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Mobylizing
Q&A with musician Moby

For the past decade, multiplatinum-selling composer Moby has been showing his affinity for dogs, cats and other critters by partnering with HSUS to raise money and awareness for animal rights programs. Among these endeavors is mobygratis, a generous trove of instrumental film music he’s written “for anyone in need of free music for their independent, nonprofit film, video, or short.” The music on mobygratis remains gratis as long as it’s used in a noncommercial, nonprofit way; if it’s licensed for a commercial film, all money generated goes to HSUS.

Bark: Why mobygratis?

Moby: Friends who are into experimental filmmaking said that one of the most difficult things is licensing music for their work. So I set up mobygratis as a way of helping students and others making these types of independent films.

B: Tell us about the music—is it mostly extra tracks?

M: In some cases, they’re extra tracks, and others, they’re pieces that I wrote specifically for the site. There’s a pretty wide range of music up there.

B: How has the response been so far?

M: Good! I haven’t really publicized it, but the music has already been used in about 3,000 different films. A few features, but for the most part, they’ve been short pieces—five to ten minutes long.

B: Why did you select HSUS?

M: I’ve worked with them quite a lot over the years. One of the things that impresses me most about them is their diligence and their persistence. And also, because they’re such a big organization, they’re actually able to accomplish a lot on a legislative level.

B: On your site, to promote your new album, you made an animated video of yourself being interviewed by a dog. Why?

M: I don’t know how to draw cats!

B: Beyond companionship, what do you think dogs teach us?

M: I’m certainly not the first person to say this, but they teach the idea of loyalty, and the capacity to find joy in just the simplest things—to be uninhibited in our emotions.

Find out more at moby.com.

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This article first appeared in The Bark,
Issue 58: Feb/Mar 2010
Bill DeMain is a freelance writer and muscian based in Nashville, Tenn. He's contributed to Entertainment Weekly, TV Guide, MOJO and Eldr and is also one-half of the acclaimed pop duo Swan Dive. His favorite song is "Me and My Arrow" by Harry Nilsson. swandive.org

Photo: Alan Graham

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