According to Broadway lore, the average musical takes 10 years to write, and the average cast album takes 3 years to produce – Well, so far I’m right on schedule! Ladies, Gentlemen, I am proud to announce the release of “The Shaggs: Philosophy of the World” Cast Album! (I”m also proud to announce a bunch of other stuff… read on!)
1. CAST ALBUM FOR “The Shaggs: Philosophy of the World” – BUY NOW!
2. BIG PARTY FOR RELEASE OF CAST ALBUM IN NYC JUNE 23!
3. ZOMBIE GAME AT TOP OF STEAM GREENLIGHT PROJECTS!
4. 2 YEARS SINCE LAST GUNNAR NEWS? WHADDUP?!
5. NEED MORE BEAUTY IN YOUR LIFE? CHECK OUT THIS BLOG!
5. SHEET MUSIC CONTINUES TO SPREAD AROUND THE WORLD!
4. DID I MENTION THAT I WRITE MUSIC AND YOU CAN DOWNLOAD IT?!
1. Cast album release June 10!
Many of you generously contributed cash and good wishes so that we could muster this cast recording – It took a bit (okay, a lot) of extra time to get it done, but we recorded white-hot emotionally charged performances, and we’ve finally finished mixing the audio and perfecting the liner notes. It’s glorious!
We are bursting with pride, and hungry to share it with you – Click on the cover to fly hence to the Amazon page where you can sample it, buy a CD or download it lickety-split for instant gratification. (It’s also available on iTunes, Spotify and everywhere else you might think of).
Creating an album from a show is not a slam-dunk proposition. Things that work onstage in the context of a story being told may not translate to a recording. The raw energy that drove the singers onstage may get muted when they”re placed in front of a mic with a roomful of engineers and producers frowning and gesticulating from behind soundproof glass. But you know what? We defiantly defied the odds and created lightning in the studio. This doesn’t sound like a typical cast album – it sounds like a rock album!
The collaboration which brought forth this music has been wonderful. Working alone (which is also wonderful), I sometimes end up doing only what’s comfortable, and the artistic spark can sometimes feel muted. Working with Joy Gregory (and John Langs) led me to exciting new areas of composition. Revisiting and reworking and polishing the music over the course of so many years is an experience I’ve never had before, and that microscopic attention is…exhausting! But if really pays off. And while all my albums hitherto have featured myself as a performer, it”s so fresh to have no direct role in the sound, but to turn it over to musicians who find ways of expression I never dreamt of.
(Truth be told, I did play a tiny bit of music on here. The first one to guess what instruments and where I played will win a copy of this CD and any other CD from my catalog!)
The stars of this recording? THE BAND – Leroy Bach (Wilco, Beth Orton), David Hilliard (David Byrne, Dan Zanes), Aaron Gandy (hot keyboards, music director), and cool bassist Steve Gilewski. THE CAST: Theatre Legends Peter Friedman, Annie Golden, Jamey Hood, Sarah Sokolovic, Emily Walton, Cory Michael Smith, Kevin Cahoon, and Steve Routman.
2. Party Hearty in New York June 23 – Get Shaggy!
Join the cast of “The Shaggs: Philosophy of the World” at the cool downtown hotspot THE BOWERY ELECTRIC for a rockin’ record release party, featuring live performances of music from the show! The ENTIRE cast will be there, all your favorite characters – I can”t guarantee they”ll have bobble-head dolls for the first 100 people in the door, but… you never know!
THE BOWERY ELECTRIC
327 Bowery at 2nd Street
New York, NY 10003
3. Undead Overlord Early Access on Steam 6/20!
Undead Whaaa?! Okay, many of you know that I’ve worked in the Video Game industry as a composer and sound designer (at Atari, even!). Over the years I continue to dabble, and a game that I’ve super-dabbled in is finally coming to almost-ripe fruition. It’s called “Undead Overlord“. It’s where YOU get to control zombies and take over the world. It’s rather, um, gory (too gory for my tastes, but…most of the young team members are horror flick fans). But it IS fun, really fun – I think it has all the elements to be a big hit. And I’m not alone – we posted our nascent game on STEAM (the Amazon.com of gaming) and it shot to the top of the ratings – like #3 out of 70,000 or something. Really. So now, Steam wants us to release our Alpha (like Beta software, only more buggy) to the world, so that the Undead Virus can spread. Go check it out on STEAM – Brains are not only attractive; they’re tasty!
4. Where you been, Gunnar?!
The last couple of years family matters have kept me occupied and close to home. There hasn’t been a major project like “mounting an off-broadway show” or “recording a new album” that has needed a shout-out. I continue to write music towards a new album, I’m working on Undead Overlord, I did a residency at Berkeley Rep”s Ground Floor for a new musical project in ’12, and I’m collaborating on yet another musical project with someone I met at Berkeley Rep. Overall, I’d characterize my artistic fire as being on ”simmer” right now 🙂 And, for those of you who keep asking when I’ll perform next, the answer is… I don’t know! While my artistic fire is still burning, my yen for performance seems to have disappeared. Snuffed out. No Spark. I know, the guy who was once addicted to the spotlight doesn’t want to perform?! It puzzles me, too, but I just have no desire to be on a stage right now. We”ll see if and when the spotlight catches me again…
5. Rob Jenkins – Photographer and Thinker of Thoughts!
One of my favorite fellow-artistes is the sublime photographer Rob Jenkins (he who took the cover photo for Two Hands). Based across the river from Manhattan in the Elysian Fields of Hoboken, he has lately begun a blog, where his thoughtful writing accompanies his photos. If you need a bit of beauty in your day, click on over there, then bookmark it for those times when you need another shot o’ beauty.
6. Sheet Music All Over the World!
Orders for sheet music continue to come in from around the world. You too can play selections from “Two Hands” and “Spinning World: 13 Ways of Looking at a Waltz”. Join the crowd of happy ivory ticklers – Click below to add truly interactive music to your life:
7. Do You Still Listen to Music?!
We’ve all read the news stories about how no one listens to music anymore. Is it true in your home? Don”t let this happen! Keep music listening alive and well, be a strong, independent and patriotic individual, proud to openly carry your listening devices into public venues and humming audibly while waiting in line for your latte. It’s your duty!
All my CDs are available at any record store on the web, but don’t forget that you can gift downloads as well – songs and/or entire albums!