After releasing three electronic studio LPs, an album of piano compositions, setting up my own label, performing live and DJing across the world and writing music for film and adverts, I had the idea for what I feel is my most exciting project yet: a fully-fledged orchestral symphony.
The project background
I've wanted to compose a big piece for a symphony orchestra since I was a kid studying at music school. It's something that scares and excites me in equal measures, and something which I've been working towards for a very long time. When I decided to set up Emika Records and develop both the orchestral and electronic sides of my work, I had the idea to really go for it and write a symphonic piece featuring acclaimed soprano Michaela Srumova. I met Michaela in Prague when I was recording a string piece for my track ‘Dem Worlds’ (you can hear it in the video above), which featured on my second album ‘DVA’. I fell in love with her voice and she became my first serious muse. I was so inspired by the experience – being behind the glass in the studio producer chair, witnessing the orchestra play my music for the first time – that I promised myself I would compose something much bigger.
Orchestral composition is a whole different experience to electronic production. With production, you can program in sounds and click 'play' and hear the piece exactly as you intended it. With traditional scores and orchestras, you never know exactly how it is going to sound. It can be affected the mood of the performers, or the sound of the space it's being played in. It's a massive project, with 70 people in the orchestra, and a huge risk. That's why I'm so excited about it. I thrive on challenges.
For around that past 1.5 years I have been going through a wild and unpredictable creative process writing this piece of music, and working out step by step how to record and produce it. I have been documenting everything, from rehearsing with the soprano, visiting different recording studios, working with my music teacher Paul Batson from when I was in school to write the score, collecting all my written ideas, notes, to drawings of sound shapes and concepts. I want to share this material with you each week throughout the Kickstarter, so you can see how to make a symphony through my experiences. You will be able to follow everything through my official social media pages, the links are included in my biography page on Kickstarter.
The music that I have composed for the symphony was inspired by my signature electronic music production techniques: echo concepts, deep resonant bass, haunting lyrics and twisted song narratives. I have attempted to create a fresh sound for the orchestra and a new context beyond the constraints of traditional classical music.
The symphony will be performed by the 70-piece Prague Metropolitan Orchestra, Michaela Srumova and myself at the fabled Czech Radio recording studio in Prague. My small team at Emika Records in Berlin will assist me in the creation of this project.
Why I chose Kickstarter
I decided to try and fund this project using Kickstarter because it's the biggest project I've ever undertaken, and the first time I've done something like this as an independent artist – not to mention the first time I am working with a full symphony orchestra. The creative and production processes are something unique and relevant to my audience which I would like to share as I experience it all for the first time. I want to offer the whole experience; not just a finished record in a nice package. I think it is very cool that today, if the people want the music, they can directly engage and play a part in its creation.
Risks and challenges
1. The recording date will be dependent on the availability or the orchestra and studio in Prague, which I cannot confirm until I am funded. Ideally I would like to record in late January / early February 2016.
2. The official release will happen no sooner than 6 months after the recording. It will take time to mix and master the music, produce the physical products, create artwork, edit the film of the recording and plan the release and shipping. I would like to be ready for release in September 2016, and for all shipments to take place then.
3. I plan to mix the recording at Czech Radio studios during the days following the recording. Depending on how the recording goes and what new inspiration I have, will depend how much time I need for the final mixing. Maybe I will bring the recordings back to Berlin and do some additional mixing from my Berlin studio too.
4. The final track list, album title, and movement titles may change through the final creative stages.
5. If more than 15 people donate €2500 and want to attend the recording, we will find other cool spots, e.g. the control room with me.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (60 days)