Skip to content

A Brandy Brothers' Special Project

Hello again from the Brandy Brothers!

Today we're launching a special project – one uniquely suited to the talents and skills of the Brandy Brothers community.

Your challenge is this: In the style of Shoebox Songs, create a sound recording with a positive message, and get it to us by October 21st. The piece can be any type of audio at all. Tell us a story, sing us a song, create a soundscape, or mix them all together. The collected works will be posted on our site, and more importantly, passed on to a young artist named Emilie who was recently blinded. Her story was featured on RadioLab and passed on to us by our friend (and contributing artist) Lisa Larson, and we've reposted it below.

Here's your chance to use your audio skills, musical powers, storytelling prowess, and general ingenuity to do something that's pretty dang nice!

Be sure to keep the tone positive – try basing your piece on an image or story that you find particularly inspiring, soothing, happy, fun, silly, or just nice. If you get stuck, shoot us an email and we'll send you a prompt.

Thank you all and as always, good luck!

The Brandy Brothers

Emilie the artist once was inspired by everything she saw: colors, forms, textures, light…

Now she's stuck in the dark (blinded by a bike accident), but she still has an imagination to "see" things in her mind. She's become fond of her iPod, so let's give her something to listen to an inspire her artistic sensibilities!

Give Emilie something (a song, a story, a fantasy soundscape, a poem, an environment, a mood, sound textures) that she can listen to in the permanent dark and and "see" in her imagination and be inspired.

The collection will be presented as a gift to Emilie in a textured cd case when she visits Chicago on October 22nd.

Here's some things to help inspire you to inspire Emilie:

– Visual Art Concepts to translate into sound: color, form, texture, contrast, spacial relationships, shapes, moods, emotions.

– Put on a blindfold, see what you can create in the dark.

– View Emilie's art from before her accident: (scroll to the bottom)

– Emilie's story made famous on Radiolab:

For questions about Emilie feel free to contact Lisa Larson at

Shoebox Vol. 15 – Perfect Heart

Ever wish you had an army of cheerleaders? That, and I hit a brick wall on the melody. But! Here's the balance.

Perfect Heart

Shoebox Vol. 15 – Smoking PSA

This volume I decided the image reminded me of a anti-smoking advertisement so I wrote a song that I thought would be fitting in an anti-smoking PSA. Everything was made in Logic. Enjoy!


– by Adrian Anguiano

Shoebox Vol. 15 – Pac-Man's Heart Gets Broken

This image reminded me of a Pac-Man maze. So here is my take on what it would sound like if Pac-Man got his heart broken. All done in ProTools. Enjoy!

Pac-Man's Heart Gets Broken

– by Adrian Anguiano

Shoebox Vol. 15

Write a song based on the image below. Submit your songs before September 1!



Image courtesy of Molly Walsh.

Shoebox Vol. 14 – Memories of Chasing Snowflakes

The first thing I would like to say is that I never write music like this. Doing a piano composition is something that is outside my comfort zone. But I'm trying to work on this. It was made entirely in ProTools.

For this installment I decided to write a song that would be used in a short animation done in the style of the image. What I wanted to do was make a nice pretty song for a change. What I got was something that sounds very poignant:

I imagined the short starting with a summer scene of a forest with a cat searching through it, sad and lost. Its surroundings slowly turn into a snow covered forest, the cat looking a little more at home. Towards the end it starts to snow and the cat's eyes light up. It chases the snowflakes, plays in the snow, pounces in the drift. Slowly the snow starts to stop. The snow on the trees starts to fade away. The cat looking disappointed. As the winter scene disappears the cat, too, fades away. A memory as well.

As always, if there is anybody interested in making this animation with me I would love to do it. Just let me know. Enjoy!

Memories of Chasing Snowflakes

– by Adrian Anguiano

Shoebox Vol. 14 – Cheshire

A song about a cat.



