Brooks Frederickson's First Album: Small Works
Who am I and why do I need your help?
I'm Brooks Frederickson, a composer living in Brooklyn. I'm making my first album and I need your help.
After a string of very successful commissions, premieres, and performances - including performances at the Bang on a Can Marathon (2014), Ecstatic Music Festival (2016), and commissions and premieres by Thin Edge New Music (Toronto), Bearthoven (Brooklyn), SUNY Purchase Symphony Orchestra (NY), A/B Duo (San Francisco), Exceptet (NYC) and Echo Chamber (NYC) - I feel the time is now for me to make my first album.
I need to make this album now because I'm at a place in my career where I have amassed a body of work that I believe in and I have developed a community of musicians around my work who I trust. Making this album is the next step I need to take in my career as a composer.
The hardest part of a composer's career is making the jump from being a student composer to a professional composer. The major difference between the two career levels is documentation: do you have good sounding recordings of your music and are those recordings available for people to listen to? Right now my answer is "No, I do not have the recordings needed to establish myself, on a national and international level, as a composer." This album remedys that problem and will allow my music to be spread to a wider range of audiences, performers, presenters and commissioners.
I need your help because I cannot make the best version of this album by myself. Making a professional quality recording is expensive, and, as a young composer, I do not have the institutional support or resources to make the album the highest quality possible. With your support, I will be able to make great sounding recordings of the best interpreters of my music.
Small Works will feature five recent pieces of mine written for various chamber groups. Working with small groups of musicians is very exciting. In a chamber music setting, I am able to work very closely with each musician and am able to direct their talents to the specific challenges of my music.
I chose these pieces because they are all, in their own way, focused on how time and harmony can be used to create tension and release. Each piece uses it's own pallet to color the ideas of time and harmony uniquely. The pieces will be recorded by the outstanding musicians who commissioned and premiered the pieces. The pieces are:
Blocks (or, bricks) - Matt Evans, percussion
My life in a truck - Matt Evans, percussion; Brendon Randall-Myers, electric guitar
Color Fast - Long Leash
Song Cycle - Eliza Bagg, soprano; Brendon Randall-Myers, electric guitar; Karl Larson, piano; Ashley Bathgate, cello
Lag - Exceptet
Ashley Bathgate - described as an “eloquent new music interpreter”(New York Times) Ms. Bathgate is one of the most sought after cellists of her time. Collaborators and fans alike describe her vitality as nothing short of remarkable and magical for all who are involved. She is a member of the award winning, internationally acclaimed sextet, Bang on a Can All-Stars, as well as two chamber groups of which she is a founding member: TwoSense and Bonjour.
Eliza Bagg - a soprano dedicated to performing the works of living composers, Bagg has worked closely on projects with many of the most important composers of our time. In addition to her work in the contemporary music world, Bagg is also an avid interpreter of Baroque and Renaissance music. This dual life has lead Bagg to share stages with artists from John Zorn to the Choir of Trinity Wall Street, to Roomful of Teeth to her own experimental pop project, Pavo Pavo.
Matt Evans - praised by the New York Times as “meticulous and expressive,” percussionist and general music maker Matt Evans dedicates himself to the performance and proliferation of contemporary art music. Matt has performed around the country at acclaimed venues such as the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, The Kitchen and New York City’s Museum of Modern Art and has been a featured performer on Q2 Music, the Contagious Sounds Series, Make Music New York, the MATA Festival, the Tribeca New Music Festival and Big Ears Festival.
Karl Larson - a specialist in the music of our time, Larson is a pianist who is consistently engaged in adventurous musical activities. Larson is a sought after collaborator who has worked with many notable musicians and ensembles including Tristan Perich, Ashley Bathgate, Vicky Chow, Erik Carlson, Mantra, Eve Beglarian, the Eco Ensemble, the Sleeping Giant Composer Collective, and Contemporaneous.
Brendon Randall-Myers - is a Brooklyn-based composer and guitarist, and the co-founder of composer/performer ensemble Invisible Anatomy and min/maximalist punk band Marateck. Randall-Myers has appeared with The Glenn Branca Ensemble, Ensemble Signal, and Dither Quartet; on the Beijing Modern Music Festival, Ellnora Guitar Festival, and Lincoln Center Out of Doors.
Exceptet - founded on the rag-tag instrumentation of Igor Stravinsky's L'Histoire du Soldat, New York-based Exceptet is an ensemble with "vast emotional range and onomatopoetic charm" (I Care If You Listen) that is dedicated to commissioning today’s most compelling emerging composers. At just over a year old, Exceptet has played on may concert series and festivals, including the Times Two Series (Boston) and the Ecstatic Music Festival co-presented by the MATA Interval Series at the Kaufman Music Center (NYC).
Long Leash - Longleash (violin, cello, piano) is a group with a traditional instrumentation and a progressive identity. Inspired by music with unusual sonic beauty, an inventive streak, and a truthful cultural voice, Longleash extends a love of classical chamber musicianship to the interpretation of contemporary music, crafting performances that are both dynamic and thoughtfully refined.
There are lots of great rewards for your support. I would like to highlight two of them:
gbg - gbg is an improvisation I do with a guitar and a Max-patch I made. It is focused on the elasticity of rhythm and time. Each person who chooses a gbg recording will receive a unique recording - your gbg will be unlike anyone else's.
Music Box - each music box will come with a loop that was hand-punched by me. No two will be alike.
What the money will be used for.
Recording a professional quality album isn't cheap. Most of the money raised will go towards studio rentals, hiring a producer, hiring an engineer, mixing and mastering costs, CD printing and manufacturing, and promotion of the album. Other costs, such as getting the musicians to the studio, making sure the musicians are comfortable while recording, legal and administrative fees will be included as well.
Risks and challenges
There are lots of small risks associated with recording an album (scheduling conflicts / studio availability / etc), but the biggest risk is the album not receiving the amount of attention from press outlets that I'd like it to. To minimize this risk, I have included funds to hire a publicist to work with me to promote Small Works in ways I am not able to personally.
I am planning on releasing Small Works in the Fall of 2017.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)