Words & Music

by monicadockery

Archive for the category “SoundCloud Collaborations”

Vacant Spaces – A song for Trayvon Martin (video tribute)

Hello. After my last post and the continuing protests and discussions about the case, I have been continuing  my reflections on Trayvon’s death.  I was compelled to write a song (as I usually am when I’m feeling something so strongly).  A friend of mine, a poet from Rockford, IL, named Christopher D. Sims, wrote a spoken word piece about it as well and we decided to combine them into one.  I also enlisted the help of my son, whom I mentioned in that last post as well, in the making of a video for the song.  The lyrics are included in the description on Youtube….here it is:

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Free FreeStyle Vocals (once a week)!

Helloooo!  Last week I started a new “experiment”.  I decided that I wanted to start recording some freestyle vocals to donate to the Soundcloud music community.  My hope is that they will be able to use some or all of the tracks to add to their music or other sound projects.  The process basically is this:  Press “Record” on my Soundcloud app recorder on my phone and start singing whatever comes to mind.  Then, post/share it.  That’s it.  So, since there is not really any editing or filtering (apart from the occasional edit to cut out a part that got interrupted – by my son usually), it is very raw and a bit crazy.  But, I thought it would be fun and it is interesting to see what flows out of me when I’m just going with the flow.  So, here is a link to the set I’ve started.  Feel free to join in the fun and use these vocals and tweak them any way you wish to make a new creation.  Thanks!  Until next time:).

 

Multilingual, Multinational Collaboration Project! (17 languages so far!)

Hellooo!  This is a quick post.  I just wanted to briefly share about a project that I’m so happy and proud to be a part of.  A friend and fellow singer/songwriter named Ian Melvin wrote this beautiful song a while back called “If I know You”.  His original version was acoustic guitar.  Another singer did a cover with the piano and in Russian.  That sparked a worldwide collaboration!  Others were invited to cover the song in their own languages and post them on Soundcloud.  Now, there are 17 different versions from 17 different singers in 17 different parts of the world (and more translations are on their way!).  Here is a link where you can hear all of the ones posted so far:

 

Today, I added my version to the mix and that is in Spanish.  You can hear that version here:

 

I’m not an expert at translating, but I did try to keep to the original wording as much as possible.  Hope you take the time to listen to ALL the versions!  It is so beautiful to hear everyone singing the same song but in their own unique way:)

Have a wonderful Sunday all!

 

Poetic Remixes….. How Collaborating Makes You Dig Deeper

Hellooooo! Been M.I.A. for a bit.  I have been a little busy with family things, so I have not had the opportunity to sit down and share what has been going on.  At the beginning of the month, the Soundcloud Heroes group that I am a part of launched a new community collaboration project called the National Poetry Collaborations on Soundcloud this month.  We asked people to contribute one single line of their favorite poetry and offer it up to the rest of the SC community to be used to create a completely new remixed poem using various lines from different users.  In addition, musicians and producers could take those and add their own original compositions to the mix.  So far, we have had quite a few pieces contributed and they are waaay beyond what I had anticipated.

What I loooove so much about community collaborations is that it forces everyone involved to push past their own boundaries, try something new, and dig deeper.  Awesome!  Now, here are a few select poetry remixes (including my own) for you to check out.  It is not too late to join the project and submit some sounds of your own or to give your hand a try at a remix.  Here is the link with more details about how to join:  http://soundcloud.tumblr.com/post/46955630575/this-is-a-guest-post-by-soundcloud-hero-monica

Enjoy, share, and join!  (p/s – still putting my album together, trying to figure out how to add some new techniques and organic sounds into the mix at the moment)

Popicho’s remix:

Zefora’s remix:

My remix:

In the Mood….for Love (video)

Helloooo!  Well, I have some good news.  I think that I have finished the writing portion of the album I’m putting together:).  Of course, that may change.  But, for now, I think I’ve said what I wanted to say.  Now, the hard part of tracking/recording, adding backup vocals, adding other instruments, missing, mastering, etc, etc, etc.  Ay ya!  Lots to do.  But, I promise you this, I am enjoying myself.  So, I thought I’d share one of the songs that may (or may not) make the cut for the album.  It is actually one that I wrote to accompany a track that a fellow SC Hero/Producer, Jaze Baqti made.  I love that version, it has a different tone than this acoustic version though.   I included both my video/acoustic version and the produced/audio version so that you can compare.  Here you go, may you feel the love: and pass it on!

