Student creates a song by recording one note in every Mass. city and town

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Massachusetts may have to adopt the ukulele as the official state instrument after an Emerson College senior released a song featuring one note of the melody played and recorded in each of the Bay State’s 351 cities and towns.
 
Noah Wisch posted the video for his original song “Sidewalks” to YouTube on Dec. 4. The video, which has nearly 50,000 views, shows him playing a note in front of the iconic “Entering” sign for each community found along state roads.
 
Wisch said it took some logistical planning to figure out how to record the song and make the video, which the film major shot over the summer with his girlfriend Emmalie Keenan.
 
“I planned out in a big spreadsheet all the towns alphabetically and figured out which note went with which town, so then when I got there it was just a matter of checking the spreadsheet,” he said. “We would usually try to do 20 to 30 towns in a day, mostly just on the weekends, and try to shoot like 50 towns in a weekend.”
 
Wisch and Keenan had an idea years ago to make videos matching town names, like wearing orange in Orange, which eventually developed into the project of making a video featuring all 351 cities and towns.
 
“I’m an adventure nut,” Wisch explains in the description below the video. “I’ve crossed the United States by car multiple times and travelled to a number of different countries around the globe. And yet there are still places in my home state that I’ve never seen.
 
“I wanted to explore all the cities and towns that I had heard of but never been to. And so this project came to be.”
 
The Stow native had his eyes opened to some of the smaller communities in Massachusetts, which he said he probably wouldn’t have heard of if he hadn’t sought them out.
 
“One was Gosnold, which are the islands off the coast [near] the Vineyard, which is just this tiny little community of I think less than 100 people off in their own world there,” he said. “Also, there’s the town of Monroe, which is in kind of northwestern Mass., which is a tiny community of people tucked away. Seeing communities like that was really cool.”
 
When setting up on the side of the road to record each note, Wisch and Keenan often had plenty of cars honking at them. In some places, people asked what they were up to, which actually presented a challenge.
 
“It was honestly hard to explain how it would come together and why I was only playing one note there instead of a whole song,” he said.
 
A guitar player, Wisch “fell in love” with the ukulele about three years ago – and the “challenge of creating music on such a small little instrument” – but he spends most of his time as a film student creating online videos.
 
The song is available for purchase at noahwisch.bandcamp.com.