In my childhood apartment we had a plexiglass table, and kneeling down, and looking through the sides, you could see endless reflections. The finish on my accordion is "Extra Lusso."
Plexi Lusso is my 3rd album, with songs about orange-shaped heartache, lizard-embossed floor tiles, Brazilian neon, aeroacrophobia, L.E.D. lights and flight simulators, which I've arranged for my New York 7-piece band and Italian musicians, harp, marimba, marbles and more. Unpredictably beautiful experiences traveling and touring in Italy and beyond over the past four years have inspired many of Plexi Lusso's songs, and there's lushness and intricacy to the subjects and arrangements that call out to be visualized. In this expansive, exciting project, the production of the album is coupled with a full-blown International Music Video Project, where I'll commission extraordinary animators and video artists from Italy, The Netherlands, Germany, Iceland, and the U.S. Each artist or team of artists, with their own vision, will create a music video for a song on the album, and they'll all be released on a gorgeous CD/DVD with artwork by D’Steam. The artists include Luca Dipierro, Elisabetta Benfatto with Paola Luciani, Bernd Eilts, Kolja Kunt, Þórir Bogason, Jill Auckenthaler and renowned music photographer Merri Cyr.
Through this portal you can reach across the street and across the ocean into the worlds of these profoundly creative video artists, musicians and technicians, as you virtually travel* with me to recording and mixing sessions, photo and video shoots, and design meetings. Beyond this you’ll know you directly enabled the production of it all. You can also receive:
• downloads • signed copies of the CD and DVD • posters • my cookbook "amy's amici: a takeout queen cooks italian" • a songbook which I'm creating in tandem with the album • an ipod shuffle filled with rare tracks, and more...
The artists have gone above and beyond and have generously offered very personal, one-time-only rewards for your pledge, like:
It’s a remarkable way to get deep into the individual processes of these creators. Read about all of the rewards, lined up on the right, and about the artists and musicians, below.
Kickstarter is an all-or-nothing approach to fundraising for creative projects. Our project must reach the funding goal of $25,555 in these special 2 months or no money changes hands. Our goal is ambitious, but completely doable, if you join us! We're so grateful for your pledge, which will go towards:
• recording sessions in italy and the u.s. • musician fees • mixing and mastering• CD/DVD photo shoot • CD/DVD + poster design by d'steam (iceland)• CD/DVD + poster manufacturing• animator/video artist and artist team commissioning fees, 7 songs: materials, equipment, camera crews etc.
AND, if we are lucky enough to EXCEED our goal, your pledge will help cover:
• travel costs to berlin +\or iceland +\or the netherlands, enabling me to work in person with the video artists there! • extra studio time (I've invested in microphones to keep studio time to a minimum, but extra time in professional studios is incredibly useful and always heightens the recording) • promotion to press and radio
Detailed Project Budget Available Upon Request
If just 1022 of you pre-order the Plexi Lusso CD/DVD in 60 days (see PLEXI-LUSSO reward) this expansive project will fly!! Please send this page around to anyone you know who appreciates modern song, animation, video, photography and design, even if you can't contribute yourself. It's invaluable to us!
Extra thanks to Project Artist Luca Dipierro who edited the artist's footage in the trailer, to Claudio "Finni" Galdiolo for filming, to Jimmy Weinstein for drumming, and to my neighbor Marcella for her gelato! And extra lusso thanks to you.