 

 

Btw, don’t forget! This is the last week to join the “Audiobiography ” project put out by the Soundcloud Heroes!

Audiobiography Re-Cap! Help us reach 5,000 by March 31st!

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Helloooo! Time for an update! In case you missed when I first announced the launching of the Soundcloud Heroes community collaboration project called Audiobiography a while back, let me refresh your memory.  We, the Soundcloud Heroes, put out collaborative projects for people in the SC community to get involved in.  All of them are centered around the sharing of sounds. Audiobiography is the latest project and is still underway.

We asked people to share a sound, any sound, that expressed who they were and what was important to them.  People have chosen to do spoken word, an interview-type format, a musical composition, or all three of those combined! Our goal is to reach 5, 000 contributors by March 31st.  We haven’t met our goal yet, but we’ve had some wonderful, creative submissions so far! Every week one of the Heroes members has been curating everyone’s submissions and doing a re-cap on the Hello Heroes feature on the Soundcloud blog.  Here is last week’s re-cap.

And…here is a re-posting of the piece I submitted:

As we are reaching the half-way point for the month and nearing the end of the project, I encourage you to visit the blog and check out the submissions that have been turned in.  Hopefully they will move you, make you laugh, and INSPIRE you to do an Audiobiography of your own.  We tried to make it as easy as possible to participate.  Here are the basic steps from Soundcloud’s Hello Heroes blog:

  • Record or creatively share a sound that describes and answers the question: who are you and what’s important to you? Perhaps it’s a freestyle rap, or a recording that features your latest piano composition as background music. Keep the track to ~90 seconds.
  • Name the track Audiobiography with your name, as such “Audiobiography: Ben Z.” Add a description.
  • Tag the track “audiobio” and upload.
  • If you have the Spotlight feature, pin the sound to the top of your profile. You can also add the sound to your profile’s description under your

For more on the steps and to get the translations of the details of the project in another language, please see this post.  Tell your story through sound and help us reach our goal of 5, 000 by March 31st!

Audiobiography: Share Your Life Through Sound

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The Soundcloud Heroes, the group of creatives of which I have the honor to be a part of, have just launched a massive collaborative project called Audiobiography! Get to know the people behind the sounds, and share some of your own sounds.   The goal is to get as many people we possibly can to create and share their own, unique AUDIO-biography by March 31st!  We are going to be listening to/curating them all and will be featuring some on Soundcloud’s official blog.  It is a great way to “e-meet” people from all over the world and to let people in on who you are and what matters most to you.  There have been some thoughtful and incredibly inventive pieces submitted so far.  Here are a few that I really liked that are good examples:

I invite you to join in the project!  Make your own audiobiography and invite your friends to do the same.  Here’s how: http://blog.soundcloud.com/2013/02/06/audiobiography/

I have done my own audiobiography as well.  If you care to know who I am, I think this gets to the core:

Hope to hear your audiobiography and get to know more about you!

Experimenting & The Fear of Failure

Hellooooo!  So, although I am slowing down on putting out songs while I am organizing this Day4Women conference, I am still making music as I can.  This month, as part of the Soundcloud Heroes community collaboration theme of “Sounds of Autumn”, I did make a contribution.  Again, these community collaborations are done for the purpose of getting Soundclouders to connect and create together.  That said, every contribution made for each month’s theme must include the sounds of at least one other person on Soundcloud.  This time, I used the sounds of two of my fellow Soundcloud Heroes, Shifty Teeth and One Hello World.  In addition, I added my own sounds (guitar and vocals) and organized/produced the track.  Now, that word “produced” brings me to the topic of today….experimenting and the fear of failure.

I am not an expert at producing and making tracks.  Now, I have made many tracks before…but, that still does not make me an expert.  What it does make me is an “experimenter”.  I experiment with a little bit of this and a little bit of that and…”hey, that sounds cool”…etc.  I have NO idea what I am doing at all.  I just try something and do what I can.  Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t.  It is very scary, actually.  To try something new, test out new ideas, and then put them out there for people to hear.  I can see why people may stray away from doing that.  It puts you in such a vulnerable place.

