Recent FMA Blog Posts
This is a feed of featured blog posts from FMA users. Blog on, bloggers!
cheyenne_h on 10/02/2018 at 01:57PM
If you've looked for instrumental music for podcasts or film, you've probably come across Blue Dot Sessions. They are a group that write and record music for public radio, podcasts and more. They're based out of Turners Falls, a small town in western Massachusetts. They are a studio, not exactly a 'band,' since various composers and musicians appear in their catalog. They are approaching their 100th release to FMA, and we wanted to ask them some questions about their work. My conversation with member Galen Huckins follows:
FMA: How would you describe Blue Dot Sessions (as a group and in terms of genre/style)?
GH: It’s a very pared down style. We’re often trying to strip away a lot of instrumentation to get to a core small ensemble, figure out how few instruments and textures are needed to really make a piece of music work. In terms of genre, it’s hard to say exactly, we’re often working in very different mediums, trying to get a minimalist sound out of a garage-rock setup or working with ultra-quiet classical players, or even drum machines. It feels like more of a density than a genre or a style sometimes.
How did you start off making music (as a group or as individuals)?
GH: I originally started off writing and recording music for my own radio and podcast projects. Some friends and I were traveling down the Mississippi River on an old riverboat and making a podcast about the trip (The River Signal). I found that there wasn’t a lot of music that worked well with long-form audio pieces where the music needs to be so understated and unobtrusive. I started writing more and more and found and we ended up with a whole library of music by the end of the trip.
FMA: What drew you to the Free Music Archive, and why did you want to put your music on our platform? I’m a real believer in alternative copyright and the work of the Creative Commons. Making my own personal projects, I’ve often turned to the Free Music Archive and other CC-licensed work, it’s really an amazing community. I figured that people starting out would really benefit from the work we do like I did from other CC artists. It also helps people find your music, many producers started out scoring little projects with our library because they found it right here at the FMA. Because podcasting has boomed so much in the last few years, people ended up monetizing their projects with ads or crowdfunding. When that started happening we figured out how to blanket license with podcasters and radio producers so they could have access to our whole library on a monthly basis. Our music is now on hundreds of podcasts, NPR, Radiotopia, Gimlet. Honestly, I think that’s just because a lot of the producers on public radio and podcast networks knew our music from their own pre-professional work.
FMA: Can you tell me about some of the places your music has ended up as a result of being on FMA?
GH: The first time hearing our music on the local NPR station was a rush, now we are often on Morning Edition or other programs that I can listen to right where I live. That never gets old. I make a point to look at YouTube every few days to see new uses of our library out in the wild. Sometimes sitting around the studio all day obsessing about fret noises you forget where the music you’re making actually ends up. I have to say I’ve picked up some strange things from YouTube instructionals just because they use our music. I’ve learned fly fishing techniques, fluid-dynamic modeling principles, the history of Nintendo 64 speedrunning. Just this morning I was watching a Christian ASMR channel, I would have never guessed!
FMA: Blue Dot Sessions is a very prolific group. How do you make so much music on such a regular schedule? How do you stay inspired?
GH: One thing that has helped me stay productive is to always be mixing fully composed music with improvisational work. Sometimes you run out of ideas in front of a blank sheet of paper, but if you can get yourself to just play around for a while, you’ll come up with something. We make a point not to stop rolling tape (or whatever we’re supposed to call tape in a mostly digital studio). We make a lot of alternate versions and stem files available through our website and weird little ideas that never quite seemed like a song end up out there in the world... in a Croatian fly fishing tutorial.
FMA: What project are you working on right now (musical or not) that you're excited about?
GH: We just finished a project recording a custom soundtrack for a podcast called Heavyweight. We were working with a mallet percussionist from a nearby university and string players to do a whole session of light and pizzicato ditties with concert marimba in the middle of it all. Scoring short films and podcasts is always a joy because you get to make up a whole little sonic microcosm. There are 2 other podcast scores we’re working on right now as well as our regular recording schedule, it’s been a really busy summer!
To hear some of their music or contact Blue Dot Sessions, check out their page at sessions.blue or their FMA collection here: http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Blue_Dot_Sessions/
JJMusiio on 10/01/2018 at 10:36PM
Ever wondered how films would turn out without any sort of background music? Would be awfully different huh!
Cinematic (or Film) music is one of my favourite genres purely because it has the capacity to paint picturesque cinematographic landscapes through sound. It never fails to amaze me how something so aural could transcend our ears with such powerful visual elements.
