300 CDs around the world

What if instead of looking for something to listen to, something finds you?

The album “Works” was released in June 2016. This is my first self-produced and self-distributed album. Originally the album was titled with my real name, Rocco Granata, but due to a homonymy with a famous singer from the 60s, I had to use the artistic name Rokhe. “Works” is a crafted product where the songwriting is simple. From the melodies to the sounds, from mixing to mastering, all is permeated by a DIY spirit. Self-production and self-distribution as a musical and social language. The tracks are based on a conversation between a piano and a cello. These two instruments are the core of the musical structure of “Works”. From this core, the conversation is enriched by drum machines (Arise), sample loops (Lost Memories), tribal choirs (Haka), groove dubstep (Earth), synths and effects (A Young Man, Cry Of Love), strings (Life, Undead, Harden My Heart, Without You). The track “Harden My Heart” is a cover of Quaterflash, an 80s pop band. Lullaby is the only track of the album that I wrote for a soprano, guitar, flute and choir. It is structured as a sacred aria, but the lack of any kind of religious lyrics and the use of the voice just as another instrument gives it a secular feeling in its interpretation.

“Works” is distributed for free in two ways: social and antisocial.

With the social distribution you can download the entire album for free, leaving the listener free to share it in whatever way he feels. The album can be shared on the web through other file sharing systems (torrent, eMule etc.). If the listener wishes to fund other productions from the author, he could also buy a copy of the album available on Bandcamp. You can also listen to streaming on iTunes Spotify, Amazon MusicDeezer, Tidal and Soundcloud.

With the antisocial distribution, the album is handed out through an art installation. “Works” has been made into 300 numbered and signed CDs, left on the streets or in public places, there to be picked by people passing by. Every copy left is photographed and the photo is shared on this website. Using the instructions in the booklet, I ask whoever finds a copy of the CD to send me a photo of his new home.

058/300 Commission Européenne – Brussels – Belgium

The installation has the aim to make people think about the real meaning of the word “sharing”, in a world where social networks have given a virtual vision to this word (share photos, videos, news, virtual petitions). This is why the name “antisocial distribution”. Without the intent of demonizing Facebook, Twitter and others, the installation wants to demonstrate that you can share also in real life. Some places chosen are highly symbolic as the headquarters of the European Commission in Brussels and the White House in Washington because the correct interpretation of the word “sharing” also passes through the centres of power. Share among all … resources and wealth.

042/300 White House – Washington, DC – USA

The project started in Italy in Rome, where most of the copies were distributed, and it spread around through italian cities as Naples, Matera, Catania, Bologna, Rimini, Cuneo, Grosseto, Vicenza, Siena and Livorno. The installation has come in countries such as USA, Thailand, Senegal, Austria, France, Spain, Belgium, Romania, Norway and Czech Republic.

The copies are distributed by me or other volunteers. Whoever wants to distribute a copy of “Works” can contact the author on the website of the project.

101/300 Alameda de Hercules – Sevilla – Spain

075/300 Karlův most – Praha – Czech Republic

083/300 Piazza Trilussa – Rome – Italy

168/300 Mosquèe de la Divinitè – Dakar – Senegal

014/300 Rione San Biagio – Matera – Italy

With the aid of Google Maps, I have created an interactive map indicating the areas where the CDs have been left.

The interaction with the audience is made by people sending in their photos of them finding the CDs. Both on the CD inlay and the website, I ask to those who find the CD to send a photo of where they found it.

When I drop my albums, I enjoy looking at people’s reactions from a distance. Many go close, look at the cover, fascinated. Some decide to take it, some do not. Many are hesitant. Finding a CD on the streets or hanging on a wall with an invitation to grab it, does confuse most of the people.

095/300 Via del Corso – Rome – Italy

There was once a boy who looked at the CD hanging from a wall, got closer, and took it. He looked at it, curiously. He was about to put it in his backpack when he realized he was being watched from afar (by yours truly). He then hung it back on and left.

You need a good sprinkle of courage and nerve to grab a CD left on a street.

I like to think of my CDs as small awards. Awards for curious people.

105/300 Plaza de Espana – Seville – Espana

I graduated in Musicology with a dissertation on music and politics in the Middle Ages. In this era, buskers and storytellers lived their life wandering from town to town. They had no master to sing the praises of in their compositions. They were free in their songwriting and often their music was full of invectives against the governments of the time who exploited and subjugated the weakest classes. People listened and learned. Their songs helped to spread the first primordial cores of social demands. The street was their social network. I have no intention of comparing myself to them, but their work always fascinated me. I write instrumental music and I do not send messages, I can move some of the people listening, but I like the idea of the street being the place for sharing music, not by taking up a guitar, but leaving a CD.

If you want to distribute a CD, send me a message on my Instagram page.

See the full installation

Rocco Granata