"Sun and Moon"
Art does not exist alone... art creates art.
This is the idea behind my newest project, "Sun and Moon". This double disc record explores the deep connection between classical music and modern songwriting. One disc, "Sun" will feature songs written with my band, songs about friendship, love, grief, nature, even a song based on a children's fairy tale (more on that later!). The other disc, "Moon", will feature a variety of classical music that I've written, from a harp and oboe duet, to a piece for full orchestra, choir, harp, and solo soprano (me!).
Both discs will feature many of the same musicians. Themes and ideas will pass back and forth between them, playing with ideas of dark and light, day and night. My desire is to show that classical music and "popular music" are deeply connected, as they have always been. Classical music and popular music each have their depth, their energies, their forms of communication, and together they can speak to us in even deeper and more beautiful ways.
I grew up in a completely classical world, listening to only classical and choral music until I was in my teens. I have sung classically from as early as I could stand up and make sounds, and have played harp classically for 20 years. I have been composing for a few years as well, and have had my pieces performed in cathedrals all over the world, including Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris and St Peter's Basilica in Rome. I have also performed vocally with composer Eric Whitacre in Carnegie Hall for the premiere of his choral cycle, "The City and The Sea."
Over the past 7 years, I have slowly found my way into a new world of popular music, writing songs with my band and playing with a ridiculously diverse collection of bands, from people like mewithoutYou, the Chariot, Brooke Waggoner, to bluegrass legend Ricky Skaggs and Jack White of the White Stripes. I have found a deep undercurrent of passion and art that connects these worlds, and I want to help my listeners plunge into the depth of those waters with me.
I believe this album will introduce many listeners to classical music in a new way, in a way that can be attached to and felt. I also believe this album will take listeners into different depths of spiritual and emotional experience, as the different kinds of sounds take them to new places. I believe in this record, and I know I will be more proud of it than anything I have done yet!
I also believe that the way we think about making music is changing. Music is not a commodity to be made and sold and consumed. Music is a form of deep expression, something that moves between souls, back and forth. I am so passionate about the idea of partnering with listeners. I am making this for you, to communicate with you, to share with you... and I cannot make it without you.
WHAT WE NEED:
Our ideal budget for this album $20,000. That seems like such a big number, but recording an orchestra and choir(100 +people) is not something an independent artist often undertakes. We have set our minimum goal at $10,000, but to be able to go beyond just tracking and actually master, print, and promote this album, we need $20,000. We have already invested around $5,000 into it so far, and had to stop due to lack of funding. We will be starting back up in June if this fundraiser is successful!
Money will go towards:
-Tracking in Nashville and in Cincinatti
-Paying musicians (orchestra, choir, guest musicians)
-Engineering and mixing fees
-Printing (super expensive for a double disc)
The CRAZY thing with this whole project is that fact that I even have the opportunity to write for an orchestra and for a world-renowned a capella choir. I have a beautiful relationship with my alma-mater, Trevecca University, and their music department is working on this project with me. So few composers get the chance to even hear their music performed. This is a ridiculously rare opportunity and I am SO grateful! It should cost $50,000 or more to record 2 different orchestral pieces and two a capella choral pieces, in freaking CATHEDRAL. The fact that we are able to do this for only $20,000 is a little crazy.
WHAT WE WANT TO GIVE YOU:
UNIQUE SUN & MOON ART PRINTS
In keeping with this idea that art creates art, we have partnered with friends from all over the U.S. to create unique pieces of art inspired by "Sun and Moon", which you can claim with a donation to our project! We have both originals and prints available. There will also be crochet doilies and earrings made by our cellist, Patrick Rush. We will be using crochet lace doily designs as apart of the album artwork, and those doilies are among the rewards!
Here are all of the art pieces we have available:
We also have lots of other goodies, including early downloads of the album, cover songs, house shows, even a piece of my harp. hahaha. but for real.
Just to be clear, we still have at least a year of work to do on this album, including a symphony premiere in november, which will be recorded for the album. All art rewards will be sent out once the fundraiser is over, but all music rewards will be dependent on the album release date. (approx July 2014)
If we don't reach our goal, we will keep working to put this album out ourselves! It might just take a while longer...
More About The Album:
"Sun and Moon" will explore many ideas of dark and light, of the mysteries of the unknown and the joy of exploring those places.
Two snapshots of the album:
"Nycteris Sees the Sun" will be a song on the "Sun" album, and is inspired by a story written by George McDonald, "Day Boy and Night Girl- the Romance of Photogen and Nycteris" (http://www.ccel.org/ccel/macdonald/daynight/files/daynight.html) Photogen has lived entirely in light, and Nycteris has lived entirely in darkness, not knowing the other half of reality even exists. They meet, and must learn to see and love what they fear in the other. Nycteris, the girl, decides that the sun is more real than the moon, that she must KNOW this light, even if it destroys her. My interpretation of her story expresses her decision to move from the dark of the cave that she knows into the pain and the glory of light. The music moves from a quiet, dark, contemplative sound then suddenly bursts into the frenzy of her joy and pain. Its one of my favourite songs I've ever written!!
"St Cecilia: an Ode to Music" will be on the "Moon" album, and is written for full orchestra, choir, harp, and soprano solo. It was premiered in april 2012 and was the most incredible night of my life thus far. It explores the language of music, and again draws parallels between two worlds, this time between the natural and the spiritual. Here are my liner notes about the piece from that night:
"St Cecilia" encompasses a series of concepts that are incredibly important to me as a composer and as an individual. It speaks of the transcendent nature, the spiritual language of music that reaches beyond what can be seen with our eyes or felt with our hands.
“St Cecilia” also touches on a concept that has enraptured me: the unspeakable Name of God. In ancient Israel, "YHWH" represented the name of God that was beyond speaking, unknowable. Ephesians 3:19 says that we can "know this love that surpasses knowledge". That idea has always resonated with me, that we can know what is unknowable. We cannot fully quantify God, but we can know Him. We cannot fully define God, but we can experience Him. I think this is the unknowable knowing.
I believe that if God exists, He is the ultimate form of all that is good. He is Love, He is Light, He is Joy. What I centered on for this piece is the idea that He is Beauty. All that is beautiful is a broken form of Him. And so, when we make something beautiful, we are pointing to and experiencing Him.
These ideas came together for me in this... When we make music, music that is truly beautiful, we are speaking His Name. In song, we can speak the Unspeakable Name of God. We can participate in the mystery of His beauty, and actually hear Him sing back to us.
St Cecilia is the patron saint of musicians. Christian legend says that as she was martyred, she sang praises to God. She died singing, and heard angels singing with her. I was struck with this, the closeness of the two worlds, joined by song. The piece begins with a plea for her to pray for us, with the hope that we too would experience God and touch heaven through music as she did.
Other Ways You Can Help
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