Archive for December 2022 | Monthly archive page
From Projekt’s Sam Rosenthal….
Happy winter solstice,
As the year draws to a close, and much of the country is about to be buried under a blanket of Brrrr!! I’m sitting on the edge of my chair thinking about what I’m thankful for. Well, the reason I’m actually on the edge of my chair is because Nova kitty is sitting behind me, hogging most of the space. My office is on what used to the back porch of my house, it’s a bit cold out here, and the chair is near the space heater, and Nova likes the warmth. One of the things I’m thankful for is Nova. She’s 17+ years old, and quite honestly I wasn’t sure she’d make it even two years when I adopted her the day after Xmas 2018. She’s been with me 4 years now! She’s a happy cat, even with her health issues. I released an album of her purrs a couple of weeks ago. I just told my son today: I’m more excited about Nova’s album receiving name-your-price donations than I am when my own albums get donations, crowdfunding & purchases. Not to say I don’t appreciate that too… but Nova’s never had an album before. And your donations are going to buy her favorite treats for months to come. Thank you! She appreciates it. She’d thank you herself, but you know how hard it is to get those little toe-beans aligned properly on the keyboard.
I love paying Projekt artists. It’s true. I love that I’m the middleman / conduit moving money around the world from your heartfelt donations, streams and purchases, into their pockets. There are only a few people on Projekt supporting themselves full time from music. The rest of us create music around our day jobs (my day job is running Projekt). Yes, of course everyone appreciates money! : ) Everyone appreciates being able to buy more gear, treats for their pets, and paying the rent. Whatever it’s going towards, it’s you who make it possible.
This year, Projekt has really gotten behind the name-your-price model on Bandcamp. Those donations often add up to a nice Paypal payment to one of your favorite musicians. You may have noticed that Projekt is bringing new artists to the label. It thrills me to connect you with great new artists and connect them with great new fans!
Right now I’m proofing the audio files on a new album you’ll be hearing very soon. It’s by a 23-year-old musician from Norway. Wow this is good! I can’t wait until you hear it.
I’ve been in COVID lockdown for three years. I have an immunocompromised family member I see regularly, and I would rather not risk it. It’s been nice to keep in touch with so many of you — and so many great artists — via emails and tweets. It’s nice to know you’re out there and that you care! I’m taking a couple weeks off work here, checking email for emergencies of course. On the break I’m going to remix my 1987 album, Black Tape For A Blue Girl’s Mesmerized by the sirens. There’ll be a vinyl / CD / MiniDisc release next year. Kickstarter coming in February.
In conclusion, you can be thankful that I’m not asking you to purchase something or grab a name-your-price. : ) This is just a message from me to you. I’d like to write more often, but finding the time. Ah! There’s the problem….. I will try. Stay warm, stay safe, wear a mask, have a great holiday…. I’m looking forwards to lots of new music in 2023… and better days ahead!
excludes new, preOrder, & sale items. ends 1-3-23. use checkout code ring-in-23 at projekt.com (not at our bandcamp store)
Paulina Fae: in dreams…
by Patrick Ogle
Paulina Fae is a musician and fine artist. There is a dreamlike quality in her work be it aural or imagery. There is something about both that seems to slip through the fingers just as you feel you are about to define it.
“I think there’s a running theme with my music in that the songs are elemental and explorative. There isn’t really one specific thing I’m aiming to communicate; it’s more a ceaseless desire to make and share music, however it may be,” she says.
Fae has been releasing music since 2007 with her discovery of Garageband.
“DAWS were completely new to me. I had no knowledge of the technicalities of mastering songs. I wasn’t sure where I was going with it and was debating whether this was something that I wanted to keep doing as a solo recording artist. But as I experimented and learned, the more I improved. I was playing around mostly with piano and vocals at first. It took trial and error to unfurl the technical issues in finding my sound.”
And that sound is refined and perfected in her latest record, Glow. It calls to mind ambient artists and performers as divergent as Zola Jesus and Kate Bush. The comparisons are specious and only a vague point of reference for the uninitiated; Paulina Fae really sounds like Paulina Fae.
To get to this point she experimented and figured out what worked… and what didn’t.
“The opening song on my debut album Bloodroots was a song I’d written for a friend and fellow music enthusiast who’d passed unexpectedly. It’s called ‘Rachel and Sitka.’ That one I think catapulted me into a song-making obsession. I discovered how exciting it was to create this way, and it opened up a new way of thinking for me. I might remaster some of those early songs one day. Maybe. That first album is no longer available to the public,” she says.
As a kid in the 1980s she wrote songs and lyrics but, as is often the case, had no outlet for them except, as she puts it “hissy tape recordings.” She left music behind and delved into visual arts.
“Eventually I learned how to use Logic Pro, which I started using after my third album. That was a game changer in enabling me to do what I really wanted with my music, to fine-tune and master better than previously,” says Fae.
Her music and art do intersect.
“One complements the other. The visual lends voice and interpretation to the sound and vice-versa. They play off the other, and both forms act as narrator. New directions and ideas pop up. That’s how The Secret Language of Trees happened in 2019-2020,” says Fae. “It’s a ‘graphic novella’ book of 11 lyrical stories intertwined with 11 songs. The drawings evolved with the songs; the songs evolved with the drawings. It was a really exciting project for me. Part of it was planned ahead of time, part of it was spontaneous.”
Fae takes different approaches when writing her songs.
“For the most part I’ll play around on the keyboard, the guitar, the ukulele, or in Logic. A little whisper of something happens, and I build it from there.”
She notes this is similar to how she draws.
“The songs have a will all their own and once they begin, it becomes an obsession to structure and layer in a way that complements the personality of a song. It’s always a journey and I never know what will happen — the possibilities are endless; I like that. It fuels me.”
The latest record, Glow, is, according to Fae, part of a trend toward happier songs and her figuring out how to get the best out of her voice.
“I have more fun making songs these days, a little less frustration. The frustration is still there but not the way it used to be. I play guitar and ukulele and incorporate those sounds into the songs, which I didn’t do before. I play a lot more with the sounds than I used to, organically,” she says.
Like many musicians she looks back at earlier work and wishes she knew then what she knows now but it doesn’t bog her down in creative nostalgia.
“As artists we’re often critical of our own work. But of course, it’s how we progress. I try to honor the earlier work; it’s all connected.” says Fae.
If you are looking to see her live you may need to take a trip to the Land of Nod. She says she hasn’t played live in the earthly realm.
“I mean, I remember a lot of dreams playing live. But playing live here, for real — I haven’t. I enjoy recording and mastering songs, putting them out and then making more songs when I’m ready,” she says. “That’s where I put my energy and time. It’s an invigorating experience, personally. A passion. But the idea of playing live — I’m always open to possibilities.”
To paraphrase Delmore Schwartz, “In dreams begin possibilities!”