ange on 04/22/2014 at 12:30AM
This month, the Free Music Archive celebrates its 5th year since it emerged from the Internet-hole. Can you imagine the web without it? In that time, the FMA has helped user generated content flourish, helped artists connect with new fans, and filled all of our personal harddrives to the brim. We are one of the largest collections of Creative Commons music online, reaching 70,000 curated tracks this Spring.
It's time for me to go, and leave this vessel in the hands of a new captain. I've accepted a new position working at Slate, and now it's time to find the next person to lead this project into its bright future.
More info about the job here.
During the transition, continue to share share all your troubles and victories with contact (@) freemusicarchive.org, and someone will always get back to you. That person right now is the wonderful Faye.
In my time at the FMA, we've worked together to remix public domain ephemera with the Prelinger Archive, and overthrow the Birthday song. We've welcomed exciting new FMA curators including AS220, Radio Bunker, Radius, CKUT and Boston Hassle. We even built an app for iPhone, and launched our own Free Song of the Day Podcast.
I've adored being a part of our parent project WFMU, and learned so much from watching how the staff, volunteers & DJs keep the magic factory full of magic. Thanks to the FMA's founding director Jason for all of his guidance and bottomless enthusiasm for the project. No one has made more mixes on the FMA than my old desk-mate WFMU's Liz B, who broadcasts her favorite FMA uploads every Monday morning on WFMU. Also infinite credit goes to WFMU's stellar volunteers Matt Marando and Mario Santana who masterfully master and upload all the sessions that come through WFMU over the years. Big kudos to Lou Z and Chris M who have led our team of volunteer submission screeners.
Thank you all again! Viva FMA!
ange on 04/01/2014 at 05:00AM
Arrington de Dionyso is interested in blurring the lines between sacred ritual and popular entertainment. A former Old Time Relijun freak-folker, his recent solo work incorporates overtone-singing, shruti-box, jaw harp, and Kadri Gopalnath-inspired bass clarinet, and many of his latest releases feature recordings from his travels and collaborations. Whether it's a 13th century chapel in Italy, a volcanic cave in Java, or his homebase at K Records' Dub Narcotic Studio in Olympia, WA, his music is influenced by (and influences) his surroundings.
His work also strives to form human connections, both with his fans and musical collaborators. Back in 2011, de Dionyso traveled and recorded music throughout Java, Bali, and Lombok Islands with support from a successful Kickstarter campaign. With help from another Kickstarter push, he went back in November 2013, and is planning another trip for the end of 2014. Many of the concerts and improvised recording sessions are available for pay-what-you-wish on Bandcamp and the Free Music Archive, including his latest in the Unheard Indonesia series.
Many of your releases directly relate to where you were when you recorded them. What's the role of traveling in your music?
Although I have lived in Olympia, Washington for over 20 years, and I have a wonderful label and studio to work with here. (K Records' DUB NARCOTIC STUDIO, just ten blocks from my house!) I am traveling on tour doing art shows and concerts almost half the year. This puts me in contact with an incredible variety of different people playing all kinds of instruments with different approaches to the music they make. But even when I am working on a solo recording, I think the place in which you choose to make a recording has a huge effect on the kind of result you're going to get, whether it's the specific acoustic properties of a 13th century chapel in Italy, a volcanic cave in Java, or a fancy studio in Berlin—the way I play my music is going to change according to how I respond to being in these places. The music changes even more when other people are involved!
Tell me about UNHEARD INDONESIA VOL. I: The Trance Music of East Java. What did you learn about trance music from your travels in East Java, and from collaborating with other musicians there?
That's a recording of the very first opportunity I had to perform with Jaranan groups in Java, back in 2011. Jaranan, or "Jathilan" is an incredible living tradition that takes many different forms, sometimes including forms of spiritual possession. People have a lot of different ideas as to what really constitutes "trance" but I approach these experiences as a participant and collaborator with many years of experience with my own versions of "trance music" via the rock and roll tradition (a tradition derived almost completely directly from African trance musics, by the way, this is very well documented).
When I perform with these groups I am joining a shared experience and sharing my own unique contribution to that experience. I guess I am particularly drawn to Jaranan because in this tradition there isn't a clear line between what is "sacred ritual" versus "popular entertainment." It's all mixed up there, as I feel it really should be. Why shouldn't something entertaining also be "sacred"? and what do we mean by "sacred" anyways? In much of Indonesia, musicians are performing to entertain the world of spirits just as much as the world of humans. It happens at the same time, and nobody sees any contradiction there, so why should I?
ange on 03/15/2014 at 12:45AM
On tap inlcudes many bands who have recorded live sets at WFMU that are available here on the FMA, including Protomartyr, Spray Paint, Obnox, Guerilla Toss, and Pampers! WFMU's Liz Berg and Brian Turner will be hosting the broadcast live from the club on Saturday, March 15th. More info on Facebook.
ange on 02/28/2014 at 10:44AM
The Free Music Archive is seeking a skilled backend engineer, with solid background in modern languages and techniques, who loves going down the rabbit hole to solve difficult problems related to performance, user experience, and long-term structural stability of a modern, high-traffic website (and who doesn't mind working with legacy code).
