'An Englishman In New York'
Hi everybody! It's Joe Brent here. SOOOOO... a few months ago, lutherie maestro Brian Dean had a crazy idea: why not a CD of Dowland lute music to feature the versatility of his instruments? Everyone already knows how good they are with modern music, but what people don't realize is that owing to their similarities to lute construction, they're actually just as perfectly suited to Renaissance music as well. Of course, I was all for it. He even agreed to build me a 10-string instrument, much like the 8-string Grand Concert he'd already built for me, to handle the lower voices. But who to record the higher voices?
Well, the answer was obvious to me, and after a few emails, my dear friend, virtuoso mandolinist and early music specialist Alon Sariel was on board. We did the arrangements over the course of a few months, and as he was coming to New York anyway to play some concerts, we headed to Vinegar Hill Sound for a few days to record the project. While Alon was in New York, we also performed together at Bargemusic on some of the Dowland repertoire, the result of which you can hear right here:
Pretty cool, huh? We sure thought so. And since we'll be in London together in December as well, we'll take the opportunity to finish the album there, and the final project will be called 'An Englishman In New York', after the Sting song of the same name. When it's finished, it'll certainly be the first of its kind -- Dowland's lute music arranged for two mandolins! -- and it's definitely something we're both very proud of.
Risks and challenges
But here's the problem -- we'd love to get this music out into the world, but printing CDs and doing the final mixing can be pretty expensive, so that's where you come in. It's not much, since we won't be doing a large printing of the CD at first (unless it's a huge hit and we go out on tour with Lady Gaga and all that...), but all told, it'll probably run about $5,000. We want to do this right, with packaging reflecting the work we've done on the CD on two continents, and a nice mix and professional mastering, combined with the travel costs of getting together when we're both in the UK... whew! It's a wonder anyone ever gets these things finished at all! Anyways, we need your help to finish this project. Any help you can give is tremendously appreciated, and will help put something we feel is really beautiful into the world!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Seriously, incredibly, amazingly awesome. That's how awesome. You are ALL THE AWESOME.
The recording is already 'in the can', as they say 'in the business'. Basically, we now need to do some editing, mixing, mastering, designing, and printing. We'll probably do the mixing at the studio where we recorded the project, Vinegar Hill Sound. Mastering will have to wait until early next year, once everything is in order and we're both back from our little sojourn in the UK. While we're there, we're going to do some more photos, record our thank you tracks for backers, and perform a couple of shows together to promote the project. Then we'll have a designer take everything and wrap it in a pretty bow, and off it shall go to the printers. But all of that is pretty expensive, so that's what the money is for.
We've targeted May 2013, which seems like a conservative estimate for the editing, mastering, designing, and printing to be finished. Could be sooner, or could be later if things come up for either or both of us. But probably somewhere around that time.
You bet you can! Here's a couple of videos of us playing this music at Bargemusic in Brooklyn recently:
Hey Elle, really appreciate the help with promoting the shows! Here's a few Youtube links:
The Shoemaker's Wife: http://www.youtube.com/watch…
What If A Day: http://www.youtube.com/watch…
Fancy In G, 'Tremolo': http://www.youtube.com/watch…
Queen Elisabeth Galliard: http://www.youtube.com/watch…
Plus, in the video we recorded that's just above on this page, we put a few minutes of recording from the actual session at Vinegar Hill.
The 8 and 10-string mandolins were made by Brian Dean (http://www.labraid.ca), and belong to Joe. The lute was borrowed from Erik Ryding, a wonderful NYC-area lutenist. And the octave mandolin we used was made by Adam Buchwald (http://www.circlestrings.com/). The 10-string was sent to Joe unfinished just a few days before the session! It still sounded amazing, and will sound even better in London now that it's finished and the sound opens up a bit.
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