"Ladies and gentlemen, La Medea!"
In 2015, director Yara Travieso approached me to compose a score for a new kind of retelling of Medea, the classical Greek myth about a foreign mother who murders her children after being cast out of her home and abandoned by her husband. Through a multiplicity of cultural lenses, Yara wanted to challenge the historically prevalent image of Medea as a hysterical and dangerous woman. La Medea was to be a disco/pop/telenovela amalgam, and I was thrilled to be a part of the work.
Calling in a lot of favors with a lot of my favorite musicians, we formed "Jason & the Argonauts" (La Medea's house band). The live show premiered in 2017 as a part of Performance Space New York's Coil festival at BRIC Arts Media House in Brooklyn, NY, co-presented by Dance Films Association. A live-scored film version of the show has gone on to tour Lincoln Center's Dance on Camera Festival, the Miami International Film Festival, Joe's Pub, Miami Dade College, ODC Dance in San Francisco, and a host of other spaces.
The question that I'm asked most often after we perform this work is: "When are you going to make a record of this score?"
And that brings us to now!
Your record pre-order or generous donation will help us shore up the finances for every step of the recording process: arranging travel, booking hotels, paying studio costs, renting backline instruments, pressing CD's, and most importantly, paying the musicians who are playing on this wild score.
And aside from pure altruism, your pre-order will ensure that you have a record to listen to in the very near future!
We are aiming to begin tracking the music as soon as possible, during a lull in our respective touring schedules. We'll be recording the basic tracks out at Primary Sound Studios in Bloomington, IN, a recording studio housed in a beautiful old church that has a great mix of large live spaces and isolation rooms for amplifiers and percussion - it's the perfect spot to track a piece with this large of a live ensemble.
After that, we'll return to New York City, where we will track additional voiceovers from cast members, dig into the mixing and mastering process, and prep the physical CD's and downloads for release.
We've run the numbers, and with a little support from folks who enjoy the work, we should be able to have this record tracked, mixed, and out by Spring of 2019. Whether you've come out to one of the live shows or this is your first time encountering this music and this show, I encourage you to consider backing this project. Thank you, and enjoy the music!
Sam Crawford, composer & librettist for La Medea
JASON & THE ARGONAUTS
- Elizabeth de Lise (vocals, electric guitar, and sampler)
- Zeb Gould (vocals, electric guitar, and acoustic guitar)
- Jeff Hudgins (alto sax, baritone sax, and clarinet)
- Anthony Mascorro (trumpet and bass)
- Timothy Quigley (percussion)
- Ian Riggs (bass, electric guitar, and Moog synth bass)
- Arthur Solari (percussion and electric piano)
La Medea (live dance/film credits)
- Written, directed, and choreographed by Yara Travieso
- Original music and libretto by Sam Crawford
- Set designs by Brookhart Jonquil
- Costume designs by Sue Julien
- Lighting design by Tuce Yasak
- Director of photography, Pamela Giaroli
- Associate cinematography, Liz Charky
- Original illustrations & mask designs by Ryan Hartley Smith
- Featuring Rena Butler, Catherine Correa, Tiffany Mellard, Erick Montes, Sol Koeraus, and Shayla-Vie Jenkins
La Medea is a Creative Capital project and a recipient of a National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures Fund for The Arts Grant through the Surdna Foundation and The Ford Foundation. It was commissioned by Performance Space New York and was a part of their 2016 emerging artists program, Ramp, with support from the Jerome Foundation and Ideal Glass Gallery. La Medea premiered in Brooklyn, NY as part of Performance Space New York’s 2017 Coil Festival, co-presented with BRIC Arts, who also supported the project with a BRICLab Residency. For the NYC premiere, the film component, made possible through the generous support of AbelCine, was creative produced by Jonathan David Kane and produced by Dance Films Association, Paul Galando, Galen Bremer, and Brighid Greene. The live work was presented by MDC Live Arts at the Sandrell Rivers Theater for its Miami premiere in 2018, with the livestream supported by HowlRound.
Risks and challenges
We have been touring this show successfully since its 2017 debut, so I don't have any doubt that we can track the tunes of La Medea and make a great record. However, the greatest challenge independent musicians face in the current streaming market is making such a large-scale recording economically viable to produce. We've found affordable technical and travel solutions and created a plan that can work within those parameters, so with a modest amount of record pre-sales, we can have the financial liquidity to pay for the expenses that we know will arise with tracking a live band. And we know that we will be able to go at this recording in a way guaranteed to get a great end result.
Our regular touring is comprised of contracted shows, so taking on a self-produced project like this can be a real leap of faith: however, your trust and generous support will allow us to go out on a financial limb and stay focused on the artistic work at hand. We will all sleep a little easier at night knowing that we're staying out of the red on this one!
Thank you again for your pre-orders and support! We hope you enjoy the music as much as we all enjoy making it!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)