..The Story So Far..
In April 2012 Teotima Ensemble spent a weekend at the Fishmarket Studio in London, recording two pieces. These two will form part of the debut Teotima Ensemble album.
Founder member Greg Sanders used those two recordings to get in touch with record labels, to find someone willing to work on releasing a full-length Teotima Album.
Aly Gillani, founder of London-based First Word Records, got in touch - offering to release the finished Teotima album, and cover the not insignificant costs of the release, mastering, pressing, promotion and design.
However, the state of the music industry today means that very few record labels can afford to front the money necessary to record a whole album of a group of live musicians of this size, in a real recording studio (as opposed to being pieced together on a laptop at home).
This is where you come in!
It would be possible to record this music by myself, with the help of a few friends, layering up every part piece by piece on my laptop, but the end result wouldn't convey the feeling and intention of the music as effectively as a genuine recording of the music actually being played, in real time, by a group of highly-skilled musicians!
The sound of a high quality recording from a good studio with a good engineer, of a group of living, breathing humans, interacting and creating as one voice, is a unique and special thing.
This is why I'd love to do the whole album in this way, as the first two pieces were recorded.
I am aiming to raise £4,000 to enable me to record and mix the rest of the Teotima Ensemble album over 8 days with acclaimed jazz producer Ben Lamdin. The money will be used to cover the cost of rehearsal room hire, studio hire, engineers fees, and musicians' expenses.
The group was created to play music that develops some of the ideas set out by large-ensemble soul-jazz artists of the past. Drawing on the work of seminal composers and arrangers such as David Axelrod, Claus Ogerman, Marvin Gaye, Barry White, and more recently artists such as the Floating Points Ensemble and Snarky Puppy, Teotima bring an old-school aesthetic and feel to cutting-edge music that reflects the diversity of musical experiences present in a cosmopolitan city such as London. The ensemble brings together young musicians with a wide range of musical backgrounds. Between the members, there is a wealth of experience spanning jazz, African, Afro-Cuban and Afro-Brazillian music, funk and soul music, classical, and folk music. Players are drawn from the London live music scene and include current students and graduates of London music colleges, as well as members of bands such as United Vibrations, Jetsam, FUR, Wara, Ruby & The Vines, Scarlett in The Wilderness, and many others! Writing for this ensemble is a dream come true – a rhythm section of drumkit, two percussionists, bass, keys, and guitar, a 3-piece horn section, string section, and an incredible vocalist offer an inspiring range of sonic possibilities.
Risks and challenges
There are quite a few challenges involved in a project like this.
The most significant are those which result from working with such a large group of people. The logistical issues of organising rehearsals and recording sessions for a group of 10-16 musicians are definitely complicated, though ultimately managable with a clear head and forward-planning!
What is more difficult is paying all the musicians involved for their time!
The proper way for this to be handled in a professional environment would be to pay every musician a set fee for each rehearsal, and each day of recording. For a rehearsal this could be in the range of £50 - £150 per musician, and for a day of recording this could be from £100 - £300 per musician!
However, I don't have the budget of a major record label or a major film production. For the two days of recording in April, all the musicians involved contributed their rehearsal and recording time completely out of the goodness of their own hearts.
I am unimaginably grateful for this - and as a small token of appreciation, and to recognise the time people contributed, every musician who recorded on a piece receives a small PRS composer's royalty for that piece.
This is in addition to the standard PPL performer's royalty that any musician receives for performing on a recording.
The idea behind this is to ensure that if in future I earn any royalties from this music - through licensing, publishing, radio play, performance or sales, all the musicians involved will also get something back!
I am also applying for a grant from the Musician's Benevolent Fund - the idea being that if both the Kickstarter project and the Musician's Benevolent grant are successful, then I will be able to actually pay every musician a fee for their time, and if only one is successful, then I'll still be able to fund the recording and cover the musicians' expenses.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)