Music

OMO1 Album Art

I had the opportunity to work with the fresh new label Orbital Mechanix on the album cover of their first compilation album! It was such a fun project as I hold the members dear to me. It was an honor to be asked and I enjoyed being able to really dive into something so creative.

In meeting with the group, we spoke about branding, visuals, and representation of the artists on the comp. They had a specific visual treatment that they wanted utilized but outside of that, they were fair game to what I could create and having that creative freedom was fantastic. I listened to the comp tracks to gather inspiration and was able to draw a strong vision for what I thought would be a fitting album cover. 

The gallery below shows the progression from the handmade collage I created through the layers of distortion I selectively used to highlight or as I'd like to think of it, “galactically ice out” parts of the collage ( a flexible series of customizable effects created by Zachary Graber).

Hopefully, I'll be seeing more album covers with them in the future. Check them out, they have some seriously talented artists, and you can hear the comp teaser here.

Elestial Sound X Form

As a team member of Elestial Sound we had the opportunity to create a custom stage for a truly unique festival held in May at Paolo Soleri's Arcosanti. Soleri, a student of Frank Lloyd Wright, produced award-winning works as an arcologist. A 3-year long collaboration between the Soleri Foundation and Zach Tetreault's (of Hundred Waters) hardworking team brought FORM, an event that "unites creators through experiences that inspire." 

The Arcosanti aesthetics are otherworldly. It was clear that what was needed for FORM would need to be cohesive to the environment. Months were spent dyeing, batiking, cutting, sewing, and assembling the canvas pieces alone. Custom lighting and stage frames were created by Elestial as well. What came together was a vibrant, mercurial stage that successfully weaved itself into the elements of Arizona desert. 

The work that went into the stage was to a point heart-breaking. The amount of manpower Elestial members poured out to create this unique gem was soon humbled once the stage was nestled into the desert. The high desert winds were sharp. The sound of rips moving slowly up the canvas as the days went on was unnerving.

The stage was meant to host the late night acts of FORM, and that it did. The Canyon stage became a beacon for all creatures of the night after 1:30 am. The pilgrimage of festival goers, from the steps of Arcosanti down to the belly of the valley, looked as though a fleet of fireflies had descended upon the desert. They would arrive like clockwork in the night. Surrounding the stage, they would dance and stumble upon it's sights and sounds, oftentimes not leaving till dawn. In the light of day, the wear and tear was apparent in the trampled earth surrounding the stage's foundation. 

The result was a beautiful symbiosis of creativity and environment. After months of hard work in the heavy humid heat of Florida, to the weeks in the harsh winds and sun of the high-plateau, validation came from positive feedback. Articles by the New York Times, Thump, The Fader, and others, would feature sights of Elestial Sound's Canyon stage. Spirits soared higher for every picture posted of the Canyon stage. As a small art cooperative out of Florida, this momentum was huge and re-energizing. 

Being able to witness the stage come to fruition and gain recognition on a national level was the proudest moments I had as an Elestial member. Realizing the power behind a small, non-funded, truly creative and passionate group was humbling. A lesson to myself to never underestimate how the strength in small groups can become amplified over time.  

 

*All photos linked to their source

Mariama Ndure

I had the honor of working with this amazing artist for her latest album on behalf of Elestial Sound. I spearheaded the project, managing all aspects from contracts to the artist's profile, copy and photos for press, album art, licensing, etc. Working with an extremely creative team can always have its challenges but the outcome was beautiful. 

I worked with her and represented her under contract negotations. Mariama having grown up in Oslo, wanted to be licensed in Norway was well as the US. She'd also worked with several artists who helped create tracks and sounds for the album so part of the project included negotiation of titles and credit for those artists as well as negotiating any press or royalties they would receive. 

When it came to visual content, I chose a photographer that I thought would be able to capture Mariama in a classic and genuine environment. Birdee was a great fit and was able to capture her beautifully on film. Those photos were then given a treatment so that they would stay on brand with her and the album. 

The album art was a creative process done together by Evan Galbika and Benji Haselhurst. They'd previously been chosen by the artist before I came onboard to project manage. Mariama shared her desire to see the album art look lush, vibrant, and colorful. Facilitating this conversation between Mariama and the two artists was extremely important as well as ensuring her desires were heard and not overshadowed. We landed on a final image that both parties were happy with and I think succussfully captured the feel of the album as well. 

The opportunity to manage this was really exciting and broke through uncharted territories for me. We were able to put together a small but talented team of people to put this project together. While contract negotiations for a musician may not be my strong suit, being able to ensure that so many pieces of this puzzle fit correctly, looked cohesive and made sense was no easy feat either. Staying true to an artist's vision and not compromising on that under the pressure of deadlines and other artists was the most challenging and rewarding goal. The project is one that I am very proud to have been a part of and you can check out some of Mariama's tracks below. Enjoy!