Dear Innovare pre-orders are up on Bandcamp and the first song is streaming!

It’s almost here, everyone! My full length-album Dear Innovare…The Souls of Ignored Pioneers Shall Be Renowned is available for pre-order on my Bandcamp page! It’s only $7 (or more if you’re generous) to buy. $7 for 41 tracks. Come on, that’s a steal and you all know it. Feel free to check out this concept album which is an homage to various inventors, artists, doctors, musicians, and filmmakers who did innovative things and/or had their works stolen by others.

The first song “As Mediocrity Pays to Greatness” is like an overture at first. If you pre-order the album, then you get an automatic download of that track and you’ll get the rest on 12/27 when it officially drops.

I’m so exited to finally release this!

Representation Matters Pt. II: “But why don’t you make your own characters?!”

Here we go, everybody. I’m thankful that there were bloggers who liked the first blog post in my Representation Matters series on the Ospreyshire blog. I wasn’t sure how people would take to my thoughts and personal experiences, but I’m glad there are those willing to read about them.

Let’s get to part 2 of this series.

I mentioned this in passing, but I remember seeing/hearing this quote which I see as a retort for those who have legitimate gripes with either the lack of (positive) representation or racial stereotypes: “Make your own characters!”. Those same people who say that are those who don’t have to deal with being derogated by their complexion en masse, let’s be honest here. It really shows an entitlement which inadvertently proved that study about TV watching in that previous post right if you really think about it.

Oh, I decided to heed those words, but not for the reasons that they would expect.

Some of you know this, but I have written multiple books. I have covered multiple genres and book formats such as novels, novellas, novelettes, and cell phone novels. One of my goals when I started writing the first Revezia book back in 2014 was to come up with multi-ethnic casts. With that particular series, it deconstructs and inverts so many tropes and cliches associated with fantasy, fairy tales, and one might argue a certain “canon” of sorts. The main character of the first book Terminal Rescue is Shamakani. He’s a black prince who leads a search/rescue operation for various healers in the area, is a talented swordsman, and he has a serious attitude even though he can be too serious at times to his detriment (I’m not going to write a Marty Stu character). In that series alone, I have protagonists of all ethnic groups and walks of life and that’s also the same with Hollandus Landing which is the first part of my cell phone novel series (It’s also free if you want. Just saying.). It was exhilarating creating these characters, but even then, I still had to be respectful. I’m thankful to have grown up in a multiracial city and I’ve talked with my friends to see if something was okay or not when it came to writing characters outside of my ethnic persuasion. This may sound cheesy, but I wanted to have that sense of humanity by having dynamic characters who are a certain ethnicity instead of just having their race define them. Trust me, there’s a difference.

Recently, the character I created who really helped increase my self-esteem a bit is Kasamba from Revezia: Sika Uvira Chronicle and the Revezia Electrum trilogy (Sika Uvira Chronicle is also free). Kasamba is a DIY inventor who can create various gadgets. He’s very intelligent, but also self-loathing and underestimates his own genius. Instead of being some muscle-bound freak, he is on the thinner side and uses his smarts and inventions whenever he is in a bad situation. I gave Kasamba some quirks like being really into indie movies while giving internalized snarky commentary on the state of mainstream films in a wink wink nudge nudge kind of way. His name is actually Tshiluba (a Congolese language) for “To Console” because writing him was a consolation to me and he’s able to do so for others in ways he doesn’t realize. After finding out I was of part Congolese descent, I thought I would incorporate that into this character and even his environment. He’s from a modern city on planet Revezia, has lots of decent technology equivalent to what we have on earth currently, and there’s not an ounce of poverty porn in his hometown! Not everything in Africa looks like mud huts, war zones, jungles, or the Pride Lands, GOT IT?! I’ve never even been to the continent and even I know that.

I guess by me creating my own characters, stories, or even art, this was therapy of sorts for me. I felt empowered by making some wonderful characters that I hope others could appreciate. If one person tells me that they really liked this hero or that hero especially if it’s someone like them, then I’d be beyond blessed. I would encourage you to give it a try even if it’s just a short story or drawing your own original characters if you ever felt that way. Mainstream media wasn’t going to placate me, so I have to take things in my own hands through my fiction, music, poetry, etc.

Hope you enjoyed reading this. What are your thoughts on representation? Have you felt like you had trouble relating to so many fictional characters? How do you discuss the concept of positive representation to others?

Dear Innovare Bio and Release Date Confirmed

Ospreyshire has been on a roll recording things in 2019 so far. Besides some compilation exclusives and a couple of singles made, and another EP, there was one thing missing in this discography…a full-length album. A long player was lacking and the solution involved poems and songs for a whole new concept album. The final results involved forty-one of them.