* virtual travel: project updates re: recording and mixing sessions, photo and video shoots, and design meetings
MERRI CYR: VIDEO ARTIST BROOKLYN
Brooklyn based photographer Merri Cyr has been working as a professional photographer since 1988. Primarily focused on portraiture of musicians and artists, her clients include Sony, Warner Brothers, Maverick, Mercury, Elektra, Verve, Deutsche Grammophon, Rolling Stone and she has exhibited in galleries worldwide. She has over eighty album packages to her name. Other works include the documenting of Lilith Fair for Rolling Stone, consigned video works for Sony and Maverick, and a released book, "A Wished-for Song, Portrait of Jeff Buckley”, which includes 360 photos and interviews conducted by Merri. She also teaches at International Center of Photography in NYC. "What makes a photo interesting to me is the expression of energy, the alchemy of a moment caught in the net of a certain shutter click. It's sort of like fishing for an unknown treasure where the meaning only becomes evident with the passage of time.” Site
JILL AUCKENTHALER: VIDEO ARTIST BROOKLYN
Jill Auckenthaler makes paintings, drawings and sculpture that explore time and anxiety. She works primarily with watercolor and paper, using organizing systems and intuition to interpret daily activity through grids, code and color. Recent group exhibitions include the Bronx Museum of the Arts’ 27th Annual Artist in the Marketplace, BRIC Rotunda Gallery, Ann Street Gallery and A.I.R. Gallery in New York, and CavourArt Associazione in Italy. She enjoyed her first solo exhibition in 2006 at Kathleen Cullen Fine Arts. Jill’s artwork was recently featured on the cover of Rachel Levitsky’s book Neighbor, published by Ugly Duckling Presse. In 2008, she was commissioned to create a special edition screenprint to benefit the Center Against Domestic Violence. Her work is also included in the Drawing Center Viewing Program. Site
LUCA DIPIERRO: VIDEO ARTIST ITALY, OREGON
Luca Dipierro is a visual artist, filmmaker and writer born in Italy and living in the USA. He is the author of the art zine DAS DING. His book of fictions, Biscotti Neri, will be published in Italy by Madcap in 2011. His stories and drawings have appeared in numerous magazines and anthologies, including The New York Tyrant, Gigantic, Locus, Everyday Genius, No Colony, PANK, Harp & Altar, The Sages of Baltimore. His art has been exhibited in Europe and the USA, and appears regularly on CD, LP, and book covers. Currently, Dipierro is working with writer Leni Zumas on a full-length animated film called Until I Find It, which is being serialized at thegiganticmag.com in graphic novel form. Dipierro’s work has been called “a perfect balance between creepy and charming” (The Huffington Post), “sad and beautiful” (L Magazine), and “innovative…striking…poignant …humorous” (Time Out New York). Site + Blog
ELISABETTA BENFATTO: VIDEO ARTIST ITALY
Graphic novelist and illustrator. Elisabetta was born in Padova in 1976 and grew up in the country side. She studied at Accademia di Belle Arti in Venice, where she specialized in painting and wrote a dissertation on engraving. As she was studying, Elisabetta started working as a cartoonist, illustrator and graphic designer. In 2003 she did an internship at Fabrica, the research center of Benetton group, in the Comic & Illustration department. In 2004 she presented her e-comic Variazioni at the Angoulême Festival International de la bande dessinée. The work was enthusiastically received by many professionals. She is currently collaborating with the Scuola Internazionale di Comics in Padova, with ANIMAls - a new Italian magazine by Coniglio Editore - and carrying on her personal research. Blog + Portfolio
PAOLA LUCIANI: VIDEO ARTIST ITALY
Paola Luciani, after achieving the diploma in arts, worked for diferent newspapers and comic magazines. She got the diploma in animation at Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia Rome in 1990. She's been collaborating whit several Italian animation studios since 1990. She's commissioned to create videos art and paintings for shows and exhibitions. She's a teacher. “My inspiration tries to suggest emotions and moods, studying the essence of things. The pictures do not describe, but evoke. My research is related to the conceptual synthesis. Among the artistic experimentation, the one that I prefer is the animated flm. The combination of images and music matches my intimate feelings.” Blog
BERND EILTS: VIDEO ARTIST THE NETHERLANDS
