Behind the Scenes with the “Shakespeare Bridge Children’s Choir” in the Studio with M83: Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming!

Hurry Up, We're Dreaming

Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 “The Shakespeare Bridge Children’s Choir” took part in the recording of M83 album Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming.” nominated for a GRAMMY for Best New Alternative Album of the year!  I asked Choir director, Toni Kasza what the experience was like:

“12 children from 8 years old to 11 years old, rehearsed twice and stepped into the studio to record back ground vocals like old pros!

Anthony Gonzalez from M83 was delightful to work with as he encouraged the children and charmed the parents in a fluid flow from French to English and back.

This group of young singers know me well and their level of discipline and musical accuracy was impressive to the producer, engineer and Anthony as well.

The best part was that we had so much fun!  For many it was a once in a lifetime experience, for some, just the first of many more recording sessions to come.

For me personally, it has been an incredible year.  One of my private
students, Juliana,  has made top 40 in this year’s American Idol Season.  She’s on to Vegas to try to make top 10!

I am so lucky to be able to do what I love and inspire children to reap the rewards that come with fueling your passion with hard work.”

It is truly s a delight to listen to this phenomenal album and the beautiful choir and chorus  voices in the background of songs. There’s really nothing like children’s voices in music and I will personally treasure hearing it knowing that my 11-year-old daughter Samsara Gamble’s voice is a part of this epic project!

Will be adding behind the scenes in the studio pictures as they become available!

We are all cheering you  for the Grammys!   or shall we say in French :  ” Merci beaucoup!” et bonne chance  pour les Grammys!!!!!”

Credits for M83 double LP album: “Hurry Up, I ‘m Dreaming” featuring the “Shakespeare Bridge Choir” : 

  • Morgan Kibby
  • Composer, Vocals (Background), Choir, Chorus, Monologue
  • Lyle Workman
  • Guitar (Acoustic), Banjo, Mandolin, Marxophone
  • Joey Waronker
  • Percussion, Orchestral Percussion, Drums (Electric)
  • Amy White
  • Vocals (Background), Choir, Chorus
  • Justin Meldal-Johnsen
  • Guitar (Acoustic), Mandolin, Composer, Guitar (Electric), Programming, Snaps, Clapping, Engineer, Producer, Recorder, Keyboards, Guitar (Bass), Percussion
  • Anthony Gonzalez
  • Synthesizer, Composer, Guitar (Electric), Programming, Snaps, Orchestral Arrangements, Design, Art Direction, Clapping, Producer, Vocals (Background), Vocals, Keyboards, Conductor, Piano
  • Brad Laner
  • Composer, Vocals, Vocals (Background)
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M83’s Epic “Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming” Nominated for Grammy Best Alternative Music Album!

M83- Hurry Up, We're Dreaming

GRAMMY nominated for "Best Alternative Music Album" ( see all the  55th Annual GRAMMY Awards nominees here ) M83 is a blend of shimmering synths, ambient pop and progressive textures. L.A Based and French-born M83- Anthony Gonzalez has a winner on his hand with the double album  "Hurry Up, We're Dreaming." 

Some background  & courtesy repost & extracts from online M83 Facebook Page and Wikipedia:

“Prior to recording Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming, Anthony Gonzalez had moved from his native France to Los Angeles. Describing the move in an interview, Gonzalez said: “Having spent 29 years of my life in France, I moved to California a year and a half before the making of this album and I was excited and inspired by so many different things: by the landscape, by the way of life, by live shows, by movies, by the road trips I took alone… I was feeling alive again and this is, I feel, something that you can hear on the album”

“M83 is a French electronic/shoegaze band from Antibes, formed in 2001 by Anthony Gonzalez and Nicolas Fromageau. The band is named after the spiral galaxy Messier 83, and its musical aesthetic is influenced by shoegaze in its extensive use of reverb effects and lyrics spoken softly over loud instrumentals, although M83’s songs employ considerably less guitar than most shoegaze bands.

