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Airborne: second album in trilogy due to release in 2019

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Airborne: second album in trilogy due to release in 2019

Tejpal Virdi, News Editor

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On Jan. 9, 2019, over 50 student musicians will release “Airborne,” the second part of the Gunn album trilogy. Senior Sean Yu is the album’s director and envisions a theme of a hero’s journey through conflict and responsibility.

The Gunn album series started last year with “Liftoff,” which features 30 students and has amassed over 18,000 streams on SoundCloud across its ten songs. Even though many of the organizers  of “Liftoff” graduated last year, they have still remained actively involved in producing and leading “Airborne.” “Keeping in touch with the album is their way of leaving their legacy on Gunn but also still remaining connected as friends,” Yu  said. For him, the Gunn album is a way to promote collaboration in music. “I’ve connected with a ton of people that I wouldn’t have otherwise talked to.”

This year, Yu aims to improve the quality of music, as he believes last year’s project was a little rushed. According to senior Michael Zheng, who is the lead producer, the team has put in more hours for the second album, and he has noticed a difference in the music as a direct result. “I believe we have improved a lot since ‘Liftoff,’” he said. “Now, we have a stable core team that has a vision, and this one will be higher quality.” Although he has found the producing process to be running smoothly, he noted that there are times when people have conflicting visions. “A track can go through a lot of versions,” Zheng said. “There have been some tracks that have gone through a ton of changes and been around [since the production of ‘Liftoff’].”

Yu started making music over two years ago when he would record himself singing miscellaneous songs and post them to SoundCloud, an audio distribution platform. He hopes “Airborne” can help others find a path in music as well and raise awareness for the musical talent on campus. “Because of all the attention the album gets, it legitimizes music for a lot of people,” he said. “The album gives aspiring musicians a platform to distribute their music and the message they want to send.” Yu also aims to keep the focus of the music on underclassmen and increase the number of people featured on the album.

For lead rapper and senior Peter Li, the album serves to promote a culture of music-making. “We definitely try to seek out people who have an interest and encourage them and cultivate that interest,” he said. “Hopefully they can carry on the tradition of making music at Gunn.”

Li sees this type of collaboration as a way for students to leave a legacy. “Because we’re being so inclusive, we’re trying to get a lot of diverse perspectives,” he said. “The album truly is for the Gunn community, and [it exists] so that everyone can be proud to have something that represents where they come from.”

Sophomore Sarah Sanders, who created the cover art, believes the albums are a great platform for people to share their experiences, and she looks forward to creating music for others. “I think that when I get to senior year, if the album is still going, it would be cool to take a bigger part in it,” she said. Sanders also finds it important to focus on spreading advice and knowledge to underclassmen. “I think it’s better with juniors and seniors, because they have more experience with the Gunn community and making music,” she said.

Although this trilogy is set to finish next year, Yu hopes that someone will carry on the tradition of senior-led albums. “I can’t say that I will be directly involved in two years, but I really hope that people will take the initiative and recognize how much importance the album has to the school,” he said.

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Airborne: second album in trilogy due to release in 2019