Artist: John D. Boswell
Released: June 7, 2012
Artist: John D. Boswell
Released: June 6, 2013
In June 2014, following the release of the original Garden of Your Mind video, the Neighborhood Archive conducted a short email interview with artist John D. Boswell. The interview originally appeared in a June 14, 2012 post on the since-retired Neighborhood Archive blog.
It's been a week since the spirit of Fred Rogers was rejuvinated around the world through John D. Boswell's autotuned remix, Garden of Your Mind. In that time, the video has been watched over 4 million times on YouTube, featured on several major news outlets (and countless smaller ones), and viewers of all ages have been reminded of the timeless message of Fred Rogers. For the benefit of Mister Rogers enthusiasts, Garden of Your Mind has even been "unmixed" in the past week (receiving an unofficial "thumbs up" from PBS Digital Studios).
Seven days after the release of Garden of your Mind, John D. Boswell has been kind enough to answer a few questions about the Mister Rogers remix and other projects to come.
1. How did you become involved in this project with PBS Digital Studios?
PBS approached me earlier this year with their idea - to remix popular PBS icons in the style of Symphony of Science, my main remix project. Being a fan of these icons myself I was delighted to hear from them; fans of my work had already been asking for a Mr. Rogers remix for some time. As a result the partnership was a no-brainer, and we got to work right away.
2. Why and how did you choose the "garden of you mind" clip as the foundation for this project?
PBS sent me a number of DVDs of the show, organized by theme; this one being the first in a series of Mr. Rogers remixes, I thought the subject of "curiosity" was the best to begin with. The "garden of your mind" quote immediately stood out to me while I was watching and searching for the best quotes.
3. In one week, Garden of Your Mind has been viewed on YouTube over 4.2 million times! Describe some of the response you have received.
The response has been almost all positive, and I have been amazed at how popular the video has become. Because Fred was on the air for so long and spoke sincerely to so many people, the video was able to bring back memories of childhood for many viewers. I did my best to respect his original messages with the video and I think people appreciated that. Some aren't fans of the auto-tune technique, but that's how I work and you can't please everybody.
4. Were you a Mister Rogers kid when you were growing up? If so, what memories do you have of the Neighborhood?
I was absolutely a fan of Mr. Rogers growing up. I have great memories of learning some really interesting stuff on the show, whether it was the diversity of people he went to visit or the interesting clips he showed. Not to mention his calming demeanor and purely positive messages.
5. What do you feel is the most important message communicated by Fred Rogers?
It's hard to say, but I would say that his most important message is to be kind to people. That's what I feel he stressed the most during the course of the show, and is certainly the kind of message that resonates with youth and adults alike.
6. Any other projects on the horizon?
I am cooking up a Bob Ross remix at the moment, and there are always new mixes coming on my Youtube channel, melodysheep. In addition, there will be more Mr. Rogers remixes in the weeks to come.