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ange on 06/14/2013 at 01:00AM
A new lawsuit being filed today aims to have "Happy Birthday From You" given its rightful place in the public domain. As Eriq Gardner writes for the Hollywood Reporter, the film company Good Morning to You Productions Corp. is working on a documentary about the birthday song, and has filed a suit on behalf of all those who have paid for the rights to use it.
As we follow the case closely, you can always check out our Free Birthday Song Repository of over 140 free birthday songs that are licensed Creative Commons Attribution, and watch a video we produced of birthday song alternatives used in Film and Television.
jason on 06/03/2013 at 02:55PM
Tashi Dorji conjures incredible sounds from a prepared acoustic guitar. His spirited improvisations—recorded live without any loops or effects—evoke a composite of influences from Derek Bailey to Mauritanian pulaar to the traditional music of his native Bhutan.
"Growing up in Bhutan with little access to music except random bootlegged cassettes and shortwave radio, I listened to anything i could find," Tashi Dorji writes in an email interview. He learned guitar by ear because "we didn't have music school, TV or internet back then in Bhutan, so we had to use a lot of imagination and improvise what we thought we heard off of a tape player."
Tashi Dorji arrived in Asheville, North Carolina as an international student in 2000. He quickly fell in with the vibrant punk rock community, which flowed into free jazz, noise, experimental and other avant garde music. The Appalachian mountain town has become a real hub for experimental music thanks to longstanding acts like Ahleuchatistas, resources like Asheville FM, the shop Harvest Records, tape distributor Tomentosa, and labels like Bathetic and Headway Recordings.
Guitar Improvisations, released on cassette by Headway last year, sold out quickly but is available to download from the FMA along with his release sêp. This week, the label unveiled Tashi Dorji's self-titled follow-up, and it's streaming after the jump. Tashi Dorji also has a forthcoming release on Turned Word Records out of Belfast ME, and much more on his bandcamp.
Bhutanese traditional music is an oral tradition consisting of many marginal, isolated communities across the country, and much has yet to be documented. But for those interested in hearing some examples, Tashi Dorji points us towards a nascent archive hosted by the Bhutan Broadcasting Service.
ange on 05/15/2013 at 03:00PM
In TV prom, there's always an incredible live band up on the gymnasium stage with tuxedos and torn tulle skirts. The entire room is dancing. Most of us are not so lucky, with more Celine Dion slow dances filtered thourgh a bored laptop DJ, and half the room sitting around at tables looking awkward.
In this songs about prom playlist, get drunk and wasted at prom '98 with the Modest Mousey Undynamic Pop Expariment. Hear Grooms sweetly sing "I want to be friends with you." In the last track, enjoy some Twin Peaks-inspired New Wave in "Laura Palmer's Prom" from British Columbia's You Say Party! We Say Die! live at KEXP. All three songs have a feeling of looking back in time, when you looked like a child in those grown up clothes. Prom never had it so good.
ange on 05/07/2013 at 09:30PM
As part of the 2013 Megapolis Audio Festival, the Free Music Archive taught workshop on finding music for projects legally, including podsafe music, instrumental tracks, and music you can modify, adapt or build-upon. Then participants dug up music tracks and audio elements from Creative Commons and Public Domain resources with which to construct an original 1-3 minute sound art composition.
ange on 05/06/2013 at 08:29PM
The TV Show Glee is about a cute group of high school underdogs, who sing sparkly cover songs while dancing through the cafeteria.
But there's another Glee club forming, whose members have no say in joining. They're a ragtag group of underdog musicians who've found their arrangements of cover songs appearing in the hit show without their permission or credit of any kind. One member of this club is independent musician Jonathan Coulton. He's is the Internet's take on a rock star. He was also a recent judge of our Birthday Song contest, and he's currently hosting a highly successful Code Monkey comic book Kickstarter campaign.
For this May's edition of The Organist podcast from Believer Magazine & KCRW, I've produced a story about what's become known as #backgate. It begins about 8 minutes into the program, wedged between James Franco (!) and Tao Lin (!).
ange on 04/29/2013 at 06:30AM
On this month's edition of WFMU's Radio Free Culture, multi award-winning producer and sound artist Francesca Panetta joins the Free Music Archive to discuss Hackney Hear, the winner of this year's Prix Europa Radio Production Award. It's a smartphone app that asks you to put it in your pocket as you explore London Fields and Broacway Market in London. As you travel, the app scores your journey with a blend of location-specific interviews, archived audio, music, and poetry.
