all that dust is a new independent record label which will produce a small number of high-quality contemporary music releases each year. It is run by Newton Armstrong, Juliet Fraser and Mark Knoop.
Our first batch is already recorded, mixed and mastered: we just need your help to launch! Here's what we've been preparing for you:
- ATD1: Morton Feldman 'For John Cage', performed by Aisha Orazbayeva (violin) & Mark Knoop (piano)
- ATD2: Matthew Shlomowitz 'Avant Muzak', performed by Håkon Stene (percussion) & ensemble asamisimasa
- ATD3: Séverine Ballon 'inconnaissance', performed by Séverine Ballon (cello)
Morton Feldman's 75-minute work dedicated to his friend John Cage was written in 1982. Mark and Aisha set out to draw the listener into the charged space between the performers. Our new disc of music by Matthew Shlomowitz includes Avant Muzak (2010) and Popular Contexts 7: Public Domain Music (2014), both performed by asamisimasa, and Popular Contexts 8: Five soundscapes for a contemporary percussionist (2015) performed by Håkon Stene. Our third release presents eight new works composed and performed by cellist Séverine Ballon; this is her debut disc as a composer.
Plus we have two exciting binaural downloads:
- ATD4: Milton Babbitt 'Philomel', performed by Juliet Fraser (soprano)
- ATD5: Luigi Nono 'La fabbrica illuminata', performed by Loré Lixenberg (mezzo soprano)
Both composed in 1964 for voice and pre-recorded 4-channel surround sound, our new binaural recordings of these seminal works are something of a landmark: the tape parts have been cleaned up and re-mastered and the binaural recording method recreates wonderfully the 3-D listening experience of live performance. The result is a welcome clarity in the sound, and a new fidelity to the score.
You can preview some snippets below, or visit our Soundcloud page. (Please remember to listen to the Babbitt and the Nono on headphones, and also bear in mind that the 128k mp3 required for Soundcloud is an inferior listening experience to the higher quality download we'll be sending out!)
all that dust aims to support the artists we work with by providing an expensive but high-quality recording experience, and offer our listeners a small but lovingly crafted catalogue of new music. It's very much a labour of love: as much as possible is done in-house (and gratis), from engineering, producing, editing, mixing and mastering, design, marketing and distribution. All five releases are also accompanied by insightful liner notes written by musicologist Laura Tunbridge.
After many hours of dust-examining, algorithm-tweaking, colour-testing and general hot debating, we have produced some beautifully delicate, dusty designs for the album covers. Here's a sneak preview:
So, you see, we've been quietly working away at this for some time! In fact, this venture has been about two years in the making, but we're very nearly ready to make it a reality and release some beautiful sounds into the world. With your support we can launch the label and release our first batch of recordings in early July 2018.
We need Kickstarter funding to cover the final costs of fabrication, licensing and launching. Our target is £2800, but we'd be really delighted to raise £3500 — that would get us off to a flying start, and give us greater confidence and flexibility for the first few years. (We should also clarify that we're only planning to do this one round of crowdfunding! After this, we hope to be self-sufficient.) We've had some fun designing the rewards: the lower levels of support represent pre-sales; higher levels offer an opportunity for deeper investment in the future of the label. We plan to release a small batch of discs and downloads annually for the next five years, then, with any luck, we consider what expansion might look like! Batch 2 is already under way, and we can reveal that it will include discs of music by Tim Parkinson and Cassandra Miller.
So, if you think this is an exciting venture and you like the sound of our fledgling catalogue please support us by donating some of your HARD CASH and spreading the word far and wide. We have just two weeks to reach our target!
about the label
all that dust is run by Newton Armstrong, Juliet Fraser and Mark Knoop who together have a wealth of experience in the recording studio: they have worked together in various configurations (as performer, engineer or producer) on recordings released by labels such as Hat Hut, Kairos, another timbre, NMC and Metier. all that dust is defined by their collective interests, and is purposefully artist-led: one of the main motivations is to support and promote the work of performers and composers that excite us. The catalogue seeks to represent a balance of contemporary classics (sometimes recorded in new ways), established living composers and composers of the emerging generation. Read more at allthatdust.com.
all that dust was formed as a Limited Liability Partnership in 2017.
Risks and challenges
We think there are two main challenges to launching this label:
1. achieving wide enough publicity and distribution;
2. avoiding immediate financial insecurity.
Re. 1: our operation is small-scale, but it's still important to us that we manage to spread the word far and wide — after all, this is music that we really believe deserves to be heard! To keep costs down, most of our publicity will be done in-house and online, but we're busy researching ways to reach a broad audience. We will be manufacturing 500 copies of each of the three CDs.
Re. 2: we have accurate costings for this first batch (much of the expenditure is confirmed already) and a pretty good plan for the next few years. With a successful Kickstarter campaign we will be able to make this madcap venture a reality and celebrate the launch feeling confident about our immediate financial future. All three of us give our time and work for nothing, enabling us to keep costs as low as possible for the featured artists.
What we're completely confident about is the quality of the recordings we're producing! They really do sound great, and we can't wait to share them with you.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (16 days)