Michael Pogudin And His Lost Tales of Philly

A story by UArts and for UArts

by Carson Phillips

Today I sat down with Michael Pogudin, a composition student here at the University of the Arts, to get a deeper look into his upcoming album, Lost Tales of Philly, and his generosity behind it. Before getting into the interview, we sit down in an open production suite at the University of the Arts and slowly get started.

If you are wondering who Michael is, he’s “originally from Utah,” but says that “ it has had zero effect on my personality whatsoever.” What had more of an effect was growing up with the music he enjoyed. “I grew up on classical music. I studied classical music and counterpointed voice leading and Bach especially when I was a kid,” he says.

Under no influence from his parents, Michael found classical music to be his thing saying, “They’d be like turning on the Beatles and I’d be like, ‘can I cue a song?’ and it’s just like the Brandenburg Concerto number two or something.” After playing viola and learning to write music since 6th grade, a very formative year in his music career because it was then, Michael says “when I learned music notation from my school. I learned like ‘oh, like, I can write this down. Didn’t know I could do that. That’s cool.’ And so really I guess intrinsically composition was always at the forefront of what I was interested in”

When looking for colleges where he could further his musical composition education, he found the University of the Arts (UArts). When researching, he found “this school has the entire chain of command in terms of writing down music to putting it out there.” This became a big factor for him because here he can write the piece, he has performers who can carry it out just as imagined, and MBET’s (Music Business, Entrepreneurship, & Technology Majors) who can record, mix, and master a piece; unlike other schools who would just hire outside hands for this process, he can have friends all along the way help him out, “I’m very grateful I have access to that.”

This brings us to the real topic of today’s discussion, Lost Tales of Philly. This is the upcoming project with 6 songs composed by Michael and one standard of “All the Things You Are” that Michael says he is really excited for, saying “we took it in a way I haven’t heard it taken before.” The band on this album consists of Domenic Szalabofka, Michael Dipietro, Luke Mattessich, Leo Sanchez, and Lamar Person with album art by Sarah Macleod and recorded, mixed, and mastered by Canon Kline. All of these people are fellow UArts students who have been working for the past seven months to get this project out to the public.

This album came about when Michael sat down with Domenic Szalabofka, the saxophonist for the album, and they were talking about all the interesting things they had seen and done here in Philadelphia. Domenic then said it would “be really funny if, like, we made an album about all the, like, things that we’ve seen and, like, the characteristics of the city of Philadelphia.” Michael describes each tune being “about a different experience, me or one of my friends has had in Philadelphia,” and through a lot of coordination and execution the project is nearly ready to put out.

What is the coolest thing about this project and what Michael Pogudin is most excited for is where the proceeds go. The money this album generates with funding put up through the pay-what-you-want feature on Bandcamp and a separate GoFundMe will go straight to UArts Cares. In Michael’s words, “UArts Cares is a nonprofit thing within the University of the Arts . . . And all of those donations, if a student is having financial trouble, or if they have some other situation going on where they need housing at the school, or they need dining dollars to feed themselves, or they need SEPTA transportation, they can reach out, and they can just talk about their situation, and they hopefully and usually get some kind of aid. . . . it’s not just a food bank, it’s just an overall support system for UArts students and I think that’s a wonderful program.”

From the beginning, UArts Cares was on Michael’s mind for how it helps the UArts Community and he thought with an album made almost entirely by UArts students “it seemed like a very wine and cheese pairing, like it just went together.” The charity will be collecting proceeds from April 2nd, the supposed release date and live performance of a piece titled, Mischievous Plan, at the UArts composition concert, till the end of the school year around May 10th. After that time of raising money the album is expected to move from just on Bandcamp to Spotify and other streaming platforms.

The inspirations for this album not only came through the sonic stylings of many Jazz legends like Duke Ellington, Count Bassie, and Bill Evans, but also the life experiences of Michael and his friends, told through songs like Bird Buffet, a ballad describing a real life event in his life where Michael saw a man throw up and birds flock to have a feast. This and many other pieces and experiences will be told on Lost Tales of Philly, an album expected April 2nd along with a free live performance that night at 8pm in the Caplan Center for Performing Arts in Terra Hall.

© 2024 UArts Radio . Powered by WordPress. Theme by Viva Themes.