Thank you for visiting the fundraising page for my new quintet project!
I'm seeking your support for a new project that I'm very excited about. I’ve been writing and rehearsing this music for 15 months now and I’m so looking forward to sharing it with you and the world. Producing music is very expensive. We’re at a particular moment in history, and a very particular place—the United States—where funding creative and noncommercial music is incredibly hard. Many European musicians I have the privilege of working with here receive governmental grants and/or artist stipends, whereas US musicians are largely left to their own devices or private philanthropic entities to fund their work. Grant opportunities are few and far between, especially given that many granting institutions have not recovered from their distribution of emergency need-based money during covid when the music economy was completely shut down. I've applied to the two relevant grants for this project alongside hundreds of my peers, but I have not received either grant. I will of course continue to seek funding as we move forward with the project. These conditions have sadly been the reality those of us who make free music have long known and prepared for mentally. We’re grateful to patrons and music fans for helping to make our ventures possible!
About my project
I have been developing music for quintet (Cello, Guitar, Piano, Bass, Drums), called Abiding Memory, for about 15 months. Starting early summer 2021, just after covid vaccines became available, I started meeting regularly with a couple of musicians. I wrote slowly and deliberately for them over this past year, creating an interconnected set of eight pieces. This represents an all-to-rare level of commitment from my fellow musicians, for which I am very grateful, in a world dominated by a scarcity of resources and an insidious market logic that encourages us all to produce as much as possible rather than taking greater care with fewer projects. The results have been rewarding: I'm extremely proud of the music and excited about it eventually being out in the world.
The eight tracks are titled:
Abiding Memory (Part 1)
Abiding Memory (Part 2)
Born on Third
Abiding Memory (Reprise)
The total timing of the music is approximately 45 minutes. As the eight pieces share conceptual concerns and thematic material, they take the listener through a singular album-length arc. At its core, the music is nostalgic. It embodies a desire to live in the past—a more earnest and pre-digital world. To do that, I look back to a number of analog pasts, such as the piano music of Alexander Scriabin and Keith Jarrett’s quartets of the 1970s. For me, what brings together these two sources is that their musics prioritize organic phrasing grounded in the human breath as well as presenting a rich harmonic world. The rich harmonic world invokes feelings of yearning, striving, transforming, aspiring, and journeying.
One way to approach nostalgia would have been to revel in it. But that’s not what I wanted to do. I wanted the listener to exist in a sonic space where they are aware that we are in a hyper-digital world, while at the same time hearing the analog past. The hyper-digital reality is represented in some pieces by programmed drums, performing to click track, studio effects such as reversed audio or multiple layerings of the same instruments at once, and electronic “drum machine” sounds as part of the drum kit. What is human and what is machine is heavily blurred in this music. The expressive contents of playing rubato no longer mean quite the same thing that they did before the marked influence of midi on music; this music tries to heighten that fact at every corner.
The music bridges the seemingly impossible binaries that result of embodying this character. For example, the entire set of music is tightly controlled with a limited palette of material which persistently recur across the eight pieces, yet the character of the music is often expansive, open, and free. Crucially, the music demands extreme rhythmic coordination and contains jagged rhythms that seem at first only imaginable only as computerized-midi; yet once these particular phrases are learned and internalized, they can begin to have that flowing and yearning feeling that we know from the analog past. A number of times, just as the music reaches peak complexity, it allows for pockets (or what I once heard Wayne Shorter describe as “windows”) of total collective improvisation — the analog — to personify an attempt to break through the rigidity of the more composed surroundings — the digital.
In terms of style, two other important influences on my music are the era of medieval music known as “ars subtilior” (composers such as Matteo da Perugia and Jean Solage) and the music of John Hollenbeck’s Claudia Quintet. In both of these examples, rhythmic and other composed complexities and rigidities coexist seemingly impossibly with a sense of openness and expansiveness. I am after a similar effect, in my own way and with my own language.
At the core of why I’m proud of this project is the ambitious scope. I owe something to having worked with esperanza spalding and Wayne Shorter on their similarly collectively created opera to undertake a project like this. I am grateful to them for their courage. Few albums in jazz attempt to present a single through-composed set of thematically hyper-connected pieces.
What I'm asking you
When I set off to do this, I knew it would take a bit of magic to realize it but I decided to press on. Thanks for reading about my project. Here’s my ask: I brought you to this page because I thought you might be willing to contribute to producing this music—any amount would be appreciated. Your support for my vision for Abiding Memory would mean so much to me. This goes without saying, but I will of course credit anyone who supports this music in the record notes, keep you abreast of progress, and send a finished product as soon as I have it.
The easiest way to contribute would be through Paypal to firstname.lastname@example.org or using this link paypal.com/paypalme/pgolub, but if any other way is preferable, just let me know. Scroll past the next section for more detailed budget information. I am more than happy to discuss the project with you! Shoot me a text or email anytime. Some sneak previews, the complete score, and mp3 midi renderings of all the pieces follow below.
Samples of the music
In this video, I'm practicing soloing with the midi rendering of the music on a section of track 3, called Born on Third.
And here's a score video to a section from track 2, Abiding Memory (part 2)
My total target budget is $21,600. The document below describes the various costs associated with producing this record. If I am unable to raise all of the funds, I will self-fund the remainder and/or cut certain costs, depending on how much is left. Total raised so far: $11,190
Gifts so far: Elreen Bower, Donald Cohen, Rena Golub, Bill Herbert, George S. Clinton, Osvaldo Golijov, Tom Laiches, Peter Sacks, George Warner, Kiara Barrow, Jimmy & Janine Golub, Anne Shreffler, Stephen Chao, David and Linda Lakhdhir, Adam Smalley, Vicky Raab, Naomi Adelman, Moises Kaufman & Jeffrey LaHoste, Ken Brecher & Rebecca Rickman, Peter Button, Katherine Bostic, Charlie Bisharat, Chris Baer, Anne Riesenfeld, Matt Aucoin, Merv Lapin, Chris Palmedo, Maria Pessino, Gary & Judith Goldman, John Canning, Lee Greenhouse, Ann Holmes, Adrienne Spiridellis, Kerry Myerson, Loren Segan, Rhandi & Richard Jones, Peter Golub & Cristina Warner, Annica & James Newton Howard, Mary Ann Cummins, Stu Staley