MADDIE: How could you, David, how could you?!
DAVID: I have no idea what's going on.
MADDIE: Of course you'd say that. That's such a typically "you" thing to say!
DAVID: Wait, why do these names sound so familiar?
MADDIE: You mean you've never watched "Moonlighting"?
DAVID: What?! What the hell is going on?
ANGUS: (v.o.) Now this all brings me back to the time my Uncle Harry said...
MADDIE: Back off you, you're not on 'til tomorrow. And since when do you go by Angus?
SCARECROW: How 'bout me?
MADDIE: You can stay.
DAVID: Oh, sure, he can stay! Mister shiny teeth and chiseled jaw. He fights for the users, you know--I can only imagine what that means, AND he has anger management issues. (beat) Just making sure you're all aware of that.
SCARECROW: That last one was a one-time thing, three Christmases ago, and I more than made amends. Seriously, trust you to bring that up!
MULDER: Trust. No one.
DAVID: That's it, I'm outta here. Frickin' asteroid's not gonna blow up itself...
MADDIE: He's gone. You can come out now.
GRUBER: Much obliged. Hey, check out this potion Angus and I just made.
Alright, the recap probably ain’t gonna work. If you could use a refresher, link to here to check out Part 1. Otherwise, let’s jump in. As mentioned, my sense of fullness and gratitude for this year, despite its turmoil without and ups and downs within, has come in no small part from being engaged in two wonderful creative initiatives, both of whom have at last seen some significant and welcome development, enough such that it feels pertinent to share with you here.
After 2014’s succesful showcase event, the group officially dissolved, as it does every year (we’re like Parliament, except for funner). Upon reforming in early Spring, the overall starting formation saw a switch to a yet more focused lineup, with a trio core, specifically two guitars and a bass, supplied by myself, Elizabeth Lorrey, and Tom Appleman, respectively. Rehearsals this year focused mainly on distilling vocal harmony content, while also solidifying arrangements down to the tee. Precision drills for breaks, accents, and stop-holds became paramount, and it’s a wonder as well as a testament to their musicianship and professionalism that Tom and Elizabeth managed to stay sane during the six-month-long barrage of new information, rehearsal after rehearsal, while loose arrangements were slowly turned into precise ones.
The season culminated in a number of small performances, and, once again, a larger, themed showcase event. What also evolved, in paradigm as well as practice, was the resultant idea of considering the group as a larger squad, with a smaller and variable starting lineup. With the model we’re using when it comes to collaborating, and the current landscape that exists for professional musicians in an urban center such as Boston, assembling a talent squad with build-in redundancies seems a logical strategy. Up until now we’ve reformed the group from scratch at the beginning of each year, with the size and makeup depending on the needs of the theme. Moving forward, we’re looking to remain in touch with and build an ongoing, and hopefully, ever-growing, squad of potential player collaborators, and, once the theme of the ensemble is in place, pull the starting lineup as per the needs of the individual performance.
Complementing that will have to be a precise set of written arrangements, which I have started working on, currently discussing strategy and details with the very talented composer, arranger, and music preparer-to-the-stars Jeremy Borum, compiling parts from various performances and demos, and even pre-mixes of tracks I am currently developing for release. Going against the grain of the rock-band style of “figure/hammer it out during extensive rehearsals aka who needs a plan when you’ve got rock n roll” this is in part a necessity due to the fact that all our players and vocalists are treated as consultants and thus are paid for all their time. The appreciation for efficiency aside, the consistency derived by having the entire ensemble and its leader be able to point to a definitive master chart, detailing parts sometimes to the note, is to me an invaluable asset and well worth the time it is already taking to put together. In ways, we’re borrowing and cross-pollinating from a combination of the traditional european classical orchestra or chorus, the jazz ensemble, the soccer team, and, finally, the pop-rock band. I would that we invent a new genre: intellipop, but that might be a little premature. We’ll see how this goes.
As for the coming year, we’re very excited. There has been building an amazing roster of wickedly talented people that I’m very excited to feature on this new music. Our goal is to expand into more performances, some with a smaller group (i.e. solo to trio) and some with what I envision as a current full band, which is from 5-7 pieces. We’re gonna have some fun, and I’m beyond thrilled to share this new music with you, so I’ll be keeping things updated, for either local friends and fans, or else anyone interested in making the trip to Boston, for some good grub and rockin’ music, in 2016 (I’m making the grub guarantee too, seeing as there’s, as far as I can tell, good food literally everywhere in this town). Onward!
This will likely be a much shorter update, as there’s not a lot that I’m allowed to talk about, so says our sagacious CEO and Madame Producer. Though, I’ll admit I agree with her, and, at least historically, I’ve had the occasional tendency to reveal spoilers, much to the chagrin of expectant experiencers. Daughters of Time (or DoT for short, an abbreviation garnering chuckles from friends working at various Departments of Transportation) is a very recent development, having its genesis at the very end of the last year. It is a story series based on the idea of featuring a kick-ass all-women’s team of heroes (may not be entirely unique, but I was inspired to do my own version of this idea). Interestingly, my developing of this series seemed to have coincided with the USWNT’s marvelous 2015 season and World Cup win. I’m not saying I had anything to do with it, necessarily.
Honestly, in terms of content, that’s probably all I can say for now. But it’s been such a huge part of my “this year” that I wanted both to mention it and also to say that I’m itching to talk about it more. Expect a blog post or some images and other bumph once we’ve moved a little further along various processes. Right now, we’ve finished what might be considered the first “season” (narratively), with episode outlines, and in some cases script mock-ups. Currently we’re considering comics (print or, more likely, digital) to be the jump-off point medium of choice, but of course, nothing’s set in stone, ever, it seems, these days! More than anything, I’m looking forward to continuing to meet talented and fascinating artists, with great gratitude for those whom I’ve already had the good fortune to meet and converse with.
Yeah, seriously, I really can’t say more just yet. Believe me, I’m as gutted as you are. Possibly more so lol.
And it’s this that gives me that sense of fullness. I can’t say whether it’s right, or wrong, or anything like that. But it makes sense to me, right now, in this moment. And for that, I am grateful. Grateful for the opportunity to keep pushing myself, to keep pressing beyond the boundaries of what I believe I can do, to keep building off every moment, to keep moving forward and doing the things I love, grateful for the opportunity to always be growing and evolving and enriching who it is that I am, grateful that I might keep working tirelessly to create the brighter world I see inside me.
There’s a light at the end of one of these tunnels. How do I know? I don’t. But next year we’ll take another step. I hope we can take it together. There are some wonderful initiatives that we’ll be either starting up or taking to the next level. We’re putting in place ways to connect, ways to spread the word to others and grow the community, ways to help support this work so as to bring into being music, art, and stories that are as encouraging as they are entertaining, as illuminating as they are diverting. Let’s connect and work together, not merely to change the world, but to create it, as luminous and radiant as our hearts can imagine. I believe we can make this happen. I believe if anybody can, we can.