My name is Robert Trusko and I am a musician. I have always been interested in creating and performing music that is both artful and accessible. As a composer I have written for many mediums in many different styles. I have created music in a rock band setting, rap setting, folk setting, orchestral, choral, jazz setting, and several others.
After graduating from West Chester University of Pennsylvania in 2012, I moved to Texas to pursue a Master's Degree in Music Composition at the University of North Texas. I became involved with many different types of music including South Indian Classical Music (karnatik music) as well as the Dallas versions of jazz-fusion, Gospel, and R&B. I began attending weekly late night jams with the Funky Knuckles and was blown away by the musical interactions between the players.
Around the same time that I was exploring these different styles of music, I viewed a TED Talk called "Before I Die I want to...". I learned that the 'Before I Die' Project is an interactive public art project created by artist Candy Chang. She created this installation after she had lost someone that was very close to her. The project encourages and inspires community residents and visitors to share their stories and dreams in a public space.
In the past few years I have lost several family members and friends. Much of my music is dedicated to the deceased and this project would be cathartic for me.
This Project will be unlike any other "Before I Die…" Wall. We will make music using the responses as lyrics.
With the help of several of my colleagues, we will construct an 6' X 10' wall on wheels that will be moved between various places in Denton, TX. The wall will have the words “Before I die I want to _______” written in columns on one side of the wall. Anyone walking by can pick up a piece of chalk, reflect on their lives, and share their personal aspirations in a public space. These words will then be used as lyrics incorporated into my original music composition to be performed live in concert at the Panhandle House Warehouse Room. The piece will combine elements of South Indian music, Gospel, R&B, Jazz Fusion, and minimalism. While the music is being played images of the wall will be projected onto the warehouse's brick walls. During this concert, music of various genres will be performed throughout the evening.
The music of the concert includes the minimalist style of Jim Doyle's one act opera and song cycle, my original compositions for a mixed jazz fusion and classical ensemble, as well as the jazz fusion music of the Funky Knuckles.
The "Before I Die..." piece includes the following instrumentation:
Flute, Saxophones, Clarinet, Trumpet, String Quartet, Four Voices, Electric Guitars, Drumset, Percussion, Keyboards, and Basses. The musicians will include alumni and students from UNT's jazz school, classical school, and world music department. In addition to these players several Dallas professional musician will be incorporated.
Where will the wall be displayed?
The wall will be displayed at the University of North Texas Library Monday November, 11th, 9am to 6pm and Friday, November 15th from 9am to 4pm. Stop by!
Who are the Funky Knuckles?
The inevitable result of a talent-soaked soul and jazz community, the Funky Knuckles are taking the sound of Dallas to an entirely different level.
The band is comprised of sidemen from some of the biggest artists in the industry (Beyonce, Erykah Badu,Chrisette Michelle, Talib Kweli, P Diddy, etc.), yet possesses a sound distinctly separate from any of their individual projects. The Funky Knuckles move together musically as a school of fish, never complacent and always stretching the boundaries of improvisation and composition. Members include Wes Stephenson on bass, Caleb Sean McCampbell on keys, Cedric Moore on drums, Phill Aelony on guitar, Evan Weiss on trumpet, and Ben Bohorquez on sax.
Who is making the documentation and how?
The audio for the evening will be recorded by bassist, performer, and engineer Brian Ward. Brian has been recording large ensemble recitals for several years at this point and is a great organizational pilar to the project. Brian will be using a 24 track set-up to capture each instrument individually. The recording process will be broken into two parts. One part will be earlier in the day where takes of the "Before I die..." piece will occur with no/and or a very small live audience. The other part of the recording process will include the recording of the entire live concert in the evening. All recordings will be completed live with no overdubs. Brian will also mix the project.
The live sound and lighting for the evening will run by William de Alcuaz. William has engineered several projects including live performances by Wunderland as well as recorded several groups including The Dominant Complex.
The performances for the evening will be documented by David Sowden and Nicholas Zebrun, two film directors from Fort Worth. They have made lovely work in the past and are currently in production on a film titled "Noir City". For this project they will be using two cameras to capture the performances.
Where and when is the Panhandle House event?
The live concert will occur Saturday November 23rd from 8pm to 11pm. The Address for the Panhandle House is 313 N Locust St Denton, TX 76201. Below is an image of the location.
Where is the money going?
The pledges of this Kickstarter campaign will pay for all of the wall materials, construction, recording time, booking the venue, videography, live sound, lighting, production, travel costs, and promotions.
Thank you so much for visiting this page. I hope that you can donate to the project so that my friends and I can achieve our dreams. Without your contributions this project would be unreachable!
Risks and challenges
The venue has been booked and I have had several talks with people about specific locations to place the wall.
Several issues that could occur is overload the circuit in Panhandle's warehouse room. I am confident that we can make sure to stay under this voltage, however some math will be involved in the process (including the guess and check model).
Another risk involves the temperature of the room they day of the concert since the room is not temperature controlled. November in Denton on average can be in the 60-70's during the day and the 40's to the 50's at night. We plan to be in the room most of the day with out stage lights on creating heat. If the room seems to cold we will have to rent space heaters to warm the room.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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