A mysterious bear named Podington took the Internet by storm in 2007, releasing three beautifully crafted songs a week. Podington's podcast rubbed shoulders with KEXP's Song of the Day and NPR's All Songs Considered atop the the iTunes charts, while his story captivated Morning Edition, The Globe and Mail, Wired.com's Listening Post, and and dozens of influential music blogs. The experiment inspired countless new works of art, and translated into commercial success over the years with licenses for clients Google, Microsoft, Mtv, NPR, Paul Frank, Chillingo, This American Life, MoMa, Make Magazine, Steelcase, Chevrolet and many more.
The true identity of Podington Bear remained a mystery throughout the entire project. Then, upon the release of a retrospective box set in July 2008 his identity was revealed. Chad Crouch, proprietor of Portland Oregon's influential HUSH Records, and former bandleader for the group Blanket Music was the big-eared culprit.Since then, Crouch has continued to record instrumental music as Podington Bear, while significantly broadening his ouevre to include minimalism, neoclassical, ambient, soul, and simply more of what people were attracted to in the first place: Music that surprises and delights irrespective of genre.
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podbear on 04/04/2018 at 01:21PM
Because the word aloha, which invokes love, compassion and kindness is spoken as a greeting and goodbye, it's the perfect way to begin this story. Almost exactly one decade ago Podington Bear (That's me) finished the goal I had set in 2007: to create 3 songs a week and share them via podcast. The End marked the completion of the 156 song marathon and served as the capstone to The Box Set, released in 2008.
Two years later, in 2010, an FMA curator asked to include the song "Wavy Glass" on the newly created Free Music Archive. Looking back, that was the seed that grew into a tree. It grew slowly at first, until 2013 when I decided to open the floodgate and release a few hundred tracks of my fledgling music library Sound of Picture. Today there are 750 Podington Bear tracks on the FMA and they've recieved 12.25 million collected listens and downloads. I never would have guessed it!
So, I just wanted to give a hearty thanks to the staff and community here on The Free Music Archive as I both look back, and step into the future. I decided to retire the name Podington Bear at the close of 2017, but before it goes into indefinite hibernation I thought the 10 year anniversary of The Box Set was a fitting occasion to upload that complete collection here as well. I'll continue posting the remaining albums over the coming weeks.
And while this is goodbye to Podington Bear, it's also hello to me, Chad Crouch. In just a few weeks be posting a new album under my own name that I'm excited to share. Stay tuned, and aloha!