Help fund the recording "On The Brighter Side" by Karl Jannuska featuring Cynthia Abraham !
For those of you who don't know me I'm a drummer and composer who was born and raised in the province of Manitoba in the canadian prairies and have been based in Paris, France for the past 18 years. While I am primarily known as a sideman in the jazz world, (currently a member of a dozen bands and my drumming can be heard on nearly 100 CDs) I find that my true musical voice shines brightest through my songwriting.
ON THE BRIGHTER SIDE is my sixth CD as a leader. Like my previous recordings it is entirely comprised of my own original songs. I also wrote all of the album's lyrics which are brilliantly interpreted by Cynthia Abraham. After having collaborated with Toronto-based vocalist Sienna Dahlen over an eight year period, On The Brighter Side marks the beginning of a new chapter with Cynthia as the voice of my music.
While I tend to cringe when asked if my music is jazz or not (the job of putting labels on music is better suited to critics than musicians) I often describe my music as "Indie Jazz" - music created by trained jazz musicians who pull inspiration from indie / alternative pop and rock bands and in my case those influences are Radiohead, Bjork, Deerhoof, Dirty Projectors and Syd Matters. Whatever category my music falls into, at the core lie strong melodies and unique drum grooves. There is a definite hypnotic quality present in my music and if I could give my music one superpower it would be the power of levitation.
On The Brighter Side (OTBS from now on) is the continuation of a new approach to recording that I began with my last album Midseason. While my previous CDs were recorded in a "jazz way" - two or three days with the whole band in the studio - these two albums were recorded in a manner more common to pop music with instruments being recorded one at a time. The process is more time-consuming - the recordings for On The Brighter Side took place over a three year period beginning in 2015 in the wonderful Studio des Bruères with generous support from Jean-Christian Maas - but it is a direction that allows for increased focus on getting the right sound and intention from each instrument and facilitates overdubbing (the layering of multiple tracks played by one musician). If I got my feet wet with this approach during Midseason, I completely dove in the water with OTBS which features the participation of eleven musicians and the use of seven different recording studios.
In 2015 I cofounded the Shed Music label with Tony Paeleman, Christophe Panzani and Pierre Perchaud (fellow members of a band called The Watershed and all of whom can be heard on OTBS). Our objective was to have a common platform for the music that we make together and individually. OTBS will be the label's 9th release.
I feel very fortunate to have worked with many incredible musicians on this recording. Let me introduce you to some of them...
Tony Paeleman is one of the closest members of my musical family. He is an incredibly talented pianist and sound engineer. We've known each other for ten years and have played in several different bands together. He played a big role in my previous release Midseason and had an equally big role on this recording having mixed, mastered and having played piano, fender rhodes, Hammond organ and various other keyboards. Words can't express how valuable he's been to bringing this music to life.
Pierre Perchaud and Federico Casagrande are two of my favourite guitarists in the world and I'm grateful to have them both on this CD. They complement each other marvellously and it's a joy to have them both in my live band.
Julien Herné is an incredibly in-demand bass player and there's a good reason for that! I'll share a little secret with you: despite the fact that he plays on OTBS and Midseason, we've never actually played a single note together in the same room. Gotta fix that one day...
Seamus Blake is an internationally renown tenor saxophonist who has toured the world over with some of the biggest names in jazz (John Scofield, Dave Douglas, Antonio Sanchez) and, while spending a few days off in Paris between tours, he accepted to record on two tracks, "I'll Find You" and "On the Brighter Side" (which required a great deal of imagination as the recordings were in their early stages and were missing several instruments). I have a confession to make : Last year, as an exercise in one of my Protools lessons with Philippe Kadosch (a musician and teacher who gave me the tools necessary to edit my own music and some great ideas about using technology to shape my music) I cut up Seamus' solo on "I'll Find You" and manipulated the sound as if he was playing in the Cathédrale de Chartres and, using the resulting long reverb, I created a soundscape which I ended up keeping for the album. Sacrilege ! One day I will release an alternate version with his real solo which is incredible !
