Recent FMA Blog Posts
This is a feed of featured blog posts from FMA users. Blog on, bloggers!
cheyenne_h on 11/13/2017 at 02:02PM
The holidays are upon us! Whether you celebrate with Thanksgiving feasts, lighting the menorah, holiday parties, Christmas trees, or anything around and in between, it is the perfect time of year to express gratitude, seasonal tidings, and make some noise. It's the season of giving - so share your finest original and traditional, holiday and seasonal pells (a capella/isolated vocals), samples, and remixes. We would like to encourage you to record traditional public domain Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and Winter Solstice songs, as these are very popular with both listeners and remixers.
Dates: November 12th-January 2nd
Who: CCMixter, Jamendo, Free Music Archive, Plotist
Where: CCMixter.org & CC BY-NC-SA source materials right here on FMA!
What: Holiday Remix event produced under Creative Commons licenses. Artists upload vocals (pells) or samples (short sounds or individual instrument tracks) for the remix community to produce music that listeners can download and share. A selection of songs will be curated into a compilation.
cheyenne_h on 11/10/2017 at 05:45AM
Fred Cole, beloved musician and member of Dead Moon, Pierced Arrows and much more, has passed away. The Free Music Archive is fortunate to have some live sessions from WFMU and other sources, some selections of which are included below. His musical legacy will live on, as noted in the statement below written by his wife, Toody Cole:
SpinningMerkaba on 11/03/2017 at 04:19PM
2017 has seen a renewed collaborative effort between ccMixter and the Free Music Archive. In July of this past summer, we helped generate original Creative Commons remixes to raise awareness in the fight for Net Neutrality. And most recently we again collaborated on the Halloween remix event Ghost Notes, creating 54 remixes using CC source materials.
In both cases Cheyenne Hohman curated FMA materials that would work for the themed events, posting sample tracks on ccMixter for artists to use in their productions. Cheyenne also created playlists for FMA listeners to hear what was being used to create and share. These collaborations highlight an effort by both the Free Music Archive and ccMixter to keep Creative Commons music innovative and fresh. As an artist, I enjoy hearing how other artists feature my material. I'm sure you will too.
How can you as a Free Music Archive artist, get in the mix? ccMixter has several tutorial videos that quickly outline best practices for contributing to the community. We've included one here to get you started. You can also contact us by leaving a comment on this blog or e-mailing either admins here or at ccMixter.
At ccMixter, we're glad to be active once again collaborating with the Free Music Archive. Check back often to connect with upcoming events and music shares. We'll keep you updated.
Here is the FMA playlist for the Net Neutrality remix evemt
Here is the FMA playlist for the Ghost Notes remix event
Here are two examples of remixes resulting from the colaboration between the Free Music Archive and ccMixter.org. For more remixes visit the Free Music Archive on ccMixter.
massdist on 11/02/2017 at 09:10PM
Tom Hohmann aka Elvish Presley aka Black Elf aka Elf P aka Usaisamonster etc's 3 awesome 4 track albums from '99 and 2000 are up on the FMA!
The immortal classic Elvish Presley Cdr is here. This music spawned a cult following showcased on a DIY tour with a lightshow, nude scene, rapping, costumes, the whole 9. It's a classic.
Elf P is where Tom's "Elf thing" all started. Featuring hits and riffs. This one still sounds good to me.
And Dada is Tom and Leif Ritchey aka Shades aka Tom's best friend when they were kids' 1999 weekend recording goof off. I don't think I heard this one at the time. It really holds up! No one wants to hear songs anymore. Folks want mellow weird jams, right? Well, this album is just one mellow weird jam.
It's all right here --> MASSDIST
Get in there, people :)
BorrtexOfficial on 10/31/2017 at 11:41AM
Have you ever thought of what it must be like to have only 24 hours to compose and publish an entire album? My friend lately challenged me to go and explore myself by writing the whole album including at least 7 tracks within only one day. It sounded pretty crazy at the beginning!!! But then, when I thought of what it might actually mean to me and how I could practically test my skills and creativity, I decided to accept his challenge and get into it!
I started at 10PM on Saturday 28th of October and went straight through the night. I finished the writing process of all the tracks somewhere about 2PM the next day. I took a short sleep and then I had to edit the sound, mix it together and figure out artworks and upload it everywhere etc... The thing is, you can not think about anything too much complex or difficult during the only 24 hours time span, so my choice right away from the beginning was to go simple; with only one piano instrument and sometimes I added a little bit of orchestral background to it. The goal for me was simple: I wanted to make at least 7 tracks that would have a different melodies and be at least one minute long. And even though it was an incredibly mentally troublesome process, eventually I can say that I'm pretty satisfied with the result I accomplished. So, I would like to challenge you. Take a day off and just challenge yourself, challenge your skills, challenge your talent and try to make an album within only 24 hours! Because, what I believe is that every challenge makes you stronger. It moves you forward. It helps you to discover your imperfections and most importanly it helps you to see your standing and what are the things you should work on and get better in.
