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Since everyone with a cell phone and some inexpensive editing software is making videos these days, local acoustic/electronic/world/folk blend performer Andy Robinson thought it would be fun to see what people would come up with using the mostly-instrumental songs from his full-length Music Bucket for inspiration.

"The idea is to pick a song or songs and make a video, or videos," explains Robinson. "There will be a $250 cash prize for First Place and a $100 cash prize for Second Place. All suitable entries will be posted to YouTube with my personal critique. You can enter as many times as you'd like."

"Anyone is welcome to participate, regardless of experience, but creativity is the key to winning. Since the songs on Music Bucket are mostly instrumental, you'll be free to interpret them in any way you choose. Shoot new footage, go abstract, use your home movies, still photos, claymation, time-lapse, whatever it takes to make your statement."

"There are no limits, aside from good taste, and even that is somewhat negotiable!"

Image Video submissions should be emailed to [email protected], in MP4 or WMA format, on or before April 30, 2012. IMPORTANT: videos posted to YouTube without Robinson's previous permission will be ineligible for prizes.

Music Bucket is available at http://www.andyrobinsonmusic.com , http://www.CDBaby.com/cd/andyrobinson2 , and as a download on iTunes.

Says Robinson, "I hope to see super cool Music Bucket videos from some of you soon!"

Robinson is an accomplished dulcimer player, sometimes using his fingers, and sometimes a popsicle stick.

Image “No particular flavor of popsicle works best, it’s a matter of personal taste [laughs]. Seriously, the broad side of a popsicle stick is a nice, flat surface that you can press into a fingerboard, just to the left of whatever fret you’re noting, for a clean, sustaining tone. The best sound is achieved when you place it just to the left of a fret, and hold both melody strings down evenly.”

”Popsicle sticks do wear out. They'll eventually get string grooves in them, and stop sliding so smoothly. Turn 'em around and use the other side. Or treat yourself to another popsicle. Or, if popsicles aren't on your diet, most craft stores do sell packets of what they call craft sticks. Those are pretty much the same thing.”

Whatever it takes to recreate the music in his head. “I play the kalimba [and] I play mostly acoustic instruments, but I really love synthesizers, with their infinite sound-making potential. I drum, I play harmonica, I loop, I sample, I sing, but I don’t sing actual words very often.”

Taking an experimental approach to recording, Robinson says “I like to roam San Diego’s back country with a digital recorder, sampling stuff like a dried branch tapping out patterns on a dirt road, or fence post xylophones, or a broken down piano, or a pile of pots and pans that have been left for dead. You can hear some of these things in [my songs] ‘Cartoon’ and ‘The Golden Feather.’ There is something that appeals to me about doing things the wrong way, like grabbing sounds that aren’t necessarily meant to go together and introducing them to each other.”


Robinson's first two folksy albums established the template for his experimental-Americana sound.

Image His mostly instrumental full length Music Bucket was released at the end of 2011, featuring guest players Mike Keneally, Carlos Olmeda, David Ryan Norgren, Dennis Caplinger, Tripp Sprague, Jamie White, PJ Bovee, Coco Brown, Chuck Elledge, Nicki Elledge, and Doug Robinson.

“Once again, I’ve combined dulcimers, kalimbas, guitars, loops, samples, fiddles, saxes, pots and pans, etc., to create what I believe is a fresh blend of tuneful, upbeat music.”

Even the CD cover has a found-object theme. "Each letter in the title was taken from separate photographs I took of road signs. Usually, the results of my experimenting surprise me.”

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MandrakeGroove Feb. 27, 2012 @ 7:26 p.m.

Hey, this sounds like a really cool project. I've got a question though, do you know if we're allowed to mix songs or use more than one song per video? Or is it supposed to be a traditional video? Thanks for the opportunity to compete. I've been hooked on competing in online video contests ever since I found out about that MakeAStar.com website that has a new music video contest every month.


andyr Feb. 27, 2012 @ 8:38 p.m.

Hi MandrakeGroove, I never thought of anyone mixing songs, but, hey, why not? Today it occurred to me that someone might even want to add new audio tracks, possibly vocals on one of the completely instrumental things. It's all good, traditional or avante-whatever, and to tell you the truth, I may be a little more interested in the avante-whatever. A lot of the music and art I love walks the line between pop and "huh?" so that's the kind of creativity I'm looking for. Go for it. I'm looking forward to see what you come up with. Let me know if you have any other questions. Thanks, Andy


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