Stars are a Harem

by Micah Gaugh

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  • Pre-order of Stars are a Harem. You get 1 track now (streaming via the free Bandcamp app and also available as a high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more), plus the complete album the moment it's released.

    The album download includes an artwork/lyrics/credits booklet pdf, a sheet music booklet pdf "13 piano pieces - Stars Are a Harem", as well as the midi file of the 13 song suite for piano for those wishing to remix, sample and loop.
    releases May 12, 2017

     $7 USD  or more

     

1.
03:27

about

1. The Sky
2. Remembering
3. Stars are a Harem
4. End of the Line
5. Le Jeune
6. Go Cross
7. Penny
8. Mariposa
9. Swans
10. Little Mountain
11. Izquierdo
12. Crystal
13. Lola

The 13-song suite, "Stars are a Harem" is a metamodern response to Miles Davis' "Kind of Blue" - music steeped in the tradition of the avant-garde yet the harsh sounds associated with the avant-garde American Jazz music from the 1960's are softened, made round. With words inspired by the witty romance writing of Cole Porter, and songs that were popularized by Billie Holiday or Betty Carter.

Marion Brown had a record "Afternoon of a Georgia Faun" based on the Debussy "Prelude to the afternoon of a Faun", recording the lighter side of improvisational jazz... as a mentor to Micah Gaugh he explained that the subtleties of improvised music could make as strong an impact on the ear as the athletic/frenetic tones of the avant-garde. The vocal range is already a clue to that - acrobatics that are not in the usual vein of male singers in Jazz, but in the context of the record virtuoso techniques are accepted as a norm.

The songs were written as portraits about women - not necessarily completely romantic but the audio to a mind-painting that sums up an experience with the individual women in the songs. The songs were recorded in Harlem by tracking the piano first, then looping the piano and editing it into a song format, secondly the vocals were added to the piano and then the drums. When recording the drums language was used such as "play raindrops" or "alter the time of this song by speeding up the rhythm and slowing the rhythm". The bass was added last of all and Henry Schroy was able to react to the drums after they were placed over the piano and vocal tracks.

Not the standard recording process in Jazz, the record was made first as a solo piano record and then added on to, thus making the process very singular for each musician. This intimacy can be heard, as each of the players has a different and isolated relationship to the sounds and the experience of the compositions. It is almost more of an art project than a recording.

credits

releases May 12, 2017

Micah Gaugh - composer, piano, voice, sax

Kevin Shea - drums

Henry Schroy - bass, recording engineer (bass)

Hayato Nakao - recording engineer (drums)

Luqman Brown - recording engineer (voice, piano, sax)

Mixed by Henry Schroy and Chad Zuchegno at The Vibe Recording

Mastered by Emily Lazar at The Lodge assisted by Chris Allgood

Produced by Henry Schroy and Micah Gaugh

Cover photo by Matthew Heyner

Cover model - Leah Benjamin

Back cover photo by Byron Dean (in booklet)

(c) 2017 UT NOSTI

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Sê-lo! Salvador, Brazil

"Sê-lo! is a netlabel from Bahia, Brazil, which releases digital and physical works by innovative, daring artists who take a radical approach to creating sonic/music languages."

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Track Name: Remembering
It’s so easy to sleep
as the flower falls from the tree
you’re so lovely
and the breeze from the sea as the lake
flows by gently awe inspiring
you told me that I would be your Prince
that is left to happenstance
the fire that burned could be seen from across the street
we were camping slightly the moon
in your eyes disappears with the rain
I can’t complain
in the tent we were ghost with a glow so absurd
my word graceful songbird
tried and true what were we supposed to do
what could we do with our time