& 39;Letters To The Dead& 39; is the fourth in a sequence of five albums I& 39;m making, to be known as & 39;The Phoenix Archaeologies& 39;. It has been recorded using only acoustic instruments, in churches, studios and at home, all on a very minimal budget. In essence it& 39;s a modern classical record with elements of folk balladry, musique concrete, doom and progressive rock.
The album follows a narrative - encompassing abandoned children, a Victorian spirit medium, a seance, ocean-dwelling undead sprites, and a trial.... It features contributions from a diverse, international array of artists from the worlds of modern-classical, UK indie, avant-garde composition and performance art. Collaborators include songwrtier Stuart Lee, alongside members of Kayo Dot, Hazel Rah, The Electric Soft Parade, and many more. Many of these have contributed their parts via e-mail; it is the first time I have constructed a record in this manner. An internationla supergroup, if you will...
With the mainstream music industry mid-collapse, independent artists are using interfaces such as Crowdfunder to connect directly with their fans - seizing the day as it were, and acting as autonomous agents of their own art. We believe that it is only worth issuing music in physical form if the result is something approximating an art object - hence if our bid to fund this project is successful, the resulting artifacts will be take form within beautiful materials and exquisite design.
Antithetic Records and Alter Clef Records will be co-releasing a limited edition vinyl of the record, alongside a CD and a DVD of related visual material, featuring film work by Chris Purdie, amongst others. These will be available as a grand package, and as independent components. Also we shall make available a limited edition printed & 39;zine& 39; of the libretto, with the lyrics and images.
In November we shall be staging a series of expanded concerts where we shall present the work in full, with visual projections, contemporary dance, staged sequences, etc.
We are looking here to raise funds, via Crowdfunder, to matchfund the contributions that each label is putting towards the project. It& 39;s my most far-reaching, ambitious musical project thus far, and I& 39;ll be enormously grateful to any of you who feel inclined to help facilitate it. Thank-you in advance.