Musical project led by Anthony Gonzalez, see the page for music videos and upcoming live dates worldwide. More here: http://ilovem83.com/

“Plain big is not so hard to pull off. Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody”, Pink Floyd’s “Comfortably Numb”, Harry Nilsson’s “Without You”, Jimmy Webb’s “MacArthur Park”, Guns N’ Roses’ “Sweet Child o’ Mine”…rock history is landmarked with preposterously massive songs that are often bloated and overwrought, songs that stand as giant signposts to feeling, but communicate little actual emotion.

Grand-scale songs may be impressive, but filling tunes of a synapse short-circuiting enormity with real emotional resonance – making them memorable for reasons other than size – is much more difficult.It’s a talent Anthony Gonzalez has clearly mastered with ‘Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming’, a double album that brokers a brilliantly effective accord between the ostensibly conflicting demands of ’80s commercial pop and experimental rock, and packs some truly giant tunes.

The Antibes native has been steadily working to perfect the art of the megalithic alt.pop song since founding M83 in 2001. His self-titled debut from that year and sophomore release two years later, ‘Dead Cities, Red Seas & Lost Ghosts’ established him as a heavy hitter in the post-rock/bliss pop/cosmic electronica league, a skilled producer of hazy, lusciously layered, irresistibly narcotized, epic dreamscapes crafted (essentially solo) from treated electronics, plush synths, murmured vocals and fx-heavy guitar. Third album, ‘Before the Dawn Heals Us’ (2005) upped the cinematic, star-spangled ante but added a dark strangeness, while in 2007 M83 released the entirely ambient ‘Digital Shades Vol 1’. It was 2008’s ‘Saturdays = Youth’, a nostalgia-soaked paean to Gonzalez’s teenage years – and an unashamed celebration of artists such as Kate Bush and Jean-Michel Jarre – that paved the way for the monumental ‘Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming’.Co-produced by bassist Justin Meldal-Johnsen (known for his work with Beck, NIN, The Mars Volta, Goldfrapp), it took just 13 months to complete and features guest vocalists Zola Jesus on ‘Intro” and Brad Laner (from 90’s band Medicine) on “Splendor”, plus contributions from Gonzalez’s long-term collaborator, his brother Yann.

Gonzalez’s decision to record a 22-track double LP was the result of a youth impressed by The Beatles’ white album, ‘Ummagumma’ by Pink Floyd and Smashing Pumpkins’ ‘Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness’.“Artists that tried to do something as big as a double album were always inspiring to me,” he explains. “It’s a lot of work, but I always wanted to achieve something like that one day, and I just felt that the time was right for me to make one.”

The wryly contradictory title is a reference to a loose theme of dreaming and remembering, which Gonzalez found himself doing a lot more of after he moved to L.A to live in January 2010. “The initial three months were very tough,” he reveals. “I was feeling lonely in my apartment, working on the album and I don’t really know why, but I started to have memories from my childhood. It made me nostalgic in a good way, and I started to remember some of my dreams from being a kid – nothing very precise, but more the feeling. So, I thought that was a good concept for the album. It’s a retrospective of my life, from childhood to being a teenager and then an adult.”

These recollections surface most explicitly in “Raconte-Moi Une Histoire” (when he was five, his mother used to buy him a kids’ magazine with the same title, which had a cassette of narrated stories mounted on the cover) and “OK Pal”, which reminds Gonzalez of episodes in his teens, “like when you first meet someone who really understands you.”

The album title is also a neat summary of the record’s twin tempers – urgent and introspective – and of Gonzalez’s dual identity as dance floor enthusiast and solipsistic muser. So, “Midnight City” is a huge chunk of glittering and euphoric nu-disco that somehow joins that dots between Peter Gabriel and Underworld, and features not only that big no-no of contemporary pop – a saxophone solo – but also a fade-out. “Reunion”, too, is built on a triumphantly massive scale, its layer-cake vocals suggesting Toto as produced by My Bloody Valentine, while “Claudia Lewis” ramps up M83’s feelings for ’80s music from affection to passionate love, even sneaking in the slap bass usually verboten by the contemporary pop police.Conversely, “Where the Boats Go” wraps woozy pop soundscapes around a sombre piano coda, the aptly titled “Splendor” summons a divinely doomed, synth-centric romanticism and the album’s wild card, “Soon, My Friend”, drops all things electronic in favour of acoustic guitar, strings, brass and a choir.