Bernd Eilts, painter, film-maker and photographer, born 1960 in Germany, lives and works in Groningen/The Netherlands and on the road. His current work is concentrated and dedicated to the beauty and natural experience of life, like in land - and human scapes, in faces, in nature, in movement, in breathe, in space and around, in all these little tiny moments we all have all the time and can share all the time again and again. Myspace
KOLJA KUNT: VIDEO ARTIST GERMANY
SONG: EVERYONE'S IN LOVE
1972 born in Jena. Education to stone sculptress in Hannover (1992-1996), Studies in Experimental Media/Media Art at the University of the Arts Berlin (graduation with honors 2003, degree "Meisterschülerin" 2004), mother of two children (2001, 2007), lives and works in Berlin with film, video and graphic design. 2006 screenings: Stuttgarter Filmwinter/Germany; Kunstprojekt Leer/Ostfr./Germany; EMERGEANDSEE Festival Berlin/Germany, London/UK, Budapest/Hungary; 40jahrevideokunst.de – was fehlt?, Berlin/Germany; Babylon Mitte, Berlin/Germany; TV broadcasting: "Operator" (Barbara Morgenstern), MTV Germany & Italy; exhibitions: HEIMAT - Eine Gemeinschaftsprojektion, Saalfeld/Saale/Germany; Berliner Liste, art fair Berlin/Germany; 2007 group exhibition: IMPERIAL, SOUTERRAIN, Berlin/Germany, 2009 screening: arsenal experimental, Berlin/Germany, 2010 group exhibition: SOUTERRAIN, Berlin/Germany
ÞÓRIR BOGASON: VIDEO ARTIST ICELAND
SONG: HEARTACHE IS AN ORANGE
In December of 2009 ÞÓRIR BOGASON left the California sun of his childhood for the sun-starved wintry capital of his birth, Reykjavík. There, holed up in an apartment above a noodle shop, he started painting, making videos, recording music, taking photographs, filling notebooks, and dreaming up worlds of fantasy and wonder. The results so far are a couple albums recorded under the name Just Another Snake Cult and music videos for Rachel Fannan and Monsters From Mars. Site
DEBORA PETRINA: MUSICIAN
Much in demand in that indicator of talents that is David Byrne‘s web-radio, the singer and piano/keyboard-player Petrina is one of the revelations of the independent Italian music scene. In her debut album, in doma (2009) – that features guests such as Elliott Sharp, Ascanio Celestini and Amy Kohn – she has synthesized in a visionary style her oblique and sensual songwriting and the experimentations of avant-garde jazz. Recently she had a review by AllAboutJazz in USA. Elliott Sharp invited her to play at the Stone (John Zorns's club in New York) in duo with drummer Mike Sarin. As a performer of contemporary piano music, she has recorded premieres of pieces by Morton Feldman for an independent American label - Early and Unknown Piano Pieces, OgreOgress. She plays, from solo to quintet, in several Italian jazz festivals, as well as in rock contests, and in avant-garde stages, at La Fenice Theater in Venice, at Mills College (Oakland), at the Institùto Cubano de la Musica in La Havana, at Conway Hall in London, at RSI (Italian Swiss Radio). Her songs have been broadcast by BBC Radio 3 (Late Junction). She is currently editing a project with Jherek Bischoff, composer and arranger for David Byrne, Xiou Xiou, Carla Bozulich, Parenthetical Girls etc. Site + Myspace
ROSHI NASEHI: MUSICIAN Roshi Nasehi is a London based Welsh-Iranian singer-songwriter who performs a mix of original and Iranian material, often at some of London’s most leftfield venues. Her debut EP And Stars (2008) and debut album The Sky And The Caspian Sea (2009) both received widespread acclaim across Europe and beyond from, amongst others, The Wire, Rock n Reel magazine, Tokalfi (Germany), Rockerilla (Italy), Camden New Journal and New Internationalist Magazine who described her album as 'a début album that exudes confidence, poise and promises the start of a great future'. Both records also received significant airplay on BBC Radio 3 Late Junction, The Verb, World on 3, BBC 6 music, RTE (Ireland) Norddeutscher Roadfunk (Germany) Ressonância Magnética (Italy) Sound Ways Through Sound (Australia) and many others. Her most recent EP Mehregan was experimental EP of the month in the Feb 2011 edition of Mixmag who described Roshi as "One of the most singular voices working at the moment." Myspace
NIKKI SCHELLER: MUSICIAN
Nikki (aka Nicole) has been navigating the evocative intricacies of Amy Kohn's music for decades as the harmony singer in the Amy Kohn Band. Currently a teacher of students with learning differences in central NJ, Nicole has been known to break into song mid-lesson. She sings with VOICES Chorale and with her two year old daughter Maggie whenever commanded.
PETER HESS: MUSICIAN .
