This year commemorates the 40th anniversary of Joni Mitchell’s seminal album, Hejira, which Mitchell wrote the bulk of during a road trip she took in Spring 1976.
To commemorate this and get me in the right frame for arranging my next album - re-interpretations of Hejira - I am recreating this road trip, leaving the the UK for Maine on the 15th March to:
- Meet musicians and journalists associated and inspired by Hejira, and hopefully upload a few videos of us jamming.
- Blogg/vlog my way through Mitchell's route including places featured in Hejira such as The Mandolin Brothers' shop on Staten Island - maybe even finding the famous Cactus Tree Motel if I'm lucky.
- Upload short commentaries and analyses of the songs themselves and photos of the incredible landscape and people I find.
... before retuning from LA on the 11th April. (see itinerary below)
I'd love to pay my band what they are worth to make and tour this record, as I'm sure you do too, so have put together a few discounted bits for you early birds:
Access-All-Areas: Ahem! I've built a password-protected part of my website for daily (/when I have internet in the desert) updates on the road trip and the album as it comes together, including scans of finished scores, short videos of the band and I having fun, etc. It'd be lovely to have you along!
Download of the Album: Er... a download of the album when it hits!
Entry to the Launch Gig: If all goes to plan I would love to record the album live at one of my favourite London venues. If not that then a ticket to the launch event when it happens.
Back-Catalogue of My Recordings: I have digital download codes for all the recordings available at Bandcamp, plus one secret unreleased EP.
Composition, songwriting, or singing lesson via Skype: A 1hr session for us to talk about anything - your creative practice, what you wish to achieve and how to get there, harmony, or even vocal technique if you like, the time is there for you to use as you like.
My Itinerary for the Road Trip: Portland ME; Boston, MA; New York, NY; Philadelphia, PA; Washington, DC; Edenton, NC; Wilmington, NC; Charleston, SC; Savannah, GA; Atlanta, GA / possibly Jacksonville FL; Panama City, FL; Mobile, AL; New Orleans, LA; Houston, TX; San Antonio, TX; Sonora, TX; Saragosa, TX; El Paso, TX; Lordsburg, NM; Phoenix, AZ; Blythe, CA; Yuma, AZ; San Diego, CA; Los Angeles, CA.
Risks and challenges
Sooo... One huge risk with this project could be that the intended live recording goes wrong in some way! Were this to happen, it would be entirely possible to reschedule the recording.
With the road-trip, I might be unable to find the quantity/quality of interviews/jam sessions that I would like to, but this is precisely why I am also going to be writing en route, as well as providing commentaries on the album and uploading photographs. Being a lecturer at Oxford University and a researcher at Royal Holloway basically means I can talk, so I'm rarely short of things to say and share with you all, particularly on an album such as this.
I've also running music projects for over a decade now, having received funding from the Arts Council to release and tour my last album 'Our Lady of Stars' so feel confident about this project too. Take a look at some of the things I've done in the past here: http://www.sorana.co/biog/Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)