“I like the fact that the album is like a rollercoaster,” Gonzalez says. “Sometimes it goes fast, and then it will slow down for a while. You can’t stay at the same tempo all the time.” This is an album that’s epic not only in terms of scale, but also of structure, with both an intro and an outro, and brief tracks like “Train to Pluton” and “Fountains” functioning as interludes. M83’s music has long been acknowledged as cinematic, not least of all by Gonzalez himself, who’s a huge film fan (Terrence Malick’s ‘Days of Heaven’, ‘Nowhere’ by Gregg Araki, Werner Herzog’s ‘Aguirre, the Wrath of God’ and Todd Haynes’ ‘Safe’ are some of his favourites).

“The whole album is like a movie, with opening and closing credits,” he explains. “It’s a journey, you know?” This love of cinema even helped Gonzalez ratchet up his vocal power levels for the new record. When writing in the studio, he often plays films in the background with the sound on mute and, while working on “Wait”, he watched ‘Aguirre, the Wrath of God’, “with Klaus Kinski and all his anger.” And so I decided to try something where I was almost screaming, alone in my studio in LA.”

“That inspired me to go forward in my vocals. Morgan [Kibby, vocalist and keyboardist] came into the studio and I played her the vocal as a work in process. She told me I should start singing like that, so it was a kind of discovery. A good one, I hope!” Kings Of Leon, The Killers and Depeche Mode – all of whom M83 toured with in 2010 – can also take some credit for Gonzalez’s newly beefy vocals

As he says: “When you see all those frontmen onstage who are very confident in front of a large audience, it gives you confidence to try the same thing and that’s what I wanted to do with this album. I said to myself, ‘Okay, Anthony; you just turned 30. It’s time for you to be less shy in front of a microphone.’ I’ve never sung as loud before as I have on this album.”The widescreen, gee-wow monumentality and seductive mirror-ball dazzle of songs like “Midnight City” provided Gonzalez with a songwriting and production challenge “because [my] history is very indie, very post- rock and ambient and cinematic.” I’ve also always been fascinated by pop artists, especially during the ’80s – Tears For Fears, Prefab Sprout, The Thompson Twins – all these bands are a huge influence on this album. It’s my first record where the musical spectrum is so wide and that’s very important to me. Most of the time, people only remember my more cinematic and melancholic songs, but I also want them to remember my pop songs.”

One thing you won’t hear alongside the synths, slap bass, Sindrums and sax solo on ‘Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming’ is Gonzalez apologizing for romanticizing the ’80s. He’s hopelessly hooked. “I’m in love with the sound of the ’80s,” he enthuses. “I always thought the production then was stunning. It’s very clear and very powerful, with not a lot of elements. Commercial music was better in those days. I’m not saying music is bad nowadays – on the contrary, music is very interesting and a lot of it is very innovative – but if you listen to the radio now, it sounds like shit. If you were listening to radio in the ’80s, you were hearing acts like Blondie, Madonna, Michael Jackson, Tears For Fears, Talk Talk… there were great songs that were also fantastic and meaningful pieces of art.”

Fantastic songs that are also meaningful pieces of art – for M83, that means instruments played live in the studio, not by a computer, apart from the Pro Tools software he uses for actual recording. He may have been smitten by the impossibly lush, futuristic synths of Jean-Michel Jarre’s ‘Oxygene’ when he saw him on TV as a kid, but replicating those thrillingly futuristic sounds was never Gonzalez’s aim. “The main idea with this album was to make something in the way that people used to make albums, before computers. Going into a proper studio, taking time to find the right sounds for the guitars…it’s more about crafting.”

