*********************************************** http://www.volitar.com
® may 2002
a monthly publication based on the science-fiction world of volitar

issue #2

in this issue:

1) featured artist - volitar bassist, ford james

2) author bobbi mccutcheon's new sci-fi epic "father mars, mother earth"

3) musicians resources! (places on the web to manufacture, distribute, sell and market your music and more)



volitar bassist - ford james

ford and i have been matched to freelance several gigs over the last five years; as a rhythm section we work well together. as our musical relationship continued to grow ford asked me to consider playing drums on his debut album "this one moment". after hearing a sample of his music i immediately accepted. it was the type of project i had been dying to get my hands on.


ford's debut cd" this one moment" released 1998


fords style of progressive-jazz allowed me to express myself through a wide range of dynamics, meters and voices. throughout the recording of this one moment ford directed me until we were both satisfied with the drum tracks. he helped me find a new space in my playing, a controlled yet extremely subtle approach to music. this approach was totally foreign to me coming from a hard hitting, progressive-rock background but, ford continued to tell me i was a born jazzer and eventually, when i figured it out, it was beautiful! this one moment was released in 1998 and features the musicianship of ford james, wayne norlund, andy engstrom, robert cohen, michael dattola, jon hanson, greg holloway and barry weafer. most tracks were recorded in ford's home studio using a mackie 1604, cakewalk pro audio, and a fostex d-80. my drum tracks were recorded at skate bottom sound, juneau, alaska (engineer: albert mcdonnell). mixed and mastered by kristi olson at surreal studios in anchorage, alaska.

during the release of this one moment i received a grant from the juneau arts and humanities council. the grant, although small, did allow me the time to focus on writting music. this was something i wanted to get back to but, never seemed to have the time. now with a few bucks to waive off the creditors, i began writting the second song on the volitar "murder mystery mayhem" cd. inspired by fords music, soul searching has definite jazz tendencies. soul searching debuted along with fords music at his cd release concert may 20th, 1999 at the northern light church in juneau, alaska.

as the pieces of volitar's compositional puzzle began to take shape and drums tracks and song sequences had been recorded it was now my turn to ask ford to participate on my project. i was relieved when he accepted and i quickly pledged all of the volitar bass work to him.

fords main instrument of choice was a 4 string fretless bass at the time. luckily for me, he was experimenting with 5 stringed basses and decided to purchase one. lucky because, most of my bass lines are written for 5 string. unfortunately, i hadn't any experience writting for a fretless bass. fretless basses can add a warm round quality to a song but, what i like best is the way it can slide between pitches without getting fret noise. in the fire of section seventeen ford was able to add this sliding between notes technique effectively. (listen to the song at the point the lyrics sing peace still reigns peace still reigns not in the games of a murderers brain - the fire of section seventeen the fire of section seventeen).

one approach to listening to volitar mmm is to focus on the bass line and how it fits into the music. this is a great way to see where ford was coming from.

i believe i succeeded in turning ford into a progressive rocker, take a listen to dead's bass line, all power until its theatrical ending sequence. extra! extra! ford james plays (pop) in just one look! finally, to top it all off, ford finishes the cd with the phatest groove of them all in the ending austinato of free.

ford played the part of taylor parish, trevor braiden's best friend and company vice-president. although the character of taylor perish is short lived, ford supplies the character with two extremes, a playful side and a deliberate, serious tone. his character changes radically between his opening line "greetings earthlings!" to the ruthlessness of a corporate officer that will let nothing hurt the well being of his best friend and company president. parish, when talkings to dr. lear in the secret delivers the lines 'i will expose you and your past associations if necessary. do you understand me?' with a cold voice contradictory to the lighter, b rated side of other characters i.e.... dr. desiree lear, felix liddy and harold athey.

when it came to building a web site ford patiently tutored me until i had the basics of using dreamweaver ultradev, a web designing software. obviously, i haven't figured it out 100% but, with fords expert guidance this site will continue to flourish and i will be able to keep on doing what i love, writting music! (this is my cue to also thank you, the reader for your support)! ford is a web designer by trade. if you're in the market for a web site consider hiring ford to build it. for more information on fords business click on this link www.yasuremedia.com.



ford james releases his second cd "sunlight" april - 2002

during the fall of 2001 i had the pleasure of performing the drum tracks to fords brand new cd entitled "sunlight". this is truly some of my best recorded playing and without hesitation recommend this cd. i was cruising with sound engineer, george bryson when i listened to fords newly mastered cd for the first time. i was totally blow away and at that moment realized how lucky i am to be part of this truly great cd. sunlight features performances by ford james, wayne norlund, robert cohen, myself, rick alverito and mike fieldhouse.

there is something to be said about a person who persists. after all, a lot if musicians produce one cd but, to produce two or more is rare. great work ford! i look forward to working with you in the future. www.fordjames.com for more info on fords music.



stay tuned. coming in june, volitar flutist - andrea mogil (written by andrew engstrom)

