Tracks Music Library, a collection of free music made by artists in the Triangle, is holding its third open call period for new music submissions. The open calls started Jan. 1 and will end Feb. 14.
The program was founded in 2020 and is a collaboration between the Chapel Hill Public Library and Chapel Hill Community Arts & Culture. The collection features a variety of genres and over 100 artists and bands.
Melissa Bartoletta, marketing and communications coordinator for Chapel Hill Community Arts & Culture, said Tracks was founded to archive the sounds of the local community and help local bands find new listeners. Tracks also helps music lovers to find new and local music, Bartoletta said.
“We really aim to have the platform reflect the sound of the Triangle,” Bartoletta said.
The music submitted to Tracks is reviewed and organized by community curators who are familiar with the Triangle’s music scene and have an ear for quality and diverse genres of music.
Since last year, Tracks has asked artists who were already a part of the library to help curate the new music submissions.
“When we see an area of music that might not be as well represented in the area, we try to find ambassadors and staples in the community to get the word out,” Bartoletta said.
She said that once the application is closed, Tracks curators listen to the submissions and rate the music on diversity, quality and connection to the Triangle scene.
Tracks will accept about 30 new artists this year. Submissions that are accepted are awarded $200.
Tatiana Hargreaves is an artist curator who has had music featured in the library.
When applying to have her music in Tracks, Hargreaves said that initially it sounded like a good way to make extra money.
“The more I learned about it, it seemed like a really cool organization and a really neat idea to have a streaming platform designed for and by local musicians,” she said.
Hargreaves said streaming platforms are usually bad for local musicians because they don’t give artists any money unless they already have a large following.
“With local streaming platforms, it's a great way to get your name out there as far as local artists go, and if someone is listening on Tracks, they know you're local, and you might get hired because you’re on this platform,” Hargreaves said. "Also, it’s a great way to hear other local musicians."
Gabriel Pelli is a member of the band Grand Shores, which was featured in the library in 2020 for its first album, "Tradewinds."
Pelli said he and his bandmate Will Ridenour were always looking for new outlets and ways to reach new audiences, and with Tracks, they were able to do that.
“It's nice to feature local musicians, and it's always appreciated to get some validation for your work and put it out there to an audience that wouldn’t have heard it otherwise,” Pelli said.
Steve Wright, the public art coordinator for Chapel Hill Community Arts & Culture, said Tracks was started partly to allow patrons of the Chapel Hill Public Library to be able to check out music digitally.
Wright said that because Tracks started when the COVID-19 pandemic began, it allowed for the program to support local musicians in a time when a lot of local venues were shutting down.
“We definitely have a goal of trying to reflect as broad a range of different musical styles and artists as possible,” Wright said. “This is just another way to share the great music that is being made around here.”
Submissions to Tracks can be made on its website.
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