About this project
Hello everyone. My name is Johnny Gandelsman. You may know me as a member of Brooklyn Rider and Yo-Yo Ma's Silk Road Ensemble. Some of you may have supported one or both Brooklyn Rider campaigns on Kickstarter.
Early in 2015 I embarked on my first ever solo project - performing all of JS Bach's works for violin solo. Over the course of about 10 months I traveled around the US, performing the complete set of three Sonatas & three Partitas fifteen times. The venues were quite diverse - from house concerts in Brooklyn, Eugene and Portland to a wine shop in Blue Hill, Maine; from a small theater in Arcata, CA to an auditorium of 900 people at MIT in Cambridge.
Each venue had its own magic, and after every show I felt like I was growing as an artist. (You can watch the complete show from Michigan State University at the top of this page). The overall experience has been truly transformative.
(From King-FM studios in Seattle. Thanks, Second Inversion!)
Throughout the year, people have asked me if I've recorded these works, and I've been debating the idea for months. There are reasons for hesitation - plenty of recordings of Bach for solo violin already exist; with over 140 minutes of music, it's an expensive project to record; do I have room in our 1-bedroom apartment for boxes and boxes of double cds and triple vinyl? (yes, vinyl!). And most importantly, am I ready artistically? I've thought long and hard about it, and have decided to go forward with the recording. Here's why:
Over the course of this past year I've grown to know and understand these works in a truly personal way, one which integrates my classical training with the work I've been doing with Silk Road Ensemble and Brooklyn Rider over the last decade. Collaborating with improvisers, commissioning new works from a variety of composers (many of whom are performers,) working with ballet & modern dance companies, as well as working with traditional musicians outside of the Classical music genre - all of these experiences add deep and meaningful layers of connection and dimension to Bach's music.
Finally, these works offer no place to hide, providing a naked view of oneself as a musician. A scary, yet exhilarating thought. Just as I experienced a huge learning curve with each performance, I expect that some mysteries of this incredible music will only reveal themselves in the recording studio. I simply must keep digging and exploring further, as this is the most intimate and personal musical journey I can imagine. I'm excited to share my thoughts on Bach with the world, and I hope you would consider helping me make this possible.
Thank you all.
Risks and challenges
This campaign is pretty straightforward in terms of production, but having worked on 2 previous kickstarter campaigns, I've learned that things never work out exactly according to plan. I don't anticipate any big challenges to come up, but if they do, I feel confident that I will be able to solve them in an efficient and thoughtful way.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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