Sunday, May 17, 2009

Learning Music Series

One of the reasons I put the effort I do into maintaining The World In A Paper Cup is the incredible community of people involved in creating, producing, promoting, debating, supporting and sharing music. In the last six months I have met (both virtually and literally) some sincerely passionate, fascinating and knowledgeable music heads all with their own unique stories and perspectives to share. One such person is John Wood the man behind The Learning Music Series. You may recognize his name, he has manned the keyboards for a wide swath of act out there today (including Inara George, Sebastien Tellier, Mike Andrews etc). He is also a fervent supporter of all things creative.In 2006 he began a collaborative effort to produce a homemade "album" a month. These initial efforts included cassette recordings, music videos, new material from electro, folk and pop artists, even a autobiographical musical contributed by a robot. The material isn't limited to one genre or aural aesthetic. The only consistent thread is the high quality of intent and skill put into each piece. As the momentum grew the project became a live act performing with a revolving cast ranging from four to 20 musicians. Wood has tapped the talents of some of his friends in the Bird & The Bee, The Section Quartet, Beck and Obi Best to lend their hand to these performances. An experience that I have no doubt must be a sight to behold.

They still release an album a month on a sliding scale from $.01 for the digital edition to $59 for a beautifully packaged album with homemade cover art delivered to your door every month for a year. The 2009 series began in March so you're not too far behind (and you can still catch up). The material thus far is astounding. My personal favorite being the single off of May's album; 87 Year Old Brain. An enjoyable little morsel featuring hand clapping and sing songy harmonies that leave you wanting more. The full album is a collection of frequent LM contributor Jeff Eliasson's favorites from the first LM series; re-recorded by Jeff and his band with Wood providing vocals. Listen to the single from April Electric Letter and you will get a sense of the variety these albums provide. Enjoy these two tracks but go and sign up for the full she-bang. It will be like Christmas coming every month when that Learning Music package is delivered.

*Art courtesy of Jeff Eliasson

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