While asking friends to recommend a french horn player, Baptiste Germser's name came up a few times and I was touched by his generosity and investment in my project. He can be heard on OTBS playing french horn, bass and keyboards. We spent a few late nights in his studio like mad scientists sampling french horns and trying out different vintage keyboard sounds.
This record wouldn't have been complete without the presence of the fourth member of Shed Music, my friend and gifted saxophonist Christophe Panzani who plays clarinets and tenor saxophone on the track "Everyone's Superman". He came up with the woodwind arrangement and was given carte blanche to "do his thing" and, as was to be expected, he found what the song needed.
Last but certainly not least a word about Cynthia Abraham. We've known each other for about three years and when I was looking for a singer in France to interpret my music she came highly recommended. Cynthia comes from a musical family and it was obvious from our first rehearsal together that, not only did she possess an incredible vocal technique, but she could also find the right intention for my songs instinctively before I had to give any indications. Sometimes when you mix a record and listen to a song 10 000 times you start to go crazy. Well, not when you have Cynthia's voice in your headphones... ; )
Why is this record called On The Brighter Side ? Partly because it's constructed using 90% major triads (even if it may not sound like it) and partly because the album's lyrics orbit loosely around the theme of happiness and the eternal search for life on the brighter side...
A word about the cover art : While searching Google for ideas, I stumbled across a pattern for a First Nations star blanket (after being introduced to this tradition at my brother's wedding last summer) and knew that I wanted that for the cover. Kudos to Oliver Degabriele who reconstructed the image digitally and who will do the graphic design for the CD.
It has been a pleasure for me to help fund the creative projects of fellow artists through Kisskissbankbank and I am happy to offer my fans the opportunity to participate in the realization of this recording. I've put together some nice rewards and hope that you will find something that entices you to contribute to this work that I am extremely proud of. I look forward to following through with the next steps in the making of On The Brighter Side and can't wait for the music to hit your ears!
Here is the track list :
1) I'll Find You
2) On the Brighter Side
3) Blue, White and Red Flags
4) Orchid Child
6) Stil de Grain
7) Truth be Told
8) Hide Your Magic
9) Fade Away
10) Everyone's Superman
11) What Lies Within
I would like to thank two other musicians who appear on this CD but weren't mentioned above : Guillaume Latil (cello) and Nicolas Moreaux (acoustic bass).
And here is what the press had to say about my last record, "Midseason" :
"TT - Highly recommended" - Telerama
"His compositions are the fruit of a unique imagination" - Les Inrocks
"Neither pop nor jazz. Luminous poetry" - Froggy's Delight
"Unclassifiable" - Paris Capitale
On The Brighter Side has already been recorded, mixed and mastered and all of the expenses up until this point (musicians, engineers and studios) have come out of my own pocket. There are however many expenses on the horizon before this music can see the light of day and that's why I'm here today asking for your help.
The money from this collect will go towards :
- SDRM (mechanical rights necessary for printing music) : 400€
- Printing 500 CDs - 700€
- Graphic design (so the CD can look as awesome as it sounds) : 500€
- Promo pictures (so I can look as awesome as my music sounds!) - 500€
- Additional Promo (cost of sending promo CDs to journalists and radio, Facebook (and other) ads, cost of Tune Core distribution and fees to help make a professional video clip) : 1600€
- Costs related to the rewards for the generous contributors : 400€
- Kisskissbankbank commission : 400€
All of the money from this collect will go directly to me.
If I can reach my goal of 4500€ the CD will be released mid-November and contributors will receive the music a few weeks before the rest of the world.
If I don't meet my goal, I don't get anything and your contributions will be returned to you...
And if I manage to get more than my targeted amount then I'll have an even bigger budget for promotion which will help my music to reach even more ears.
Thank you all for your generosity !