It is with great enthusiasm and excitement that I present my latest musical project: Planetary Coalition! Though we officially launched last year, with a concert, various announcements and videos, it’s only recently that a debut recording has been planned. This endeavor represents my first ever recording of all acoustic compositions and collaborations with traditional artists.
A direct link to support the project can be found by clicking “Planetary Coalition” in the first sentence or clicking HERE
Now here’s the best part: this is a project that you can take part in! Some of you already have (and it’s deeply appreciated). By doing so, you can watch things unfold by becoming participants and by association – producers of this project (certain levels will even receive album credit). And for anyone on a tight budget, by simply purchasing an advance CD or Download, you’re helping make this album happen!
For those who haven’t been made aware of it yet, there is a “welcome video” that explains a lot – you’ll see it when you click the link. You can also watch it on full screen by watching the YouTube version. It’s worth it too, to fully appreciate the wonderful work of our visual collaborator, Nomad 9 Design.
And below you’ll find answers to a few frequently asked questions. First, a few more important links:
1. It is humbling to be among this crowd on ArtistShare’s Featured Project page, which includes some true musical heroes of mine. Clicking on “Go to the project” on our banner will also take you directly to the Planetary Coalition page.“Artist Shared Featured Projects”
3. As mentioned, there are YouTube videos that offer a glimpse of some of the music. Here’s one entitled Excerpts, Inception, Interpretations:
Q. Why a new project?
A. The acoustic guitar has always been a big part of my musical palette, yet for some reason, that side of my playing has often felt hidden in the attic. Much of my overall technique has been the result of privately listening to my favorite acoustic masters – Django Rheinhardt, Paco De Lucia, Al Di Meola, John McLaughlin – and applying those same licks and patterns to electric. As a result, I’ve long envisioned doing an album with the acoustic in the lead role, not just cast as an extra.
In addition, I’ve often dreamed of playing guitar and directing a musical situation separate from all my other projects: an ethnically flavored contingent of diverse musicians that incorporates my acoustic playing with traditional music from all over the world. Planetary Coalition is that situation.
Q. Does this mean a departure from any of your current projects?
A. No. In the genres of jazz and world music, it’s quite normal for an artist to be involved in numerous projects. Fans needn’t worry about me pulling a “Richie Blackmore” (the pioneering guitar virtuoso of Deep Purple/Rainbow who has, since the late 90s, exclusively focused on renaissance/medieval music and refused to visit his earlier material). It’s true that for a number of years I took time out to develop my improvisational skills focusing exclusively on one genre (straight ahead jazz). But I’m in a place now where I can freely move from one genre to another. To me it is all an extension of the same expression.
Q. How long do you see this project lasting?
A. One can never predict how long an individual project will last for, but I know that I will always play acoustic improvisational guitar for as long as I’m playing, just as I’ve always played it behind the scenes. It may drive some nuts, but I refuse to stay trapped in a box. As a listener, my taste in recordings and concerts isn’t limited by just one style and I feel my guitar playing should reflect that. Now, with my first acoustic album, complementing those on archtop and of course, solidbody electric, I feel it will represent a complete triangle.
Q. How can I participate in the production as well as experience of Planetary Coalition?
A. As mentioned, to be a participant and get personal access to the creative process, go to the project page on ArtistShare.com http://artistshare.com/v4/projects/experience/325/439/1/6
You can participate at various levels up to being an Executive Producer.
As explained in the welcome video, you can also participate in other ways by mailing in your letters, essays, experiences, photographs, artwork, which will be included in the final multi-media presentation (address: Planetary Coalition C/O Alex Skolnick, PO Box 200278 Brooklyn, NY 11220
Depending on the participation level, you can have access to the process through in-depth interviews, videos made especially for you, or even witnessing sessions in the recording studio, VIP access to shows, personalized music lessons from yours truly and much more. Each level explains what the participant can get access to. There are many short films and mini-documentaries that are regularly sent out to participants – some outlining great world music inspirations, others’ on the creative processes. Those who’ve participated so far have experienced these exclusive videos so far seem to be truly enjoying. You can view a trailer of the music writing process, showing a tiny glimpse of a mini-series available for participants, by clicking HERE.
One more thing: all the sneak previews and announcements are available on the Planetary Coalition Website.
It’s great to have the opportunity to finally create this music and share the process behind it. This is going to keep me very busy the next few months. And we can’t do this without your help!
Thanks and hope you enjoy!