New NDA CD Album - JET SET!
Please join me and The Hague's international award-winning Baroque orchestra, The New Dutch Academy (NDA), in bringing our newest album, JET SET!, to fruition.
Featuring works by Abel, Reichardt, Zelter, Storace, Paisiello and Mozart, the album follows members of the 18th century's musical "JET SET" as they do the glittering cultural epicentres of the time, including Paris, London, Berlin, Vienna and St Petersburg.
Exploring the intertwining stories of these 18th century "it" figures, JET SET follows on from our previous album release, GRAND TOUR Baroque Road Trip, moving from the Baroque into the highly inspired, early classical period with a programme of ground-breaking, pioneering and revolutionary, symphonic music.
In May this year, in sessions in The Hague, we recorded the album. It's hard to describe, but the sessions had a deep, beautiful glow. Strong concentration and focus and the odd stressful moment, sure, but it was with such deeply personal and communicative music making and warm team spirit, in a magical, positive and earthed atmosphere, that the recording was born and grown, in a beautifully organic manner. I treasure the experience and feeling then and look forward to sharing that with you, through the album. As with our previous album, GRAND TOUR, this was all done in the historic setting and ambience of the Gothic Hall of the Council of State, here in The Hague, the Netherlands. Grammy Award-winning sound engineer Jean-Marie Geijsen and producer Karl Bruggeman led the recording team. And with your help, this will become The New Dutch Academy's seventh album with international, Dutch, quality label PENTATONE.
On the album, legendary 18th c. personalities such as the scandalous Mrs Cornelys a.k.a. "The Empress of Pleasure", "Queen of Masquerades" or "Duchess of Debauchery", Mozart's first Susanna, opera diva Nancy Storace, progressive composer, publicist and politically highly controversial Prussian Hofkapellmeister Reichardt, teacher of Mendelssohn and Bach-champion Zelter, and members of the incredibly multi-disciplinary circle around JC Bach and Abel in London - including actor and playwright Garrick, the painter Gainsborough, designer Chippendale, inventor Merlin and philanthropist Smithson - are but some of those who are celebrated through the album's whirlwind, musical programme.
The album's repertoire features radiant, early classical symphonies by two of my most favourite composers ever, Abel and Reichardt, Zelter's beautiful Viola Concerto in E Flat, and arias by Mozart, Storace and Paisiello with soprano Gudrun Sidonie Otto. This is music which abounds in enlightened positivity, energy and inspiration.
The Zelter will be the first recording on authentic instruments of this classic, but surprisingly lesser-known gem (in which I perform the solo part, as well as directing). This distinctive and unique work is by the teacher of Mendelssohn and (!) the founding father of the Bach-revival movement of the 19th century.
But, for me personally, the opportunity to present recordings of the symphonic music of Abel, especially on authentic instruments, is the most special aspect of the project, and also somewhat of a scoop. I fell in love with this composer when I was about 18 or 19, and he remains, hands-down, my favourite - for his musical eloquence, elegance, expressivity, poise, exquisite craftsmanship and painfully beautiful turn of phrase. A true, musical gentleman. As a cultural figure, Abel's musical pedigree is astounding, and he and his family connects generations and continents. A star Bach-student, Abel became a mentor to Mozart, was a teacher of the "Dutch Haydn" Joseph Schmitt, and one of Abel's great nephews handed on their family's fine musical knowledge, craft and tradition even further afield, becoming the teacher of founding U.S. classical musical father, Lowell Mason (composer of Joy to the World, and generator in the American church, concert and school music traditions). In the recording sessions, it has been a blessing to work (and revel!) in Abel's soundworld, to communicate through his highly personal musical language, and to bring his works to life. I will be honoured and delighted to be able to share them - and his valuable and worthy musical message - with the world through this recording.
And, that is what we are appealing to you to help us with - to bring this exciting project to fruition, by becoming part of our project family and joining the campaign. Specifically we need your financial help to get the album through the studio - edited, mixed, mastered and all boxed-up, ready for it's planned, international release in the Spring of 2018.
This project is about so much more than (just) making beautiful music. As the video suggests, it is about creating a unique and innovative recording of what I believe to be some of the absolute highlights of an era and genre, in collaboration with some very special people in my life. You will be warmly welcomed into this family, and be able to listen to the result with that feeling of being a part of something that I know will be very special.
For the post-production, bringing this recording into publishing-ready form, we will be working with the same team from Polyhymnia International with which we made the NDA's previous PENTATONE CD, GRAND TOUR Baroque Road Trip, and many of our live recordings. I love working with them, both during the sessions and later in the studio, editing and mixing, and am very proud of the distinctive sound and musical experience we create together - full of richness, energy and refinement, and capturing the immense positivity which this music radiates. You can read a story about my experiences at this quite legendary studio here.
The album complements and extends our existing discography and will become a valuable tool in promoting the orchestra and its work, especially in developing concert acquisition and touring. As well as being available internationally on disc, the album will be on Primephonic, Spotify and i-Tunes, and also will have several video clips attached to it on YouTube etc, all further increasing exposure. You can check out the photos and video clips from the previous album (teaser, "making of") as examples of what is planned for the video and artwork style of the new album. Instead of "road trip", the visual theme for the new album will be "jet set" with lots of cocktail parties and airports.
Please help us complete this special album by jumping on board and joining this crowdfunding campaign so that we can ensure that the disc is all ready for your ears (and hearts) and its official international release in Spring 2018. As a supporter of this project, you will be kept up to date with the creation of the album as it goes through its exciting post-production process. Upon completion, in addition to the rewards for the various levels of support (CDs, concert tickets etc), I will be sending a personal note to everyone who supports this endeavor at any level, to express my sincere thanks, appreciation, and welcome to the project and NDA family.
Check out the project promo video message and please share this campaign with your family and friends!
Risks and challenges
Most importantly, your financial support (ie this crowdfunding campaign) is critical for us to be able to complete the project and make it a success.
The biggest risk is not raising these funds and that the recorded material thereby stays in some sort of limbo-land and doesn't reach the ears and hearts of listeners around the world. That would be a big waste and a big shame.
The sessions are done. Now ("all" !!!) we need, is be able to fund the post-production to turn the recorded material in to a completed "CD" album - which will be available as a physical disc, as a digital download, for streaming (Primephonic, Spotify, i-Tunes, etc), and for radio play. This post-production phase involves the artistic and technical process of editing, mixing and mastering, and the practical side creating of visual material for the album cover and booklet, and creating the supporting video material for the promo and "making of".
We are appealing to you to ensure that this recording is brought to fruition and becomes a beautiful and meaningful completed artistic product, ready for the ears and hearts of the world. If we happen to raise more than the target amount, the surplus funds will go towards covering the album launch concerts (musicians' fees), general album costs and promotion, and concert acquisition (generating album touring).Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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