Composer Jherek Bischoff Takes to Kickstarter to Support Latest Album 'Cistern' Featuring Contemporaneous

By Maria Jean Sullivan on Sep 24, 2014 03:44 PM EDT

Composer Jherek Bischoff is asking for your support via Kickstarter for his latest album, Cistern.

Bischoff’s latest work is a collection of ambient chamber music featuring the Contemporaneous Chamber Orchestra and inspired by an empty, 2-million-gallon water tank.

Cistern is the follow-up to his 2012 release Composed, which featured David Byrne, Amanda Palmer, Neil Gaiman, Kronos Quartet, Missy Higgins, People Get Ready and yMusic.

Bischoff was granted an artist residency a few years back by the organization Centrum in Port Townsend, Washington, at the old U.S. Army base in Fort Worden State Park. At the base there is a cistern, a 2-million-gallon, underground water tank for firefighting, in the event the base was attacked. Once the base was deactivated and closed, the cistern was emptied and has been that way for decades.

Subsequently, the tank's emptiness gives off a 45-second reverb decay. The only way inside the cistern is through one small manhole that a park ranger has to open with a tractor. Since there was no electricity in the cistern, Bischoff rigged his computer to an old car battery and set up a few microphones. The exaggerated reverb decay enabled him to harmonize with himself, first playing one note and then layering others.

From there, he began performing tidbits of the cistern material in various other cave-like spaces, including a church in Haldern, Germany, an old theater in Adelaide and a converted warehouse in Brooklyn. To record, he and Contemporaneous traveled to Hudson, New York, to the studio Future Past, an old church. There, they recorded 10 songs in three days live to 2-inch tape.

The Kickstarter funds, then, will go toward paying Contemporaneous and Future Past for their time, space, expertise, mixing and mastering, artwork, CD manufacturing, videos and visuals.

As thanks for supporting the project, you can score the record when it is done, the actual paper scores used during the recording session signed by Bischoff and Skype lessons with him on arranging, bass guitar or ukulele. He is also offering to master your record.

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TagsJherek Bischoff, Kickstarter, Cistern, Contemporaneous

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