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father mars, mother earth

written by juneau author bobbi mccutcheon, is an action epic that discards the typical idea of future colonization on mars. instead, this tale begins in the distant past and reveals how mankind is native not to earth, but to mars, a planet suffering an unnatural death. the story details not only the adventures of how the human species, in order to overcome its inevitable extinction, must immigrate across space to a wild and untamed world they call earth, but also around one extraordinary pilot, zymon a. cates, and young jeffra, a shy and mysterious woman he rescues from a life of abuse and ostracism by bringing her out of the hidden catacombs of mars for the first time in her life. the era is 65,000,000 b.c…..

use this link to read bobbi's "father mars, mother earth" prologue for free!

use this link to buy an *autographed copy of "father mars, mother earth"

*autographed copies from bobbi are available exclusively at volitar. rock-on bobbi!


musicians resources:

recently, i've found a number of powerful resources on the web for musicians interested in promoting their music. (by-the-way, if you're not a musician please consider forwarding this information to a musician you know).

marketing resources and tips:

i'm listing marketing resources and tips first because i've spent several months researching music marketing on the web and found that these resources will give you a solid foundation to start or expand your career in music. research this information before you begin researching the other topics listed below. what i'm trying to emphasize is; get the knowledge first before you develope the strategy.

the guerrilla music marketing handbook with this manual, you'll discover that music marketing doesn't have to be expensive to be effective.the guerrilla music marketing handbook gives you the tools you need to get the maximum bang for your buck! this is a great referance especially after you've blown all of you finances on cd recording, mastering, artwork and manufacturing.

indie music contact bible - 3rd edition
bigger and better than ever, now with more than 6,000 print, radio and internet sources of exposure for your music around the world. use this resource and save months of painstaking research time.

increase your fanbase! effective online marketing techniques for artists and groups.download this free e-book from a&r online. ***study this reference before you build your website*** also use this link to go to a&r onlines reading room. there you'll find other valuable resources.

101 music business contracts protecting your music and career is really a no brainer! get the contracts that will protect your interests.

places to sell your music: these companies offer independent musicians a place to sell their music. you can customize most of the information and page design at these sites. this is important if you're interested in creating an image for your band. cd street and amazon have no set-up fees. cd baby costs $35.- to join but, if you have disc makers manufacture your cd's they will waive the set-up fee. at each site you can offer your customers free mp3's and upload graphics from your cd layout. cd street also offers to sell your band paraphernalia (i.e... t-shirts, posters etc...).

1) cd street artists can use cdstreet.com to sell goods online through cdstreet's online storefront and/or e-commerce enable their own website. they handle the transactions, you keep the cash. tell 'em volitar sent you!

2) cd baby what separates cd baby from all the other online indie cd stores is passion. these guys really do care about indie bands.

3) amazon sell your cds right next to the biggest artists on the planet at this leader in online music retailing.

4) the orchard

the orchard is a distributor, not a sales site but, must be considered if you're serious about selling your music. real world record store will have access to your music and a chance to sell your music through your listing in the orchard. it costs around $100 to join. *remember, just because retail stores across the country have your cd's on their shelves doesn't mean you're going to be successful. you have to market that product and drive potential customers into those stores to buy. otherwise, you're like a needle in a haystack.

use these sites to promote or create a web presence for your music. i suggest starting with the retailers listed above then using these sites as an addition to your promotional efforts.

1) mp3.com

2) iuma.com

3) band promos.com

4) underground musicians railroad

need cd manufacturing?

these companies offer a range of services from cd duplication, mastering, artwork for your cd layout, barcoding, posters, stickers, postcards and so on. 3 week turn arounds should be expected. so, if you're planning a specific date to release your cd make sure you send your music in the form of a dat or a cd with track i.d.'s encoded, artwork layed out on one of their cd templates no later than a month in advance. you can down load templates from these companies or risk using your own. if you use your own template they will charge an additional fee and problems may arise and create time delays.



free web site:

in addition to selling your music and posting band information at various e-stores, you might consider having your own band site. from this "home" site location you can offer your music for sale by linking to all of the retailers you've signed up with. if you find that this free site at geocities is too limited, consider having a professional web site designer develope a site for you. this service is not free but, is allows you total control over the look and feel of your site. try ford james at http://www.yasuremedia.com.

1) geocities (free) i built a free web page in less than 15 minutes at geocities. if you're pressed for time and want to build your "web presence" this is a fast way of doing it. there are other free sites out there. take a look around, you might find yourself promoting other things than just your music! and why not, placing all of your eggs in one basket - you know the story.

2) homestead ($6) a month

if in your travels on the web you find other useful links musicians can use, please email mail them to me and i'll post them andy@volitar.com

p.s. below this text are links to my web site where you'll find various information on my music. this is called a "signature". you can create a signature like this that is automatically added to every email you sent; important if you are trying to spread the word about your music! go to your email account, in the top nav-bar select "tools", then "options", then "signatures". add the message you want to appear at the bottom of your emails in the "text" box, click "apply" and you're set. learn more marketing techniques like this every month by signing up for volitar's free newsletter the "volitar miner". sent a blank email to andy@volitar.com .

volitar "murder mystery mayhem" is a progressive-rock cd that incorporates
music and sound effects with a full cast science-fiction drama!
http://www.volitar.com/ <----about
http://www.volitar.com/mp3s.htm <----listen
http://www.volitar.com/mechandise.htm <----buy

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