The arts community at Quest likes to project itself as being very aware of all the on-goings around campus. Perhaps that’s why over the past two years, the ‘Quest Tune Squad Album Project’ has titled its final product, a student produced music album, after major on-going events on campus, albeit doing so comically. Last years’ album, reflecting both on a controversial student government candy scheme as well as the general mourning on campus over the loss of our beloved Ninja Fort forest structure, was titled “Candy Democracy and the Ninja Fort Apocalypse”.
This year’s album is titled ‘No Pets Aloud’, a cheeky reference to a pet-related proposed amendment to our residence policy which did not go through. The two year album tradition is actually a bit older than it may seem from the get go; a previous album had actually been produced by the graduating class of 2009 and this new tradition of annual album production can be considered drawing it’s continuum from the work of that class.
This album can really be considered a highlight of the music scene on campus, especially so for any interested in recording and producing. The procedures to make the album typically begin early in the spring, with a lot of brainstorming sessions- artists will typically share their interests and musical abilities and plan to collaborate. Following this, these artists coordinate online to get a piece together- this is done typically via a Facebook group. Having this online coordination can prove quite handy as artists can often share little snippets of ideas that they had, inviting other artists to build up from there.
One of my favorite things about the album is the general diversity of music genres which are showcased: we have a bit a bluegrass, acoustic instrumentals, folk, soul, rock, hip-hop, and jazz. I really appreciate how student musicians at Quest often are very well versed in a certain musical genre but comfortable and enthusiastic to branch out and help with other genres. It was in light of this that we were able to dish out a quality album in less than two months complete with album art, mixing, mastering and post production
The last month of album production is always stressful, especially with conflicting studio schedules; a compulsive need to do re-takes of a recording (a universal musician problem), coordinating album art or C-D burning and having only a few experts on mastering and mixing per several songs. The final product makes it all worth it, however, and typically we will have a potluck or album listening party at the end of the process.
Mid recording session for last year’s album
That is not the absolute final part of the process, however, as the albums are then sold at a stall set-up for the ‘Dancing Bear’ student organized music festival in late April. Furthermore, the albums are also published for free listening onto Bandcamp.com. If interested, you could check out these links provided below: