This is a project organized by Dr. Raymond Morales to bring together some of the best Spoken Word artists for the first ever film/audio CD focused on issues affecting our community. The topics discussed range from Suicide to Education to Youth Violence to Immigration and so much more. The project began with the intent of producing a short film. However, it sprouted into a audio album with musical sounds courtesy of TheGr8Thinkaz. The audio album contains 12 tracks featuring 6 different poets. An interesting side note is that the artists recorded the audio FIRST. The score was produced AFTER the vocals were recorded. After the audio album was complete, videos for select pieces were put together. Some of the videos were in-studio recordings. Some of the videos were produced in a "music video" style. Others were snipped from live performances on the Quad at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign as part of ancillary event for ILL POETS SOCIETY.
Where can I download the album?
Download the album right here for free. There are also videos for tracks on the album of which are distinct from the tracks in the audio version of the album. The link to all of it is provided below:
Zip File --- EDITED VERSION [Right-Click link and select Save Link As...]
Zip File --- UNEDITED VERSION [Right-Click link and select Save Link As...]
Where can I get a copy?
Only 50 copies were created. The copies contain a dual disc featuring a film on a DVD and an audio album on a CD. Hard copies are available throughout the Champaign-Urbana area at your local public library (Champaign Public Library, Urbana Free Library, U of IL Library), at your local cultural centers (Bruce D Nesbitt African American Cultural Center, La Casa Cultural Latina, Native American House, etc) and the Cultural/Ethnic Studies Programs (African American Studies Program, Latina/Latino Studies Program, etc).
Who drew all the artwork for the album?
The artwork was created by Raymond Morales from scratch.
Who edited the film?
There were several contributors to the editing. About 80% was completed by Raymond Morales. Emmanuel Camacho, Jay Moses and Shabaka Vera contributed to the remainder.
Where can I obtain a copy of the audio album?
A free download of the album is available below (scroll all the way to the bottom!). You can preview each track and download it by right clicking on each link. There are zip files containing the edited or unedited version (your choice) of the album available for FREE. Within each zip file, there is select artwork and a book manual for the album containing a blurb on each artist. There is no charge for these downloads, because that was never the intent. The purpose was simply to create an amazing piece of artwork for public consumption in a fashion few have ever seen. Hopefully, you can enjoy it.
Will there be a Volume II of ILL POETS SOCIETY?
Yes. Production will begin shortly on that and is slated for release December 2013. The album is titled "ILL POETS SOCIETY volume II: The Aaron Ammons Project". This project will feature over 60 minutes of Spoken Word and will focus on Central Illinois' premiere Spoken Word artist, Aaron Ammons aka Brother A-Dub. For those who are not familiar with his books or his Spoken Word event S.P.E.A.K. Cafe, just know that he is one of the most dynamic and radical wordsmiths out there. There will be cameos from many rising poets and some of your favorites from Volume I will return. Stay tuned and check back for more as we get closer to release.