Elestial Sound: A Collective Culture of Music and Art
In a world where anyone with access to GarageBand can create music to share with the world, it has become a rarity to find artists coming together to create, record, and promote local music. Nestled just down the street from the Grooveshark Headquarters is the independent label, gallery, recording studio, and artist collective, Elestial Sound. This do-it-yourself initiative truly showcases the passion and drive that goes into making art.
Elestial Sound, the independent record label based out of Gainesville, Fla, is releasing its first compilation album on April 30th.
Only two years old, Elestial Sound has quickly become a vital part of Gainesville’s alternative art and music culture. The compilation—meant to showcase Elestial Sound as a collaborative group of artists—will feature songs from ten of the bands on the label: MSNRA, Euglossine, Ghost Fields, Chromadadata, Floating, Pospulenn, Orchal and Vir, Jane Jane Pollock, Danny and Emily Reo.
The music is influenced by many different genres —- psychedelic, electronic and indie to name a few —- but the bands hardly pigeonhole their sound into specific categories. MSNRA, for example, is a hip-hop group that blends elements of electronic and world music to create a unique sound.
The artists, who have taken time from their solo work to create music specifically for the album, have worked closely with each other since Elestial Sound’s beginning in 2011. They frequently play live shows together at venues across Gainesville, and, in 2012 and 2013, they performed at South by Southwest (SXSW), a music and interactive conference in Austin, Texas.
Although music is the main driving force behind Elestial Sound, it is not the only thing that defines it. The Gainesville collective puts on live, local shows that combine elements of music and art to create a mesmerizing experience. Art installations are specially crafted to add to the ambiance of each show. The stage and walls of The Church of Holy Colors, where many of the local shows are held, are sometimes covered with hand-painted colorful designs, or, more recently, plastered with vibrant afghan blankets. Lights that pulsate to the beat of the music hang from the ceiling and vintage 35-millimeter slide projectors cast filmstrips around the room. Far from the top 40 glitz and glam of mainstream shows held at huge venues—Elestial Sound shows’ actually mix authentic music with real art.
Davis Hart, co-owner of the label describes his organization as a “mutating entity” that is still evolving and defining itself. “It’s a collective of artists, musicians and builders and people just mad to live,” he said.
Gabriel Ortiz, the other half of the founding pair, says the compilation is a great example of this collective effort.
In addition to encouraging and inspiring one another in their solo endeavors, some of the artists also lend their talents to multiple projects. Tristan Whitehill, the force behind Euglossine, composes and performs with MSNRA and collaborates with Kane Pour of Pospulenn in the duo known as Orchal and Vir.
“The nature of our community is built upon the idea that we all help support each other’s creative output,” Whitehill said. “Each project is equally special and the community is there to help each artist’s vision.”
The soon-to-be released album will be available for purchase on the official website: www.elestialsound.com.