“Mine is the story of any artist,’ reckons Gonzalez. “I have more experience now, I’m more mature and I have more confidence in my music. This is the first time in my career when, if I have an idea in my head, I can create it in music. It’s something I was never able to do before. I’m a big romantic, especially about music,” he adds. “There’s nothing more beautiful than something well recorded that you can listen to on a good sound system.” Something meaningful – and massive –he might well add.”

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A Day at the GRAMMY Museum with Nikki Hornsby and CJP-NH Records Staff

A Day at the Grammy Museum with Nikki Hornsby and CJP-NH Records Staff

Nikki Hornsby Visit at GRAMMY Museum

Nikki Hornsby Founder & CEO of CJP-NHRecords and staff members had a private showing on Nov. 13, 2012 at the GRAMMY Museum in Los Angeles in honor of her grandfather Dan Hornsby whose musical legacy was displayed in the brand new exhibit 360 Sounds: The Columbia Records Story.  This exhibit retelling 125 years of Columbia Records history will be displayed for a whole year.

The GRAMMY Museum itself is awesome!!! It is not a “Museum” per se, but more of an exciting interactive forum for music makers & music lovers & families! (located  right across from the Staple Center where the 55th Grammy Awards TV Show takes place in Feb. 2013!)

This was a long-awaited day for Nikky Hornsby who donated to the GRAMMY Museum some of her family memorabilia and her grandfather’s Dan Hornsby’s Columbia Records recordings. We were very honored to be her guests and to hear firsthand about the musical greats as we relived through her eyes and lips the great Columbia Records era.

Dan Hornsby was honored at GRAMMY Museum  with a display containing some of his original Columbia recordings: Take Me Out to the Ball Game!” and “Oh! Suzanna!” among others!

Nikki Horsnby was delighted and very moved to finally see her grandpa’s Dan Hornsby’s music proudly displayed at the GRAMMY Museum’s special interactive exhibit:  360 Sounds: The Columbia Records Story as she graciously and humbly shared her grandfather’s Dan Hornsby’s musical legacy with CJP-NHRECORDS  staff and friends.

Many grateful thanks to Bob Santelli, Executive Director at the GRAMMY Museum and the young talented curators at the GRAMMY Museum who made this guided visit even more special. Thank you Nikki Hornsby and the GRAMMY Museum for this musically rich experience and for sharing this very special day down memory lane of the glorious Columbia years with us!

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Dan Hornsby Honored at GRAMMY Museum!

Dan Hornsby Honored at GRAMMY Museum!
Nikki Hornsby, recording artist, CJP-NHRecords Founder and GRAMMY Awards Voter along with her Cousin Mike Weinberg went to GRAMMY Museum on Oct. 17th 2012, by request to bring Dan Hornsby‘s Columbia Records to be displayed and showcased in the exhibit 360 Sounds : The Columbia Records Story.
Dan Hornsby

Dan Hornsby (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Along with Dan Hornsby‘s Columbia Records there were many other memorabilia donated by his grand-daughter Nikki Hornsby such as  posters from the 30s from Nikki’s inherited collection. Some of the artifacts include records from family friend Jimmy Van Heusen & Frank Sinatra in 78s. Also donated were rare Bessie Smith and many Harry James Columbia Recordings along with out takes from Bing Crosby and more.

Dan Hornsby Display at Grammy Museum
CJP=Dan Hornsby - Bessie Smith records
“I recently found out  by verification, says Nikki , why there was a Bessie Smith record in the collection I got from my parents. Grandpa Dan Hornsby recorded Bessie Smith for Columbia Records in Atlanta. I AM SOoooooooooo proud…God blessed me knowing he’s done so much. For those who don’t know her music you NEED to go to you tube and listen. Grandpa, as an A&R Scout for Columbia Records had a great ear for talent for this awesome blues singer.” says Nikki.
 

