Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Autobiographical CD's are here again

My dear dear friend Jessica was the one who introduced me to the concept of the autobiographical cd. She and her friends had been making them annually since high school. The idea is delightfully simple. The author selects songs that have a special resonance and tells the story of that year in some fashion. 2003 was the first year I made one. Five years later, I still find this idea totally inspired. I love the process of finding the songs I want to use (the best ones pop out at me like a jolt, before I've even really listened to them, and upon further investigation they seem to say everything), compiling, arranging, developing cover art, writing out the track titles, popping these little labors of love into their bubble mailers and tossing them out into the world like messages in bottles.

For the covers, I painted in a blue sky and clouds with watercolors. I used a stack of Chinese postcards for the balloons and baskets. Some wool embroidery thread served as swirling hair, and a stamp with my initial was the finishing touch.

I like the serendipity of the tangled, twirling hair on each one. For me the whole point of these CD's isn't really weather or not people listen to and enjoy them (though, of course, I hope they do). For me this autobiographical CD making has become more and more about making something that represents my spirit and making a gift of it to someone else. Its the act of giving it that matters most to me, what happens from there is up to the recipient.

These labels were almost an afterthought, and each one was carefully hand drawn with a sharpie. Each one is slightly different. (I really wish my hair were this long amd twirly in real life, though I'm sure the maintenance would be a bear.)

This year I made thirteen of them and I am so happy with the results. Here they are all packaged and ready to go in their glassine envelopes with the little red wax "Bee" seal. The track list goes like this:

Slow Boat to China- Kay Kyser
Hernando's Hideaway- Archie Bleyer
Telling Stories- Tracy Chapman
Sugar Town- Nancy Sinatra
Handle with Care- Jenny Lewis
Free-Luke Doucet
I wanna be loved by you- Marilyn Monroe
How Deep is your love- The Bee Gees
American Tune- Paul Simon
Oh My Love- Inara George
Throw it all Away- Brandi Carlile
Daydream- The Lovin' Spoonful
Love me Tender- Jasper & Veronica

Its always fun when the music turns out to be bubbly and happy, when you realize the story of the year was a joyful one. Wishing you a beautiful day...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I got mine last week!

Thank you!

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