Well, the party has been had, the champagne bottles were popped, and the album is streaming on almost every platform the internet has to offer. The CDs have been stamped out, the bills have been paid, and I'm left with the product of the hard work of many people, and a new little daughter to boot. :) So what's next?
Well for one thing, I am discovering that marketing is a monumental undertaking. I created professional Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook pages to get the word out about the album. I am normally pretty shy about posting on horn forums and reaching out to the wider horn community, but I am doing it because I am proud of this project and want it to be heard by people who might appreciate these pieces. Less and less horn shops are selling physical CDs but I have had a bit of luck here and there! After many years, I've finally realized that my sounds have to be put out there by me, or I'm the only one that will ever hear them.
After the playing was finished, the editing and mastering took two months, which consisted of many emails and phone calls between Andrew Bove and me. I fully trusted Andy to do a great job with editing all of the material, but I felt that I should take ownership of my work by sifting through all of the takes myself. I wanted accountability for the things that I felt went great and the things I knew should have been better in my gut. There are a handful of things on the CD that I know I can do better at this moment, but I know that wouldn't be fully representative of who I am as a horn player in 2017.
Andy is such a thorough and thoughtful professional, and every question I had for him was met with an impressive answer. The room at DiMenna was super dead, so Andy somehow layered the sonoric dimensions of the Musikverein onto the material that I played. He was receptive and accommodated all of my concerns, and explained the process every step of the way. I really appreciated the patience that he had with my many questions. If you're reading this, thanks again Andy for doing such a great job with the music that realized these major career dreams.
Andy pulled together the codes and files I needed to make sure the best sound quality and information were available to the distributor and the wonderful databases that display the artist information. Meanwhile, I contacted the publishers of the music I recorded and paid the fees required to stamp out the physical CDs. I am not quite finished with the distributor, as CD Baby is really more geared towards songwriters. I'm working with them on crediting it on the streaming partners the way a classical CD would traditionally be listed. The content is completely uploaded, and even though I wish I had played perfectly in the ten hours of recording time, I stand by this product with all of my heart.
I am going to take a moment here to gush a little more about how amazing Manon Hutton-DeWys is at the piano. She was very honest with me about what she felt was appropriate, and helped me dive through some crazy editions. We knew each other in our time at Mannes, but we had never played together, and I'm so happy that we met again at a faculty recital she was hired to play. She made a very laborious editing process a pleasure to listen to, and it was great to experience her performance over, and over...and over again! She completed work on her doctorate during the editing process, and I'm proud to be one of the first to credit her new title as much as I can!
I am so grateful to have heard some rave reviews and heartfelt complements, but I have also experienced a few scowls and "mum's the word" facial expressions. I have to remind myself that sharing this music means both sides of the coin in terms of response, but I am still incredibly happy with the way it turned out. I hope this results in a slew of my colleagues making their own albums and sharing music that they believe in too.
So if you're reading this and you enjoyed the album, thank you so much for listening! It would help me tremendously if you would leave a review on the page where it's sold on Amazon. And if you're not so happy with it, thank you so much for listening and please consider leaving an Amazon review. I would love it if you could refer everyone to some of your favorite solo horn albums in the comments section below. Even better, make your own solo album and share it. It's one of the hardest but most rewarding experiences you'll ever have and the horn world will be better for another take on the many pieces that are available to us. As for me, I'll keep practicing; arranging difficult horn parts and making my Acapella videos; chasing and having fun with my family; and reminding myself that validation is great, but it's not everything. As frustrating as it can be to wait for the phone to ring, there is a real artistic payoff in creating something that wasn't there before. The real calling is the commitment to create beautiful and vibrant horn sounds; to spread the joy that I experience playing the horn and classical music; and to contribute something to the horn world that has had a major part in the player and musician that I am today.