Looking Ahead: 2011 and Beyond

Greetings, all comers! Welcome to another installment of the NAILblog…

About 13 months ago, I had started to write my 2009 Year-End wrap up post, about all that had happened in, well, 2009. There was quite a lot that happened; and in fact, kept happening – to the extent of which I never actually finished writing it. In fact, a whole other YEAR went by, and all the time I was thinking I could still get to it…. Not. Ridiculous, actually. So as 2010 came to close, I grappled (however briefly) with the idea of a 2010 Year End Wrap Up post again, and realized my mistake: its actually much more important for me at this point in my life to look FORWARD, instead of back. So I therefore change tack and offer more of a “what I hope to Accomplish in 2011” type of post. There’s a whole pile of projects and ideas I want to try and get to this year, and posting them here might (I am hoping) help me actually GET to them. Here goes:

What I’m planning for 2011: The Adventure continues

1) The Solo Piano CD & Performances
Folks have been after me to record a solo piano CD for something like 20 years. I know I’m off to a good start this year because Ive already recorded it. Editing/mixing now. The plan is to release it late spring, combined with a series of shows.
Coincidentally, I’ve been asked by choreographer Jonathan Riedel to perform my solo piano transcription of Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring for 2 shows in May. It dovetails perfectly with the release of the CD, and “The Rite of Spring” will be featured in many of these performances. I am psyched!

2) The Planets Project
Gustav Holst’s amazing orchestral work, arranged for Jazz Octet. This will be one of my Kickstarter projects this year; in fact, Ive already got backers. Inspired by Duke Ellingtons arrangements of the Nutcracker, Mary Poppins, etc. A lot of the conceptual groundwork has already been put in place over the last 18 months. This year it HAPPENS. 🙂

3) ASCO
This is an idea that ive been kicking around for a lot of years at this point. Not necessarily new or original, but I feel very strongly about it nevertheless. ASCO stands for the Analog Synthesizer Chamber Orchestra. I imagine it as a kind of a live version of Switched on Bach, a work that had a tremendous influence on me. My goal here is to bring ASCO into existence as a viable Chamber ensemble; stay with it for a number of years and then let someone else take the reigns. The main reason I have not acted on this idea is because it includes the creation of a not for profit organization. (Not to mention the initial equipment costs!). This year I will begin the process of creating this ensemble.

4) Duets (various)
Theres a handful of wonderful musicians Ive been talking with over the last few years, about doing various types of projects. Classical, improvisation, recording, performance, remix. Lots of amazing ideas and energy. Some of these folks are:

Who loves ya, kiddo?

  • Pianist and author Stuart Isacoff
  • Drummer Greg Burrows
  • Bassist Steve Lawson
  • Multi instrumentalist Alan Wentz
  • Violinist Zach Brock
  • Bassist Trip Wamsley
  • Guitarist Rob Michaels
  • Wind player Premik Russel Tubbs
  • Drummer vibraphonist Gregg Bendian

..and quite a few more I’ve not listed at the moment. Also on this list is my lovely wifeNita Rae, a songwriter & keyboard player. We’ve done things together now & again; she’s acted as coproducer and/or engineer on almost all of my recordings. My collaboration with her is way overdue, and will take top priority when it begins to take shape.

5) NAIL reborn, or reinvented, or just renamed…
I’m not sure why NAIL never really caught on after 11 years of playing out. Didn’t get far enough away from home? Too many personnel changes? Just not the right combination of tunes and musicians? Or a promo FAIL? Ah well. Whatever the reason, I had really good response to my last Winter Solstice show which was more of a piano based quartet (still using synthesizers, tho). Ive been chewing on a lot of ideas about what to do next with NAIL, and I think Ive decided on a more flexible approach – i.e., not sticking to any particular ensemble size or instrumentation, but still featuring the piano. Im starting to get excited about this, but the idea needs to cook some more. Ill be hoping to take this version for a spin in the fall, or maybe sooner. This means that the Planets Project would also fall under the guise of NAIL. That works for me. 🙂

Who is "the Mysterious Phantom"?

Who is "the Mysterious Phantom"?

6) The Mysterious Phantom

I did this solo show at the Annual Zombie Barbecue hosted by my friend Dan at the Wherehouse restaurant in Newburgh. It was a sort of hardcore avant techno thing; I dressed in a cape, used a Theremin and was billed as The Phantom. There were suddenly a lot of requests for a Phantom CD. Sometimes you just gotta give the people what they want. Ill be doing that gig again this year, and I will have product in hand this time.

7) Choice NAIL: Live & Unreleased trax
Gee, Ive got a lot of these lying about. Enough for 2 CD’s, actually. It won’t take quite that much work to get these out; most of them just need to be mixed. Here’s a taste: “Box 555”:

Box 555 by nailmusic

8) UK House Concert & Lecture tour
If I can get this together, it will be amazing – especially to meet in person all the awesome Brits I’ve met thru Twitter.  Its all about earning enough cash to cover the cost of the trip. More on this story as it develops.

9) NAILMUSIC.COM Website Overhaul
Wrangling Nailmusic.com into shape, with a more comprehensive non-flash site, optimized mobile site, and full integration with Soundcloud, Bandcamp and all my blogs  – WordPress (this one), Posterous and my new Tumblr Synth blog. I’m gonna need some serious help with this one, and it needs to happen soon. Any web ninjas out there up for the challenge?

10) Solo Performances: Raves, Galleries, Concert Halls & House Concerts

Right alongside the acoustic piano concerts will be the electronic ones. In fact, I’m working a set of music for Piano/Laptop that has the best of both worlds. There will also be electronic only gigs, like Raves –  I did 2 last year, major fun. The idea is to get out there and PLAY.

….And the question now is: only 10?
In reality, the idea factory has been working overtime over the last few years. Ive got literally an amazing amount of idea energy. The problem has always been the actual way forward: how to proceed, and on which ideas. I still don’t have the answers, but Ill learn as I go. Like the song says: ” you cant always get what you want. But if you try sometimes, you just might find… You get what you need.”
I say: BRING IT.
As always, I welcome your comments. Thanks for reading!

NEXT: The year of the Piano

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