I decided to dedicate the album to my niece Emma, who was born just last week. It was an amazing time to see her for the very first time and realize that I'm an uncle from now on. But also I very much enjoyed writing the melodies for her (even when I had only 24 hours to do so!). I'm happy that my brother and his wife can play my melodies to her when she's sleeping. :)
Feel free to check out the album and use the tracks for any kind of non-commercial purpose! And keep in mind, that those melodies were written only in 24 hours!
Have a rocking week! :)
cheyenne_h on 10/31/2017 at 11:30AM
We've been doing some work behind the scenes this month, and one of those things is ADDING NEW GENRES! Since there's lots of other stuff to do, we are doing this rather slowly. One thing we decided to do was add a "Novelty" genre on the top level which includes Holiday music, Kid-Friendly music, and Sound Effects. We'll be adding more to these, and other, genres as we go. For now, we don't have enough holiday songs for any holidays besides Christmas and Halloween (but I'd love to change this to reflect various holidays from around the world - let me know if you have a great Diwali album or something like that, and I'll add a new genre just for you). The additions to the Halloween genre are limited for now, but feel free to make suggestions for songs/artists to include (and add the genre to your own Halloween-appropriate musical creations).
Alpha_Hydrae on 10/29/2017 at 02:39AM
Hi, I hope youre okay. That's it, I just released my 100th album which contains the 1000th title I have put online since I started my musical production. It was cool, I learned a lot of stuff about music, composition, recording, instruments, my way of creating and my relationship to music and its creation have evolved a lot in proportion to the productions and anxieties connected with this activity.
I started publishing music on March 16, 2011, solo, my first recordings date back a few years before, in the U-Man improvisation duo and with a rock / folk band called Black Sheep. It was cool, and I still remember when I released my first album. I knew it was not top quality, it didn’t sound like the artists I used to listen to, a point that really frustrated me for several years and I think I have since discarded. I released a second solo album a year later, on March 16, 2012 and an EP with the group Nobody Opposed The Project and then another EP challenge to record 5 tracks in two days. It was a hell of a challenge. I did not really master the production tools I used, nor did I have the same composition tools as now (creative path, instruments, references). Although I wasn’t very pleased with the result of the two previous albums and EPs, it was really only at the release of the third album on March 16, 2013 that I really felt I could do things pretty good in music. It had been a while since I was making music in an amateur way and I had quite a few doubts as to what I was putting online. Everything I published was weighed thoroughly, I was really afraid of being ridiculous, of publishing things of bad sound qualities that would sweep away my words. Sometimes I have been hurtful about feedbacks on my work, but other messages have reassured and encouraged me in this direction. The shape really distressed me for a long time, and it was a big obstacle to my productivity but also gave me impulses of interest to the production. I then chained more projects and my production barometer exploded in 2016 and even more this year.
I came, across all my bands and musical aliases on the internet, not to mention the best of and the compilation Mothlight OST (I counted the 3 unreleased songs), to 100 albums and 1006 songs. Of which 4 copyright albums, 2 in CC-By-NC-SA and 3 in CC-By.
It's clear, I had something to prove to me. I am quite anxious in general and I needed to know that I was good at something, at least one, and I think that suddenly I master this stuff, produce fast, stuff not necessarily good sound quality which would provide a potential revelation at every listen but stuff that can make the ork according to the person who could listen to it. I did this in a large part for myself, for particularly selfish purposes, to have the biggest (even if I avoid saying it in society), to impress when I say it, to silence the old remembrances of rejection that I have trouble digesting, for when I am depressed to say that I accomplished this thing. I did it to stand out a bit of the lot of artists because it is my only way to appear from time to time on the bugged charts of some sites that only present the same artists all the time, so I mass produce so one of my titles has a little visibility and is listened, remixed, reused and can live a little bit. I did it to kill the boredom that annoys me every day, to give direction to my life, to say "I did this today" because it still has a little meaning and values in my eyes to do this every day, because it is one of the only things that I am able to master with certainty.
Then I did it because some people told me that what I was doing pleased them, made sense to them or listened to it with pleasure. And because free licenses have allowed me to have feedback from anyone with an interest in my music beyond listening and fun.
I'm glad I made the choice to release my music in CC0, it was my only real hope of being heard somewhere. I have neither the knowledge, nor the values, nor the physical, financial or mental capacities to do anything alone in the mainstream or underground music scene. For a lot of reasons, these two layers of musical visibility are not made for me and could not receive me anyway. I do not conform to the mainstream system and the French underground system. I do not have a correct recording sound quality for the underground, a car license, a car and amplification gear to shoot in the coolest bars in France, I do not have the mental strength to call all the concert halls and bars in order to book dates, I do not have the mental strength to suffer failures to these steps, I do not physically have what it takes to turn with gear without hurting me .
So to you that make live this little world of free music and music from underground, thanks to you. It is thanks to you that I have this little radiance and that people can finally listen to me and use what I do. It gives meaning to a lot of things, so thank you very much to you, you are incredible.