Dear Innovare…The Souls of Ignored Pioneers Shall Be Renowned is the first full-length album from Ospreyshire and it is nothing like any previous EPs or singles. While his trademark acousmatics, avant-garde leanings, and spoken word vocals do return, there are more great additions. There are more organic instruments used this time around and there are songs that incorporate some programmed elements. It’s also a genre roulette of sorts as elements of electronic, acoustic, blues, post-rock, digital hardcore, shoegaze, acapella, folk, and even rap show up in some forms. The production is all lo-fi and DIY, but the result only strengthens the truthful narrative in these stories.

This is a concept album much like previous EPs. Verses Vs. Anhedonia was an autobiography dealing with elements of depression. Pathos Formula Wave: One Score of Rage was a compilation of angry letters to those who hurt in him the past. Dear Innovare is a collage of stories and narratives about numerous creators. These stories involve inventors, doctors, engineers, musicians, animators, filmmakers, business owners, and many more. Many of them have been overlooked for several reasons and some of those people were ripped off by those more famous than them. These tracks are homages to those who were forgotten and some of them simultaneously bash the rip-offs in question. Dear Innovare incorporates smaller song or poem cycles that are part of the larger concept. There’s the About A Benjamin trilogy which is about African-American inventors all named Benjamin who have contributed to innovations still used to this day even though the history classes have been neglectful in talking about them. The Art Theft trilogy is about three specific African nations who’ve had their art and artifacts looted while being placed in European museums. Those nations (Benin, Senegal, and Nigeria) are trying to get what’s rightfully theirs. Larceny By Dirigible is a five-part acoustic rock cycle which excoriates a certain classic rock band who made a career on plagiarizing various blues, folk, and other rock artists. In hindsight, they’re a glorified cover band at best. Pugnam Contra Fures Leonis is a interconnected trilogy which covers one of the most controversial film plagiarism scandals in history as a certain franchise is responsible for a legacy of theft, cultural appropriation (while grossly misrepresenting said cultures), and even an attempt to block something original from getting exposure. At the same time, it honors two different musicians and an animated series that were stolen.

Dear Innovare…The Souls of Ignored Pioneers Shall Be Renowned is an ambitious album and certainly the most creative one Ospreyshire has created thus far. Feel free to to be enlightened by these poems and songs while also immersed in his experimental forms of audio art.

Oh, and by the way…12/27/19. Pre-orders will happen soon. You’re welcome!

Recording update…

I’m almost there to finish this full-length album.

I’m recording the fourth-to-last song on this project and it has been fun. Singing in Swahili and Japanese for that song was really exhilarating (most of that song is in English though). Adding as many musical elements has been a worthy challenge which is the opposite of my more minimalist approach. The other songs I worked on were and acapella track and a bit of a psychedelic spoken word number. I’m really looking forward to completing this gigantic album of sorts. There’s going to be over 40 songs confirmed for it. Just sayin’.

The recording process…

Some of you know I’m working on a full-length album. It’s been a couple of months of writing, recording, and mixing so far even though I have a few songs left to complete the project.

I don’t want to give too much away, but I’ll tell you a few things about this particular album. This will be the first full-length Ospreyshire album. Not an EP or some singles, I mean this is going to have way more songs in it. Much like my previous EPs Verses Vs. Anhedonia or Pathos Formula Wave, this will be a concept project. While I’m not trying to make the next Tommy, The Wall, or anything Coheed & Cambria has done, this will have an overarching theme.

That theme involves innovators and creators…some of whom were ripped off.

The tracks here involve various inventors and artists who have been ignored whether they made live-saving inventions, buildings, or stories that either get overlooked, undermined, or in some cases having their works stolen by undeserving people. This album is an homage to them and most of the time uses the perspective of the original inventors and creators. I really hope to get this fully recorded before the end of the year, Nzambe willing.

Hope you’re doing well.

Speaking of which, do you know about various inventors people should know about? Do you know about inventions we take for granted? How about inventions and patents that were stolen? Do you know any form of art or media that were plagiarized? Which creators deserved better? Share your knowledge in the comments section!

Verses Vs. Anhedonia: 1 Year Anniversary

Can you believe it?

Exactly one year ago, I released my debut EP “Verses Vs. Anhedonia” to the world. Time has gone by way too fast here. This was my first foray into recording some poems and adding some avant-garde soundscapes with them. It was also the first time I’ve ever used my omnichord as an instrument for some of the tracks. Granted, this stuff isn’t the kind of music you’ll hear on Top 40 radio or commercials, but I hope you check it out for those who didn’t catch it the first time.

You can download it for free or you can pay what you want.

I want to thank Dave Emmerson from ZAP Records for distributing it worldwide and for formatting the liner notes of the album. Thanks for believing in my art, mate.

One year later, and I never thought I would continue with this avant-garde project.

Thank you all.

-Curtis