A few weeks back, I walked to the Hope Borbas branch of the Capital Area District Library, only to find that it was closed because a car had crashed into it. It is difficult to fully explain how much this upset me. As a near daily journey for me, the library has become an important part of my life. I, admittedly, am unemployed and find it difficult to fill my day as easily as when I was working. I find myself getting bored much easier, and I seem to have fewer chores to complete. The big difference of course being that everything I used as distractions or for pleasure when I was working, are now the only thing that fill my day. And there are only so many video games to be played and rooms to be cleaned. And I don’t like the way my wife looks at me when I am talking to the cats as if they are people.
While Lansing is itself a small city compared to New York, Chicago, L.A. and Detroit, it still is a city. And like all cities, there are buildings, concrete, and people everywhere you turn. It can get a bit overwhelming at times, causing you to head for greener pastures. Lucky for us, Lansing isn’t like New York or Detroit where you can only head to one major park in each city (Central Park or Bell Isle). There is no shortage of green space for Lansing area residents to escape to. And yes, I just ended a sentence with a preposition, which is my prerogative.
The true beauty of Lansing may actually lay in its people, but a large part of its beauty is the park system. The city of Lansing has over 100 official public parks of various size and style. Some are simply the land surrounding historic buildings. Some are small with just a simple swing set. Others spread out over several acres of forested land.
“In The Orchard Of Osiris” (I.T.O.o.O.) is a 15-song compilation of some of the best independent music I’ve encountered over the last few years, while I was working in the mid-Michigan arts community. In an age of streaming media and compromised sound quality, I set out to create a physical artifact — an actual album that flows from song to song, and can be held in your hands – as opposed to the intangible realm of file-swapping, Google-harvested cover art and the diminishing engagement that people derive from 99-cent downloads and shuffled playlists.
Through booking concerts at various venues around town like SCENE Metrospace, Basement 414, Gone Wired and Magdalena’s Teahouse (R.I.P.), I got to know a diverse group of committed indie musicians, and it surprised me that quite a few of them weren’t aware of eachother. Playing musical matchmaker by designing bills with local and national acts that either shared aesthetic sensibilities or provided interesting contrasts was one of my most rewarding experiences. I was moved to bring it all together somehow, and thus the idea for this compilation germinated.
You can watch a short film about I.T.O.o.O., pre-order a copy, or support the project in other ways at the I.T.O.o.O Kickstarter Page.