“Do people even buy CDs anymore?” I heard a friend ask yesterday. This question came ahead of the launch concert for my first international recording contract with Claves Records of Switzerland. My trio had the fun experience of playing some music from our new Baroqueswing Vol. II album for a packed house at Pretoria’s Atterbury Theatre last night. I was overwhelmed by the support for this “serious” music in comparison to other projects I have staged at this theatre. The compositions by Bach, Gluck, Vivaldi and Handel we played were met with such concentration and curiosity from the audience.
Launching a CD might sound like something musicians do by the way, but for a recording artist like myself this is definitely the main focus of my work: it is where an audience member not only endorse your product by means of a ticket to a live concert, but take something home they deem worthy of hearing repeatedly. To me this is the ultimate compliment and the soul purpose of making music – aiming to entertain, uplift and stimulate the musical minds of those daring to hear something different.
I could not help but think back of the long process that resulted in the yesterday’s launch: Planning the programme for the concert started in August 2014, about a year before the recording. Then followed the creative process of arranging the chosen music from scratch around December 2014. The music for the live concert in Musikdorf Ernen, Switzerland in July 2015 had to be ready for rehearsals by February, after which we started performing the “new” music. The live recording was the fast part of the process as we could not repeat, edit or correct anything, but the energy between us and the audience on during that performance was electric. Mixing the live tracks, arranging a photo shoot and starting graphic design and layout preceded hours spent on writing info for the CD booklet. After almost 2 years in production the CD was printed in June 2016. The first time I held a copy in my hand in July I could not believe we were finally that far. So last night was the birth of this new project where I can answer my friend’s question with a resounding yes – we sold tons of copies.
My wish is that Baroqueswing Vol. II will make many listeners around the world as happy as we are to share this music with you.
iTunes sales start 14 October.