Monday, May 4, 2009

Behind the Fringemunks

So what exactly do I make of The Fringemunks project?

It's definitely helped broaden my audience, which is something I've wanted to do - hence, the creation of my website, and the various methods of tracking who visits. As with any start-up site, it's a matter of attracting visitors and motivating them to visit and re-visit.

For most of my life, my music has had some appeal, whether it be to extended family, or a church, or an ethnic community. But there was always a glass ceiling, and any peak above the ceiling always yielded a sense of frustration and disappointment: it was like pulling teeth sometimes to encourage people to listen to my music.

So how does one transition from struggling to attract the masses, to struggling to keep up with the masses who want to hear more from you?

Enter the Fringemunks, a serialized 2-song joke that is turning into a 20-song hit for a portion of Fringe fans around the globe. Despite the tongue-in-cheek nature of the songs and its accompanying irreverent humor, it is still my music underneath the sped-up voices and, I feel, there is redemptive quality to the lyrics that I write for the parodies. It allows the audience to experience a Fringe episode in a different light, and also allows one to hear a song in a slightly different light as well. For me, it's also one experiment after another, creating music and presenting them to an audience in mind--it's simply great practice.

The appeal for the listener is exemplified in a series of anticipations for each new song. Once an episode airs, I want the Fringemunks fan to automatically wonder how the 'munks will recap that episode. If a listener memorizes the song, it can be a great tool to remember a particular episode's plot and details when the episodes and seasons start piling up.

Not only that, I try to infuse an emotional quality into each and every song - it's not all fun and games. It's a funny kind of serious, a detour from the usual humor. Not exactly Weird Al, not nearly Chipmunks (I don't speed it up as fast as they did).

Something is working. Glancing at the results of the visitor tracker, there are lots of visitors in the Seattle area, a plethora in New York... and a whole bunch in Europe... especially Hungary. That's right, there's a website in Hungary that is marketing the Fringemunks. How flattering is that! Makes me want to brag a little, but not too much.

Plus, the name "Fringemunks" is catchy, I think.

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