Saxophones, clarinets, flutes, wind instruments from all over. Balkan Beat Box, World/Inferno Friendship Society, Slavic Soul Party, Asphalt Orchestra, Redhooker, Guignol, Barbez, Collide Quartet, the Hold Steady, Amy Kohn Band. Antisocial Music, Justin Mullens Delphian Jazz Orchestra, Anita Brown Jazz Orchestra. Playing live and making records. Trying to be a better drummer. Times crosswords and online scrabble. Myspace
GREG GLASSMAN: MUSICIAN
Greg Glassman is emerging as one of New York City’s most recognizable and accomplished young jazz musicians. Most recently he has performed several times in Singa- pore under his own name, and led a successful East Coast tour with his current working band. His quartet and quintet, (Greg Glassman Quartet, Greg Glassman/Stacy Dillard Quintet) have performed weekly for the last 3 years at Fat Cat, and are among the club’s flagship groups. The quintet, featuring some of NYC’s most exciting and creative jazz stars, will record live at Fat Cat in December 2010. He has been fortunate to have shared the stage and recording studio with some of the greatest voices in jazz, includ- ing Clark Terry, Marcus Belgrave, Roswell Rudd, Sheila Jordan, Oliver Lake, Sherman Irby, Geri Allen, Wynton Marsalis and John Esposito. Site + Myspace
TOM GAVIN: MUSICIAN
Tom Gavin is a Brooklyn-based singer, songwriter, and quasi-multi-instrumentalist - not necessarily in that order. He performs regularly with a long list of original groups, playing guitar, bass, banjo, mandolin, and whatever else is nearby; his own band is rounded out by long-time co-conspirators Chris Moore on drums and Gary Langol on upright bass. He has just released his newest album, Free as an Arrow. Site + Myspace
JULIA SEAGER-SCOTT: MUSICIAN
Julia Seager-Scott is principal harpist of the Stratford Festival Orchestra and a freelance harpist in Toronto who has recently performed with the National Ballet of Canada Orchestra and the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony Orchestra. Julia is currently studying Baroque music on her Italian triple harp with Maxine Eilander and Lucas Harris and is a founding member of the Toronto Continuo Collective. A recent highlight in Julia's Baroque harp career was accompanying Dame Emma Kirkby with the Tafelmusik Orchestra. At the other end of the musical spectrum, Julia has played harp on Canadian Idol and performs with Charles Spearin of Broken Social Scene in his Happiness Project, a 2010 JUNO Award winner. Julia and Amy go way back to childhood summers spent in Interlochen, Michigan at the National Music Camp. Site
BEN RUBIN: MUSICIAN
Ben Rubin (aka Benny Cha Cha) is a bassist, producer and mixer who easily transcends musical styles. From performing at the Newport Jazz Festival and the Cannes Film Festival with Dred Scott Trio to producing remixes for Killah Priest and Karsh Kale, Ben is comfortable in any musical setting. He has played and recorded with artists as diverse as Marshall Crenshaw, downtown saxophonist Michael Blake, bluegrass band King Wilke, alt-country darlings Luther Wright and the Wrongs, and his own genre-bending band Mudville (winner of a 2008 Independent Music Award for Electronica Song of the Year).He is currently the staff producer and mix engineer for the Smalls Live record label where he has produced records with many jazz greats including Larry Goldings, Louis Hayes, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Seamus Blake, Bruce Barth, Chris Potter, Ari Hoenig, Mulgrew Miller and many other. He recently composed and recorded the scores for two short films, "Long Distance" and "The Other Way Round" Myspace
JEFF DAVIS: MUSICIAN
Drummer/composer Jeff Davis is known as the propulsive force behind a host New York mainstays, including Kirk Knuffke, Robin Verheyen, Oscar Noriega, Jesse Stacken, Landon Knoblock, and Michael Bates. On his debut album, We Sleep Outside, Jeff Davis showcases his command of a deeply focused and distinctly improvisational style. Nate Chinen, of the New York Times, says that “We Sleep Outside (Loyal Label) is the restlessly episodic debut by Jeff Davis, a drummer of broad experience in left-of-center jazz circles.” And Bruce Lee Gallanter, of the Downtown Music Gallery, described Jeff Davis’ first disc as a leader as “a powerful debut from one of Downtown’s best drummers.” Jeff leads two ensembles, the Jeff Davis Band (featuring Tony Malaby, Kirk Knuffke, Jon Goldberger, and Eivind Opsvik), and the Jeff Davis Trio (featuring Russ Lossing and Eivind Opsvik). Site
JIMMY WEINSTEIN: MUSICIAN
Born in Chicago, Jimmy moved with his family to Europe, California and finally Spain. Leader of a consortium of ensembles, Jimmy has been on the move for over 20 years, touring the US, Europe and Japan. Major associations include recordings and tours with virtuoso improvisers, Ahmed Abdullah, Chris Cheek, Ben Monder, Satoko Fujii, Alex Harding, Jeff Parker, Oscar Noriega, Masa Kamaguchi and Matt Renzi. In collaboration with Abdullah, Harding and Kamaguchi he founded the adventurous and highly acclaimed melodic quartet NAM, whose album Song of Time was voted among the top 25 all time live performances by critic Kevin Whitehead. As a leader, his discography contains albums released by Fresh Sound, Clean Feed, Accurate, CIMP, and Gunther Schuller’s GM Recordings. Among Weinstein’s recent projects, is a quintet featuring pianist extraordinaire Satoko Fujii, trumpeter Natsuki Tamura, Masa Kamaguchi on bass and vocalist, Lilliana Santon. Site + Myspace
Have a question?
