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Hancock

Musical endeavor of many

ConVal graduate raising money for audio, book project involving schoolmates

  • Nyiko Beguin, a Hancock native currently living in Burlington, Vt., is running a Kickstarter campaign to fund the release of his five-song vinyl EP and a companion art book. Beguin is currently about halfway to his $10,000 goal. Photo credit to Lauren Mazzotta

    Nyiko Beguin, a Hancock native currently living in Burlington, Vt., is running a Kickstarter campaign to fund the release of his five-song vinyl EP and a companion art book. Beguin is currently about halfway to his $10,000 goal. Photo credit to Lauren Mazzotta Purchase photo reprints at Photo Finder »

  • Nyiko Beguin, a Hancock native currently living in Burlington, Vt., is running a Kickstarter campaign to fund the release of his five-song vinyl EP and a companion art book. Beguin is currently about halfway to his $10,000 goal. Photo credit to Lauren Mazzotta

    Nyiko Beguin, a Hancock native currently living in Burlington, Vt., is running a Kickstarter campaign to fund the release of his five-song vinyl EP and a companion art book. Beguin is currently about halfway to his $10,000 goal. Photo credit to Lauren Mazzotta Purchase photo reprints at Photo Finder »

  • An art piece by Annie Sollinger, originally of Peterborough, who currently lives in Easthampton, Mass., will be included in an art book that works as a companion piece to an EP by Hancock native Nyiko Beguin.

    An art piece by Annie Sollinger, originally of Peterborough, who currently lives in Easthampton, Mass., will be included in an art book that works as a companion piece to an EP by Hancock native Nyiko Beguin. Purchase photo reprints at Photo Finder »

  • Pheobe Low of Portland, Ore., created this artwork using songs created by Nyiko Beguin as inspiration.

    Pheobe Low of Portland, Ore., created this artwork using songs created by Nyiko Beguin as inspiration. Purchase photo reprints at Photo Finder »

  • A piece by Peterborough native Nicholas Eff that will be included in an art book produced as a companion to an EP by Nyiko Beguin, which Beguin is currently attempting to fund via a Kickstarter campaign.

    A piece by Peterborough native Nicholas Eff that will be included in an art book produced as a companion to an EP by Nyiko Beguin, which Beguin is currently attempting to fund via a Kickstarter campaign. Purchase photo reprints at Photo Finder »

  • A piece painted by Lily Russell of New York City, N.Y. that was inspired by the songs planned to be included in Hancock native Nyiko Beguin's vinyl EP.

    A piece painted by Lily Russell of New York City, N.Y. that was inspired by the songs planned to be included in Hancock native Nyiko Beguin's vinyl EP. Purchase photo reprints at Photo Finder »

  • An art piece by Annie Sollinger, originally of Peterborough, who currently lives in Easthampton, Mass., will be included in an art book that works as a companion piece to an EP by Hancock native Nyiko Beguin.

    An art piece by Annie Sollinger, originally of Peterborough, who currently lives in Easthampton, Mass., will be included in an art book that works as a companion piece to an EP by Hancock native Nyiko Beguin. Purchase photo reprints at Photo Finder »

  • Dublin native Paige Simpson, who now resides in Hudson, N.Y., assisted Hancock native Nyiko Beguin with his project of putting together an art book inspired by songs Beguin has written and hopes to release as an EP in vinyl after financing it with a Kickstarter campaign.

    Dublin native Paige Simpson, who now resides in Hudson, N.Y., assisted Hancock native Nyiko Beguin with his project of putting together an art book inspired by songs Beguin has written and hopes to release as an EP in vinyl after financing it with a Kickstarter campaign. Purchase photo reprints at Photo Finder »

  • Nyiko Beguin, a Hancock native currently living in Burlington, Vt., is running a Kickstarter campaign to fund the release of his five-song vinyl EP and a companion art book. Beguin is currently about halfway to his $10,000 goal. Photo credit to Lauren Mazzotta
  • Nyiko Beguin, a Hancock native currently living in Burlington, Vt., is running a Kickstarter campaign to fund the release of his five-song vinyl EP and a companion art book. Beguin is currently about halfway to his $10,000 goal. Photo credit to Lauren Mazzotta
  • An art piece by Annie Sollinger, originally of Peterborough, who currently lives in Easthampton, Mass., will be included in an art book that works as a companion piece to an EP by Hancock native Nyiko Beguin.
  • Pheobe Low of Portland, Ore., created this artwork using songs created by Nyiko Beguin as inspiration.
  • A piece by Peterborough native Nicholas Eff that will be included in an art book produced as a companion to an EP by Nyiko Beguin, which Beguin is currently attempting to fund via a Kickstarter campaign.
  • A piece painted by Lily Russell of New York City, N.Y. that was inspired by the songs planned to be included in Hancock native Nyiko Beguin's vinyl EP.
  • An art piece by Annie Sollinger, originally of Peterborough, who currently lives in Easthampton, Mass., will be included in an art book that works as a companion piece to an EP by Hancock native Nyiko Beguin.
  • Dublin native Paige Simpson, who now resides in Hudson, N.Y., assisted Hancock native Nyiko Beguin with his project of putting together an art book inspired by songs Beguin has written and hopes to release as an EP in vinyl after financing it with a Kickstarter campaign.

