In the midst of all this talk of intangible digital intellectual property and arcane licensing and Internet policy, there’s something comforting about thinking of music and art as something you make with your hands and give to someone. It was a discussion of that – even in the context of technology – that first led me to the discussion of “Handmade Music.” (Tip of the hat to my friend, Etsy’s Matt Stinchcomb, with whom this discussion has crossed the Atlantic from Brooklyn to Berlin.)
Via Cool Hunting, here’s an old-fashioned way of making a music object. The music is on vinyl; the book is carved into blocks and hand-printed. Any sense of nostalgia or twee hipness is instantly forgiven once you see the results: the book looks absolutely gorgeous. Kids will have to compete with their parents to get it.
Two stories in a single canvas-covered volume that reads from the outside covers inward, ending at the center. There, a two-song 70 gram 7″ vinyl inside a hand-cranked copper block printed sleeve.
Stories written, illustrated, carved, and printed by Micah Middaugh at Cavern Lantern Wonder Welding (Jordan River Valley, Mich.)
Songs by Breathe Owl Breathe
The story sounds wonderful, too. As CH’s James Thorne tells it:
“The Listeners” is a comic tale of the friendship between an ostrich and a mole who meet by chance one day in a hole. The mole with sightless eyes and the bird with flightless wings join to form a band called “The Listeners,” and perform together in an underground concert for their friends. “These Train Tracks” is a story of metamorphosis, in which a set of train tracks transforms into everything from a caterpillar to the night sky to a set of pajama buttons. Its mood is both whimsical and soothing, a perfect end to a child’s long day.
The music is available by Bandcamp, which you’ll see allows you to sell both a digital download and physical copies. Of course, you may want to do a trailer on YouTube to promote it, which means you’ll have to contend with giant lobbying groups and collection agencies trying to destroy the Interne– okay, that doesn’t make a very good bedtime story. Let’s get back to the ostrich and the mole. They’re more likable.
Have a listen to the music: