“Don’t Look Back” is my first solo album. After a successful Kickstarter campaign in July 2014 to raise funds for musician fees and studio costs, I began recording in August 2014 at Oktaven Audio with engineer Ryan Streber and a lineup of world-class new music performers. I am just now finishing the mixing and mastering process, and I am seeking a grant to assist with distribution fees (limited-run cassette tapes and CDs) and to help fund the second phase of the project, which is a series of VHS music videos for each song directed by video artist Laura Moran.
“Don’t Look Back” is a collection of emotional chamber songs that explore the subject of childhood and adolescent trauma, the emotional aftermath of extreme experiences, and the traces of fragmentary memories that survivors of early trauma often retain. Traumatic memories are sometimes impossible to adequately describe, account for, or narrate, and that is precisely what interests me and inspired me to compose music about them. Many of the memories explored here emerge entirely out of language–as sensations, colors, or sounds, and sometimes as synaesthetic (mixed-sensory) perceptions. It is precisely these kinds of mysterious, complex, and almost unknowable aspects of human memory that I seek to express in my music. This entire album is haunted by distant memories of things that may or may not have happened, and the mysteries behind that process.
While these subject matters might seem dark, I seek to acknowledge what it means to overcome darkness, and how difficult or emotionally extreme experiences can indelibly reshape one’s perceptual abilities, sometimes in eerily beautiful ways. it is my hope that the honesty with which I seek to depict traumatic experiences will be meaningful to a wide variety of people, and that this album will touch many, even those for whom these genres and styles of music might be entirely foreign.
Once the mixing and mastering process is complete in late April 2015, I plan to approach several new-music labels with the album and a proposal for distribution on analog formats (cassette and VHS) as well as online in digital formats. I may also elect to self-release the album. Regardless of whether I end up collaborating with a label or not, I anticipate needing to fund the physical duplication of the album myself, and I also expect that fees related to the music videos will need to be self-funded. My expectation is that the audio version of the album will be complete by July 2015, and the music videos by September 2015. If I self-release the album, I will do so on July 1, 2015 (audio) and on September 1, 2015 (video). If I collaborate with a label, I will work with them to determine an appropriate release date (likely later than 2015).