We're also ideally looking for significant overlap with our current stack:
• Mostly backend: PHP, MySQL, RDS, S3, Redis, Sphinx, Memcached, Chef; REST & API design generally
• And sometimes frontend: HTML5, JS, CSS3, Flash
Along with experience with reasonably modern source control (Git/SVN/Hg) and build practices. Note that we aren't zealots about any of the above; what we're most after is solid engineering chops -- if you're currently working with Rails or Django or Scala but don't mind digging into modern PHP for a good cause, that's fine. We need someone willing to roll up their sleeves and take long-term ownership of the project and address problems holistically. Here you'll have the chance to make valued, long-term strategic contributions to one of WFMU's most important projects.
ange on 02/14/2014 at 05:45AM
No one's sending me love songs this Valentines Day so I decided to make myself a mix of the songs I would most like to receive.
This mix includes some beloved tracks from some of my favorite FMA artists including Uncle Neptune and the Lucky Dragons, plus some live performance at WFMU's Magic Factory from Reigning Sound, Valley Lodge, and Fred & Toody. Think of it as a gift from my imaginary boyfriend to you. Get the full mix here.
ange on 02/13/2014 at 01:15AM
One of our favorite new uploads comes to us from the French band Salmo. They are a post-punk experimental trio composing narrative music inspired by nature or natural phenomenons.
Their self-titled album is entirely devoted to the life of a river trout, from birth to death. The tracks flow with forward momentum, and capture something dark, cool, and dynamic. They are offering this release using the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license, which makes this river trout album free to spawn many other unique creations (animations, video games, remixes), as long as they give attribution. More Info.
ange on 02/12/2014 at 01:00AM
Find the true meaning of Valentine's day with a bouquet of songs for the scummiest of sweethearts. This mix is so filthy you'll blush and throw up in your mouth a little bit. It will make your arrow wounds from Cupid turn all infected and swollen.
ange on 01/20/2014 at 03:30AM
Take some time today to listen back to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s speech at Santa Rita Prison from January 15, 1968. It was preserved by the Pacifica Radio Archives.
In this speech he spoke to the crowd after visiting Joan Baez and her mother in the prison. He reports that they are in good spirits, explaining, "When you go to jail for a righteous cause, you can accept the inconveniences of jail with a kind of innocence of calm and an inner sense of peace. And this is they way they are accepting this experience." He then goes on to explain his controversial decision to mix the issues of civil rights with the anti-war movement.
"There can be no justice without peace, and there can be no peace without justice. People ask me from time to time, 'Aren't you getting out of your field? Aren't you supposed to be working in civil rights?' And they go on to say the two issues are not to be mixed. And my only answer is that I have been working too long and too hard now against segregated public accommodations to end up, at this stage of my life, segregating my moral concerns."
The audience applauds wildly.
"Because I believe absolutely that justice is indivisible. And injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."
In this recording, an audience member yells out "Hey!" as if the strength of that statement just knocked him over.
ange on 12/30/2013 at 03:00PM
Since the classic New Years Eve toasting tune Auld Lang Syne is in the public domain (unlike a certain other celebratory song), many of our Free Music Archive artists have shared their own unique versions for you to download and enjoy. Cheers to that!
The phrase "Auld Lang Syne" literally translates into "Old Long Since" but is meant to mean something like "days gone by" or "long, long ago."
Should old acquaintance be forgot,
and never brought to mind?
Should old acquaintance be forgot,
and old lang syne?
For auld lang syne, my dear,
for auld lang syne,
we'll take a cup of kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.
And surely you'll buy your pint cup!
and surely I'll buy mine!
And we'll take a cup o' kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.
ange on 12/26/2013 at 05:15PM
Before your Christmas music fatigue sets in, unwrap this selection of festive and sparkly instrumental tracks for your holiday projects. Featured artists include Dan Lerch, Silence Is Sexy, Live Action Fezz and Candlegravity, a San Franciscan living in Tokyo. Plus, a few songs from junior85, Seth Partridge, Peter Rudenko, Jared C. Balogh and Freddy & the Indifferents. I threw in a few wonky oddball tracks towards the end from from Simon Mathewson, Rainbro, Pompey, and No Monster Club. The final song by OWL BRAIN ATLAS features wind and chimes, and could be used for many other things that are trying to caputre a cold feeling.