In just a little over a month from now, I board a plane and head off to Europe (a continent I have never been to) to record a new album with one of the finest orchestras in the world--the Prague FILMharmonic orchestra. This is a project so huge that I would have a hard time imagining it for myself even two years ago, but here we are. Thanks to the generosity of so many of you music-lovers out there, my last album ('This Betrayal Will Be Our End') made its funding goal and I was given the chance to create the biggest album I could conceive of for myself at that time. It's success has gotten me to a place that I am in awe and humbled every morning when I wake up. With it has come greater opportunities--and even more work. I thought that I put everything that I had into that album, but it turns out that it was just the next step on an increasingly ambitious journey.
My decision to push myself led me to Richard Heironymus. He was the string arranger on the stone-cold cult-classic album from 1968 The Grey Life by singer-songwriter Val Stoecklin. He also worked as arranger on the soundtrack music for various films by legendary quintessential and prolific b-movie filmmaker Roger Corman as well as L.A.'s world-renowned The Wrecking Crew (responsible for many of the 60s songs you hum). It took a little sleuthing, but I was able to track down the whereabouts of Mr. Hieronymus to a small island off of the Washington coast. Incredibly, I was able to convince him to do the orchestral arranging for this new album.
Next up was finding the orchestra and when I found the Prague FILMharmonic Orchestra (named for their specialization in film soundtracks)--there really wasn't any need for a further search. This orchestra has recorded the scores for films for everyone from Werner Herzog to Quentin Tarantino and bands from Arcade Fire to Septic Flesh. Now, with your help, the once-awkward kid (okay, I am still pretty awkward) that hails originally from Fresno, CA can keep from wasting a plane ticket and join these illustrious names.
Along with those of you out there that are contributing funds to this campaign, I have had several wonderful people step forward to make these rewards really special. Along with the chance to get the album before anyone else, there is everything from having a song of yours professionally transcribed to signed copies of books by authors Michelle Tea, Tony Dushane, and more! You could have a portrait made, get a super-cool and totally wild t-shirt designed by San Francisco artist Mitsu Okubo, even have a song of yours arranged for you by Richard Hieronymus.
I am making this happen for anyone out there who ever felt like or were told that their dreams were too big for the circumstances that they came from. It wasn't that long ago that I was giving plasma for fifty bucks a week back in my hometown--now look at what I have the chance to accomplish. This is for all the outsiders, misfits, ne'er-do-wells,--anyone that ever thought that they weren't good enough, that didn't come from rich stock, the best schools, felt oppressed, stuck in their lot. Do not be afraid to dream big and work into making it something real. I can do this. You can do this. We can all do this.
Risks and challenges
Recording with the orchestra is just the first step in a lengthy process to get this album finished and ready for release. My goal is to have this album out by summer of 2015, but it is possible it could take longer. After the work with the orchestra, there will still be more recording to be done back home as well as then mixing and mastering. I have grand plans to independently have this album released physically in several countries around the world at once, which could take several months of planning. I anticipate the bumps in the road ahead and will keep you updated on progress without fail.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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