the two media, only to generally align the spirit of the two form's content to see if they would create a single experience. I was pleased to discover that they did and so pushed ahead with producing 'The Prison.'
I was happy with the result, and even happier to discover that the ideas expressed in the story had a direct relation to the experience one had as the two media joined in thought --in the mind's eye as it were.
Over the years, as the work matured, I began to notice some things that did not sit right with me. They were technical for the most part - a missing line of musical arrangements, or a clumsily stated thought in the book - so I exercised the author's prerogative to revise the work. While the original LP and Book package is still available from the archives as a collector's item, 'The Prison' that is available now is a fully revised version of the original, and it satisfies even more my original intention for the piece.
In 1974, Nez released the groundbreaking album 'The Prison' - the first ever book with a sound track.
In 2008, Nez revised the text of the book and digitally re-mastered and remixed the album from the original multi-track tapes. Edsel Records re-released it in Europe and it is now available as an import.