Abigail Foster's Photosynthesis Machine, Family, Fidelia Hall, Libraries, Life, Music

WEEK OF MUSIC: “Monsters”

Playing music with my friends for the “Everyone C’mon Get Happy” album release party really inspired me. What came out of my final year in the studio (before having children with Haley) was an album titled Monsters. For me, that album brought it all back full circle…once again I was working on music alone in my room. I got a drum machine and I was listening to almost exclusively Prince, so I wanted to try my hand again at putting together an album by myself. It was fun to write songs around drum loops and to experiment with keyboards instead of just playing a lot of guitar.

After I finished up this album, I continued to write music but nothing ever really got recorded or finished….that is until 2016 hit and from that year came a new album which will be released TOMORROW! Stay tuned!

You have a few options with how you can listen to and download these albums:

  1. You can purchase the albums at the Abigail Foster’s Photosynthesis Machine website. The albums are $7 each and any money made from the purchase of these albums goes into one of two things: Arbacarba Records, which will invest the money in making these albums available on streaming platforms (Spotify, Apple Music, etc) or Fidelia Hall, which will help with the repairs and restoration of this 144 year old community center. Once purchased, you can download the albums in a variety of formats (MP3, FLAC, and more) or stream them via the free Bandcamp app (iTunes, Android)
  2. You can stream the albums for free at the Abigail Foster’s Photosynthesis Machine website.
  3. If you are a library (public, academic, special) and you wish to add any of the Abigail Foster’s Photosynthesis Machine albums to your digital collection, you may do so by contacting me at justinthelibrarian at gmail dot com and I will gladly share these albums with you as MP3 or WAV formats. Once you have these files, your library will be able to provide your library card patrons with these albums for free by adding them to your library digital music collection at no cost to you.

I hope you enjoy this album!

 

Abigail Foster's Photosynthesis Machine, Family, Fidelia Hall, Libraries, Life, Music, Week of Music (2017)

WEEK OF MUSIC: “The Sun And The Moon”

In the spring of 2004, I began recording and writing music again. Earlier that year, the band I was in (Zomo) sputtered and fizzled out after about 4 years of work. I moved across the country and decided to try something new in my life. I wanted to desperately be in a band but I didn’t know how to start one up and I was itching to do things. I had a cassette four track recorder, some ideas, and a bunch of time.

I made The Sun And The Moon that year and put it out under the name “Belsapadore”, which was a completely made up word I had come up with many years before. I used the name because I always hated band names that were boring and plain. I wanted something that was unique and had meaning to me…..and we’ll get to the part later on as to why I no longer use that name.

The Sun And The Moon is an album about the five trips I took across the USA in 2004 and the emptiness in between the towns and cities that I observed. Up to that point in my life I had always wanted to be in a very loud rock band. Now I wanted to explore those quiet and empty moments. That desire came out on this album.

I spent a lot of time in a room which I had painted black making this album during the wee hours of the night/morning. I wanted to get into the head space I felt when I was driving across the country: a feeling of being completely alone and isolated with only my thoughts to get me through the day.

You have a few options with how you can listen to and download these albums:

  1. You can purchase the albums at the Abigail Foster’s Photosynthesis Machine website. The albums are $7 each and any money made from the purchase of these albums goes into one of two things: Arbacarba Records, which will invest the money in making these albums available on streaming platforms (Spotify, Apple Music, etc) or Fidelia Hall, which will help with the repairs and restoration of this 144 year old community center. Once purchased, you can download the albums in a variety of formats (MP3, FLAC, and more) or stream them via the free Bandcamp app (iTunes, Android)
  2. You can stream the albums for free at the Abigail Foster’s Photosynthesis Machine website.
  3. If you are a library (public, academic, special) and you wish to add any of the Abigail Foster’s Photosynthesis Machine albums to your digital collection,you may do so by contacting me at justinthelibrarian at gmail dot com and I will gladly share these albums with you as MP3 or WAV formats. Once you have these files, your library will be able to provide your library card patrons with these albums for free by adding them to your library digital music collection at no cost to you.

I hope you enjoy this album!

