A neon blue, 30-minute fractal progression was projected on Buddy Hale’s living room wall while Dumbledog teleported viewers on a dreamy, modular synth journey of textural and ambient soundscapes.
Jesse Gage, the Long Beach artist known as Dumbledog, had connected with the Library of Musiclandria, Sacramento’s coolest new resource for musicians that allows anyone to rent instruments, recording equipment, loopers, a giant ceremonial drum and more, free. Gage donated a MicroBrute synth the year before and played a show at the library housed in a Land Park home last February.
“Most people don’t have access to making music and that doesn’t make sense. That focus on access is something we have in common with Hacker Lab,” Hale told Hacker Lab’s blog and newsletter.
At this month’s all-ages July 13th show, Musiclandria will benefit from suggested-donation ticket sales and 20 percent of bar sales for a show that is the biggest yet at Hacker Lab’s new midtown location.
“Music Makers” on July 13, 4 – 9 p.m. features a full mini-festival and art show, offering a lineup of seven musical sets, over nine visual gallery artists (with art made by musicians and musically-themed artists), drinks by Burly Beverages, grub from Bambi Vegan Tacos and more.
Learn about the Musiclandria journey below, benefitting with the artists who will show commission-free at Hacker Lab during July and August.
Music for All
The Library of Musiclandria is a non-profit music instrument library that began after Hale’s father’s dementia forced Hale into the foster system, eventually becoming an emancipated minor.
“I really struggled with isolation, a lack of personal identity, and had no helping hand to show me how to navigate the world. My life would have been very different if I had access to musical instruments and resources earlier,” Hale explained. “Musical exploration helped me define who I am in this world.”
While earning his Sac State degree in business with a focus on social entrepreneurship, Hale put every class project or assignment towards the creation of the library. Hale donated his own instruments and space inside his home. Now, the library offers access to over 400 instruments and has become a musical community with a host of monthly events.
The Dumbledog show (and others) include a Q&A to teach listeners how to set-up oft-unintuitive modular synth equipment. Rachel Freund, the library’s event coordinator (who hosts the library in her house in Land Park), holds a Women and Allies music night; an acoustic-friendly show, Sac Unplugged; Instrument Petting Zoos at local events, bringing a truckload of instruments; and more.
“At the Mustard Seed School last year [a free, private school for homeless youth ages 3-15 at Loaves & Fishes], we held a beatmaking workshop and taught kids to make sequences on synthesizers and how to make beats,” Hale said. “Our mission is to break down the barriers to musical exploration; people should be able to express themselves in a world where it doesn’t matter if they can afford it.”
About 250 or so members use the library. Another 150 more want to join and haven’t made it to the library’s currently-limited hours (Saturdays, 12 – 5 p.m.). Fundraising efforts go towards supporting the library’s short-term goals with instrument repair and events, and long-term efforts for a storefront with more regular hours.
Local music enthusiasts, including this author, use the library; so do local venues; Peach House Presents, a booking group that holds music festivals; the City of Sacramento, which used the instruments to showcase Sacramento’s creative economy; and even Hacker Lab, which used the library’s PA systems for another Second Saturday show.
“We open up the living room to allow bands to practice. All of our funds go into educational programs, instrument maintenance and supporting music in Sacramento,” Hale said.
Complete disclosure: This writer has a bias for Musiclandria because he learned the banjo and how to record on a four-track cassette tape deck, thanks to the library. For the full lineup and artists playing on Saturday, July 13 from 4-9 p.m., visit the event page here.