A project quite a few years in the making, I'm finally undertaking the task of recording a big band album, something I've been thinking about doing since I started writing big band music regularly in 2011. The result will be the album "Forward," featuring music written over the past four years.
I'm extremely excited to announce that we will have the privilege of being joined on this recording by the drummer Clarence Penn, one of the best jazz drummers in the world. I've been a huge fan of his for years from his work with Dave Douglas and, notably, the Maria Schneider Orchestra. I can't wait for the opportunity to hear Clarence play this music!
The incredible band reflects my own personal path, featuring musicians I played with as an undergraduate at Lawrence University, a graduate student at DePaul University, and as a freelancer in Chicago and Madison. (And my dad.) The band:
Voice: Megan Moran
I'm also thankful to be welcoming the inimitable Joe Clark to help produce the session!
We're planning to record five pieces of original music:
"Rush" (2014), "Settle" (2014), "Chorale" (2016), "Like Water" (2016), and the four-movement work "Forward" (2017), which was written with the support of the Greater Madison Jazz Consortium's Artistic Development Grant. The concept behind "Forward," which will take up half of the album, was that I wanted to write a piece of music that reflected my impressions of the state of Wisconsin, both as my home and as a natural habitat. "Rush" and "Settle" were both recorded on my small group's last album, but they were actually big band pieces first, and I can't wait to record them in this format!
You might be wondering: what will you be using my money for? That's a good question! The bulk of the money I am trying to raise will end up going to payments to the musicians: it's very expensive to hire a 17-piece band and pay them a reasonable wage, and we're also using a guest artist on this album, which is amazing and a wonderful opportunity. It is also an expense!
Beyond that, there will be regular production costs related to making a CD - studio time, mixing and mastering, artwork, physical album production costs, and promotion. The amount I am trying to raise will about cover all the costs through the recording dates (musician payments and studio/engineer fees): if we raise anything beyond the goal, great! That would help to cover post-production (mixing, mastering, artwork, production, promotion) costs, but I am prepared to pay for that part of the process out of my own pocket.
Risks and challenges
This project has already gone through the most difficult phase: the music has been written, our guest artist is set to go, the band has been hired and the recording dates have been set (we'll be recording in August 2018).
The only remaining difficulty is time - we're on a fairly tight schedule to get a fairly large amount of music recorded. But given the high level of musicianship and professionalism of the band members, I have no doubt that this will not be much of an issue. After the recording is finished, there is nothing else I am worried about, having gone through the process of mixing, mastering, and production with two small group albums.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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