We'll discuss the future of app-based storytelling, the challenges of GPS accuracy, and learn how Francesca pins two lapel mics to her left and right ears to capture a wide stereo sound.
Then, later in the show, listen back to this past year's Radiovision Festival, where Francesca spoke on a panel with Pejk Malinovski (East Village Poetry Walk) and Ellen Horne (RadioLab). The three super-producers will discuss how they're pushing the boundaries of audio with walking tours, immersive apps, and live events. Plus, the significance of taking risks and experimenting with new methods of storytelling. Jim Colgan (Soundcloud) moderates.
Here's our interview as heard on WFMU's Radio Free Culture:
jason on 03/20/2013 at 01:20PM
"Música Para Planchar" is a track from their captivating self-titled debut. Their second album, Olas Invisibles, was recorded in a cathedral with guests like the Swedish singer Ewa Wikstrom and African artist Mû (listen to "Gulab Jeman" below). Their third album, Club Eden (listen: "Walking & Talking"), introduced electronic signal processing as they continue to refine their enchanting sound.
The duo is currently raising support for a fourth album that will introduce guest musicians from Spain, Israel, Guinea Bissau, Mexico, Argentina and USA. As one of the many folks who've enjoyed Selva de Mar's previous three releases for free courtesy of the artist here at the FMA, I'm proud to support their next album. This is one of the many projects curated by the FMA on our Kickstarter page.
ange on 03/09/2013 at 12:29PM
To help you prepare, we compiled a mix of almost 70 artists from the Free Music Archive who will be playing in Austin this year. We recommend listening to this free SXSW 2013 Mix in the van, on the plane, between sets, at the hotel, or while you sit at home and pretend you're there.
ange on 03/05/2013 at 01:59PM
The votes are all in from our incredible panel of judges, and these three winning songs took the cake!
At this party everybody gets a present now that we have this dynamic Free Birthday Song Repository available for your projects. If you explore for a while, you'll find birthday songs that are incredibly touching, starring adorable children, offered in multiple languages, full of every foul word imaginable, and fun to share with your friends. Plus, the special happy birthday song that America just isn't ready for.
FIRST PLACE: MONK TURNER + FASCINOMA
After collaborating on the concept album Emergency Songs, Monk Turner + Fascinoma weren't sure is they would ever work together again. "I almost killed him a few times," Fascinoma told us. Monk explains that when they collaborate she's the John Lennon and he's the Paul McCartney. She brings a certain kind of melancholy, and he brings a pop sensibility. You can hear how these different styles compliment each other in their winning song. "It's Your Birthday!" captures a feeling of heartfelt well-wishing with a sound so polished you'll want to run out and buy a tablet computer.
Though the winning song lacks the opportunity to shout out the birthday person's name, there is room to build in a call and response element. You can download the sheet music in the key of B (pdf, google doc) or the key of C (pdf, google doc). Also, check out the alternative versions of the song including two piano tracks and an instrumental version.
TAGGED AS:contest, monk turner fascinoma, the blank tapes, monk turner, birthday songs, See More...
ange on 03/05/2013 at 11:00AM
When our excellent new curator Price Tapes joined the Free Music Archive, they suggested we add a new genre called Fake Techno. To explore this new sound, we reached out to the originator of the term Fake Techno, the effects pedal virtuoso David Harms of Mincemeat or Tenspeed. He explains that if you wanna jump on the Fake Techno bandwagon all you have to do is get a holographic eagle. Laptops not recommended.
What is Fake Techno?
Fake Techno's a term I used to describe my music starting back a couple years ago. I was working with a lot of effects and feedback loops trying to approximate the structure and sounds of techno, and it sounded good but without drum machines, synths, music making stuff, it didn't really work. It wasn't noise but it wasn't techno so I decided it was the fake version of techno.
What's your process for getting the sound you want?
I was accidentally strict when I was starting out and was only using effect pedals to make the music. This meant it was really easy to make the wrong sounds, but now that I'm old and don't care I use shit like synths, drum machines, and midi cables. This means I gotta try extra hard to make sure the music sounds wrong lest I make 'real' techno.
What would we find if we went into your studio?
This is a picture of my studio. If you wanna jump on the Fake Techno bandwagon the only thing you absolutely need from this set up is a holographic eagle. Fake Techno, like noise, can be made with any pile of garbage. The only thing I can't recommend using is a laptop 'cause that's the wrong tool. If you use a laptop you're probably gonna end up making techno, or electronic music. Don't use a laptop.