Uncommonly Creative

Monk Turner and Fascinoma'€s Emergency Songs

Sometimes it takes special projects to get remind us how powerful and freeing Creative Commons licensing (CC) is for both artists and listeners alike. Last week I reviewed Ergo Phizmiz’ “Focenilli’s Shoes”, an extravangant work with both the music and video released with CC. Phizmiz also has released over 50 hours of music on the CC platform and it’s available at http://ergophizmiz.net/ or at the Free Music Archive.  Currently Phizmiz is working on a new opera based on Flann O’Brien’s “The Third Policeman.” That’s in England.

Across the pond and then on a quick red-eye to Los Angeles we meet Monk Turner, a musician/producer who has been actively using the CC platform over the past few years to release concept albums such as a love story told through the Buddhist tale of 10 bulls, Love Story, or a collection of songs about the United States, New American Songbook.

Last year, Turner along with Alanna Lin aka Fascinoma embarked on telling the before-during-and-after events of an earthquake in Los Angeles with this sort-of Americana album, Emergency Songs. It was released days prior to the terrible earthquake in Japan and Turner and his friends have pretty much ceased publicizing their album. This is a shame, because Emergency Songs is damn good and damn important. 2/3 am wrote that Emergency Songs is a  “great album, probably the album of the month…” and Free Albums Galore said it was a “splendid but bittersweet album”. Emergency Songs is a lovely record. If you want to convince someone how good a CC album can be, this is it. If you were looking for an album to carry around with you on your iPod for the rest of this year, Emergency Songs would be it.

| The photograph on the front page of Alanna Lin singing comes from Monk Turner’s blog, Monk Turner’s Angular Blogosphere. |

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