Archipelago is a new instrumental musical project that combines the talents of three well-known Central Kentucky musicians: Scott Whiddon , Kevin Holm-Hudson, and Jim Gleason. For their debut, they will be releasing 17 songs in late 2020 over two albums, titled Songs from Quarantine Volume I and II, respectively. The music, inspired by feelings and experiences during 2020’s COVID-19 pandemic, has also been released with the distinct purpose of helping the Central Music Academy, a local nonprofit that provides free music lessons to children from homes that may lack the financial resources to have them.
Scott Whiddon explains the rationale to donate all Bandcamp proceeds to the Central Music Academy. “While it reflects our experiences through the pandemic, we also saw an opportunity to shed some light on locally-based nonprofit organizations such as CMA. The economic impact in recent months has been considerable, and they deserve more attention than ever.” Since 2004, the CMA has provided 40,000 free music-related lessons to over 1,000 children in Lexington, Kentucky. Click here to watch a brief video on the Central Music Academy’s mission.
From the ponderous opener “Shelter in Place”, to the ominous “Distance”, to the sinister track “Lungs Like Glass”, Songs from Quarantine: Volume 1 is a soundtrack to the range and variety of feelings that many people have felt during the COVID 19 pandemic- melancholy, fear, hope, stress, grief, and so many others. The album was recorded remotely by the core group of Whiddon, Gleason, and Holm-Hudson, who all played a variety of instruments, and was produced and engineered by Jim Gleason. It also features contributions from drummers Neil Bell and Dave Hamon, as well as programming and synths from Wyatt Nicholson.
Below is the first track on the album, “Shelter in Place” (which also features distorted samples of Kentucky’s governor, Andy Beshear).
Although Archipelago’s debut album explores challenging feelings, the goal of the project was to find ways to lift and help during a confusing and challenging time, both temporally and artistically. Whiddon explains “In the end, this project is about creativity, collaboration, and community building,”
Songs from Quarantine: Volume 1 is slated for independent release on November 1, 2020. Volume 2 will be out later this year. Click here to head to their Bandcamp and buy the album (reminder that all proceeds will be given to the Central Music Academy).