Listen with your Eyes / Watch with your Ears

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Dearest Dorothy,

So much awesomeness has happened since I last wrote! So much, that it would be hard to write about any of it without ending every sentence with an exclamation point. Therefore, I’ll just lump everything into one sentence, let’s see: I played my first show, was on cable tv, saw cuts of the music videos I’m working on, wrote and recorded new songs, made some new friends, and finally won a game of Monopoly! I’d say everything’s on the up and up. I’ll get into the specific about all that in due time; unless you’re curious about the Monopoly game, because it was A MASSACRE. For now, let me continue the train of thought from my last correspondence.

Ah yes, SUADADE.

I sent it out to you back in March so I’ll assume you’ve heard it by now. If so, then you probably have some questions on what the heck it was all about. Well, you’re probably not alone. You see, I was fortunate enough to get some feedback on it, and while the response has been positive (overwhelmingly so, might I add), what really blew me away was how close folks were to figuring out the entire story! And here I thought I was being clever… >=( So, I figure the least I could do would be to dispel some rumors and theories, without spoiling the entire listening experience. Here goes…

For starters, let’s just state the obvious: YES, IT’S A CONCEPT ALBUM.

This basically means that there is one unifying, over-arching story occurring from track 1, up until the end of track 12. I know what you’re probably thinking; “You’ve never recorded anything on your own (or at all) before, and for your first foray into recorded music, you wanted to record an entire concept album?” Hell yea. Why the fuck not?

However, that’s not to say when taken out of context, each song can’t stand on its own. These songs would do very well as singles telling their own stories. I made certain of that much. However, when played in the order that they’re in for SUADADE, along with the intervening skits, they take on a more holistic approach to storytelling, where each of the individual songs serve as the scenes that make up the entire movie (or in my case, album).

That right there was huge in terms of the philosophy behind the songwriting and production for SUADADE. I wanted it to be a movie for your ears when played from beginning to end, while still being able to deliver powerful individual songs if a listener didn’t want to go on the full ride. That being said, I wanted the same artistic freedom that a director would have fleshing out a movie in his head: manipulating things like scenes, imagery, color, space, silence, etc. I wanted to play around with these components, just aurally.

In keeping with the “movie for your ears”-mindset, I wanted there to also be something that would capture the (potential) listener’s eye. Whether it would be the first thing they’d see about SUADADE, or something they’d refer to while listening to the music. I needed something that would serve as the theatrical poster for my movie, the calling card for the music, and the overall mood indicator that would sum up the range of emotions within SUADADE.

I needed my album cover.

However Dora, as you know, it’s never that simple. Unfortunately, things don’t just fall onto your lap whenever you need them to. That is of course, until they do. I can't really say that I was searching, but I can say that I knew when I finally found it; the perfect album cover.

SUADADE

It was in this picture that I heard every note of my album. It was in this picture that I felt every emotion in SUADADE. The colors, the composition, the stylized presentation; it was all there and I knew it was the one. Thankfully, it was the work of someone I already knew and was lucky enough to call a friend;

Ms. Jaina Teeluck.

If you haven’t heard about her, that’s fine. She just happens to be one of the best up-and-coming visual artists/photographers in the New York area. You know; the kind who’s had her work showcased by galleries and companies? No biggie. So I guess you could say I got pretty lucky, because all I had to do was ask her for permission to use the pic, and I got it. Since then, we’ve been working pretty closely together. Suffice to say, every image you see on this site has been taken by Jaina (unless otherwise stated). That also goes for the cover art of the tracks on my Soundcloud.

As for the album cover itself… Ahh yes, that mesmerizing image of a beautiful woman, dressed up and staring off into the distance. How the heck does that explain anything about the album? Well, I’m feeling a little pooped out already, Dorothy. I hope you don’t mind, but I’d rather explain that some other time.

Hmm, come to think of it, I didn’t really explain much about the album, did I? Alright then, I promise to get into the story and its underlying meaning the next time I write you. Until then…

Be Good,

theRave