While having margaritas with his mother in Estes Park, Brandon Hagen looked at the Aerial Tramway and thought, "Wouldn't it be cool if you had some solo artist or a duo just sitting there playing a song for the length of that trip up the hill?" That initial thought sparked his idea for Colorado Secret Stages, an ongoing video series that features local musicians playing at unique locations around the state like Horsetooth Reservoir, Royal Gorge Bridge and Great Sand Dunes as a way to generate greater visibility for the Colorado music scene.
Earlier this year, Hagen recruited a few folks from Boulder Edge TV to film Ft. Collins Americana act Finnders & Youngberg playing at Horsetooth Reservoir for the pilot of Colorado Secret Stages. Hagen, who's also a sound engineer, recorded the session. Since then, the crew has shot Chimney Choir, Ian Cooke, Laura Goldhamer and Taarka for future videos. Hagen says he also has plans to shoot Gregory Alan Isakov, Monocle, Danny Shafer and Head for the Hills. Near the end of August, Hagen says he plans to have six videos online.
"The angle of it right now is to get as many folk artists together as I can just to have content," Hagen says. "Like the focus is on every genre because Colorado is so vibrant but to start getting content developed in this modality. The most mobile instrumentation is going to be acoustic instruments and that's built into the folk circuit. So we're just starting with that, but I want to move into hip-hop, reggae, dubstep -- whatever flies in the state I want in on."
Colorado Secret Stages is part of Inquiry Music, which he incorporated last year as an entity for everything he was already doing in the music scene, like writing songs, playing out, sound engineering and festival work.
"But what it's become is that Inquiry Music exists to develop initiatives to generate visibility for the Colorado music scene," Hagen says. "And Secret Stages is one of those initiatives."
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