The Planetary Jam
JTV Digtal Josh Urban invites his fellow humans along on tour, fellow musicians to collaborate, and the world to a music video shoot.
A Planetary Jam Session
The idea: Music builds common ground even among the most different of peoples. So, let’s get the whole world jamming! The strategy: Part 1. Make a music video with the planet, bringing everyone on an interactive tour. Part 2. Create a soundtrack to the video with my fellow musicians. You’re invited! Read on for details on how I plan to do this, how you can participate, and hopefully, a few ideas that you can apply to your own path. By the way, here’s the official website and hub of the project.
I’ve recored a song called The Planetary Jam, and I’ll be touring by train, videoing the journey, and playing street music with a GoPro camera strapped to my head. In addition to my acoustic guitar, I’ll be playing a cigar box guitar, and a home-built broom guitar. It’s a one-string contraption, similar to a diddley bow, and I’ve electrified it. It’s not only a symbol and visual for the tour and video, but also a magnet for people walking by on the street. “What is that?!” they ask. It’s super easy to play, so after I give them a quick lesson, I pick up my guitar, and we jam. It sounds rockin’, looks rockin’, and brings a lot of smiles to the crowds. Plus, it winds up on a lot of Instagram accounts! I’ll be recording these street jams of strangers becoming friends, as well as the travel footage, for the final video. But that’s me…What about them (and you?) That brings us to…
What about them (and you?)
People the world over are invited to participate in three different ways, by: Playing a broom like an air guitar as they video themselves dancing to the song (and there’s a special dance, too!), joining in the tour stops in person, or musicians sending in tracks as guest artists for the final mix. Anyone anywhere can post their footage and audio back to the hashtag #JURT (Josh Urban Rail Tour) on social media, where I’ll see it, and splice it into the final video. This taggable tour opens up the playing field, my stage becomes yours stage, everyone is involved in the construction of something bigger than them, and everyone goes on tour. This format has worked great on previous projects, and I’m excited to bring people along with me.
A philosophical thought
Through all of this collaboration, the focus is on what brings us together, not what divides. Oh yes, we’ll notice that we’re all different. But by rallying around music, and a project, perhaps we’ll build some common ground. I like the theory that the world is all in our minds. Change a perception, and change the world. So, let’s see how many people we can reach.
Here’s how to join in:
For Video: 1. Grab a broom, listen to the song, and video yourself rockin’ out to it. You can do the special dance (check out my YouTube channel), or just your own thing. It doesn’t have to be the whole song, just a bit where I can splice it in to the final cut. 2. Post it back to the tour using the hashtag #JURT on social media, or email me the file. 3. Get it in the video!
For Music: Musicians, feel free to send in tracks as guest artists! The song is in the key of D minor, and I’ll be posting an instructional video on my YouTube channel on how to play it. I’d suggest for guitar players to send in a short solo for the outro segment of the song (but any musicians are welcome, no matter what you play!) Here’s a version of the song without any lead guitar. Remember to post the file back to the tag #JURT, or send it to me.
For Remixes: I’ll be uploading the individual tracks, too, under a creative commons license, with the hopes that people will remix, modify, and collaboarte. For example, if you’re a DJ, you can release a remix, guitar players can add their own solos, and the list goes on. I’d like to see it really take off. Just note: those versions won’t be part of the final video soundtrack. That being said, let’s get a lot of different mixes out there! And please send them to me – I’d love to hear them, and I’ll post them on my networks.
In person: I’ll be playing along the east coast of the United States, and worldwide on Google + hangouts. Check the site for a calendar. I’d love to see you out there! Let’s jam!
The Social Networks
Here’s my strategy for each platform:
- Twitter will be my location annoucement for jams, a good way to propagate the message, and an easy way to build connections with new tour members on the street.
- Instagram will be the expected star of the show, as people like to take pictures of the broom guitar anyway, and following back is oh-so-easy. I’ll be painting the #JURT tag on it, so it will be even easier for people to connect.
- YouTube will be the host of the video, and I hope to get lots of post-tour milage out of it.
- Soundcloud will host tracks, and I’ll also be posting sounds and commentary from the tour stops there.
Let’s rock, comrades. I’m looking forward to having you along on tour! Post videos and sounds back to the hashtag #JURT. Welcome to the worldwide stage! Musicians, if you’d like to collaborate, send me any tracks, or feel free to reach out personally! I’m proud to have JTV Digital as an official partner of the tour, and I’ll be releasing any and all versions of the song through them. Big thanks, comrades! (Folks, if you’re looking for a distrubition company, I can’t recommend them highly enough!) Check out the official site for tour details, hop on board at the Facebook group, and get ready to have fun! Also, I’ll report back to you after the tour to let you know how it went, and what I learned in hopes that it helps you with your next project. But for now…Let’s jam!
Josh Urban with his electric broom guitar. Photo credit Noah Urban/Mazuzu.com