Folk University (2015)

“Folk University” is a full-length experimental folk album by David Gwaltney. It was created primarily during David’s time in grad school, at East Tennessee State University (ETSU) in Johnson City, Tennessee.

The album is a mix of folk, electronic, and experimental soundscapes. It is meant to morph and change as the album progresses, moving from the pure folk of “Intro in D” to the guitar noise of “Intermezzo Amicus” to the mash-up chaos of “Ouvre Oeuvre (Mountain Brook Streaming).”

On the cover for "Folk University" David stands in the middle of a mountain stream, wearing a Varsity jacket with the initials FU.
“Folk University” Album Cover by Trish Gibson

David acted as the sole producer of this project. He wrote and composed the work. He performed all of the instrumentation, with the exception of the acoustic drums on “Radio,” played by longtime collaborator, Justin Short. David engineered and mixed the album.

Folk University is meant to be a representation of David’s frustration with the current educational system and David’s own struggles with the bureaucracy of academia.

The Music Video For “Laurel Bed Lake”

Folk University Music Videos

The Music Video That Birthed The Song “Native Tongue”

Many of the songs were produced in conjunction with a music video. The videos were created in a similar fashion to the album, primarily conceived, shot, and edited by David Gwaltney. The only exceptions to this are the videos for “Radio” (shot by Tim Altonen) and “Traveler’s Hat,” which was a class project created by Chris Ball, Adrianne Gordon, Patrick Atkins, and David Gwaltney.

The Short Film “The Traveler’s Hat”

Released Under Creative Commons

“Folk University” is released under the Creative Commons 3.0 License (Attribution/Non-commercial/Sharealike). This means that you are free to share and adapt the album as you wish, under certain guidelines.

If you choose to share or adapt this album, attribution (credit) must be given. You may not do so in any commercial form. That is, you cannot make money off of the work or any subsequent remixes. Finally, under Sharealike, if you transform, remix, or adapt the work, the new work must have the same license (Creative Common 3.0).

David has done this to build from one of the core concepts of the album, folk music. Folk music traditionally is shared and transformed from person to person (folk means “people”). In keeping with this tradition, David hopes that this album provides inspiration to other budding musicians and producers, and that the process will only continue forward.

The Music Video for “Radio,” funded by a Kickstarter campaign.

For David Gwaltney’s entire discography, please visit here.