The Dawson City Music Festival and the Klondike Institute of Art and Culture are pleased to host Alt Altman aka. Digits as our 2013 Songwriter in Residence. Alt will be braving the sub-arctic climes and spending February in the historic McCauley Residency. While in Dawson, in addition to developing new material, Alt will be sharing his skills and hosting an electronic music and hip-hop production class for youth and immersing himself in our community,
Digits is Alt Altman, a melancholy minimalist synthpop/R&B artist from Toronto, currently living in Berlin after six months in London. In April 2012, Digits went from being almost unknown to becoming a critical darling among newspaper critics, online magazines and influential blogs with the release of a 12-song mixtape of all-original songs called Death and Desire. It featured a remix by minimalist R&B pop artist Nite Jewel (Secretly Canadian). The release instantly found an audience among webzines. Tastemaking underground blogs also loved it, with 20jazzfunkgreats, I Guess I'm Floating, Largehearted Boy, Abeano, and No Fear of Pop being the most prominent supporters. Features in The Guardian and the Toronto Star (Canada's most-read newspaper), and The Line Best Fit followed.
The Where Do You Belong EP was released in July 2012, under an experimental distribution model: a free download link was given to anybody that e-mailed Digits evidence of purchasing music from any other musician in the past two months. Wired called the distribution idea "bold and brave", and it also received coverage from Canada's largest newspaper and CBC Radio 1.
"Death and Desire, Digits' near classic of mournful electronica, is a synth-pop album to stand alongside the Human League's Dare." - The Guardian
"A new, original sound, electronic and soulful at the same time...and with an experimental distribution model that's bold and brave." - Wired
Since 2006, the Dawson City Music Festival has proudly operated a Songwriter-in-Residence program with the support of the Klondike Institute of Arts and Culture. Each year, the program brings one songwriter to Dawson City for a month-long stay where the artist receives living and studio space at Macaulay House in Dawson City.
Previous songwriters-in-residence have involved themselves quite deeply with the local community. Whether mentoring local musicians, volunteering for the Yukon Quest, performing in local daycares, or leading songwriting workshops at the Robert Service School, there are many opportunities to get involved around Dawson. Most songwriters find the relationship with the community to be mutually inspiring.
Alumni of the program include:
2006: Leela Gilday
2007: Dan Bejar (Destroyer)
2008: Brooke Gallupe (Immaculate Machine)
2009: Laura Barrett
2010: Colin Skrapek (Maybe Smith)
2011: John K. Samson (Weakerthans) & Christine Fellows
2012: Colin Huebert (Siskiyou)
Expectations of the residency are flexible – our only requirements are that the artist spend the bulk of the month in the Dawson City community, and that the artist perform one public concert at some point during their stay.
No stipend is currently provided to residents; however, local concerts and workshops do provide revenue opportunities.