Restoring Macon to it’s Former Musical Prowess
By Noemi Griffin
The old entry sign to the Tubman Museum hangs outside of 340 Walnut St. But the inside doesn’t house the nation’s largest museum dedicated to African art, history and culture, but rather a space for Macon’s musicians.
The 5/4 is self-sustaining music incubator where artists can pay as little as little as $75 a month to rent a room. The business moved into the former Tubman after the museum moved to its new facility on Cherry Street.
“I’d say this is the most diverse venue in Macon that people are sleeping on,” said George Murray, owner and partner of 5/4.
The space has been up and running since early February and houses 10 band rooms that artists will rent by the month for as long as they need the space. 5/4 also has an in-house studio open to the artists.
Many of the bands renting space have members who are still in high school like Alex Lewis, Anthony Allmond, and Eli Carter who form “BOGO” and all met at school.
“We’ve met a lot of people here [at 5/4] who’ve been able to help us out. People to talk to and play shows with,” Carter said.
The 5/4 partners are mainly hands off, allowing the bands to plan their own shows and schedule recording time when they see fit, but will offer mentorship with legal issues like copyright.
Murray said that he had “sit downs with the parents of almost every member of every band” to go over their legal rights.
5/4’s goal is to give their musicians the opportunities to get out of Macon and find their success, but they also want them to come back. One musician, Josh Garner, will be attending Berklee College of Music in Boston in the next three weeks.
“Thanks to George and Andrew [Eck] and everybody over here I’ve been able to really get my hands dirty with studio equipment, sound, and different instruments I can try to make my tracks fuller. I don’t think I would have been able to do the audition very well if it hadn’t been for the people here,” Garner said.
Garner is a member of two bands, “Failing Acts of Society” and “Insomnia,” and said that his band had a safe spot at 5/4 to make sure they were rehearsing and being productive.
Murray said that some of the funding for the building came from donations, but for the most part it has been funded by the partners and Macon Productions, Murray’s sound production company. The biggest donation was the building itself, which was donated by the Macon Industrial Authority.
Caleb Melvin leads the band “Hindsight” and has since been hired by Murray’s company Macon Productions.
“It’s just a dirty grungy rock pit. Where a bunch of guys get sweaty playing music. It’s awesome,” Melvin said of 5/4.
5/4 has plans to work with the newly renovated Capricorn Studios once it is up and running, but until then will serve as Macon’s premier music incubator.