Hello there. Mark Shilansky here. I'm a pianist and composer and vocalist in the Boston area. I teach at various colleges and play with various jazz artists and singer/songwriters, and I have a number of CDs to my name, including 4 as a leader.
I'm really excited to have been recording music for my latest project, which I call "Fugue Mill." Most of my musical interests have centered around Jazz, and for this project I'm looking through a "Jazz Lens" at other genres of music, integrating Bluegrass, Celtic, and Classical directions into my writing and arranging. This direction has yielded some fun results, and some new collaborations.
I've recorded the basic tracks for this project, and now I'm doing this campaign to get together the funds to finish the overdubs, mix and master the project, and get it out in the world.
One constant collaborator on most of this music is guitarist Eric Byers. We have played on each other's music over the years and supported many other artists, and his scholarship and stylistic diversity is integral to this project's success.
A few years ago I began working with Rachel and Sara Caswell, the insanely talented sisters (vocals and violin, respectively), and started to rope Sara into playing some of my tunes. She is a jazz player who has mastered many other fiddle styles, so she can handle all the evocative jazz harmonies I like to use, while grooving and articulating the way one should in the other genres we explore. Sara has been super-busy of late, playing with bassist/vocalist Esperanza Spalding, and other great artists like Gene Bertoncini and Roseanna Vitro.
Mandolinists Bryce Milano and Joseph Brent are featured prominently on this project, bringing the counterpoint and rhythmic drive so important to this music. Bassists Corey DiMario (of nu-grass sensations Crooked Still), Greg Loughman, and Fernando Huergo played on various tracks. Drummers Jordan Perlson and Steve Langone brought the rhythmic foundation that straddled various genres, interacting and grooving as needed.
And, perhaps most exciting for me, it's the first time I've worked artistically with Soprano Kathleen Flynn, who happens to be my wife. We have adapted various classical pieces on which the group improvises (including Samuel Barber's "Sure on this Shining Night"), and we interpret an Irish folk song, "The False Bride" for this project.
I had a few other friends help out: Emily Rideout (viola), Catherine Bent (cello), and Jared Sims (woodwinds) provide string and woodwind textures behind one of my classically-tinged pop tunes, "Don't Forget the Denouement," and improvise and play a kind of "choose your own adventure" game on my first "classical" work "Dialogue #1."
There are a number of fun rewards for pre-ordering these recordings, including House Concerts, "Requests", where we play the tunes you tell us to, and the opportunity to take a lesson with one of the Fugue Millsters.
We've planned to get the music out in early October, and we have a number of CD release gigs already on the calendar (admission to one of these concerts is even one of the prizes).
I'm especially psyched to get this music out to you. It's a new and somewhat risky direction for me. I'm trying to integrate much of the music I love into one project, and hopefully craft something that is unique and truly mine. I would love it if you'd consider participating in helping us finish and release this music. As we all know, the music business has changed, and this patronage model can be a great way to support emerging (and even established artists). If you look on my Kickstarter account, you can see that I've supported many artists this way, and discovered new artists. I hope you can join us on this journey, and I will be posting updates and messages and music samples as the campaign continues.
Thanks so Much!
Risks and challenges
I don't see many risks or challenges, if I get the money to mix, master, and duplicate the CD. If I get more than the asked-for amount, I will have more money to help promote the CD, but the important thing at this point is to get a document of the band out there, and use it to get more gigs, out of the New England Area.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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