About this project
THE SHORT STORY: My new album, Vespers for a New Dark Age, will be released on New Amsterdam Records on March 31, 2015. Vespers features performances by my ensemble Victoire, percussionist Glenn Kotche (of Wilco), and electronic producer Lorna Dune, with lyrics by poet Matthew Zapruder. I am trying to raise $6,000 to cover the remaining cost of producing this record. All proceeds from this campaign will go towards paying for the recording, mixing, mastering, and physical production of the CDs. Thank you in advance for your support!
THE LONG STORY: On February 22, 2014, I made my Carnegie Hall performing debut alongside my ensemble Victoire (Olivia De Prato, Eileen Mack, Lorna “Dune” Krier, Eleonore Oppenheim and Mellissa Hughes), the amazing percussionist Glenn Kotche (of Wilco), and members of vocal octet Roomful of Teeth (Virginia Warnken and Martha Cluver), in the world premiere of my new work, Vespers for a New Dark Age. Over two years in the making, this new work, commissioned by Carnegie Hall for the Ecstatic Music Festival, is a brazen interpretation of the Vespers prayer service in which I’ve replaced the customary sacred text with poems by Matthew Zapruder. I expanded Victoire's eclectic instrumentation of strings, clarinet and synthesizers to include a large pallet of electronic sounds and percussion in this piece, complemented by Kotche, whose massive drumset included three sets of crotales, glockenspiel, and a seemingly endless battery of cymbals. Throughout the work the vocalists sing in quasi-baroque harmonies that glide over this landscape of percussion and synths, only to collapse into haunting solo lines. This new album contains some of my most personal sonic expressions, but also asks big questions: what haunts us in this "new dark age"? What role does ritual play in our lives? Is there room for the supernatural in an increasingly technological world? The premiere performance of Vespers was praised by one critic as "excellent, powerful and thought-provoking... I held my breath through each sonic build-up and transition, hoping not to miss a note" (Baeblemusic).
The day after the performance we entered Good Child Studios to record the work with engineer Lawson White, and are proud to say that, with your help, we will release it on New Amsterdam Records on March 31st. The album will also include "A Thousand Tongues (Lorna Dune Remix)", a re-imagining of Mazzoli's composition and deemed "the most striking and uncanny music Victoire has ever made" by Pitchfork. I (Mazzoli) also composed three electronic interludes using the instrumental stems from the recording sessions, combining my compositional skills with DJ remixing and sampling techniques.
Thank you for supporting me, this record, these astounding musicians, and the creation of new work!
Probably no one will die
of anything I say.
Probably no one will live
even a second longer.
Is that true?
Come on all you ghosts,
you can tell me now,
I have seen one of you becoming
and I am no longer afraid.
- Matthew Zapruder
Risks and challenges
We have already faced evictions (2), natural disasters (1), and technological glitches (countless) throughout the process of producing this album and we are happy to say we are still here, healthy and on schedule!
In late November 2014, we approved the final master, finished the artwork and the album is now going into the manufacturing stage. I cannot imagine any more setbacks at this stage, but you never know what life will toss your way.
I'm busy finishing my second opera, all of Victoire is performing in other groups around the world at the moment, Glenn Kotche is busy with Wilco, but we still move forward with passion and positivity. We look forward to performing throughout the country this spring and bringing this music to you in a live context!
I cannot express how eager we are to share this new creation with you. Thank you in advance for your support.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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