Cardiff-born musician launches all or nothing bid for debut album
Pianist and Royal Academy of Music jazz graduate, Peter Lee, is crowdsourcing his debut album for five piece band and string quartet through Kickstarter in an all or nothing bid to create ‘The Velvet Rage’.
Inspired by Alan Downs’ book of the same title, the album expresses the highs and lows of Lee’s personal experience as a musician. Downs worked as a psychologist in America, offering counselling to gay men and he has become familiar with their most common personal battles. Towards the end of the book he offers wisdom and guidance towards a goal he names ‘authentic validation’. Lee’s debut is tribute to this sentiment, showcasing compositions Lee has written over the last 10 years, drawing from his educational, professional and personal journey.
Lee commented: “Gay men and women have been granted the opportunity to marry in so much of the western world; we can walk through the streets hand-in-hand and yet it would be naïve to think that personal struggles related to sexuality aren’t still going on. Attacks on the LGBTQ community still happen, but we’ve seen our communities respond with an unprejudiced sense of unity. I’m so grateful that I live in an age where I can be out and proud and express my perspective through the medium of music.”
Cardiff-born and London-based, Lee received his undergraduate degree from Leeds College of Music and his campaign to raise £5,000 has attracted support from across the country with over 55% raised at the halfway mark.
For such a qualified musician, Lee’s story is one of humour and determination. His first gig with his band prompted an official complaint from the examiner-in-chief at the Royal Academy of Music. It was his final recital for his masters in jazz piano, but Lee went in with a band full of pop musicians. The audience whooped and cheered so raucously that a formal email was sent to all students about ‘appropriate’ exam conditions.
While touring with Alice Zawadzki, Lee worked with the Manchester-based “Amika” String Quartet whose stunning playing led him to arrange his music for strings, and invite them to a week-long recording session in the Autumn of 2016. From there, the album progressed into an offering that spans a decade of work with an authentic and highly talented group of musicians.
Lee needs to raise the full £5,000 by midnight on Tuesday 11 April and would welcome support from all corners. Visit www.bit.ly/petelee to join this exciting new project.
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For further information, contact:
Leah Thomas @ Blue Flamingo
Notes to editors:
Lee recorded for five days in Fieldgate studio in Cardiff. The musicians involved are: Pete Lee (piano/compositions), Josh Arcoleo (sax), Alex Munk (guitar), Huw Foster (bass), Ali Thynne (drums), and the “Amika” Strings: Laura Senior (violin), Rich Jones (violin) Lucy Nolan (viola) and Peggy Nolan (cello). The session was recorded by Andy Lawson, Alex Killpatrick & Matt Williams at Fieldgate Studios in South Wales. Matt Roberts produced the album.
Thursday 3rd March 2016 – Vula Viel @ Vortex 8pm £10 ‘Vula Viel returns to the Vortex to complete their Spring tour. A band which the Vortex holds close, as it did some of its first gigs here. And great to hear how it’s developing’ more info here
Travelling with drummer Daoud Merchant post-gig recently, BF had an insight into navigating with full drums on the Underground. Here are some top tips BF learnt from him!
1) Pack Tight and Small: Daoud has an amazing pack down kit (Whitney Drums Nesting Penguin) which he has on a trolley attached using bungie cables, then cymbals on his back. Literally a walking drum kit.
2) Aim High with Raised Paving: Some platforms have raised paving to meet the height of the carriage (especially the Victoria line). This is for wheelchair and luggage access: aim for this part of the platform! It means you don’t have to lift heavy equipment – you can just roll it on.
3) Look for Young Couples: One of the biggest obstacles to tube travel is stairs. However, show you’re struggling near to a young couple and often the gentleman will want to impress his lady by showing strength and helpfulness. Two birds with one stone: kit transported down stairs, chap glowing in his lady’s eyes.
4) Stand by the door most used, Kit in front of you: Otherwise all passengers will see is a gap in people at the other end/side of the carriage – and keep pushing. They can’t see all your kit on the floor. That way they know straight away that there is less space available (not sure if this will prevent irritation…though, we try!)
5) Get Ready Early: so you can get off quickly. It takes time to get everything ready!
Smaller companies tend to have fewer employees. Therefore these guys REALLY need to know their stuff in order to do their job well. Smaller companies have a bigger overall picture and more detailed product knowledge.
2) Specialist Options
Whilst the options might be fewer, the quality will be very high and specialised. That’s because smaller companies rely on their products working really well as they represent their brand. They will also tend to know their musicians personally, and will have used and worked with them more often.
3) Value for Money
In other industries, bigger companies are cheaper as they sell in bulk. However, with musicians this isn’t the case. Musician fees aren’t reduced because there are more of them. The fee is the same regardless. So the bigger companies won’t be cheaper, in fact they tend to be more expensive as they have bigger administration fees.
4) Personal Contact
Small companies tend to have a tight team. That means you can really get to know and trust them. Meeting up for a coffee to talk over ideas is quite common and it’s much better to meet someone and trust them before agreeing to a contract.
Short answer is No! Of course not!! It’s YOUR day, but here are some things you and your future spouse might like to ponder…
1. Do you really like it?
Do you and your other half actually like dancing in front of other people? If not don’t STRESS! Why not have a ‘bridal party’ dance so there are loads of people dancing with you.
2. We don’t really have a special song
You’d be surprised how long it takes some of our couples to decide on a song. In the end some choose to just cut the cake and let loose as a group, trusting the band with a song that will get people grooving.
3. Just not us
Again – this day is about YOU. Don’t do anything just because ‘it’s tradition’ – especially if it’s not who you are as a couple. Perhaps instead why not ask the kids attending to prepare a dance – they’re sure to love it!
First dances are often one of those ‘must capture’ moments by photographers and are something really special to look back on. Is this something you might want to show the grandkids.
2. Learn to Dance
‘First Dance’ classes are becoming an increasingly popular way for couples to spend time together in the madness before the big day. Why not get some professional tips.
3. Get the Party Started!
From a practical point of view – the first dance is invaluable in getting people to the dance floor. It’s a great way to get people in the dancing mood to celebrate your big day!
BF MD Leah is a musicologist by training and loves music and reviewing. It’s a way to express the joy that music brings.
2. We support live music
The Brits (say, in comparison with the Europeans) are not great at going out and getting involved in culture, whether that be dance, art, theatre or music. So we want you to encourage people to get out there and get involved in the rich culture that’s going on!
3. We support musicians
Sometimes the musicians we review are involved in some of our projects, so we want to support them in their other creative endeavours. It’s just being a good human really.
4. We respect music
By taking the time to write reviews it shows that we respect what people are working hard for and saying ‘this deserves to be written about’.