****UPDATE: The label has just agreed to make an additional batch of CDs available to me to offer as a Reward perk to all pledges $50 and above!****
What to do with surprise gifts of two piano suites composed especially for you by two of today's greatest film composers: JOHN WILLIAMS (The Book Thief, Star Wars) and BRUCE BROUGHTON (Silverado)… Add some more and make a party, with new pieces by DON DAVIS (The Matrix), MICHAEL GIACCHINO (Ratatouille), RANDY NEWMAN (Toy Story), and ALEXANDRE DESPLAT (Philomena). The premiere recital took place last November to a full house on Los Angeles' Piano Spheres series.
My project is a CD and short documentary film featuring these compositions and the process of recording them with their legendary composers.
The music is precious, coming straight from the composers' innermost souls...with no movie director looking over their shoulders! And solo piano music shows just about everything about a composer…literally no bells or whistles. I am so moved and privileged to have this music from their "private" selves, and I am eager to share it with the world.
I'm recording very soon - over Easter weekend - and the beautiful Harmonia Mundi usa label will release the CD in 2015. An extra treat for me will be having the composers with me during my recording sessions.
With such an epic gathering of Oscar, Emmy, and Grammy winners, how could I not document the process of recording with these beloved composers, how could I neglect to share my experience with others? The film will include concert footage and excerpts from the recording sessions, and will be shared on YouTube. It will be a rare opportunity to witness the painstaking process by which the composers, producer, engineer, and I strive together to achieve the best takes of their music for the CD. I am convinced that the film will be a significant and historic document that will generate incredible excitement.
Nowadays even established labels like Harmonia Mundi often ask their recording artists to provide a finished master, after which the company handles the manufacture, marketing, and distribution of the CD. That is my contractual arrangement for this disc, as it was with my most recent disc with them, The Edge of Light...which actually got us a 2013 Grammy nomination!
The composers have already been generous with me. But even with their help, the CD and film are entirely my idea, and it is upon me to raise the remaining $16,000 to complete the project. My production team is stellar: multiple Grammy-winning classical producer Judith Sherman, engineer Benjamin Maas, filmmaker Joey Forsyte, film editor Johnny Woods. Some have offered to reduce their fees for me, but I'm intent on paying them properly so that they can do their best work.
The costs are daunting: hall rental, hall staffing, piano tunings, engineer, producer, producer airfare/hotel, audio editing, equipment rental, camera operators, video sound person, video assistants, film editing, and the 10% fees required by Kickstarter/Amazon. To be perfectly clear, there is no fee for myself in this project - it is my labor of love to honor the composers who have written for me.
To tell you a bit about myself, I'm a pianist who has had the good fortune to live and work in Los Angeles, where the greatest composers of our era regularly visit for performances of their works. I've worked numerous times with composers from Pierre Boulez to Steven Stucky, from John Adams to Esa-Pekka Salonen. The privilege of bringing music to life in collaboration with such inspired creators has been the great joy of my career.
From time to time, I've also had the honor and thrill of working with our best film composers on their movie soundtracks. Again, it's the process of having the composer present in the room, and together bringing the music into being, that I enjoy so much.
This project brings together many threads from my musical life, and is by far the most ambitious thing I've ever attempted to do. The composers whose music I am privileged to showcase are living legends. My project aims to highlight their brilliant composerly personalities - when unhinged from the demands of a film - and to show that the reason they are our greatest film composers is that they are great composers.
If you find the endeavor to be worthy, I hope you'll support it. You will have my enduring and heartfelt gratitude for any contribution, no matter how modest. All donors at the $10 level and above will be entered into a blind drawing for the chance to ATTEND THE RECORDING SESSION(S) with a guest on April 20-21. Two names will be chosen on Friday, April 18th, at 9AM PST.
Thank you for considering.
Photos: Carolyn Yarnell, Carlos Rodriguez, David Weiss
Risks and challenges
My recording dates are set, the composers are informed, and all systems are set to go.
I expect no setbacks, as Harmonia mundi is an established, successful, internationally renowned label, and my earlier recording with them went smoothly and on schedule. I have worked many times with the audio team of Judith Sherman and Ben Maas, and they, as well as my film team Joey Forsyte and Johnny Woods, are quick, experienced, meticulous and top-tier.
That they all will deliver the best product is beyond doubt. Meanwhile, I am practicing like crazy and will be thoroughly prepared!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)