Well, I released 100 albums, ok, it's cool, but what does it change in the end? Nothing. I should not be listened more because I have produced more, I am not superior to another artist who would have produced less or not at all. My words have no more credit than any other artist because I have produced more.
I'm still glad I did it.
If it is your will to do the same, produce a max like that, it is possible. It takes a lot of work, 2/3 years of unemployment still is not a lot to do it, and if it's something you want to do, make me sign, it would interest me to know other people who are in the same approach of production.
Now, I'll keep recording music, maybe take a little more time, do more collaborations and work not just for me. Besides, if you are looking for someone to make the music of one of your creations, do not hesitate to contact me.
Thank you for your time and attention, I leave you to listen the 100th album called · I hope you’ll like it.
Thanks again <3
massdist on 10/24/2017 at 05:47PM
L A DRUGS, TWICED O, FORX, GABE BOYER, SAM BIKOV, HENRY SEASE, SHADES, BOILS, AND MALABASTER!!!!!!
Freaking awesome music. What an odd bunch. But, seriously, these are some heavy hitters. Tune in.
Also, I'd like to publically thank Cesar Siguencia for the help this past summer uploading all this music to the FMA.
cheyenne_h on 10/23/2017 at 03:03PM
Last year, the Freeharmonic Orchestra made its debut with "Freeharmonics Vol. 1," a groundbreaking round-robin music project that spanned the globe. I interviewed a couple of the artists last year for Radio Free Culture when the album dropped. This year's project is called "Space, Robots, the Future!" and features an impressive roster of musicians: Steve Combs, Lonely Punk, simon_mathewson, Monplaisir, Tapes & Tubes, Scott Holmes, gentil, Monk Turner, Matt Oakley, springtide, Ketsa, Art of Escapism, Jahzzar, Nic Bommarito, Matteo Berni, half cocked, Unthunk, Blue Dot Sessions and Small Colin. Needless to say, it's a profoundly varied listen and was a labor of love by these artists. Check it out (for free of course!) right here. I asked a few of the artists to tell me about their experiences and you can read answers from Simon Mathewson, Offal Tunes, springtide & Unthunk (lightly edited) below.
FMA: How did you get involved with the Free Music Archive?
simon_mathewson: I make music and put it on the FMA. In the past I've put music on Myspace, Soundcloud, Mixcloud, Bandcamp etc but I've found that people who use the FMA to find music are far more responsive and my music has been used for film, animation, games, choreography, documentaries, podcasts and more.
Offal Tunes: I have been a participating artist on the FMA platform since July of 2015 and have been releasing material on the site ever since. At first I put out a bunch of tunes by a band called Bad Ronald until they broke up late in 2016. At that point I put together a new act called half cocked. Through the site I have been contacted more than a few times by video artists looking to use our material for their projects, which I found quite exciting. That has never happened on any of the other music distribution sites I have worked with. I also volunteer my time helping produce live sets for the WFMU community as well as helping out with some of the site's curatorial duties. It is a labor of love and I am thankful for the services that the FMA provides!
springtide: I’m the only member of one-man band called springtide. I have been releasing my tunes on FMA since 2012, and it allows me to connect with listeners around the world, including talented videographers.
Unthunk: I use FMA as a distribution hub for my recorded music. I got involved through Lee Rosevere of the netlabel Happy Puppy Records. He graciously agreed to put out something I was working on, and as you know, the label operates through FMA.
FMA: Where do you live and make music?
simon_mathewson: South West England.
Offal Tunes: I reside in Manhattan and can be found walking the streets of the East Village with my rat terrier, Jackie.
springtide: Tokyo, Japan.
Unthunk: Bowen Island, BC Canada.
FMA: How did you become involved with the Freeharmonic Orchestra?
simon_mathewson: Last year I made an album with Steve Combs and he suggested the idea getting lots of FMA musicians together to make a collaborative album. He organised Freeharmonics Vol 1 and I organised Vol 2 (Space, Robots, the Future).
Offal Tunes: Simon Mathewson, who put the whole thing together along with Steve Combs, contacted me through the FMA site back in 2016 to ask me if I wanted to participate in a musical version of an "Exquisite Corpse" where artists would begin a composition and hand it off to someone else for completion. I loved the idea from the get go and agreed enthusiastically. I had a blast working on both projects!
springtide: I didn’t know about this project before Simon asked me if I’m interested in this type of collaboration. Actually, I have no idea why Simon selected me ;-)
Unthunk: When Steve and Simon hatched the plan to produce the first album, I gather they browsed the FMA artists looking for likely participants. Simon sent me an email, and I was thrilled be included. I was therefore looking forward to Simon's call to action for volume 2.
FMA: Tell me about the song(s) you worked on.
cheyenne_h on 10/20/2017 at 06:49PM
This year, WFMU (our BFF's and the reason why FMA exists) is running a new October fundraising campaign: INTO THE BLACK! They want to get more people to help them with sustaining monthly donations to offset monthly expenses, and are offering handsome rewards in return. If you can, please consider donating to WFMU. Specifically, you can support WFMU + FMA by donating to support our radio show, the FMA Listening Party: