Just five years ago, the modern glass and brick facade that dominates Boston’s waterfront was a pile of rubble. Situated between the Zakim and North Washington St. bridges, the space that had once been a forgotten access point to the Charles River. Now, a 10-story reclaimed wooden staircase is all that remains of the sunken Lovejoy Wharf. It extends from the top to bottom floors of the Converse World Headquarters that opened this past May.
Only a few months after the shoe company moved to this Boston location, it will be opening its doors to the public as a participant of HUBweek. On Thursday and Friday, the Converse team, along with Indaba Music and producer Sam Obey, are dedicating two days to do a different kind of rebuilding, one focused on amplifying the city’s music scene.
“This is the first HUBweek so we’re excited to be involved from the ground up,” said Dan Zaccagnino, founder of Indaba Music. “There are amazing things happening in Boston in technology, media, the sciences, and arts. HUBweek will be a great way to showcase some amazing talent and provide unique experiences to participants.”
The Rubber Tracks Studio facility is a unique element of the company’s headquarters, and will provide the backdrop to this week’s events. Established in 2011, the Converse Rubber Tracks program is a global music platform that helps stimulate the creativity of emerging artists and musicians. Each studio space is specially designed to provide artists with all the latest tools and the creative space that they need to produce their unique sound. Each of the permanent studios in Brooklyn, Sao Paulo, and Boston connect artists with engineers to create and produce their original music, free of charge.
The HUBweek event is just one example of the company’s music initiative. This week, Converse invited some of the most talented local artists and performers to participate in a two-evening producer workshop that will use technology and the brand’s Rubber Tracks Sample Library to create new tracks.
“We’re proud to contribute to a city that boasts such a large, untapped pool of extraordinary talent that shares a deep passion and love for music,” said Jed Lewis, the global music marketing director at Converse. “Located adjacent to Converse’s new world headquarters on Boston’s Lovejoy Wharf, Converse Rubber Tracks in Boston is the brand’s way of encouraging emerging artists and musicians to unleash their creative spirits on a regular basis.”
All of the recordings made throughout the two-day event will then have a home in Converse’s royalty-free, online music library. In addition to sharing an outlet with some of the top musicians across the globe, local musicians will be able to download and experiment with library samples to improve their sound.
In conjunction with the constantly rotating studio time, the HUBweek events will also include a two-night Producer Workshop with Obey. The producer, who is also known as Obey City, will not only serve as a hands-on resource to the HUBweek participants, but will also use all of the samples they record throughout the day to create a collaborative music mix. The new track will later premiere at an event party on Saturday night.
The events will feature a full-day “HackAthon” that hopes to fuel multiple levels of creativity by including a technological perspective. The “HackAthon” invites developers to construct new technological operations to better employ the studio space provided at Rubber Tracks Boston. On Saturday, tech developers will be challenged to create new programs and products that utilize in more ways all that the studio has to offer.
“One of our goals as a brand is to give back, and help inspire a new generation of musicians,” Lewis said. “By opening Converse Rubber Tracks, it’s a way for us to say thank you to musicians all over who have helped us become the brand we are, and to provide a place for new artists to have access to resources, they may not be able to afford. It is Converse’s way in investing in the future of music.”
From the earliest discussions of HUBweek, Converse’s two-day celebration of the city’s creative elements has been one of the most highly anticipated events. By utilizing the resources of the Rubber Tracks Studio in conjunction with the publicity of HUBweek, the locally-headquartered shoe giant hopes to help local artists and musicians get their footing.
Featured Images Courtesy of Converse