CJP-Dan Hornsby Grammy BookWith the opening of the exhibit 360 Sounds : The Columbia Records Story at the GRAMMY Museum this last November, Dan Hornsby and his lifetime work in the music recording business was honored at that time among other great artists of this era and mentioned in the masterpiece book of the same name “360 Sounds: The Columbia Records Story” written by Written by Pulitzer Prize and Grammy nominated author and historian, Sean Wilentz.

English: Dan Hornsby (front row, second from l...

English: Dan Hornsby (front row, second from left with trumpet) with a music band (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Dan Hornsby, born Isaac Daniel Hornsby in Atlanta, Georgia on February 1rst,1900 – May 18th 1951 was an American singer, musician, music writer, producer and arranger. He enjoyed playing trumpet and singing with various dance bands in Atlanta in the 1920s. Hornsby formed his basic group Dan Hornsby Quartet: Perry Bechtel (banjo, guitar and baritone), Taylor Flanagan (piano and high tenor), Sterlin Melvin (guitar and bass guitar) and Dan Hornsby (lead singer and arranger).

The Atlanta Baking Company asked Hornsby to do a show on WSM Radio in Atlanta. The group name changed to Bamby Baker Boys and Hornsby became the first commercial performer of the WSB radio station, which started airing in 1922. His pleasant disposition and sense of humour earned him a nickname “Cheerful Dan”.

CJP-DAN HORNSVY Take Me Out to BallgameHornsby’s performance on radio was noticed by Columbia Records – the oldest record company. His main role was a sort of talent scout, but he had many roles at Columbia Records during the 1920s and early 1930s, including production of his own recordings like “On Mobile Bay” and “I Want A Girl” or with Young Brothers Tennessee Band: “Are you from Dixie” and “Bill Bailey, won’t you please come home”, “Oh! Susanna“, “Little Brown Jug“, and other classic American songs. For example, Hornsby was the first recorded voice of the “Arkansas Traveler” and was the producer of the first recording of “You Are My Sunshine” and “Take me out to the Ballgame!

“This is a great honor, says Nikki Hornsby, my music talent & gifts were an inherited treasure as well as the reason behind my lifetime career in music as well.”

Nikki HornsbyNikki Hornsby who has no children to pass on these inherited treasures from her parents & Grandparents and her own thousands of original songs is very grateful that these works have found a home in the respected GRAMMY Museum! A good place to start to share her Grandfather’s work with the world!

CJP- Thank you Nikki Hornsby Grammy Museum

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360 Sounds: The Columbia Records Story at The GRAMMY Museum®

The GRAMMY Museum in Los Angeles explores and celebrates the enduring legacies of all forms of music and the history of the premier recognition of excellence in recorded music. The Museum is located on the campus of L.A. LIVE in downtown Los Angeles.

CJP_ Dan Hornsby Grammy Museum

The GRAMMY Museum features 30,000 square feet of interactive and multimedia exhibits located within L.A. LIVE, the downtown Los Angeles sports, entertainment and residential district. Through thought-provoking and dynamic public and educational programs and exhibits, guests can experience music from a never-before-seen insider perspective that only The GRAMMY Museum can deliver.

Paying tribute to music’s rich cultural history, this one-of-a-kind, 21st-century Museum explores and celebrates the enduring legacies of all forms of music, the creative process, the art and technology of the recording process, and the history of the premier recognition of excellence in recorded music – the GRAMMY Award.

Grammy Museum

On Wednesday, November 7, 2012, The GRAMMY Museum, in cooperation with Columbia Records, unveiled its newest special exhibit, 360 Sounds: The Columbia Records Story. Residing on the Museum’s third floor, the exhibit celebrates the 125-year-long history of one of the most important record labels of all time, Columbia Records. The exhibit launched on the same day as the highly anticipated GRAMMY Museum Archives, sponsored by Iron Mountain Incorporated (NYSE: IRM) which showcases several Columbia recording artists.