Libraries, MAKE MUSIC AT THE LIBRARY, Music

MAKE MUSIC AT THE LIBRARY 2012

It is with GREAT honor that I present to you the MAKE MUSIC AT THE LIBRARY 2012 album. This album was created at the Portland Public Library in our Teen Library Study Room #119 over four weeks in July 2012 and mixed and edited in August 2012.

For this program, we used:
1 Tascam Portastudio 424 Mark III
1 Casio CTK-450 Synthesizer
1 Shure PG58 Microphone

Many thanks go out to all of the teens that participated in this project, specifically Richard, Ilhan, Chrispo, Jordan, and everyone else.  Thanks for lending your talents to the album and sharing this music with the world.

Also, thank you to Michael Whittaker, my coworker who lent his audio mixing wizardry to the project and showed some teens that really cool music can be made with a cassette tape, a microphone, and some cool ideas.

 

 

Libraries, MAKE MUSIC AT THE LIBRARY

MAKE MUSIC AT THE LIBRARY (Tracks 1-5)

We continue to tweak/manipulate/twiddle/mix/master with the teen music made in the library this summer.  We filled up three tapes of music, so the next step for myself and my cohort Michael has been mixing down the tracks to digital files.  We’re using Audacity to edit the music on the computer.  We’ve simply hooked up our cassette four track machine to the computer in mono and we’re going from there.


(the mixing room, aka my office)

Here’s a small update of the tracks we’ve worked on with the teens.  The best is yet to come…

 

 

Libraries, MAKE MUSIC AT THE LIBRARY, Music

MAKE MUSIC AT THE LIBRARY 2012 (Week 2)

Michael works with a group of teens on a sound collage.

We gathered back in Teen Study Room #119 today to record some more music with our teens.  This week, however, we had Michael Whittaker helping us out.  Michael’s part of our Teen Library team and has a pretty awesome past history of dabbling in all sorts of cool music things.  He’s also really good at twisting knobs and making recordings sound pretty.  This week we started out with our drums machines roaring in the background, hitting buttons and making a sound collage.  The recordings happening this year are little pieces of music: a sound here, a voice there, and some spoken word and organ in between.

Laying down some spoken word
Adding some organ sounds to the spoken word

An idea being tossed for the recordings happening this summer is to compile everything into one long piece…a sound collage of teens…that tells the story of the teen community who visited the library in 2012

I’ll be back next week with some more information about MAKE MUSIC AT THE LIBRARY 2012 and hopefully some music!

MAKE MUSIC AT THE LIBRARY

MAKE MUSIC AT THE LIBRARY 2012 (Week 1)

One of my favorite things to do is make music.  It gets even better when you work with really cool people to create something.  To top that, it makes it the best when you work with some really talented and neat teens who just want to try something new.

Last summer, we had our first MAKE MUSIC AT THE LIBRARY program.  Local artist Sontiago led the group and in the end the teens recorded two hip hop tracks which you can listen to here:

For the 2012 MAKE MUSIC AT THE LIBRARY program, I was unable to get Sontiago back due to scheduling (she’s a super busy person!) and this year I thought it would be neat to try something new.  Earlier in the year I bought an old Tascam Portastudio machine that looks like this:

The machine was very similar to the four track that I started recording my own music on back in the day.  I remember it taking some time to learn how the thing worked but I look back on my time with the machine fondly and am happy I got that experience.  I also wanted to show the teens that music is totally possible with a computer.  Don’t get me wrong…I am a HUGE band of Garageband and other digital tools that can be used to make music but I wanted to show the other side of the story.  Just to try something interesting.

And yesterday we began our journey.  I camped out in one of our study rooms with the Portastudio, my guitar, one mic, and my iPhone which we’d use Garageband to make drum loops.  For our first day, it was just myself and Richard in the study room making noises into a mic.  We clapped, we hummed, we made a beat, we made blips on a synthesizer, and Richard rapped a story in Acholi.  It was so much fun making these little bits of music with Richard.  It reminded me of when I was 15 and twisting knobs and strumming on out of tune guitars and humming into mics in my bedroom.  The difference was that I was alone back then…this time Richard and I shared the experience.  It was really cool.

Here’s a brief clip of some synthesizer noodling that we did yesterday.

I’ll be back next week with some more information about MAKE MUSIC AT THE LIBRARY 2012.