Spotlight Artist Jeremiah1x!

Welcome one and all to The Summer Street Library blog! And a very special welcome to Jeremiah1x, our first spotlight artist!

 

One of the missions of The Summer Street Library blog is to showcase young, upcoming, and underrepresented writers and artists across the globe. With this goal in mind comes our spotlight artist articles and interviews which focus on celebrating one artist (of any kind) and their work. This week, we are proud to introduce Jeremiah1x (also known as Jeremiah McGowan)!

From Albany, New York, solo artist Jeremiah1x (he/him) entered into the world of music at a young age. He first “began making music” at age four when he wondered aloud to his great grandmother about what exactly “she was doing while sitting at the piano.”* Since his great grandmother’s teachings, Jeremiah1x went on to become classically trained in piano and has been producing his own music for seven years. 

Jeremiah1x creates his “own beats, synths, and melodies” and describes his style as a dynamic pop-based fusion “incorporating different rhythms like house or hip-hop.” He identifies his target audience as “everybody who likes pop, trap, and likes to dance” — for my own sake, let’s just hope that enjoying dancing is enough…even without any skill.

Inspiration

As for who inspires his music, Jeremiah1x has never forgotten how he was first introduced to music: his great grandmother. The women in his life have proven to be inspirational throughout his whole life. He also looks to fashion for new ideas, walking the streets, and people-watching. Another key inspiration: the famed rock guitarist Jimi Hendrix (alongside some other psychedelic rockers of Hendrix’s era).

I usually find inspiration in my day to day life, inspiration from people’s fashion that I see. Even talking to people, I can be inspired by their day-to-day or their mindset.

Jeremiah1x’s isn’t only inspired by his family, fashion, and favorite musicians, but A significant number of books and writers inspire him. From Jack Kerouac’s On the Road to Ken Kesey’s One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest, Jeremiah1x’s bookshelf has always animated his music. He also cites Dickinson as a perpetual muse: “Emily Dickinson’s poems always harbor new inspiration for me.” A keen fan of Shakespeare (especially Romeo and Juliet and The Merchant of Venice) and Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities, Jeremiah1x’s music embodies drama without sacrificing nuance. 

Poetry and Music

When I asked Jeremiah1x more about his artform, I wondered how alike poets and lyrists were — and how various beats, instrumentals, and vocals changed how a piece was received. So many poets (and poetry lovers) say that a poem is meant to be enjoyed aloud — that poetry is meant not only to be read but to be savored in the air. The way a poem is read, especially by its author, permeates its meaning: those subtle pauses, slight tonal shifts, and the way in which breath enters a poem become just as important as any other literary device. Perhaps music belongs in a similar realm. Lyrics and notes on a page exist in a certain way, but only truly live once in the air.

To Jeremiah1x, music is poetry — or at very least, a particular type of poetry set apart by cadence, volume, and sung story. I posed to Jeremiah1x the following question, does the music surrounding or behind the words change their meaning and if so, how? To him, “music itself needs the lyrics to [truly] unfold” — however, that meaning can change from day to day, person to person, ear to ear. Music becomes a conduit for ever-changing, ever-evolving emotion.

Lyric writing is exactly like poetry in a storytelling cadence. I think that even a piano alone can be poetic. Even the image of a lone piano is poetic, to me. Music is auditory art because you can experience the same emotions the artist was feeling writing it.

Writer’s Block

When asked if he ever struggles with writer’s block or creative fatigue, Jeremiah1x had quite the definitive response: “Writer’s block is fake news. It comes from lazy people unwilling to practice their instruments. Creative fatigue however is always a danger. Setting aside daily time to practice your instruments solves both of these problems.” I certainly hope the next time I am feeling stuck, I can proceed with as much gumption! Writing each day keeps the writer’s block away…perhaps…one can certainly hope so!

If you are interested in learning more about Jeremiah1x, be sure to check out his SoundCloud and YouTube channel (and keep your eyes, and ears, peeled for his upcoming single “Fallin'”)! He is also known to live DJ on his Facebook page, a treat you don’t want to miss, so a friending wouldn’t be amiss.

Until next time, I’m signing off. Keep on reading and listening.

~ Sadie

Be on the lookout for more from The Summer Street Library — here all Summer!

 

*all quotations come from The Summer Street Library’s exclusive online interview with Jeremiah1x

 

The Summer Street Library focuses on highlighting young, divergent, and or underrepresented writers and artists with an especial focus on BIPOC, self-published, and unpublished writers. If you are interested in contributing to The Summer Street Library as a spotlight artist, please contact the blog’s founder, Sadie Hofmeester, at thesummerstreetlibrary@gmail.com.

Fagin in Salem with the First Boy’s Club in the Country

Welcome to the Salem Tunnel Report. Every Monday we will post new and old tunnel finds along with those who built them. In our posts you will learn how Salem has shaped American history from the profits of the smuggling that happened in these tunnels; sometimes for the good, but more often not.

Downing Block
173-175 -177 Essex Street

Built in 1858 for dry good merchants Thomas W. Downing and John Downing on the site of Essex Place. In 1803 the Salem Bank and the Salem Marine Insurance Company resided on the first floor of Essex Place. Its presidents included Benjamin Pickman Jr. and Joseph Peabody. In 1804 the Salem East India Marine Society Museum resided at Essex Place. The Essex Historical Society which is now part of the Peabody Essex Museum was above the Salem Bank in that building.