Grammy Museum

“At The GRAMMY Museum, it’s always been our hope to not just help preserve important parts of music history but to also allow artists’ legacies to live on for future generations to discover and enjoy,” said GRAMMY Museum Executive Director Bob Santelli. “The launch of both the Columbia Records exhibit and our museum archives on November 7 illustrates that mission perfectly, and we are honored to share them with the world.”

360 Sound: The Columbia Records Story provides an in-depth look at all aspects of Columbia Records’ history and offers a virtual history of the music industry from its infancy, tracing Columbia’s pivotal technological as well as business innovations, including its invention of the LP. The exhibit also reflects on the connection between Columbia’s artists and music and sweeping cultural and political changes, from the emergence of mass commercial culture to the rise of the civil rights movement and beyond.

Bringing together a collection of diverse artifacts, rare photographs and footage, the exhibit features dozens of items from Columbia artists such as Louis Armstrong, Bob Dylan, Barbra Streisand, Miles Davis, Bruce Springsteen, Robert Johnson, Johnny Cash, Beyonce and many more. In addition, interviews, an introductory film, legendary GRAMMY Award show performances and an interactive jukebox that plays the greatest Columbia recordings of all time round out this exciting new exhibit. The exhibit is a reflection of a book released earlier this year of the same name, written by Pulitzer Prize-and GRAMMY-nominated author and historian, Sean Wilentz.

360 Sound: The Story Of Columbia Records And Archives Exhibit Launch

“Writing 360 Sound has been exhilarating as well as enlightening,” said Wilentz. “More than I had known, Columbia’s history covers virtually the entire history of recorded music, with innumerable fascinating stories of artists, producers, label executives, and many more. The GRAMMY Museum exhibit promises to bring Columbia’s history to life in a related but very different way, and I can hardly wait for it to open.”

Launching on the same day was the official GRAMMY Museum Archives, a wing of the museum sponsored by Iron Mountain and dedicated to the development, preservation and archiving of rare audio and video assets from the music industry. For the first time, museum members and visitors will be able to listen to and watch the more than 180 public programs that have taken place in the Clive Davis Theater. Interviews and performances by the Beach Boys, Ringo Starr, Kenny Chesney, Smokey Robinson, Buddy Guy, Terrance Blanchard, John Mellencamp, John Mayer, Jack White, Yoko Ono, Harry Connick Jr., Stevie Nicks, Dr. John and dozens more.

Additionally, information on every GRAMMY Award winner and all of the GRAMMY Hall of Fame inductees will be housed in the Archival Wing, also located on the Museum’s third floor.

The GRAMMY Museum Archives will allow the museum to showcase rare assets from the Asset Discovery & Development division, which is devoted to building artifact databases for a wide-range of musical artists, archiving and developing their legacy for historical preservation. The division, launched in May of 2011, includes discovery services to distinguish and restore/repair damaged assets for cataloguing; preservation and archival services to ensure original artifacts are secure, accessible and sharable; and business development capabilities to protect and monetize the artist’s legacy and brand.

“Our customers trust us with some of their most valuable assets, asking us to both protect and preserve them for today and for the future,” said Jeff Anthony, vice president for Iron Mountain’s Entertainment Services. “We’ve worked with some of the world’s largest media companies, providing technological expertise and services for transferring, migrating and preserving digital data on-line. Providing the GRAMMY Museum with this wing and the asset discovery and development services, allows us to support their core mission and help maintain the important musical and cultural legacy for future generations.” 

Museum admission is $12.95 for adults; $11.95 for senior citizens (65+); and $10.95 for students with I.D. (ages 6 – 22) and members of the military. GRAMMY Museum members and children 5 and under are admitted free. Located at 800 West Olympic Boulevard, Suite A245, Los Angeles, CA 90015, with an entrance off  Figueroa Street, the Museum resides within the L.A. LIVE campus, at the intersection of Olympic Boulevard and Figueroa Street in downtown Los Angeles.

For more information, please call 213.765.6800 or visit www.grammymuseum.org.

For exclusive content, join the organization’s social networks as a Twitter follower at www.twitter.com/thegrammymuseum and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/thegrammymuseum.

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