Alaska Hold Music
Did you like what you heard?
Alaska hold music is the product of years of collaborative effort to curate and install new hold music on State of Alaska telephones that promotes Alaska recording artists and celebrates their rich contribution to our state. The initiative has been led by the Office of Representative Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins, Alaska State Council on the Arts, Juneau Arts and Humanities Council, State of Alaska Department of Administration, and GCI.
The project has made a combined 15,000 telephone lines in Anchorage, Fairbanks, and Juneau a platform for sharing the talent of Alaska musicians. See below for the group of songs and artists featured on the hold music track.
“Flicker of Light” by Whiskey Class
The electronic duo Whiskey Class got its start at the Alaska Folk Festival in Juneau where musicians Liz Snyder and Patrick Troll performed together as teenagers. Their song “Flicker of Light” is a collaboration with Ketchikan multimedia artist Ray Troll who wrote the lyrics as a kind of prayer song on a plane ride home from the “Lower 48.” Through the ethereal composition, Whiskey Class captures the death and rebirth of the salmon life cycle, and its deep connection to southeast Alaska.
“Mother Carries” by Harm
Comprised of women, non-binary, queer identifying artists and allies, the Fairbanks psych-folk ensemble Harm brings together orchestral and electronic instruments. With lyrics based on the poetry of writer and beatboxer Heather Warren, their song “Mother Carries” addresses themes of generational trauma and is the title track of their debut album which was recorded with support from the Rasmuson Foundation.
“Bluebird” by Feeding Frenzy
The Fairbanks band Feeding Frenzy is part of new generation of Alaska-born artists, creating folk music that blends traditional string band instruments with cello and lively percussion. The five-member acoustic outfit has been featured in Paste Magazine and The Atlantic and has shared their harmonies as far as the Dawson City Music Festival in Canada and SXSW in Austin.
“Feel it Still” by Portugal. The Man
This Portland by-way-of-Alaska band represents Alaska on the international stage. “Feel it Still,” their Grammy Award-winning hit single has gone triple platinum in the U.S. With roots tracing back to high school years in Wasilla, Portugal. The Man has gone on to build an international following and release eight studio albums.
“Shaax’ Sáani”- The Native Jazz Quartet
Co-founded by Tlingit composer Ed Littlefield, the Native Jazz Quartet brings together traditions of indigenous music and jazz. “Shaax Sáani,” or “A
Girls Lullaby” is a melody from Charlie Joseph, Sr. (Kaal.átk') and the lyrics can be translated: “Little girls are supposed to sit and weave Chilkat robes, but I would rather sit on a branch like a blue jay!” While clan ownership restricts the use of most songs in the Tlingit culture, “Shaax’ Sáani” is available to the public in much the same way that other children's songs, lullabies, and folk songs lack a clear owner or have been publicly released.