Welcome to the Night Garden - a fundraiser to support the development, recording, production and launch of my first solo album.
What the album entails:
It is a sound garden inspired by the night, nature and spirituality to represent safe spaces for a digitalised and a conflicted society.
It provides a "breathing space" from the crowds and brings the listener on a journey through the different moods of the night being calm, meditative, mysterious and even of turmoil. The Night Garden is a metaphor of using music and art as a 'safe space' of self-expression and healing, promote happiness and well-being in society and the message of hope that suffering and darkness is temporal. It is about journeying through the darkness, confronting it and coming out a better person.
Compositions from classical composers such as Saint-Saens, Tansmann, Koechlin, Hersant, Robert Ronnes are in the programme.
When I was 18, my favourite film was the The Music Garden, Inspired by Bach Cello Suite 1 by Yo-Yo Ma. It inspired me to become a professional musician. I have always loved to explore the outdoors and nature in my free time. Nature and the night have always been calming and restorative after spending many hours of practicing indoors.
Here's some recent rehearsal footage of us playing excerpts from Tansmann and Koechlin, which will be recorded in the album.
Being in nature helps me to be more creative and feel good mentally, living a crowded city. I started to improvise and created this piece "Lalitha" after spending more time in nature.
Since 2014, I have been performing more chamber music and grew into solo playing naturally. I am now ready to strike out on my own.
The idea of this album was conceived during a silent meditation retreat on St John's island. It brought me a a great sense of clarity and calm.
I remember distinctly from a dialogue session in Singapore that my fellow Singaporeans wished that there were more "safe spaces" in Singapore to have open dialogues and self-expression.
Here is Niggun, a piece for solo bassoon that explores a Jewish melody it starts in a meditative and peaceful state but pushes the instrument to extremes with natural multi phonics and extended technique:
Here's the exposition of the Mozart Bassoon Concerto with piano:
Lastly, I want to raise awareness on the importance of mental health. I believe strongly that music, mindfulness and the arts all play a very important role in our modern society and mental health and well-being is a very relevant and important topic today.
With your support, we can build this Night Garden together.
See you in The Night Garden!
xx, Jo Anne Sukumaran
**To read this text in Mandarin, Korean or Japanese please go to:
A recent interview I did on Asia Biz Stories:
Early Endorsements from top musicians:
- Bram van Sambeek, concert bassoonist and Bassoon Professor at Musik Hochschule für Musik und Tanz Cologne.
Letter of recommendation from Alexandre Silverio, Principal Bassoon, Sao Paolo Symphony Orchestra.
Partners & Production:
Meet the Night Garden team: https://www.joannesukumaran.com/news
Funds will cover the artwork, production, recording, mastering in a studio and publication and distribution costs.
The breakdown of costs are approximately:
- Recording, editing, mastering in a studio SGD 5000
- Publishing, printing of CDs, online & physical distribution of CDs SGD 4000
- Pianist's Fees SGD 2500
- Graphic Design for CD Album Brochure, SGD 500
- Travel & related costs to and from Singapore to the studio are borne by me. Kickstarter costs account for 5% (SGD650) of the whole funding goal. I have paid for the photography & related artwork costs myself.
I have collaborated with film director Aaron Wilson to shoot the cover art and some beautiful album artwork, which is available in postcards and, posters for the various perks.
I am super happy to have found a recording label, HELLO STAGE, based in Vienna that is partnering with me to publish and distribute this album. Meet Bernhard Kerres, CEO of Hello Stage: https://www.hellostage.com/bernhardkerres/biography
An excellent producer, John Anderson of The Spheres Studios based in Italy will be recording, producing and mastering the album.
Bio of John Anderson: https://b.io/john
The Spheres Studio: http://www.the-spheres.com
The pianist featured on this album will be Kseniia Vokhmianina.
A recipient of the Lee Foundation Scholarship, Kseniia Vokhmianina studied at the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (Singapore, class of Prof. Boris Kraljevic), Royal College of Music (UK), and currently obtaining the Certificate of Advanced Studies in Classical Music Performance at the Zurich University of the Arts (Switzerland, class of Prof. Konstantin Scherbakov). A prizewinner of numerous piano competitions held in France, Australia, Poland, Italy, Serbia, Malaysia and Singapore, Ms Vokhmianina has been a guest artist in various international festivals, including Dani Muzike International Festival (Montenegro) and Pablo Casals Festival (France). Besides her international performing career, Ms Vokhmianina is a full-time Music Faculty member of the School of The Arts (SOTA) and adjunct collaborative pianist at the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music in Singapore.
Risks and challenges
Crowdfunding is of course a risk in itself and a very public act.
We hope to release the album latest by next Summer, 2019 and there may be sometimes delays with distribution, shipping and posting, but my partners and I will take all steps to reduce possible risks.
I have decided to start small with solo and duo pieces, if we exceed the minimum funding, other musicians can then be invited on board the project.
Some stretch goals include:
- funds for a graphic designer to design the album brochure
- funds for marketing and press support to craft an EPK for the album release.
- funds for music videos and other musicians where possible.
- (45 days)