For example, this latest song, the one I did for this month’s community collaboration, was very much an experiment for me.  I had to use other people’s sounds and try to fit them in with mine and it did not come out very smoothly.  But, I did it, I put it out there because I wanted to go against that feeling — the fear of failure.  I want to not let the fear of failure get in the way of my creative endeavors.  I think musicians/songwriters/artists should be allowed to fail every now and then.  Why?  Because failure can bring learning, insight, and can push someone to exceed   on the next one.  We should be allowed to try out something new, something outside of our normal.  Where would we be without experimenting?  We’d be stuck hearing the same damn thing every time, never progressing.

Same goes in life.  We should be allowed to try something new and become ok with the idea that we might fail.  Because when we do this, we open the door to other possibilities, to deeper understanding of our world and our own selves.  So I say…to hell with it.  Do not let the fear of failure stop your need/desire to experiment and try something new.  All that said….here is my latest “experiment”.

My first EVER poetry performance/collaboration (with Bao7891)

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Helloooo! This is my new friend Bao. He is an artist, musician, poet, and all around creative kinda guy. He contacted me about doing a collaboration and I had wanted to try something new, something different. So, we came up with the idea to do a spoken word/poetry collaboration that shared a love story from the perspectives of both the guy and girl.

So, he wrote a poem, sent it to me and I responded. Then, we decided to extend it and turn it into a 3-part story. Then, finally, we decided to add music. This is the very first time either of has have “performed” our poetry or have done a poetry collaboration. So, very risky, but what is life without risks? No matter how it is received, we both agree that we love the outcome and that we have stretched and grown from this experience. So, that’s what matters, right?:) Anyway, hope you enjoy it. And please check out his other stuff on his Soundcloud account too ( he has some music and other spoken word on there).

Enjoy and have a great Thursday!

ALSO!!! If you want to get involved in this month’s SoundCloud Community collaboration themed project put out by the SoundCloud Heroes, please go to this link to get all the details….there is still time to participate!

Feature Friday: Abramz Tekya

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Helloooooo! Hope everyone is having a lovely start to the Labor Day weekend!  So, as promised, today is Feature Friday.  This time it is a guy from Uganda by the name of Abramz (doesn’t his smile say so much about him already?).  He is not just a rapper.  In fact, there are many hats that he wears.  He is a b-boy/breakdancer, community organizer, motivational speaker, and an all around agent for social change.  He is all about educating, empowering, inspiring, and doing it in a way that still has entertainment value.

That is why I decided to choose him for this week’s featured artist.  He gets it.  He sees that music and words can be used as a tool to “move mountains”.  Some people are putting stuff out there into the atmosphere that is just noise.  It is a completely self-indulgent endeavor for them.  But, more and more I have been coming across people like Abramz – a new breed of artist.  This new breed sees the world the same way my hero, Martin Luther King Jr., saw it.  Mr. King said, “An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.”  We are not real human beings, we are not real artists, if we are only breathing and creating for our own sake.  That is such a small and meaningless existence.  Before, we might have gotten away with that, felt ok about it.  But now, with the immediate access to images and news from across the globe about the condition of humanity, we can no longer turn a blind eye.  If we do, we do so at the cost of our own soul.  So, I send a BIG cheers to Abramz and others like him who have stepped up to the plate!

I could say a lot more about Abramz and his work, but, I think it is best for him to speak for himself.  Here is a video of an interview he did.

Also, he has a wonderful website with more information about his life, his work, and his music.  Please, I encourage you to check it out and see if there might be a way to show your support or at least give a word of encouragement to him so that he might not lose momentum towards doing good things in this world.  Also, check out his music on SoundCloud.  It is in another language (Bantu, I believe), but you don’t need to understand the language to feel the music.

Currently, Abramz is head of an organization called Breakdance Project Uganda (BPU) that uses breakdancing to promote social change (this was the organization mentioned in the video above).  Also, he is working on a collaboration album with two other rap artists (one of them is a fellow SoundCloud Hero named Ben Z) that I have been asked to contribute to.  It is going to be used for the purpose of inspiring  and motivating youth.  It is in the very early stages right now, but, as the project progresses, I will definitely post updates on it.  So, be on the look out!

That is all for today! Give Abramz a shout out, show your support, and may his work inspire you to think about how you can use your talents to promote change!

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