Monk Turner

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Monk Turner is an American musician, songwriter, and producer. Known as the “galactic defender of the concept album”,[1] Turner has created a number of multi-genre concept albums. He is known for winning the Free Music Archive's competition to create a copyright-free replacement for the song "Happy Birthday to You" whose rights were once owned by Time Warner.

Musical career[edit]

He often collaborates with other musicians: Kaleidoscope (2012) incorporated more than 40 artists internationally,[2] and his narrative album Emergency Songs (2011)[3] is a co-creation with singer and lyricist Alanna Lin (a.k.a. Fascinoma). It imagines post-earthquake scenarios in Los Angeles, self-styled as “public safety through music and storytelling”.[4] The track “Judicious Jason” from Instrumental Friends (Part 3) was the chosen soundtrack at the 2015 Blue Ribbon Children’s Festival, when 2,231 students made a Guinness World Record with history’s largest choreographed ribbon dance.[5][6]

Over the years Turner has released all of his albums via Creative Commons licenses “as a means to escape the constraints of traditional music composition / distribution”.[7] He is a former Featured Commoner and has spoken alongside artists such as Curt Smith about the benefits of CC licenses for musicians and other content makers.[8]

The Birthday Song[edit]

In 2013, WFMU and the Free Music Archive held a competition[9] to create a copyright-free version of the ubiquitous “Happy Birthday to You”.[10] Monk Turner's composition with musician Fascinoma entitled “It’s Your Birthday!”[11][12] won the contest.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Frostclick, Hello! Mr. Galactic Defender of the Concept Album. Retrieved 11 May 2015
  2. ^ Bronwyn Bishop, Eclectic Composer Monk Turner's New Album..., Free Music Archive. Retrieved 11 May 2015
  3. ^ L.A. Record, Monk Turner + Fascinoma "Emergency Songs". Retrieved 11 May 2015
  4. ^ http://www.alannalin.com/music/. Retrieved 11 May 2015
  5. ^ Los Angeles County Annual Report, Blue Ribbon Festival. Retrieved 11 May 2015
  6. ^ lacounty.gov, Ribbon-dancing 5th graders set World Record. Retrieved 11 May 2015
  7. ^ Case Studies / Monk Turner, Creative Commons. Retrieved 11 May 2015
  8. ^ Parkins, Cameron (26 June 2008). "Curt Smith and Monk Turner discuss CC/Music". Creative Commons. Retrieved 11 May 2015.
  9. ^ Free Music Archive - "Happy Birthday". Retrieved 11 May 2015
  10. ^ Why we need a new 'Happy Birthday' song, Take Two (KPCC). Retrieved 11 May 2015
  11. ^ David Haglund, Here's the New Birthday Song, Browbeat (Slate). Retrieved 11 May 2015
  12. ^ Jamie Condliffe, This is Officially the Best Copyright-Free Way to Sing Happy Birthday, Gizmodo. Retrieved 11 May 2015