If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.
PLEXI-KOHNTONE: mp3 ringtone made from any song from amy's three albums: the glass laughs back, i'm in crinoline, or plexi lusso (make sure your phone accepts mp3 ringtones) + virtual travel*. "palmed sun, skin’s apt to tear" song: heartache is an orange
PLEXI-LOVE digital copy of plexi lusso album's single, everyone's in love, with everyone's in love video by kolja kunt before the release + virtual travel*. "everyone’s in love ‘cause I am" song: everyone's in love
PLEXI-LUSSO (THE REAL DEAL! PRE-ORDERING THE CD + DVD!): signed copy, first pressing of plexi lusso cd/dvd + digital copy of plexi lusso cd/videos/cover art before the release + virtual travel*. "Igniting my hand synapses to seize it" song: linguaglossa
PLEXIMMAGINI: signed plexi lusso poster designed by d'steam + signed copy of plexi lusso cd/dvd + digital copy of plexi lusso cd/videos/cover art before the release + virtual travel*. "what has come over me?
It’s all immagini!" song: half
PLEXI-GUESS: (everything digital) digital copies of all 3 of amy's albums (plexi lusso, i'm in crinoline, the glass laughs back) + digital copies of all plexi lusso videos + digital copies of all album artwork + a digital mystery track + virtual travel*. "he lips this: you get three to guess" song: ellipsis
PLEXI-SKY: signed plexi lusso poster designed by d'steam + signed copy of plexi lusso cd/dvd + digital copies of all 3 of amy's albums (plexi lusso, i'm in crinoline, the glass laughs back) + digital copies of all plexi lusso videos + digital copies of all album artwork + a digital mystery track + virtual travel*. "why am I
shy of the sky?" song: linguaglossa
PLEXI-FIMO: "plexi lusso" made of fimo clay by amy (as in project logo) + signed copy of plexi lusso cd/dvd + digital copy of plexi lusso cd/videos/cover art before the release + signed plexi lusso poster + virtual travel*. "s-curvaceous reptilian embosses" song: lucertole
PLEXI-AMICI: amy's independently published cookbook "amy's amici: a takeout queen cooks italian" with story-filled recipes for octopus flowers, talking gnocchi, sentimental syrup and more + signed copy of plexi lusso cd/dvd + digital copy of plexi lusso cd/videos/cover art before the release + signed plexi lusso poster + virtual travel*. "i eat this summer in" song: heartache is an orange
PLEXI-PURE: plexi lusso independently published songbook - piano/vocals (and one piano/accordion!) - of the album's songs, filled with project notes, lyrics and photos + signed copy of plexi lusso cd/dvd + digital copy of plexi lusso cd/videos/cover art before the release + signed plexi lusso poster + virtual travel*. "and this silhouette of skyline’s not sweet blades of grass you can
settle right up to your mouth? blow through -
make a purified sound?" song: everyone's in love
PLEXI-PEEL: video artist Þórir boguson (iceland, call him thor) is offering his storyboard and conceptual sketches from the animation for "heartache is an orange" + signed copy of plexi lusso cd/dvd + digital copy of plexi lusso cd/videos/cover art before the release + signed plexi lusso poster + virtual travel*. "freshly peeled and separating,
6 of you are aspirating" song: heartache is an orange
PLEXI-PULSE: cameo appearance! video artist kolja kunt (germany) is offering to place a photo of you, your car, your dog, etc. (you can decide together) in her video for "everyone's in love" + signed copy of plexi lusso cd/dvd + digital copy of plexi lusso cd/videos/cover art before the release + signed plexi lusso poster + virtual travel*. "and that pulsating treadmill heart?
