A Letter to My Supporters:
It all started so many years ago with the dream of releasing a full album of songs – just like Joni Mitchell, or Cat Stevens, or even – yes – Led Zepplin. And in 2008, “Shooting Stars” inspired the beginning of a certain type of composition. My dream narrowed to joining together my favorite classical-jazz piano music with pop and folk, and during this musical journey, I joined a reggae band, a folk duo (which later became a prog-pop / indie band), a progressive rock band, and then, finally, decided I was ready to venture out on my own.
The launch of the Kickstarter campaign scared the crap out of me. Suddenly, I had people who were counting on me to make the album happen. I practiced furiously every night after work, played for change on the 16th Street Mall – all to get ready for the recording session, which happened over the course of two and a half days in August.
Daniel Herman of Mineral Sound coached me through my anxiety. His listening skills and direction broke me out of my musical shell on those recording days. Wind Over the Earth studio had a grand piano which filled the intimate studio with the sounds that created “Blind Opening”.
Daniel and I emailed each other several times from September to December. Yes, all of the mixing and mastering was done remotely. He’d send me the latest mixes and ask for my opinions. I’d send him painstaking details of what needed to change or stay the same – and in early December, around my 37th birthday, he sent me the final mixes which I submitted to CD Baby to distribute.
The digital distribution didn’t go without any hitches. To my dismay – and laughter from my closest friends – I released the album with a GIANT TYPO in the title. Sure, the music was alright – but it read “Bling Opening”. Frantically, I called CD Baby, and they changed it for me – but for a while there, my album title sounded more like an MTV reality show than an album.
The CDs didn’t ship as quickly as I wanted them to. With the release party in January, I panicked and cancelled, scheduled a new party date of February 18. This time, I’d get everything right – all the details, the posters, everything. And yet, it still didn’t quite happen that way.
I struggled with finding a way to uniquely package the CD which we worked so hard to record. It took months of fussing with the artwork, the layout, the supplies. The two weeks before the release party, our small one bedroom apartment became an album-packaging factory. All those seals on the envelopes of the CD – those were done while watching Star Trek reruns and B sci-fi movies. Frank, my ever-loving and supportive fiance, helped collate the cards and CDs while I sometimes cried in the process, wax-sealing and stamping each envelope with care.
Two days before the release party, I got a call from the cellist who was supposed to open for the show. She was sick. Very sick. So sick she wouldn’t make it or play before I went on. Disappointed and frustrated, I showed up early on the day of the party and found the room beautifully set up with chairs and tables. Kevin, the manager of Rory’s, had anticipated all my needs. Relieved, I began conversing and explaining my sound needs to Daniel Hunter, the man I hired to run sound for the evening. His wife, Carolyn Hunter, is a musician – and much to my surprise, offered to open for the show, since the cellist couldn’t make it.
The night was lovely. I played what I consider to be one of my best gigs. Everyone was so supportive, the night was filled with love and laughter, and it finally felt official – my first album was introduced to the world.
But now everyone keeps asking me what’s next? And here, after such a lengthy letter, is my response.
Part of this dream was to create an entire universe – an immersive experience for the listener, a deluge of interesting sounds which would help people explore their emotions and creative energy. Something that would create a community where everyone feels welcome, warm, loved, and, most importantly, not alone in their thoughts and feelings.
The more I ring myself through the creative process, the more I believe that we really are connected. That thought is becoming more real to me now after the album release than before, when I thought it was just lip service to make you feel better about living life. The experience of music, whether you’re a listener or a creator, highlights the beauty and anguish of the world. It communicate everything we experience, have experienced, and will experience, and so opens our hearts and minds, even for just a moment, to everything around us. This is the power of music, and I would have never known that without you.
I’m entering the Tiny Desk Contest this year. I’m working on some music videos to go along with the album. I’m writing new music. And I cannot wait to share it all with you in the future.
Thank you. Stay tuned. Keep listening. Send me your thoughts. I am always listening.
With All My Love,