'Singing in the Dark' is an album of songs that explores Creativity, Suffering and the Pursuit of Happiness. Taking as it's theme creativity and madness, the lyrics come from poets of the last thousand years who, for the most part, were writing through the lens of depression, mania and substance abuse. I came up with the idea for the album seven years ago when I read Kay Jamison's book 'Touched with Fire: Manic-Depressive Illness and the Artistic Temperament' and have been developing the project ever since. New music for the poems was written by myself, Elaine Agnew, Lisa Gutkin and Frank London, and there are songs from John Dowland, Violeta Parra and Leonard Cohen. The recording began on Achill Island on the west coast of Ireland in August 2008 and is now almost complete - you can hear some of the tracks in the video. Having financed the project to date on my own, I still need additional funding to finish the recording and for duplication, distribution, publicity, and a video project for the tour. The national tour kicks off with the launch of the album in New York on October 30 and many of the performances will feature discussions on the topic of creativity and mental health which will be streamed or recorded for posting on YouTube. (Tour dates in Ireland are planned for February/March). I've partnered with the non-profit organizations NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness), Fountain House, BringChange2Mind, MDSG (Mood Disorder Support Group, NY) and Shine (Ireland). These groups will benefit from a portion of the proceeds raised from the sale of the album.
The tour dates are taking shape and so far include: Portland, ME (pre-release: Oct 16); New York (Oct 30); Boston (Nov 13); Baltimore (Nov 18); Eugene, OR (Nov 26); Portland, OR (Nov 27); San Francisco (Dec 1/2); Denver (Dec 3); Taos (Dec 4) and Albuquerque (December 5).
I need at least $10,000 to accomplish these goals, but I'm setting a funding goal of $7,500.
You can learn more about the project in the video here made by my friend Maria Rosenblum.
Thanks to her and also to the CUNY team for the in-studio footage. Profile photo by John-Francis Bourke.
- (30 days)