The third iteration of GioSafari At Your Request, for which I'd taken nominations and votes last summer, was trumped by my wedding plans in the fall. Though I'd promised a late-January release, I only just finished the recordings a couple weeks ago. Then I had to do some final mixing and mastering, which took longer than expected due to a couple other projects that shimmied to the top of my priorities (I'll get to those in a minute).
Now I'm very pleased to announce that here, finally, for your listening pleasure, are the ten songs At Your Request.
As I was working on my renditions of the cover songs, I caught wind of the new Higher Ground Festival, an interdisciplinary arts extravaganza that is being planned for next month. They sought submissions from artists for collaborative performances and even offered the opportunity for interested parties to "meet and greet" each other. It seemed a great way for me to connect with other local artists (or to get more "contactos", as my mom would say) and contribute my musical skills and passions to the mix.
During one of the initial "meet and greet" times with the other artists, I mentioned an old unfinished project, in passing, to one of the festival organizers. She was very enthusiastic about my barely-realized project and strongly encouraged me to pick it up again.
The project in question was my arrangement of Stravinsky's Rite Of Spring, for guitar quartet. It's a project that I started during my last semester at UCF, way back in 2008. Though I've worked on it in spurts over the years, I never gave it primacy -- even if I did ever finish an arrangement, what would I do with it? But now, with several dancers and choreographers also meeting and greeting, it was almost too obvious -- finish my arrangement, find a guitar ensemble to perform it, and collaborate with a choreographer or dance troupe to realize the premiere performance.
With much less time than realistically needed to complete these three monumental tasks, I got to work. And I'm very proud to say that I've completed my arrangement for the first two movements, about seven minutes worth of music.
Unfortunately, I finished too late for my piece to be included in this year's festival; but on the other hand, I'm so relieved to have finally completed this arrangement! And though I could not make the submission deadline, the organizers were so excited and supportive of my project that they included the MIDI audio from the sheet music in their indiegogo campaign video. Now that I've finished my arrangement, I hope to get it published and have it performed, with or without dance... just have to figure out how music publishing works...
The third major project of the past few weeks was helping my neighborhood bookshop, Word Up, absorb a monumental donation of new (to us) bookcases. Though I spent many hours deliberating, meeting with other volunteers, and drawing floor plans, the whole process was still crazy and disorganized (no fault of our own! There were major issues with the delivery, oy); so I spent much of last week helping to make sense of the chaos. And there's still much else to resolve!
Still, with the At Your Request recordings and Stravinsky arrangement out of the way, it's a huge load off and now I'm free to dive into so many other projects that I have lined up...