The Manna Sessions
The story of the Israelites wandering in the desert has really mirrored my own story over these last years. In spring of 2016 I suffered a serious concussion and I’ve been slowly recovering ever since. There’s been many challenges but I’ve seen manna fall daily all around me and my family. Miraculous, practical and appearing seemingly out of nowhere. Providing abundant nourishment yet sometimes also monotonous in the fact that the desert can be grueling place where healing feels distant.
The Manna Sessions will be three separate music albums all revolving around similar themes of redemption, provision and this time of waiting in the desert. Having journeyed through a concussion injury over the last three years, this project will be quite personal for me and reflective of this season of long healing.
Album 1: Jazz meets gospel
This album will join the powerful sounds of a gospel choir with my jazz trio (George Koller, Larnell Lewis). The music will be soulful and upbeat and will target the mainstream audience of jazz/blues lovers. I am a huge fan of the Toronto Mass Choir and am excited to explore creative ways of incorporating the uniqueness of a gospel choir with the inventiveness of jazz. The album will be vocal, groove-based and feature brass, trio and choir.
Album 2: Jazz orchestra compositions
I have often dreamed of writing more extensively for jazz orchestra and these through composed compositions that would feature that sound. The pieces will be both instrumental and vocal and seek to pull together classical strings with a jazz big band. The music will be energetic and beautiful.
Album 3: Singer Songwriter
The last two and a half years have been tremendously difficult in many ways but out of this forced sabbatical has come a bunch of meaningful songs. This vocal album will feature these songs in a pop/folk setting. Piano, guitar, bass, drums, and vocals will be the instrumentation.
Three stages for each album:
Each project will be completed in three stages. The first stage will be a composing period where I sift through the previously recorded voice memos and choose songs to work on. As well, I will create a number of new songs from scratch on themes that I’ve been journaling on. After the songs are complete, I will start arranging them for choir or orchestra or rhythm section. The second stage will involve recording the songs in a studio and then editing, mixing and mastering them. The third stage will be the production of the music, including artwork, online videos, online marketing, manufacturing of the albums and finally a release concert. I expect the production of this music will take three to four years to complete.
I am so very excited to work on this project as it is a huge gift to be able to work on something creative again. I also think the material will resonate with many people who struggle with very difficult circumstances in life. Over the last few years I keep hearing the words, “sing to those in the dark” and I hope this release will do that.
I strongly believe that nothing is wasted when we walk through the hard places of life. Thank you for considering this project. Although I’m not able to do extensive touring to pay the bills I am able to write and work on music and your support allows the healing process to continue.