Monday, May 09, 2005

A new project

A new project idea is brewing. I’ve been thinking about recording a CD project for some time now, and next year seems like a good time to do it. I’m planning on lightening my load next year, taking on fewer gigs in order to focus on taking better gigs. (All part of the “recognizing that I’m a professional” stage!) This will make time for voice lessons and coachings in new roles, something I was woefully lacking this year, and for a “career-development” project like a CD.

I’m in the very early stages right now, but I think I have a theme in mind: American composers and poets. This idea came to me as I was thinking about the kinds of art songs I love to sing, and 20th C American songs are always at the top of the list. I know this next thought will be blasphemy to some, but I’ve just never been able to get into German Lieder. I’d say that French is 2nd after American/English, then Russian, and then German. I know, I know, the “Schu’s” were genuis, but their songs never move me the way Bernstein (“So Pretty”), Ives (“Memories” – so fun!), Debussy or Poulenc do. So, I won’t be recording any Lieder any time soon.

Another reason for this theme is that I have relationships with composers with whom I can collaborate to bring a new work to life. I have presented some poetry to a young composer colleague, and he has agreed to take a look and see what moves him. It is a thrilling prospect, let me tell you. No names yet, not until I know for sure that I have the money lined up to pay him!

Yes, money. That’s the big detail to work out. Erik (my husband) is a recording engineer, so that aspect of the project is in good hands. He also has a degree in Music Business, so he knows all about copyrights and licenses and all that jazz. But how to pay for it all… I’m looking into grants, but those are so hard to win these days. I’m thinking of approaching my grad school and Tanglewood to see if they can get me in touch with people who like to give money to young and upcoming musicians. Tanglewood, especially, with their focus on new music, seems like a great place to find a sponsor. I’m also thinking of ways to approach patrons of the arts here in Seattle, people who maybe have seen me perform and would be interested in helping me take this next step in my career.

After the CD is completed, it would be available at some of my concerts and on my website, as well as in local record stores. I might even get it up at Amazon, if possible. The composer and I have talked about a little concert tour before recording, in order to build up some “buzz” and give his work a proper premiere. We’d have vouchers available for buying advance copies of the CD, kind of like buying the next Harry Potter book six months before it’s due for release… =]

Like I said, very exciting. I’m sure I’ll post more details as they come up. Oh, and feel free to email me about making a donation!

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