I really hope you have all been enjoying your summer, including the heat while playing some beats to whatever your heart desires. Last month had some pretty magical musical moments as well as some very poignant lessons learned.
Thank you to all of you who have spent the time reading my updates. The session with Bobby West proved to be one of those magical moments. With Pete Jacobson in his corner covering several aspects of the production, including but not limited to co-producing, hiring the orchestra, on the fly copyist, cellist and offering constant words of encouragement. Coming together to record a new Elegy in honor of Mary Turner and all the women wrongfully lynched years ago really came to the light in truly ending unnecessary action through music.
Dreams Come True (written by Lori Precious)
After nearly 20 years of working on an art and music collaboration entitled Requiem for Mary Turner, the symphony I commissioned from maestro composer and pianist Bobby West was recorded at the historic Sunset Sound Studios in Hollywood, summer 2022.
Funding and covid challenges long delayed the recording and it seemed at times that it would never, ever happen.
But one magical day, a Dream Team of musicians and singers finally came together to record Requiem for Mary Turner which honors the 136 documented cases of Black women lynched in America and shine a light on this dark corner of tragic American history that some would prefer to forget (current high school "history" books in some Southern states do not teach or minimize the history of lynching, Jim Crow and/or slavery).
After the recording of this gorgeous and powerful symphony was done, the mood in the room was "euphoric" at the creative outcome. Bobby remarked that it was the best day in his long musical life.
Now, we look towards mixing the symphony which will take time.
3 more sympatico compositions were recorded with Bobby solo piano to create a whole album.
Also, a short film will be edited to Bobby's symphony using my art, footage of the recording and interviews. This will be used as an educational tool to reach the most people as possible.
Ultimately, we seek to exhibit my art and perform the symphony together. Lesson plans on this history have been created for elementary, high school and university level classes to accompany the art and music. One step at a time...and recording the symphony was a huge step towards this goal.
A huge and heartfelt thank you goes to Bobby West who created the symphony, legendary sound engineer and advisor Dennis Moody, producer Peter PT Jacobson who navigated the seemingly impossible and gracefully guided this ship to shore, assistant producer Ishmael Hunter the detective tracking down the musicians, Conductor Chris Woods Vocals: Maxayn Lewis, Dwight Trible Musicians: @Amber Wyman (bassoon), Myka Miller (oboe), Thomas Stones III (C flute), Chuck ManningManning (clarinet), Doug Webb (bass clarinet), Tawnee Lynn (first french horn), Nolan Shaheed (trumpet), Cyril Carr (piccolo), @Reggie Bullin (flugelhorn), Michael Saucier (bass), Duane Benjamin (trombone), Michael Daigeau (bass trombone), William Roper (tuba), Chris Woods (1st violin), Laurann Estevez(2nd violin), Pete Jacobson (cello), Shigeru Logan (viola), Jerrell Ballard (drums) videographer @Drew Dempsey, still photographer Jean Marie Biele.
A giant hug and thank you to the generous funders without whose patronage this project would still be on the drawing board. Crispin Barrymore Kristin Cunningham Bonnie Graves Heather Riekels Oxley Liane Collins Al Corley Monique Caulfield Debra Silbar Mike Green Laurel Singer Ken Moore Jack Scheerer Sheryl Deater Netzler Jim McComb Barbara Williams Vivien Lesnik Weisman Jodie Evans Jill Fox Williams Claire Denis Jenny Johnston Israel.
Starting the month of August out right, in music education, I have really enjoyed a working with horn/flugelhorn students of Woodbridge High School, a Grammy Signature School, in preparing them for a season full of music, marching, proper posture, embouchure, sound, intonation, breath control, air speed, time and playing together as a section. The week was full of ideas, techniques, answering questions, cleaning and maintenance etc.
In movie land, it was such a special treat to spend an afternoon with many friends and colleagues, recording part of Hocus Pocus 2 (starring Bette Midler and Sarah Jessica Parker and the original cast from the 1993 movie) for John Debney and Dan Savant at 20th Century Fox Studios! It was a blast and a wonderful opportunity making beautiful music in this iconic place. I am feeling humbled and grateful I got to sit with an incredible group of humans and even better, horn players!
I will continue representing artists whom are stable and balanced, but most importantly respectful of my time and my boundaries. No amount of effort ends up being worth it if we can not appreciate and respect one another. So, when it comes to the Opening Act competition and what can you do to support the music industry you ask? You can enter a daily free vote through your Facebook account for the Red Light Brass Band, a group of funky musicians whom I know, work with and respect immensely. They are also in this competition and are currently in 3rd place. Can I ask for your daily votes, to assure they make it to the top? Please check them out on all streaming platforms and have fun getting funky with them!
Have a wonderful rest of your summer everyone, see you either at school, at a rehearsal or somewhere in nature! Lastly, a message from Red Light Brass Band, "don't forget to stay funky".