Written by staff of Chapelboro.com
Stemming from collaboration between the Chapel Hill Public Library, Chapel Hill Community Arts & Culture and — of course — our vibrant local music scene, the Tracks Music Library has continued to flourish since its launch in 2020.
“The public library isn’t just a place for books, it’s a place where people from all walks of life have access to information and culture,” said Anne-Claire, a Tracks curator and artist, in a release. “I am thrilled that my music is available as part of Tracks because it means that my work could reach different ears than if I just shared it on my social media pages. Tracks is just one more way Chapel Hill Public Library serves its community – by promoting unsigned artists and amplifying the real sounds of our area.”
Tracks Music Library is a commercial-free streaming platform consisting of entirely local music. During the open call period, which is happening now, local music artists can submit their work for consideration in the collection. Then a team of community curators rate the submissions based on quality and diversity of the work for acceptance into the platform.
Community curators are local music lovers and Tracks artists that champion the platform and ultimately, the local music scene. Let’s meet those curators who help co-create Tracks Music Library:
Anne-Claire is a singer, songwriter, and teacher with decades of performance experience and training in a wide range of genres. After spending her high school and college years in music and theater, she earned her Bachelor of Music degree in Music Voice Performance from UNC-Greensboro before continuing to study with teachers Carla LeFevre, Patrick Hansen, and Meredith Monk. In 2018 Anne-Claire released her first LP I Still Look For You, and in 2021 she partnered with local label Suah Sounds to release her single Jean Jacket. Anne-Claire has collaborated with artists like Phil Cook, Libby Rodenbough, and R.E.M.’s Mike Mills. She actively writes and performs around the Triangle.
Bill Smith was one of the owners of the Cat’s Cradle from the early seventies until 1984 and was the chef at Crook’s Corner from 1993 until 2018. He is also the author of two cookbooks and numerous articles in journals and magazines.
What makes our local music scene special?
“The thing I like most about our local music is that there are so many kinds. People ask if there is a Chapel Hill sound. The answer is no. There are dozens,” says Smith.
Dasan Ahanu is an award winning poet and performance artist, cultural organizer, educator, scholar and emcee based in Durham, North Carolina. He is an Alumni Nasir Jones Fellow at Harvard’s Hip Hop Archive and Research Institute, resident artist at the St. Joseph’s Historic Foundation/Hayti Heritage Center, and visiting lecturer in the music department at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. He has performed across the country, appeared on national radio and TV, published three books of poetry, and been featured in various periodicals. Dasan is currently managing a grant funded initiative as the Rothwell Mellon Program Director for Creative Futures with Carolina Performing Arts. He swings a mean pen and represents the SOUTH.
Kat Harding is the public relations and social media manager of the North Carolina Museum of Art. Prior to that, she was the communications associate for Broadcast Music, Inc. out of Nashville, TN. She holds a bachelors of marketing and masters of communication from Auburn University. She was recently named the Raleigh Public Relations Society PR Professional of the Year. She lives in Chapel Hill, NC, where she also hosts a radio show on WHUP-LP and is a freelance journalist.
Favorite track? For Tension by Superchunk
Treee City is the electronic music project of Durham-based recording artist Patrick Phelps-McKeown. Since 2002, he has been producing dance music that draws inspiration from field recordings, pop radio, vintage technology, and 90’s rave nostalgia. Deeply rooted in North Carolina’s electronic music scene, he is a founding member of Durham’s Party Illegal crew, has released on labels Raund Haus and Maison Fauna; performed at festivals like Moogfest and Hopscotch, and shared stages with artists including Sylvan Esso, Steve Aoki, and Washed Out. He currently organizes #BlendsWithFriends, a biweekly DJ open decks and skill share meetup and is working on his debut full-length album.
Steve Weiss is the Curator of the Southern Folklife Collection in Wilson Special Collections Library at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, one of the nation’s foremost archives of Southern music, where he oversees collecting, preservation, and outreach. Steve studied at the Berklee College of Music and holds a BS in Audio Technology from American University and a Master of information and Library Studies from the University of Michigan. He is the producer of a series of recordings jointly released with YepRoc Records which includes releases by Doc Watson, Dolly Parton, and Tia Blake.
Over the past decade, Tatiana Hargreaves has been on the forefront of an up and coming generation of old time, bluegrass and new acoustic musicians. From placing first at the Clifftop Appalachian Fiddle Contest, to her bluegrass fiddling on Laurie Lewis’ GRAMMY-nominated album The Hazel And Alice Sessions, Hargreaves shows a musical fluency that flows between old time and bluegrass worlds with ease. Her current duo with Allison de Groot has been described as a “can’t-miss pair in,” by Paste Magazine and has garnered the attention of Rolling Stones Country, the IBMA awards and the Independent Music Awards. Hargreaves has been the lecturer of bluegrass fiddle at UNC-Chapel Hill since 2018.
Visual artist and musician Renzo Ortega began his music career in the underground music scene of his native Lima-Perú, performing with the pioneer electronic duo “Cuerpos del Deseo”. In 2000 he emigrated to the United States. Renzo has been performing and recording music for over 25 years, playing both political and love songs in different venues, including museums and D.I.Y. art spaces in Lima, New York, Texas, Chicago, North Carolina, Berlin, and México City. Renzo has been exhibiting artwork in galleries and museums. His work is part of the Reckoning and Resilience: North Carolina Art Now exhibition at the NASHER Museum of Art. He lives and works in Carrboro, NC.
Tracks Music Library celebrates and supports North Carolina’s Triangle Area music community, aiming to help new audiences discover new music from local artists, and to help musicians reach new listeners. Tracks also provides an avenue for audiences to find ways to directly support their favorite artists, something that is especially relevant now. Music on Tracks is entirely free to stream on mobile and desktop, features opportunities to support local musicians directly, and Chapel Hill Public Library card holders can download music to listen to offline.
“I’m excited to be part of Tracks because musicians are sorely in need of financial support right now, and Tracks provides an opportunity to get paid for your music at a time when other revenue sources for artists — such as live shows and merch sales — are less viable,” said Patrick Phelps-McKeown, also known as Treee City, in a release. “It’s also a great way to build connections in our talented local music community. I’ve discovered some really great music in the process of making my playlist. There’s a lot of amazing artists to support, and best of all it’s free with your library card!”
You can listen to an interview and performance from Tatiana Hargreaves on 97.9 The Hill WCHL’s Live and Local with Aaron Keck here!