Shoebox Vol. 14 – I am a Cat

It doesn't matter that the cat is so small; he is enormous all the same.

Recorded with the help of Scott Hannan (BU Vox, Egg Shaker, Hand Claps)

I am a Cat




This song was recorded in Pro-Tools, with an electric guitar using a Line6 DL4 Delay modeler pedal and a Digi-tech Whammy pedal. This song was written on the first day of snowfall and the eventual blizzard last winter. I remember stepping outside to go get some groceries from my local hippie-food co-op in Logan Square – while tons of snowflakes melted onto my face. I digressed and went back into my bedroom and wrote this later that evening….after lunch, of course…

Shoebox Vol. 14

Write a song based on the image below. Submit your songs before August 15!


Shoebox Vol. 13 – Babel

A song about the vertical impulse.



Shoebox Vol. 13 – Progress



by Bandboxbuster

Shoebox Vol. 13 – Conqueror Worm

This was recorded on Garageband. It started out as just a chord progression, built into a sweet instrumental track, and when it still needed something I read The Conqueror Worm by Poe over it. Adrian: Bass and Drums Steve: Chord progression, backwards guitars, vocals, e-kalimba


The Conqueror Worm

Shoebox Vol. 13

Write a song based on the image below. Submit your songs before June 30!


Shoebox Vol. 12 – Polycephalic

A song about being more than one person.

"Every created thing, even the simplest, is already guilty, already multiple. It has been thrown into the muddy stream of being and may never more swim back again to its source." (Herman Hesse)

William L. Cox


Shoebox Vol. 12 – Entourage

For this third installment I decided to write a song that would be used in a "Triplets of Belleville" style animation called "The Loneliest Girl in the World". I imagined the story being about conjoined twins, one of which is discontent with your humdrum life in a rural community. Despite always having her sister around she feels detached from everyone else in the world. Ignoring her sister's protests, they join a traveling circus with hopes of finding their lot in life. This song cue occurs when they are greeted at the big top by curious fans and supportive carnies. Of course we are then introduced to the less then reputable and shady ringleader. Enjoy!


by Adrian Anguiano

Shoebox Vol. 12 – Two Girls, One…

Recorded with Audacity by KJ Johnson.

Here's to watching countless YouTube videos late at night with Erin Weartz about conjoined twins. And all the questions they brought up.

Two Girls, One…

Shoebox Songs Vol. 12 – Rag Trade Waltz

A song about some siamese twin fashion models. You know, nothing to bizarre!

(JT Royster)

Rag Trade Waltz

Shoebox Vol. 12 – All Upon a Pridefest Day

Made with GarageBand, this piece was collaborative. Adrian came up with the chord progression and synth lines. I came up with the strings, vocals and structure. After that he added drum and bass.

This tells a true story about two real life sisters. I met one at a party and two weeks later both of them thought I was a real jackass.

All Upon a Pridefest Day

by Steve and Adrian


Shoebox Vol. 12

Write a song based on the image below. Submit your songs before June 14!


Shoebox Vol. 11 – Courtyard

Recorded in Audacity by KJ Johnson. Kind of a spur of the moment song.


Shoebox Vol. 11 – Halide

A song about people who aren't there.



Shoebox Vol. 11 – Hiding Place

Hacked together in Unableton using a stolen midi file and my guitar from middle school.

Hiding Place


Shoebox Vol. 11 – 1420 MHz

This is a continuation of the idea of treating the image as a poster for a movie and then writing a song that I think would be used in that film. For this second round I decided to write a song (more like a soundscape) that would be used in a Sci-Fi Horror movie called "When Walls Talk" (tagline: When Walls Talk…They Scream). More-or-less about a radio transmission from space! Made using heavily warped recordings of my accordion, fiddle, recorder, and voice. Enjoy!

1420 MHz

by Adrian Anguiano

Shoebox Vol. 11

Write a song based on the image below. Submit your songs before May 31!