Hello, we are Miriam Ast, German jazz singer, and Victor Gutierrez, Spanish jazz pianist. Together we are the Ast/Gutierrez Duo.
We met two years ago during our Masters studies at the Royal Academy of Music, in London. Right from the beginning we felt a personal and musical connection, so we started playing together on a regular basis. We began arranging jazz standards and soon began exploring each other’s original compositions – this was so much fun that we decided to form the Ast/Gutierrez Duo. In May 2017 we won the Best Vocalist Award at the Bucharest International Jazz Competition, which encouraged us to take this project further and record our debut album 'Secret Songs'.
Secret Songs is a set of original tunes that reflect our musical vision, encompassing interactive playing, lush harmonies, dazzling lines, rhythmic explorations and creative openness. This album brings some wonderful musical stories to life, with lyrics and melodies arranged jointly to bring out hidden meanings in the songs.
In August 2017, we recorded the album at Fieldgate Studios in Wales. Working together with the incredible sound engineers at the studio and seeing the result of all our hard work come to life was an amazing experience. We plan to release the album in spring 2018, but we need your help to finish it!
Your contributions will go towards:
- The mixing and mastering of the album
- The printing
- The artwork
- The promotion and PR
We have had our album mixed in the last few weeks and are currently deciding whether to self-release it or release it with a label. Either way, we will have to cover most of the costs ourselves, as nowadays labels mostly just offer a distribution deal to their artists.
Our plan is to initially print 500 copies for distribution. We want to hire a graphic designer to do the artwork for us.
In order to make the biggest impact with this album we are looking to hire a PR agent to help us get coverage in jazz magazines, radio stations and other UK and European press. This will enable us to organise a tour in 2018 following the release of 'Secret Songs' in order to build on our reputation as a duo in the UK and Europe.
By supporting us you become an active part of this project. In return you’ll receive some great rewards, such as the album before its official release, sheet music of arrangements and original compositions from the album, a private or skype lesson in jazz singing or piano, producer credits, or even a private concert in the UK or beyond.
We are truly excited about this project and can't wait to share it with you. Thank you so much for your support!
Also a big thank you to Andrew Lawson from Fieldgate Studios who filmed and edited the great Kickstarter video!
Victor & Miriam
Risks and challenges
We have already invested £2000 of our own money into this project and we are reliant on the money from the Kickstarter campaign to finish and release our debut album next year.
It’s an ‘all or nothing campaign’ which means we won’t get any money unless we reach our financial goal.
Although we are confident that we can raise the money, an unsuccessful campaign would certainly set back our time schedule for the album, as we would need to apply for other funding sources to have any chance of finishing and releasing it.
We have scheduled our album release for March next year (2018), but the exact release date will depend on our funding schedule and whether we decide to release through a label.
We can promise you that all the money you donate goes 100 % towards the completion of our debut album, and any funds raised above £3000 will go towards our tour in the UK, Germany and Spain next year.
We are forever grateful for your support and hope that you will enjoy listening to the album as much as we enjoyed recording it!
Subtítulos del video disponibles en español. Click on 'cc' y selecciona 'Spanish (Spain)'
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