Pure Michigan to Release Album by Local Musicians Celebrating Michigan, Inspiring Travel

The Pure Michigan team is releasing “Pure Sounds of Michigan,” a first-of-its-kind, ambient music album on May 22. The selections take listeners on a sunrise-to-sunset tour of the Great Lakes State as a way to inspire travel.
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Pure Sounds of Michigan
The “Pure Sounds of Michigan” album combines sounds from Michigan nature and work by the state’s musicians. // Photo courtesy of Pure Michigan

The Pure Michigan team is releasing “Pure Sounds of Michigan,” a first-of-its-kind, ambient music album on May 22. The selections take listeners on a sunrise-to-sunset tour of the Great Lakes State as a way to inspire travel.

The album, according to its producers, combines the natural sounds recorded at Michigan’s state parks with its musical history and the talent of its citizens.

“The natural wonders of Michigan come to life in each of these tracks,” says Dave Lorenz, vice president of Travel Michigan, part of the Michigan Economic Development Corp. “We cannot wait for Michiganders, and those around the world, to listen to ‘Pure Sounds of Michigan’ and be transported to the natural sounds of calming waves rolling onto our beach shores, the gentle breezes atop a 300-foot dune, and all of the state’s colorful leaves bustling about a forest.

“From the artists themselves, to our partners at the DNR and Assemble Sound, this album is truly a love letter to Michigan,” says Lorenz.

Recorded and distributed by Detroit-based Assemble Sound to coincide with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources State Park Centennial celebration in 2019, the multi-faceted project has Michigan artists, companies, and organizations in the mix.

“Being outdoors is an immersive sensory experience,” says Ron Olson, chief of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources Parks and Recreation Division. “Combining the familiar sounds of our state parks – birds chirping, lapping waves, whistling wind – with music created by Michigan artists is what makes this project perfect for celebrating the centennial. The album is a brand-new way to experience Michigan state parks with the push of a button.”

Each track on the album was developed by utilizing sounds from state parks, which were recorded by local composers and producers Blair French and Eddie Logix. The 12 artists featured on the album were given the freedom to mix their track as they saw fit – seeking inspiration from the sounds themselves and their personal experiences.

“From its inception, the unique musical challenge of this project was combining hundreds of field recordings and 10 different original compositions into something that felt simultaneously diverse and cohesive,” says Garret Koehler, general manager of Assemble Sound. “Finishing the process with a world-class ambient album in-hand is a testament to both the talent of the artists involved and the potency of their shared connection to Michigan.”

Three singles from the album are currently released on michigan.org/puresounds and on major streaming platforms, including “Childhood Memories” by John Beltran, “Forest Trails” by Windy and Carl, and “The Rock” by Waajeed. Other album’s tracks include:

  • Dave Graw – “Lighthouse at Sunrise”
  • Todd Modes – “Island Drift”
  • Blair French feat. Ahya Simone – “The Cedar and the Falls”
  • Nuntheless – “City of Sand”
  • Eddie Logix – “Lake of the Clouds”
  • Greater Alexander – “Dark Sky Dunes”
  • Sterling Toles feat. Rafael Statin – “Campfire Rituals”

The album will be available as a free download or stream on all major streaming platforms on May 22. A limited edition of promotional vinyl of the full album was pressed by Detroit’s Archer Records. Detroit-based Shinola will offer a limited-edition “Pure Sounds of Michigan” vinyl with each turntable sold in June at stores throughout the country. The Shinola Hotel also will include the record in rooms outfitted with a turntable.

To learn more about the album, visit michigan.org/puresounds.

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