In the summer of 2011, the International Festival of Arts and Ideas, in New Haven, CT presented Soldier Songs in its first fully-staged performance, produced by Beth Morrison Projects. With help from the New Music USA’s Composer Assistance Program Recording Grant and the Puffin Foundation, we were able to seize the opportunity to record the instrumental ensemble (Newspeak, conducted by Todd Reynolds) immediately following the performance, capturing the energy of the New Haven production on tape, for release on innova. Since, we were able to raise additional funds to edit the instrumental parts, and record the vocal tracks with rising-star David Adam Moore. But now, Soldier Songs has been presented with an amazing opportunity: to have a high-profile New York City premiere in January 2013, as part of the inaugural PROTOTYPE Festival. A partnership between HERE and Beth Morrison Projects, PROTOTYPE features “visionary music-theatre and opera-theatre works by pioneering artists from NYC and around the world.” As a result we’ve thrown production in to high gear to ready the CD for commercial release to coincide with these performances.
Due to the unexpected (if welcomed) nature of this opportunity, we have less time than we’d expected to raise the remaining $29,000 of the budget. Of this amount, we’re seeking $15,000 through USA Projects, to help complete the mixing process and prepare the work for release. If we are able to raise more than this, we could even fund the completion of the entire project, including graphic design, PR and various other administrative expenses!
Having a commercial recording available is an important next step for this work. Dealing with the impact of war on the individual, Soldier Songs remains an unfortunately relevant work. As more and more veterans come home from our on-going wars to face a new struggles with reintegration and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, works like Soldier Songs become all the more important. They start conversations. They help instill a certain kind of understanding in vets and their families, and help to begin the healing process.
Many thanks to all of the many supporters of this project, past and present. None of this would be possible without you.