When Hancock native Nyiko Beguin set about making his first professional musical effort, he didn’t just want to create an auditory experience. He wanted a full-blown tactile and visual package to partner with five songs he’s written in the past year and a half that he hopes to be able to press onto a vinyl release with the help of a Kickstarter fundraiser.

Kickstarter is a website that allows people to propose creative endeavors, with a monetary amount they need to reach to make their dream a reality. Investors pledge any amount they wish, and pay out only if the ultimate goal is reached. For Beguin, the goal is $10,000, and he’s about half way there, with the Kickstarter ending at the end of the month, he said in an interview Wednesday.

Beguin, who now lives in Burlington, Vt., said the $10,000 will not only pay for the pressing of his five-song EP onto vinyl, but also a companion art book, made with quite a few local artists with whom Beguin grew up, or attended college, he noted. An EP, or Extended Play, is an album that has more content than a single release, but not enough for a full-length album.

“I really do believe in this project,” Beguin said. “This is the most official project that I’ve explored since getting a degree in marketing and studio art. It’s a living portfolio of all of those skills and it combines the work of a lot of people. It’s not going to succeed without a lot of people believing in it and, if people don’t believe in it, it probably shouldn’t succeed.”

All of the artists have already contributed one piece of work that they created while listening to Beguin’s EP, so the images are pulled from the feelings and images inspired by the music. Beguin, who is an artist himself, also contributed his own efforts to the book.

“It’s really influenced by the album as a whole,” said Beguin of his painting, which he said will be released exclusively with the art book. “Since I was the writer of all the songs, it’s safe to say that I have the closest relationship to them. I was just listening to it on repeat over and over as I was creating the painting.” It was a new experience working that way, said Beguin, even though he often, even usually, listens to music while he’s painting. “Subconsciously, I’m sure [the music] had an influence on what I was painting, but this was the first time I was consciously translating what I was hearing. I went through a few different iterations with it. I was definitely more critical of it than I usually am, because I wanted to make sure I was expressing it in a way that I wanted to express it to the world. It was something that definitely developed as I was creating it. That’s true for all art, but this really felt like the ultimate expression of that.”

Several of the artists who contributed work to the art book Beguin either knew through ConVal High School, or met when he contributed to the Sharon Arts Gallery’s annual under-30 show two years ago, including William Trowbridge, Nicholas Eff and Annie Sollinger, all originally from Peterborough, Samuel Baker-Salmon, originally from Hancock, Paige Simpson, originally from Dublin, and Stephen Hart, originally from Sharon.

Although as a whole, the EP stays true to an alternative pop or rock sound, each song is very individual in its tone, said Beguin. The songs were written during a time when there was a lot of transition going on in his life, said Beguin. He was leaving college and starting a working career. Moving from New Hampshire to Vermont, and — the inspiration for the underlying theme of the album — experiencing a breakup.

The record starts with “Always, Always,” which is also the title track, a song that’s about going from being with a person to being torn apart by distance. The song is still upbeat, and ends with a resolution, said Beguin, but the rest of the album really follows the progress of that same relationship, until the last song, when the couple ultimately realizes that they simply may not be meant to continue on.

“What’s interesting is that no single song is really expressive of the same genre, although you could say they all fit under an overarching genre of alternative pop/rock. I was experimenting from a chamber pop, to a dancy hip-hop and straightforward indie rock. I really wanted to experiment with a sound that’s cohesive and dynamic at the same time. It comes from where the songs were written and how I was feeling at the time. The nature of people is that they’re going to feel different emotions and express them in different ways. I think the EP is representative of a relationship — it’s not going to be the same way every day. There’s ups and downs. It’s like a roller coaster, and that’s what makes any relationship exciting. And that’s what I was hoping to capture.”

Other artists who contributed work to the art book include Kerri Cordeiro of Somerville, Mass., Jessa Gilbert of Vancouver, British Columbia, Samuel Liebert, Chad Porter and Lily Russell, all of New York City, Phoebe Low of Portland, Ore., Avery McIntosh, Chris Norris and Jasmine Parsia, all of Burlington, Vt., Jenny Mudarri of Boston and Brian Zager of Bend, Ore. Dave Smith of Peterborough provided drums for the EP.

To listen to Beguin’s EP, view artwork for the art book, or donate to the Kickstarter campaign, visit bit.ly/alwaysalways. Those that donate $5 or more will be given a copy of the digital download of the EP, and those that donate $25 or more will get the choice of either the vinyl EP or the art book.

Ashley Saari can be reached at 924-7172 ex. 244, or asaari@ledgertranscript.com. She’s on twitter @AshleySaari.

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