Music is our biographer. It marks our time. It organizes our memories. It preserves who we were and contextualizes who we’ve become. Music records our lives, and I would love for you to share your stories with us as a part of the Musical Yearbook project.
Based on the universal truth that music is a highly effective entry point into our pasts, Musical Yearbook is a growing collection of audio recorded autobiographical essays/short stories in which people of all ages, professions, and backgrounds share written snapshots of their lives through the lens of the music that chose them. It is the first experiment in a series for a larger, tentatively coined Social Music Project.
How it works:
- Along with 2 photos (one yearbook photo and one current photo), contributors to Musical Yearbook are asked to submit a series of short, autobiographical stories or essays from four periods:
– 4th Grade (pre-adolescence)
– 8th Grade (adolescence)
– the transition out of high school (transition into early adulthood)
– an essay from current time to help shape a perspective on previous three essays
- The essays (both the audio recordings and the written documents) and photos are then uploaded to the Musical Yearbook website (a rough sketch of the layout is below)
- A sampling of the essays are produced into a BAMM.tv podcast
- Visitors of the website then have a series of options as to how they want to organize their essay/story playlists:
– By person (a la, an album)
– By year (playlist)
– Comparison of two contributors in which essays alternate essays from each stage
In the end, Musical Yearbook has a simple goal—to tell and learn our stories through the common thread of music. We are all far more interesting than what can be summed up in an “About Me” section, and we are far more interested in others than what is extractable from a friend’s or stranger’s “About Me” section. Similarly, there are more ways to share music than Spotify telling our “friends” what we’re listening to at the moment.
Like music, the digitization of community has created an efficient, but oftentimes shallow interaction. Our emotional investment in each other has been reduced. Musical Yearbook looks to deepen that interaction and increase our respective emotional investments.
Please let me know if you’re interested in participating, and don’t hesitate to ask any questions you might have.