Oddmusic is trying to raise $5000 in the next two months! We are using a ChipIn page because it makes a nice thermometer, which we unfortunately can’t embed here. Please consider making donations, which are tax-deductible.

Oddmusic—What’s It All About? O D D M U S I C – U C is a working group of the Urbana-Champaign Independent Media Center focused on doing awesome things with music, people, and “odd”. We host the creation of media and performances, with ears cocked toward society-transforming conversation. We aim to continually reinvent our role within a vibrant, healthy system of parallel institutions offering new and needed alternatives to status-quo ways of thinking. Here is a quick tour:

Musical Instrument Library-Laboratory—We house over one hundred musical instruments—small to big; common to one-of-a-kind; locally-built to globally-acquired. We make these instruments available to people as tools for education, improvisation, composition, inspiration. Our collection also includes oddmusical CDs, books especially on instrument building, and scores by local composers.

Odd Event Organizing—A community articulates itself via events. At Oddmusic-UC we design and execute new kinds of events, which aim to break apart crusty old associations, ever bringing a new group of people together around a new kind of thing. Tried designs include:

  • Grand Opening—make a loud entrance!
  • Garden Concert—instrument design meets ecological design
  • Junkmusic Workshops—make instruments out of trash!
  • World’s First Udderbot Recital—new music for a new instrument
  • Udderbot Marching Choir—reinventing “ensemble” as game…
  • Unconference—a convergence of passions, organized on-the-fly
  • IMC-OMNIA—a 24-hour flash media festival

Potential future projects include

  • Sagittal Singalong—release party for the Sagittal Songbook (see below)
  • Food Orchestra—a shared meal with instruments made out of food!
  • Odd Karaoke—why limit karaoke to pervasive pop musics?
  • Math and Music—using each to explain the other: an art exhibit
  • Instrument Marathon for Non-Musicians—try 50 instruments you’ve never tried before!
  • Your Idea Here!

Xenharmonic Education—We use the term “xenharmonic music” to talk about an orientation to music which involves radically rethinking pitch—highness, lowness, out-of-tune, in-tune, in-between. Oddmusic-UC collects resources for re-learning music with this new orientation.

Oddmusic Radio Shower was a weekly radio show on WRFU 104.5 from January 2010 to May 2011, focusing on xenharmonic education and experiments in listening.

Xenharmonic Praxis Summer Camp is a summer camp for the composition and performance of microtonal music. In 2011 the pilot program attracted 17 musicians from across the continent to West Virginia for ten days, where we formed ensembles and produced over 90 minutes of new performances (watch them on the Internet!) The second incarnation of the camp is being planned now. We need money for scholarships.

The Sagittal Songbook is a forthcoming collection of microtonal songs, composed by friends of Oddmusic in the past five years and notated in an elegant system of arrow-shaped accidentals.

Who has benefited? At least 50 people have checked out instruments from our library since we opened in May 2009. At least 139 people have participated in our workshops, and another 380 have attended our events. Our blog has had over 5000 hits. We curate the Xenharmonic Alliance Facebook group with 300 members and growing. We have collaborated with such organizations the CU Folk & Roots Festival, American Visionary Art Museum, IndyMedia Arts Lab, School for Designing a Society, and U. of Illinois’ Women’s Resources Center, Saturday Art School, and Office of Sustainability.

What does money go towards? Our most regular expense is the space sharing fee for our library space at the Independent Media Center ($125/mo). Our most expensive program is Xenharmonic Praxis Summer Camp, for which donations will lower the cost of the camp for participants.

How else can I get involved? We are always looking for instrument librarians, builders, designers, repairers, composers, listeners, radio personalities, enthusiasts, and anyone with a great idea for an oddmusical happening! Contact us via this blog or any other way!

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