If you’re a regular to the site you know by now that Saturdays are reserved for full concert videos. I decided to change the vibe a bit this week and feature a live set by the immensely talented Taylor McFerrin who was invited to perform by Hiatus Kaiyote in a series of concert they curated for the Red Bull Music Academy and Boiler Room. Catch the 1 hour set by McFerrin on keys, beatbox, mix pads, loops and the likes. Warning, dope music follows.
We need your help figuring something out! So please read on. I’ve been itching to do another Kickstarter because after 6 years we desperately need to revamp the website and it would also be cool to raise a little money to finally pay our writers. Yesterday I was sent an article and the following sentence deeply resonated with me: “Think about it. One day a site you have read for years just won’t be there anymore because the close-knit teams who have been putting them together – because there is a need and a role – just didn’t get anything coming in to cover even basic costs let alone earn a living. What are you going to read then?” We started selling banner ads to finance the revamp ourselves, but as I mentioned before here, they haven’t been overly successful. We also did a hasteful Booster campaign, which also didn’t quite work out as we had planned. In any case, it’s a fact that Search and Restore had two successful Kickstarter campaigns raising altogether over $80,000. There have also been numerous musicians who have been able to raise $5,000 to $20,000 to finance a new album. So I don’t see why we couldn’t raise $5,000 ourselves. But this this time we want to go about it the right way so we are asking for your help to test the waters first. Please read on!
Occasionally a song will grab you out of nowhere and shake out the cobwebs. Recently I had the pleasure of hearing Luis Perdomo’s "Cota Mil" on the radio (shout to WNCU). I’d been aware of Perdomo and his new album, Twenty-Two, but hearing this tune made it clear that I’d been sleeping on something that needed to be checked out much more thoroughly. After spending a bit more time with Twenty-Two and with "Cota Mil", those initial impressions were more than confirmed.
Pianist Tigran Hamasyan is a private figure who doesn’t overly expose himself on social media hence why we haven’t heard much from him since the release of his Nonesuch debut Mockroot last February. If you dig a little, however, you will find out that the young pianist has been hard at work on a new project called Luys i Luso for piano and voices featuring the Yerevan State Chamber Choir conducted by Harutyun Topikyan. “Tigran’s new musical undertaking is the fresh and attractively youthful representation of the Armenian sacred music of the 5th to 20th centuries from his perspective and will be released by the internationally acclaimed record label ECM in September 2015. The repertoire ranges from enthralling hymns and sharakans (genre of Armenian chants) to breathtaking cantos by Grigor Narekatsi, Nerses Shnorhali, Mesrop Mashtots, Mkhitar Ayrivanetsi, Grigor Pahlavuni, Komitas, Makar Yekmalyan, etc., arranged for piano and voices by the pianist himself. All the compositions apart from “Patriarchal Ode” (Հայրապետական մաղթերգ) are written in grabar, also known as Classical Armenian – the oldest attested form of the Armenian Language.” Hamasyan premiered the project last March in Yerevan and followed with 100 performances in churches in Georgia, Turkey, Lebanon, France, Belgium, Switzerland, Czech Republic, England, Germany, Luxembourg, Russia and USA. The entire tour and the concerts were recorded by a professional camera crew under the supervision of Emily Mkrtichian and Alex Igidbashian and will be released as a separate film in 2016. Until then, a new video, filmed in 2011 in Armenia, has just been released for the song “Lament” off Hamasyan’s 2013 release Shadow Theater. Check it out below the jump.
This is another one of those sporadic public service announcements, yet please bear with me, valuable information follows. We have been offering banner ads on Nextbop since January, which have been quite successful at first with independent artists and small labels. We’ve published campaigns for Daniel Rosenboom, Glenn Zaleski, Matt Stevens via Whirlwind Recordings, Rez Abbasi, Tomoko Omura and an extended campaign for the SFJAZZ Collective. There’s nothing that pleases me more than seeing banners on the site promoting relevant and targeted content instead of generalized large corporations. Yet recently, partly due to the increase hours I’ve had to commit to my day job, I have been unable to book our banners. I’ve emailed every artist, label, headphone and speaker company, online music service, musical instrument company and the likes you can think of, yet to no avail. Most just don’t reply and others claim they don’t have a budget for ads. This brings me to my first interrogation: why haven’t most labels and artists’ marketing strategies, specifically within the jazz industry, evolved to capitalize on this new facet of modern life, namely the internet?