After 15 years of playing in bands, working as a session musician and generally following the work, I would like to record my own album. It's all too easy to follow other people's lead and play the music of others, so after suffering some trials and tribulations and spending some time concentrating on supporting my young family, I am now ready to release my own original music based on my experiences and the emotions I have come to embrace.
For those of you who don't know me, I'm a pianist and saxophonist. I play a mix of genres but tend to fall into jazz and improvised music. I've played extensively across the country and had the pleasure of touring Europe and the States a couple of times. I play as much as I can and also, during the week I teach people what I've learnt.
The last original piece of music I wrote was in 2006 so it's been 10 years since I jotted down ideas on manuscript. In spring 2016 I caught the composition bug again, mainly because I had booked myself a gig at Stratford Jazz Club. I did this on purpose to force myself into action. At the time of booking I had no music and no band! I found some great players that I work well with and set about writing, practicing and, in July 2016, performing the tunes which I based on my experiences over the last 6 or 7 years.
The music is deeply personal and it follows a theme of light and dark. I've had some horrific moments partnered with the best days of my life. Getting married and raising a family has meant so much to me and has helped me through some dark times.
I realise this all sounds cringe-worthy but I now realise that communicating experiences and relating stories is important to me. In my mind this orginal music does all that and more.
I have an albums worth of tunes and I would to do a proper job. It's pretty accessible stuff but certainly not mainstream so to go through the traditional route probably wouldn't work. I have great faith in crowdfunding and I have supported a few projects in the past. It's such a good idea. This time it's me that's after the cash! By raising the capital this way I don't have to jump through any hoops and I can create the album with all my own artistic ideas intact.
"So why not just pay for it yourself?"
Its a good question and one I have asked myself several times. The simple answer is that now I have a family to care for, a pot of a couple of thousand pounds is increasingly unrealistic! I have some savings which I intended to use for this project but I am also aware that my boiler is over 35 years old! Yesterday I got paid for a gig and after filling up my car with diesel my wife informed me that my youngest needed new school shoes. Gig money desolved!
I'm sure anyone who has a family can appreciate the difficulties of making ends meet and I'm certainly not intending this to sound like a sob story. I am hugely grateful for what I have. I would just like to document some of the things I have created and I hope that this will give me the chance to do it properly. I am also using this crowdfunding platform to make a conscious decision to stop procrastinating and just go for it. My trick of a blindly optimistic gig booking worked so well 6 months ago, I thought I would try it again!
Thank you for taking the time to read this. As a thank you for reading up to this point, please follow this link for a free bonus track I intend to release with the album: https://jayriley.bandcamp.com/track/stronger-than-you-think I would love it if you decided to pledge. Please have a look at all the cool things I am offering in return!