In 1818 the Institute for Savings in the Town of Salem and Vicinity occupied the building. This was founded by Dr. Edward Augustus Holyoke. In 1830 there was an attempt to break into the their vault. Dr. Edward A. Holyoke, Benjamin Pickman Jr. , Timothy Pickering, Benjamin W. Crowninshield, Daniel A. White, and Nathaniel Silsbee were members. In 1843 the bank changed its name to the Salem Savings Bank. In 1844 the Salem Savings Bank will move into Kimball Block on the corner of Derby Square which burns down in 1899. In 1900 W.E. Hoyt Company builds the current building on the corner of Derby Square and the Salem Bank will be in it also in 1909. The Essex County Natural History Museum was housed in Essex Place when it merged with the Essex Historical Society to become the Essex Institute in 1848. Essex Institute would be the basis for the Miskatonic University in H.P. Lovecraft’s narratives.

In 1869 the Salem Fraternity which is the oldest boy’s club in the country was founded within the Downing Block. It was created to provide evening instruction and wholesome amusement for those “who were confined to their work during the day who needed recreation at the end of their labors”. Physical training, general education, and arts and crafts were offered. They had a library, a reading room, and amusement room. These services were provided to boys and girls for free.

Then they move into the Lyceum on Church Street. That wooden building suffered a fire. Then in 1899 the Salem Fraternity buys the Joshua Phippen’s Essex Bank Building on Central Street. After being housed there they merge with other national clubs to become the Boys & Girls Club. This time the children were not able to burn the building down. All three of their locations were attached to the tunnels in town. It makes you wonder if Fagin ran the boys cub… Their current Salem location is in the hall next to the Immaculate Conception Church, another brick building…

This Downing Block has a curious set of tunnels. Under the entrance that leads to the stairs to the 2nd and 3rd floors is a long hall way in the building. On the back of the building in this basement hall is an iron door covered in thick glass. At this point the long sliding latch is rusted shut. I was able to pull the doors hinges free from the wall, but the concrete wall behind it is well mortared. From this point to the front are several arches on the left and right. In one arch you can look through a hole and look into the basement under Turtle Alley. Before you get to the stairs there are a pair of metal doors. These open into rooms on either side of the hallway. Two shoots can be seen entering them from the ceiling. Behind the stairs is the original neon sign for Bernard’s Jewelers. Past the stairs there are arches with old furnace doors in them. Then right before the Essex Street entrance to the tunnel there are a pair of arches with doors in them. The one to the left has a mail slot in the bottom of it. On the other side of this door is a metal bracing composed of a series of “x”s. In this room the tunnel entrance extends 5 feet into the basement.

In the other arch opposite of this is another door that leads to the basement under Witch T’s. This storefront was once home to the Goddess Treasure Chest. The Goddess Treasure Chest used to resides in the old Daniel Low warehouse which has a tunnel leading to it. Also the old owner’s home in the Derby-Pickman Building is also connected.

Now the tunnel entrance to Essex Street has been bricked closed, but there is a hole big enough to climb through. This section of tunnel was filled with ash and pumice which has caved in from the right and the left. Above is a granite slab which you can see in the sidewalk in front of the door.

The corridor is about 3 feet wide and 7 feet tall. Roots were growing through the tunnel from the direction of the Hawthorne Hotel. The tunnel extended past the granite slab and had water pipes running through it. Soon after the first printing of this book the Peabody Essex Museum buys this building to protect their secrets.

During Salem Con., a paranormal convention, they had a ghost investigation that resulted in a ghost talking through a ghost box (an app that records white noise which voices manifest through) pretending to be the ghost of Tituba.

Many secrets in Salem!

For more read info Salem Secret Underground: The History of the Tunnels in the City and its sequel Sub Rosa by Chris Dowgin published by Salem House Press. Available at Barnes & Noble, Remember Salem, The Witch House, Jolie Tea, and Amazon.com.

A Dickens’ Tale Set in Salem

Welcome to the Salem Tunnel Report. Every Monday we will post new and old tunnel finds along with those who built them. In our posts you will learn how Salem has shaped American history from the profits of the smuggling that happened in these tunnels; sometimes for the good, but more often not.

A Salem Fagin and the Artful Dodgers…

These are the tunnels under the Downing Block. In this building the first boy’s club in the country was founded. Now they are called Boy’s & Girls Inc. The Salem Fraternity drew from the poorer kids in town to provide leisure, education, and a library. After they moved out of this brick building they moved into the old wooden building which used to house the Salem Lyceum where Alexander Graham Bell made the first long distance phone call demonstration and James Russell Lowell read Dante’s Inferno. Then they moved into the Essex Bank Building which was made out of bricks built by Charles Bulfinch. They were forced to leave the Lyceum after they turned it into an inferno.

It was safer to keep these kids in brick buildings, but no one might of been safe. Every building in town these kids were in was part of the tunnel systems in town. Was there a Fagin running these artful dodgers through the tunnels into homes connected to the tunnels? Who is to know, but it leaves a lot of speculation open for the mind to wander…

For more read Salem Secret Underground: The History of the Tunnels in the City and its sequel Sub Rosa by Chris Dowgin published by Salem House Press. Available at Barnes & Noble, Remember Salem, The Witch House, Jolie Tea, and Amazon.com.