About this project
afterimage is the String Orchestra of Brooklyn's debut album and is the culmination of years of careful planning, rehearsal, and recording. With your help, we're finally ready to release a one-of-a-kind orchestral listening experience! The album features almost 40 musicians, incredible guest artists, and four gorgeous pieces for strings:
- High Windows (2013, 12') - by Christopher Cerrone, commissioned by the String Orchestra of Brooklyn, recorded by the Argus String Quartet and The SOB
- Caprice No.6 in G minor "The Trill / Tremolo" (Lento) (4') - by Niccolò Paganini, recorded by Rachel Lee Priday, violin
- Stabat Mater Dolorosa (2009, 29') - by Jacob Cooper, recorded by Mellissa Hughes, soprano; Kate Maroney, mezzo-soprano; and The SOB
- Stabat Mater (Dolorosa) (5') - by Giovanni Battista Pergolesi, recorded by Mellissa Hughes, soprano; Kate Maroney, mezzo-soprano; David Broome, organ; and The SOB
Get to know all of the people who are making this album possible:
VIOLIN: Shawn Barnett, Sally Barr, Mark Chung, Ginger Dolden, Allison Dubinski, Gina Dyches, Marandi Hostetter, Quyen Le, Anny Li, Stephanie Liu, Tito Muñoz, Aimee Niemann, Caitlin Ormsbee, Eric Shieh, Gabryel Smith, Serge Zenisek
VIOLA: Emily Bookwalter, Elise Frawley, Pete Lanctot, Olympia Moy, Casey Mullin, Hannah Selin, Brian Thompson
CELLO: Ken Hashimoto, Adele Mori, Aya Terki, Gardiner von Trapp
BASS: Luiz Bacchi, Morton Cahn, Genevieve Chapin, Valerie Whitney
ORGAN: David Broome
- Mellissa Hughes, soprano
- Kate Maroney, mezzo-soprano
- Rachel Lee Priday, violin
The Argus String Quartet:
- Jason Issokson, violin
- Clara Kim, violin
- Nathan Schram, viola
- Joann Whang, cello
- Executive Producers: Emily Bookwalter, Eli Spindel
- Recording Engineer: Ryan Streber
- Editing, Mixing, Mastering: Ryan Streber, Eli Spindel, Emily Bookwalter, Ken Hashimoto, Christopher Cerrone, Jacob Cooper, Rachel Lee Priday
- Special Thanks: William Long
What does the project cost?
The costs of making of afterimage will total approximately $30,000 (we are still actively mixing and editing, so this number may have some wiggle room, but nothing that will significantly change the capacity of the project). Where we need your help most is with the mixing, mastering, editing, album work, and production/distribution costs. Here's what that looks like in the context of the whole project:
Spelled out, afterimage stacks up to:
- Artist Fees: $13,350
- Recording Sessions: $3,500
- Mixing: $4,000
- Mastering: $3,000
- Editing: $2,600
- Album Art: $1,050
- Instrument Rental and Cartage: $500 (for the organ in Pergolesi)
- Production and Distribution: $3,500
We've recorded almost everything, with just one more session to go on May 8 with vocalist Mellissa Hughes for Jacob Cooper's piece at Oktaven Audio. But the largest bulk of the work we have left - and where we need your help, comes now, when we spend the next months in Oktaven with Ryan Streber mixing the tracks and fine-tuning every aspect of each work - like making sure the electronic organ in Jacob Cooper's piece is perfect, getting the sound and balance between singers and orchestra perfect, and creating a vastly detailed sound world that each of our featured pieces illicit. We've already begun this process and we can't wait to post updates of the detail work we do on each track as it goes along.
Why Your Support Matters
Your support is crucial to this project in 2 major ways:
1) Time and Detail: Making an album has a ton of moving parts - between the careful rehearsal and preparations for each piece, the painstaking work done in the studio both during and after our recording sessions, and work that goes into distribution, promotion, and production - there's a lot worth getting right. With your help, we can spend the necessary time and resources on these crucial details as we near our release date at the end of summer 2017.
2) Support Orchestras Recording New Music: Our album features two new large works for orchestra; a rarity. It's not easy to get an entire orchestra in a studio multiple times for up to 8 hours of recording per session, and many organizations can't or won't prioritize recording or programming the music of our time. But we do - deeply. We are alive, now, making music, now, and our featured composers are too. Let's support those who are making our current world a better place through their active engagement with it through art.
A word from composer Christopher Cerrone on his piece High Windows:
There are many things in High Windows that are old: the opening of the piece samples a fragment from one of Paganini’s Caprices (No. 6 in G minor), the central section quotes an older piece of mine (Hoyt–Schermerhorn, for piano and electronics), and perhaps most prominently, High Windows is a sonata, a musical form which originated in the 17th century.
In using these old elements and putting them in a familiar order, I strove to create recognizable sign posts to guide the listener through the distinct sections of the piece. As a result, the focus becomes not these distinct sections, but rather the interaction between them: how they fit together, comingle, and discretely evolve and resolve. More than anything, though, the piece is an exercise in mixing these disparate elements—high and low, allusion and abstraction—to make something new.
The title High Windows is also a quote, and has two meanings. It is a reference to the literal windows of St. Ann’s Church in Brooklyn, the reverberant space for which I composed the piece; it also refers to a Philip Larkin poem in which the older author sums up the tumult of his youth with the lines:
[…] And immediately
Rather than words comes the thought of high windows:
The sun-comprehending glass,
And beyond it, the deep blue air, that shows
Nothing, and is nowhere, and is endless.
A word from composer Jacob Cooper on his piece Stabat Mater Dolorosa
Stabat Mater Dolorosa uses an extremely slowed-down version of the first movement of Pergolesi’s 1736 Stabat Mater as a point of departure. Rather than depicting the grief of the Virgin Mary during Jesus’s death, it concerns itself with maternal grief in general, and with the hypermagnification of a single instant. The text is adapted from the original Stabat Mater (13th century, author unknown).
Stabat mater dolorosa iuxta filiam lacrimosa.
O quam tristis fuit illa; O quam afflicta praecordia.
Cuius animam gementem pertransivit gladius.
Quis non posset contristari piam matrem contemplari dolentem cum filia?
Quis est homo qui non fleret matrem si videret in tanto dolore?
Cuius animam gementem cruciatam et dolentem pertransivit gladius.
[Translation]: The grieving mother stood weeping by her daughter. Oh how sad she was; oh how afflicted her heart. Through her weeping soul a sword passed. Who would not have compassion on beholding this loving mother suffering with her daughter? Who would not cry upon seeing this mother in such agony? Through her weeping soul, tormented and grieving, a sword passed.
Risks and challenges
Perfection is the enemy of done, and right now we're very much interested in getting all of the important details right; both sonically within the music itself, and with all of the non-musical plans around the release of an album. Saying this - our biggest challenge is time. We've already built in roughly 3 additional months at the launch of this Kickstarter that we believe in earnest will yield a perfect result for the album, and enable us to treat all of our backers with the individual attention and care they deserve. We can't wait to share the final product with you.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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