My name is Nicholas Phan, and I am looking for your support of my current project, a recording centered around Britten’s piece, The Heart of the Matter. This album will be the second instalment in a longer term project to record the music of Benjamin Britten that I began with my solo debut album, Winter Words, released to widespread critical acclaim on Avie Records in September of last year.
My idea for this follow-up album is to focus on Britten as a collaborator – he wrote much of his music for specific musicians, which accounts for some of the unusual instrumental combinations in his vocal chamber music. In the first album, I focused on Britten’s relationship with his life-partner, Peter Pears, as an inspiration for the tenor repertoire he composed, recording the first cycle that he composed for Pears, Seven Sonnets of Michelangelo, and his cycle of Thomas Hardy settings, Winter Words. This second album will now shift focus to his relationships with the horn player Dennis Brain, the harpist Osian Ellis, and the poet Edith Sitwell, all of which inspired the repertoire that will be recorded on the album. In addition to The Heart of the Matter (inspired by Sitwell and Brain), I've also record Britten’s works for tenor and harp that he composed for Osian Ellis when he was physically unable to accompany Pears in recital because of his severe health issues towards the end of his life.
The musical material for this album was recorded in early January 2012, and I have been fortunate to be joined by three fantastic colleagues for it; the pianist, Myra Huang, who was my collaborator on Winter Words; Principal Horn of the Philadelphia Orchestra, Jennifer Montone; and the amazing harpist, Sivan Magen. The album will be released in the early Fall of 2012 in anticipation of the 100-year anniversary of Britten's birth in 2013.
This second album will also be released on Avie Records, whose unique business model is based on artist ownership. What I love about this model is that it allows for the utmost freedom artistically. Avie's model of artist ownership also places the responsibility for finding funding for recording projects on the artists, which is the reason for my appeal to you Kickstarters at this juncture!
The funds raised from this Kickstarter campaign will be used to cover the costs of album production, post-production, artwork design, CD manufacturing, and marketing. The amazing thing about recording versus live performance is that it enables a musician to reach the widest audience possible. Like I say in the video above, I really believe that Britten's music is for everyone and has tremendous power to touch a person's soul in the most profound ways. Any contribution you make will allow us to bring this incredibly powerful music to the world, and help touch people's hearts the way it has so inspired ours.
Thank you so much in advance for your support, and I can't wait to be able to share all of this fantastic music with you!
- (30 days)