With our AI, we have curated a cinematic music playlist to provide you with the perfect refuge of sound, just enough to invoke your emotions and imagination.
My favourite in this playlist is Periculum by Kai Engel. I’m not sure if it was because it was raining whilst I was putting this together but this one gave me massive feels.
P.S. Best recommended with a good book.
Sara_Afonso_1551 on 10/01/2018 at 09:49AM
So, if you're still courageous, listen to "Tears From Mars"!
Thank you for listening!
Rocco_Granata_1176 on 09/24/2018 at 06:10AM
Modern Times is second musical work by Rocco Granata, italian composer based in Rome. This release contains 5 tracks. The first two songs In my Bed and Change me are sung by LeoWood. The fourth song is a remix of song Lullaby contained in the album Works. The tracks Daedalus and People Live In A Box are written for piano and cello. As in the previous work, a pianist and a cello player have contributed to the album recording. The nicknames they've chosen are Thomas Munz (piano), a homage to Thomas Müntzer, historical figure of the 16 th century and one of the protagonists of Luther Blisset's novel “Q”, and Lita Rodcenko (cello), which is a made up name. Lita, as a homage to Lita Ford, metal guitarist, and Aleksandr Rodcenko, artist and father of the Russian constructivism. For more information go to www.roccogranata.it
Simon_Mathewson_1429 on 09/24/2018 at 05:22AM
Thanks to everyone who voted for Silicon Transmitter's "don't creep me out" for track of the year, 2018: https://ccmusicawards.com/
Taken from the album "Layers": https://freemusicarchive.org/music/Silicon_Transmitter/Layers_1860/
cheyenne_h on 09/21/2018 at 05:48AM
A languid, irreverent album, Teal Clods from Tim's House balances between psychedelic and psychotic. With lo-fi vocals, tambourines and steady rhythms to keep things marching on, Dark Meat has released a collection of tracks from various points in their past. Now you, too, can enjoy the fruits of their time spent at Tim's house with a lot of free time and a 4-track recorder. Not for the faint of heart, squares, or anyone offended by strong language.
According to their liner notes, "In terms of our song-oriented material, that's where we were at our freest, weirdest, most acid-fried and experimental. And shakiest and funniest and most fucked-up too. But, hey, that beans-and-rice combo of fearlessly pushing it and pathetically caving-in was always our thing: musically, socially, financially, psychically. You best believe it was by design, too, Jack."
Tune in below or listen to the whole album here:
cheyenne_h on 09/19/2018 at 04:14PM
Straight from the underground (literally, figuratively and musically), this new compilation is a bit of a head-scratcher but definitely intriguing for its topic alone: fungi! Nenormalizm Records has compiled a 21-track long album and released it into the wild: the Fungi Compilation. Each track, by a different artist, is named after something related to mushrooms - from colloquial names like "Destroying Angel" to the mycelium itself (the 'root system' of filaments that transfer nutrients and where mushrooms sprout from). If you like a micro-dose of science with your glitchy electronic tunes, this is the compilation for you! If it's not your thing, there's a veritable smorgasbord of other music to check out in our collection. If you're curious, take a bite out of the sample tracks below:
cheyenne_h on 09/18/2018 at 09:52AM
Toy Sounds, Vol. 1 is like espresso for your headphones (or at least a sugar buzz)! This jaunty electronic album will scratch your mid-tempo itch and sports a few crispy samples here and there to liven it up even more. Build-ups, bouncy beats, and bubbly bass bump along while high-end drips and drops keep things moving at a quick pace. This belongs in every video game enthusiast's collection or anyone looking for fast-paced electronic tracks to keep them company at work or at play.
The latest release to FMA from the prolific Chicagoan, Captive Portal, is the 19th album he's added to FMA - we can't wait to hear what he comes up with next!
TAGGED AS:captive portal
cccommunitymusicawards on 09/17/2018 at 06:58AM
We are pleased to announce the superlatives for the 2018 Creative Commons Community Music Awards! This time, it's up to you. Cast your vote and decide who will take home the awards. Voting will close December 1, 2018. Vote here: https://goo.gl/forms/J92zr9ptdtDbspY33
Sara_Afonso_1551 on 09/14/2018 at 06:51AM
Ladies and gentlemen, dear listeners and lovers of free music, welcome!
"Jupiter Freak Show" is composed in the style of the music of the opening theme of this tv series.
Now, ladies and gentlemen, don't be scared and please, listen to "Jupiter Freak Show"!
Thank you for listening!
PS: I'm French so I may do some spelling mistakes...