don’t say it’s only squares of electric measurement. no!" song: everyone's in love
PLEXI-VISO: cameo appearance! video artist Þórir boguson (iceland) will use video of your face, provided by you, in his animation for heartache is an orange + signed copy of plexi lusso cd/dvd + digital copy of plexi lusso cd/videos/cover art before the release + signed plexi lusso poster + virtual travel*. "eternal skin is next to me" song: flight simulator
PLEXI-PURSED: video artist Þórir boguson (iceland) is offering his original artwork from the animation for "heartache is an orange" + signed copy of plexi lusso cd/dvd + digital copy of plexi lusso cd/videos/cover art before the release + signed plexi lusso poster + virtual travel*. "lips are pursed but not to kiss" song: heartache is an orange
PLEXI-LUCACERTOLE: video artist luca dipierro is offering his original artwork from the animation for "lucertole" + signed copy of plexi lusso cd/dvd + digital copy of plexi lusso cd/videos/cover art before the release + signed plexi lusso poster + virtual travel*. "i am above my own impression" song: lucertole
PLEXI-SQUEEZE: amy will write an accordion instrumental just for you, or as a surprise gift for someone you love (recording + sheet music included) + signed copy of plexi lusso cd/dvd + digital copy of plexi lusso cd/videos/cover art before the release + signed plexi lusso poster + virtual travel*. the song can be delivered anytime amy's in the united states (with notice) even before the album's release. "barely an inhalation bigger than our embrace" song: linguaglossa
PLEXI-TRUE: video artist kolja kunt (germany) is offering to print photographical elements from her video for "everyone's in love" onto a small canvas, on which she will paint animated elements + signed copy of plexi lusso cd/dvd + digital copy of plexi lusso cd/videos/cover art before the release + signed plexi lusso poster + virtual travel*. "it cannot be true!" song: everyone's in love
PLEXI-PLEATS: amy is known for her crazy accordion arrangements of popular songs (madonna's "like a virgin," pj harvey's "the letter" and her famous holiday medley). this is your chance to have a 4-part accordion arrangement of your favorite song (recording + sheet music included) + signed copy of plexi lusso cd/dvd + digital copy of plexi lusso cd/videos/cover art before the release + signed plexi lusso poster + virtual travel*. the arrangement can be delivered anytime amy's in the united states (with notice) even before the album's release. your song can be up to 5 minutes long. "polka-dots adorn my pleats" song: ellipsis
iPLEXI - an ipod shuffle engraved with your personal message and filled with amy's music and special unreleased tracks: demos from plexi lusso recorded in her home studio and at artesuono studios in udine, italy, mp3s from "too close to home", her first cassette release (1994-95, which includes recordings of her college band, sipping din), un-released live concert recordings, and full albums the glass laughs back, i'm in crinoline, and plexi lusso + signed copy of plexi lusso cd/dvd + digital copy of plexi lusso cd/videos/cover art before the release + signed plexi lusso poster + virtual travel*. "a white mid-sky scar
of all the music’s ever moved me" - song: half
PLEXI-ROSE: all the rewards up through the songbook (!!) + an accordion instrumental just for you + the iplexi + an A4 color print from project artist bernd eilts' beautiful "rose peony" collection + virtual travel* + your name in the plexi lusso cd/dvd thank you's. "you you you you you you" - song: half
PLEXI-TUTTO: you just covered ALL of the artist's fees, so you get all the rewards up through the songbook (!!) + an accordion instrumental just for you + the iplexi + an A3 color print from project artist bernd eilts' beautiful "rose peony" collection + all of the limited artist rewards if they haven't been chosen + virtual travel + your name in the plexi lusso cd/dvd thank you's. "turning the fruit, a door opens for you and for me" song: linguaglossa