Yahara Music Library Goes Online
The Madison Public Library’s newest innovation, Yahara Music Library, went live online on May 28, 2014. The initiative is a joint project between the library and Murfie, a local company that functions both as an online and physical delivery system for local music artists.
Yahara pays local musicians $200 for a five-year license to have their music available for download at Murfie in various formats that includes lossless. The music is available through an interface at the Madison Public Library’s website. Since the budget has its limits, the music is being chosen initially by the project’s brainchild Guy Hankel although an advisory board will determine future selections. Hankel is choosing based on his own knowledge and based on who has won awards. The Madison Area Music Association can take particular pride in knowing that artists that win awards have not only seen their bookings and recognition rise, they can now be considered for this enormous opportunity. Hankel and Murfie’s Preston Austin will be on hand to present the New Artist of the Year award at this year’s MAMA Awards on June 22 at the Capitol Theater. No doubt they will have something to say about the Yahara Music Library.
Music must be independently released and cannot include copyrighted titles, also known as cover songs, which are written by other artists. There is certainly no shortage of local, independent recordings however. Local Sounds Magazine has been tracking music releases in the Madison area for several years, counting well over a hundred each year. That’s not a typo, that’s over a hundred per year.
The initial roster includes twenty-three releases that cross several genres. Artists include hard rock from Baristacide and Venus in Furs, mellow pop from Bello and Ida Jo, country-influenced rock and pop from Beth Kille and the Whiskey Farm, alternative music from German Art Students, Stephanie Rearick and Julian Lynch, and hip-hop from Sincere Life and former Madisonian F. Stokes. The offerings also include the dual release of Spooner’s first two albums as well as albums by the Gomers, the Zombeatles and Natty Nation. See the full list here.