From One Frank to Another Recently, I watched a documentary on Netflix about Frank Zappa. This was a treat as ...
As Frank got over the hump of recording half of his upcoming four albums, even the most focused artist begins to ask, ‘So… How are we doing financially?’ When I began to hesitantly say, ‘Well, the budgets are… complicated…’, I somehow ended up getting the task of writing this month’s update – all about budgets! So, here it is, your monthly albums update from me, yes the wife/manager half of the team, the one who precariously holds together the business side of things.
Album #1: Me to We – chamber music
We start off with the album that has progressed the most…dangerous territory when you are talking about budgets. This album has been recorded, edited and mixed and is now ready for mastering, album art and duplication.
I fondly look back on the days when all Frank’s albums were just solo piano, there were no musicians to pay! But, for this album it was actually really rewarding to work with 5 talented musicians, and recording engineers, editors, etc… Well, I’ll just say it, this project is 100% over-budget. Thankfully, the original budget was small so having to pay out double the amount of dollars isn’t easy but at least it is kind of manageable. And, thanks to the wonderful Jamie Thompson, the flutist on the album, we won’t have to pay for album art as he has wonderfully agreed to donate one of his beautifully abstract photographs. So many talents!
Album #2: The Current Agenda – chamber music and electronics
Now this is the album with the biggest budget, so the most nerve racking not to blow out of the water. Recording is complete! Yeah, no overtime. This time we worked with nine talented musicians to bring this to life as well as a producer. Payroll is going up, but again, it is amazing to see others bring what you do (I mean, what Frank does), to life!
The editing has begun and I fear we are falling behind…fingers crossed that we catch up somewhere. So far though we are on track, with only less than a thousand dollars that I have to find somewhere…really, really, really trying to keep it that way! Oh, and I still need to find a label for this project but I now have some AWESOME rough edits of a few of the pieces so that will be my project later this week.
Album #3: You Haven’t Been – solo piano
Well, this one never actually had a budget. It is just something we felt strongly about creating for the 10th Anniversary of the release of Frank’s first solo piano album. Now that we have 3 other album projects on the go, perhaps this wasn’t the best idea, time and $$-wise. But, once you set your heart on something you don’t want to squash it. We’ll be heading into Canterbury Studios in the middle of the night to save money. First recording session is on Thanksgiving Monday… Don’t tell Canterbury that our cheque might bounce!
Album #4: Love in 6 Stages – pop songs with piano and electronics
I’ve just asked our wonderful granting partner, OAC, for an extension on this project. With the commission Frank just got from Protection International to write a 70-minute version of this string quartet, The Thailand HRDs, time is even tighter. Not to mention that Frank will be going into studio soon to record some demos for his musical, SKI Club, with Catherine Frid.
When we do get to spending $$ on this one, I feel confident we can keep to this budget but perhaps after going through the three albums above I’ll change my tune 🙂
I’m actually procrastinating right now from writing grants. The longer I make this post, the more I can delay that ‘fun’ process. It is past grant success though that has gotten us into this position. Pretty darn thankful this Thanksgiving for that. Hopefully we’ll get lucky again this round and will get out of this budgetary jam… but I have to face the reality that our luck may have run out.
I’m going to record how many albums?
4 Albums, 1 Year – Update #1
4 Albums, 1 Year – Update #2
4 Albums, 1 Year – Update #3
4 Albums, 1 Year – Update #4
4 Albums, 1 Year – Update #5
4 Albums, 1 Year – Update #6
4 Albums, 1 Year – Update #7 (final)