Behind the Stories

Holly TrippAfter more than 10 years in the corporate world as a marketing communications professional and writer, Holly Tripp—also a musician—decided in 2015 to merge all of her talents and passions to create Stories of Music, a book idea that had been stewing in her mind for a few years. A lifelong lover of music, and with a strong desire to build a community around storytelling, Holly hoped Stories of Music would become a vehicle through which people could share individual musical experiences and celebrate music’s positive influence on our lives.

The idea for the anthology series came to Holly after reading her great grandmother, Gwendolyn’s autobiography. Gwendolyn, who lived in rural Missouri (circa 1910), shared her experiences with music as a young girl:

We kids would all play in another room from the grownups. Unbeknown to anyone, my uncle Bill Ellis had taught me to tap dance. So, one night when the music was really good for dancing, my feet just would not stay put. I was dancing, and the other kids were laughing and clapping. Someone came to the door to see what all the noise was about. So, I had to go in and dance for everyone!

Sometimes when the weather was too bad to get out, the fiddlers would give the [party] line ring and everyone would take down the receivers and they would play so we could all hear.

Fascinated by this unique experience with music—how Gwendolyn’s family and friends would listen to local fiddlers play through the telephone party line—it occurred to Holly that there must be countless other stories about music that she had never even imagined. So, finally, she decided to put out her first call for submissions for Stories of Music, Volume 1 in early 2015, curious about what she would discover. Turning to social media networks, she asked authors and artists from around the world to share their stories about music’s impact on people’s lives, and to tell their stories their way—in the genre and medium of their choice.

After the Volume 1 submission period ended, Holly was surprised to have received more than 1,000 stories, including works of nonfiction, poetry, photography, art illustrations, audio recordings (original music and author-read poems), and videos. The response was overwhelming, a testament to the universal power of music, and the perfect foundation for creating a collection of works that would inspire music lovers everywhere. So began her commitment to explore Stories of Music further, through additional anthology volumes. Stories of Music, Volume 2 was released January 10, 2017.

To appropriately highlight the various stories and storytelling styles, the Stories of Music books present a truly multimedia experience through print books and free companion web editions through which readers can access the audio and video works. Volume 1 is also available through the Stories of Music iTunes app.