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tv room

tv room is an electronic musician based in Portland ME. He wrote, recorded, and produced The Great State of Maine, a five-song EP to celebrate the majesty of Lake Attitash and the surrounding watershed. We sat down with him to learn more about the record.

We hope you enjoyed our presentation of The Great State of Maine if you caught it live on MPBN. This web page will be updated with "streaming" links at a later date.

What’s your favorite thing about Lake Attitash?

I like that there’s always stuff going on like volleyball and barbecues. It’s fun to be around other people having fun.

What’s one thing you’d like to see at Lake Attitash in the future?

There are a lot of bees around the picnic tables. You basically can’t sit at them. So maybe something could be done about that.

I’m sorry to hear that. You haven’t gotten stung have you?

No, I’ve only been stung by a bee once and it wasn’t at Attitash.

How did you first get started with music?

I started producing music in 2016. The first thing I ever made was a cover of “Hi” by Hannah Diamond in the style of Clairo’s cover of “Pink and Blue.” I was really into PC Music and everything adjacent, but didn’t think I could actually make that kind of music, so I started uploading my own kind of lofi songs. Eventually I felt like I knew enough about production to start making something more hyper.

How did you get find out about the Attitash Multimedia Commission?

I follow a lot of local orgs on Facebook to have an idea of what’s going on around me. The Attitash Watershed Association posted about an opportunity for local artists, and that’s how I started talking to you. It was much more open-ended than I expected: I’d be paid to create 10 minutes of music about the lake or inspired by the lake, and then the songs would be featured on a local program.

What was the writing process like?

The first song, “Lake Attitash,” was easy. I just wrote about my own memories on the lake. I remember I sent you a demo to make sure you’d be happy with the style -- I didn’t want you to think I’d be crooning over an acoustic guitar or something.

After that, you started emailing me ideas. Some were vague -- like a song about birdwatching -- and some were fantastic -- like a song called “Litterbug” about a giant bug who steps on litterers. At the end of each email, you’d assure me that I had, quote, complete and total creative control, but your enthusiasm was so infectious that I tried to indulge a lot of your ideas, reeling them back or fleshing them out as necessary.

I didn’t realize I had such an influence. I hope I wasn’t overbearing.

No I liked your ideas. They helped when I ran into writer’s block. The line on “Take A Hike” about a “mouse’s feast” is one of my favorite lyrics on the project and it was lifted right from one of your emails.

Have you ever hiked Greenwood Trail around Attitash?

I’ve walked that trail yeah. I’m not sure it counts as a hike. It’s very pretty.

Tell me more about the music videos. Let the record show that was your idea, not mine.

I’d been thinking about doing music videos for a while. When I found out my songs were going to be presented on TV, I thought that would be a cool context to debut my first video.

It was really scary but fun to be on camera. It reminded me of the feeling I had when I was uploading my first songs to SoundCloud. It’s like, I have no idea what I’m doing but for some reason I want everyone in the entire world to see this. I definitely want to keep making videos and getting better at them.

Is there anything else you’d like to tell people?

I’m going to be releasing these songs as singles on DESKPOP starting on August 27. The videos will be on my YouTube.

I’ll also say I’m definitely looking to do more commissioned work like this. Anyone can send me a DM on Twitter or Instagram.