Clouds Make Sounds returns to Liberty Fest older, wiser, ready for typhoid

Clouds Make Sounds has been … well … making sounds for more than three years. The band officially formed about six months before the first Liberty Fest was held in the summer of 2010 and has played the festival each year. With their new EP, “Patchwork Vessel,” out and their lineup complete with the addition of members Mal Scoppa on vocals and Matthew Serra on guitar, Clouds Make Sounds will show up to the Liberty Fest a little bit older and a little bit wiser.

The band has shared several stages with the band Moxie & Rebel, whose members Tim Harer and Joe Jaser have organized each Liberty Fest.

“[Liberty Fest] has always been very Williamsport-based – at least it was in the beginning – but has been growing each year,” said bassist Joe Marchese.

That’s true in terms of both performers and attendees. The first Liberty Fest had approximately 300 ticket-holders in the audience; this year the organizers expect about 1,000, and will feature several bands from out of state.

Marchese and singer- songwriter, and guitarist Deron Johnson are the two original members of Clouds Make Sounds and have been playing music together for much longer than three years – both in and out of bands. They grew up next door to each other and studied music together; first with Dave Brumbaugh at the Uptown Music Collective, then at Lycoming College.

In 2012, Clouds Make Sounds performed at the Liberty Fest as a trio, with drummer (and fellow Lycoming College student) Adam Rabidoux.

“It was the first time we really performed with the ‘new’ lineup,” said Marchese.

This year, when Mal Scoppa of Mal Scoppa and the Tall Tales joined the band as a vocalist and Matthew Serra of Monecho joined to add his guitars and vocals, the band’s current lineup was complete.

“Matt [Serra] brings a lot of fun to the band,” said Marchese.

Johnson and Marchese agree that the addition of the band’s three newest members has made things considerably more lighthearted.

“The focus is much more on having fun,” said Johnson, adding, “I think we’re all on the same page with what we want out of it.”

“What’s important is what we’re doing now,” added Serra. “We’re not looking at this as just some static entity that will implode if one of us can’t do it anymore; we’re going to do it as long as we can and as long as we’re having fun.”

Joe Marchese had perhaps the perfect analogy: “It’s like we’re playing ‘Oregon Trail’; we’re all in the Conestoga Wagon and pushing on ahead. If someone dies of Typhoid, it’s fine. We may have to wade through some rivers, take the long way around at times, but either way, we’ll get to Oregon.”

(Author’s Note: “Oregon Trail” is a computer game produced in 1974 by the Minnesota Educational Computing Consortium that was forced on students born between the late 1960s and late 1980s, and was intended to teach them about the realities of 19th Century pioneer life on the Oregon Trail.)

For the members of Clouds Make Sounds, “Oregon” doesn’t exactly represent some specific, designated goal like getting the band signed to a record label or going on a national tour.

“We have this music, we like playing it, and we all have a lot of other things we do outside of the band,” said Johnson. “We do this for fun, and that’s what it is: fun.”

Clouds Make Sounds will perform from 2:45 to 3:30 p.m. July 6 at Liberty Fest. The Liberty Festival Grounds are located at 173 Taylor Run Road in Roaring Branch, about 25 to 30 minutes north of Williamsport on Route 15, just outside of Liberty. Detailed directions can be found on the official Liberty Fest website: under the “About” page.

All routes will be marked on the weekend of the festival with “Liberty Fest” signs and directions. Tickets may be purchased at Old School Pizza, located at 12 E. Fourth St., or directly through the Liberty Fest website. Tickets are $50 for the whole weekend and include camping or $40 for Saturday only and also include camping. Pre-sale tickets for the whole weekend (purchased at Old School Pizza) are $40. Old School Pizza can be found online at or reached at 326-1466.

For more information about the festival and the band, search for Liberty Fest and Clouds Make Sounds on Facebook. Clouds Make Sounds also may be found online at, as well as on Bandcamp, Spotify, and iTunes. They will also be performing at 8 p.m. this Saturday at the Brickyard, 343 Pine St.