I put up my music collection, in .mp3 format mostly, of Chamorro CDs and albums. Also what I have of Hawaii music too since I’m into the old stuff. Note that I don’t keep up with the latest releases, but what I have is what I have.
The library isn’t accessible to the public. Too many people whine and cry about this and that. The music page is accessible to users who register and login. That way I have an idea of who you are and you ascertain certain standards of behavior and intentions by agreeing to Terms and Conditions.
I began putting music on my web site (the 2-3 various domained ones over the years that is) to share my collection, particularly Chamorro music, out of wanting to share it with those who are away from home and want to listen. Two things have been evident ever since I put up my personal music collection, ripped from CDs and converted to digital .mp3 from audio cassette/vinyl, for others to listen to:
1. People ask if they can download music that they want and don’t have. My default answer is no. Not because I don’t want to share, but because at least early on certain parties would bitch and moan about copyright, distribution rights, etc.. No sense of sharing, perpetuating the culture through the music. One freebie web host actually deleted my site for no other reason I can think of except someone’s complaint. My my default answer of no addresses that. although a lot of those types of complaints seem moot with YouTube and other platforms defying those complaints anyway. Also, that’s the reason for my conditions of access too.
2. I myself have looked online for places to buy Chamorro music, both recently released as well as older albums/CDs. I’ve asked Jimmy Dee Productions, stores like Chode, aloha2go, A & L Crafts, Coconut Villa, etc.. They all say there is no consistent release or production of a lot of the music. Since I’m not on-island listening to what’s “new” that gets play time, I don’t know what’s new on the store shelves. I don’t carry my collection titles with me to be able to compare when I’m on Guam. So I don’t know what to buy!
Given that reality, I’d be willing to “exchange” sharing of music selections to add to the online collection. Do you have (complete) CDs of artists or album titles that I don’t have? Do I have something that you don’t have? Would you be interested in “trading”? Message me if you do.
No doubt technology and the internet provide us with such easy access to virtually everything. So my story here may mean nothing to most. But there was a day when keeping in touch with distant friends and family meant writing and mailing letters or calling long distance. From, say, the U.S. east coast to Guam, those phone calls were expensive (international dial). There was no downloading .mp3 music off the web. I was some 8,000 miles away as a young adult, way out in the Catoctin Mountains of western MD, fresh out of basic training and AIT, and missing home every waking day. One day I ran into this lady, Mary, married to a Navy guy, and she was from Guam. We talked, and she invited me over for dinner… probably feeling sorry for me being single and living in the barracks. After dinner she pulled out a Johnny Sablan LP, put it on her turntable, and we listened to Chamorro music. How it melted my heart, and gave me such a sense of out of body feeling… for those moments not feeling the distance from home and the longing for my island. It was temporary, but it felt good.
I always remembered that, and I started growing my Chamorro music collection to always keep me close to home. I also told myself I’d return the favor that Mary gave me, to other younger people missing the island. Ahhh, technology has since brought the world closer to everyone’s fingertips. Nobody is sitting in barracks rooms cutoff from the world, mahalang to just listen to the island music like I was back in the day.