Ten years ago, back in July 2011, we transitioned from a website called Mystic Music Archive to PortFire here. The Mystic Music Archive was a repository we created for some local Mystic and New London, Connecticut music from the 80s, 90s, and new releases.
To progress beyond just music – to expand to all the diverse artists inspiring us – we moved all of the albums and songs over to a new site – named PortFire after “the fuze or torch that lights rockets and fireworks” (yeah, a bit ambitious!) – and aimed to also begin including photography, writing, visual arts (especially collage), and new music from beyond just southeastern Connecticut.
We organized and worked to expand PortFire as a free zone for artists to post their recent work, following the DIY ethos of Hozomeen Press and other zines like Root of Twinkle from the 80s and 90s; but our campaign to expand eventually fell flat and only a few dedicated artists, especially Michelle Gemma, and Ellery Twining, published prodigiously to our free platform.
As an architect and editor of PortFire, I certainly wasn’t aggressive nor charismatic enough to smartly ‘market’ PortFire: no ads, no fees, not interested in profits, no baiting for page views, no social media strategies, no gimmicks – just not interested in any of that – which is perhaps to our detriment in many ways – arts and artists benefit from publicity. So please let us know if you have any ideas for us publicizing ourselves in a better way.
We exist for fellow artists to publish and speak and react to each other’s work, so we inspire each other and push each other’s art forward.
We will definitely keep running this site for the artists producing new work and publishing here (I still hope to rejoin those ranks!), as well as to host older music and zines for those who are curious, nostalgic, or want to hear the beautiful 17 Relics, Seratonin, or Low–Beam (and more!) – over ten fabulous independent bands can be found under the Music tab at the top of our site.
So, it really is hard to believe it has been ten years – while reminiscing and looking through the site this past week, I was surprised to rediscover the amount of inspiring content here – check out the right side of our main page, the Artist Collections, Tags, Search Bar, Archives in the lower right, and just feel free to explore – and thank you all so much for contributing and checking in over all these years –
If you’d like to publish your work here, please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org
Here is the first post that PortFire ever put up, to test the new site, about ten years ago – enjoy!