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For the Record

A multi-genre artist conquers one more design dream
The 7-inch, vinyl record is uniquely packaged in a handcrafted wooden case.

Ever since he was a child, Aaron Tanner loved the arts. “I never had any interest in sports, but I was always creating or drawing something,” says the freelance designer. As a former business owner of graphic design firm Semisans, the bassist for local band Stationary Odyssey, and a designer for band websites, branding, and album packaging, the 35-year-old father has had plenty of opportunities to be creative. With a visual communications degree from Ivy Tech Community College, Tanner is able to combine his love for music with his passion for design. His latest handiwork: a 7-inch, vinyl record uniquely packaged in a handcrafted wooden case.

The record, which took Tanner two years to produce, is a limited edition with the songs “Marooned” by The Everybody and “Demon Oar” by Stationary Odyssey. The project began in 2010, when Tanner was approached by a friend of the alternative rock band The Pixies to either remix or rework a song created by two bandmates for their side project, The Everybody. Stationary Odyssey decided to have some fun and recreate a new song by dissecting it, reassembling it, and adding new instrumentation. The Pixies loved it, giving Tanner and bandmate Brett Siler the go ahead in developing the original song and its counterpart into a 7-inch, limited edition record with special packaging. Released in March, 100 of the total 300 records available had been sold in the first two weeks.

We knew we always wanted to do a 7-inch. I was working with my old business partner to figure out how to make the packaging. We knew we wanted to do something unusual. Every last stage of it was hand assembled by either the band or friends of the band. We went to Menards and bought giant sheets of wood. We cut them out ourselves, screen printed, drilled, assembled, bought felt, cut felt, etc. The only thing we didn’t actually make was the physical record.

It took about three months to make all of the parts for it. I’ve always wanted to do a project that’s this scope. Now I kind of feel like I’ve gotten it out of my system and I don’t really have to revisit it anymore.

We worked on it for about 5-12 hours a day for the last three months. I know from doing design work, a lot of the expense is in hand work. If you can get the materials yourself and assemble them yourself, you’re cutting out the biggest part of the cost.

This is the third limited edition album that we’ve (Stationary Odyssey) done. Our full-length albums never sell out, but the ones that are limited and come in special packaging always do.

It was really nice to get it done. It felt like graduating college.

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Correction

There's no Eric Siler. His name is Brett and he's wonderful. Also, it's Aaron Tanner.

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