Mobtown Moon is a new interpretation of Pink Floyd's The Dark Side of the Moon in honor of it's upcoming 40th anniversary. Our genre-defying version of this classic album highlights the lyrical and melodic beauty of the original, by taking the songs out of their stadium-rock context and reconsidering them from a grown-up, singer-focused perspective.
Co produced by myself and my friend and musician, Sandy Asirvatham. Our first "deliverables" are a full-length CD, that was released in spring 2013 and a world premiere performance at the Kraushaar (Goucher auditorium) on September 28, 2013.
Sandy has served as chief arranger of 10 of the eleven tracks and I took on arranging the instrumental "On The Run" (re-imagining it with banjo instead of the famous arpeggiator.)
As Art Director for this project, at our live performance this fall, I determined the look and feel and Sandy created expansions/elaborations of our music in order to create a full-length show with intermission. (Our studio album itself is only 49 minutes long.) The project was created in part to highlight the eclectic music and arts scene in Baltimore by giving the stage over to 50+ Baltimore area musicians (Sandy and I also performed), ranging in genres from hip-hop to jazz, bluegrass to opera. Our band consisted of 24 musicians and we additionally welcomed 27 members of the Baltimore Choral Arts Society. We promoted the performance for 10 months, garnering an audience of 750 people.
In 2014, I and Sandy will continue to push Mobtown Moon to other audiences in other cities and have plans to book a smaller version of the show (only 20 musicians) in Philadelphia, Washington DC and Rockville.
In 2015, we will produce a second Baltimore area show to welcome back fans from the first performance and gain an even wider audience for both the album and a rotating roster of Baltimore's finest and hardest working musicians!
More information is contained in this press release that we issued NATIONALLY at the end of 2012:
Baltimore Musicians Take on Pink Floyd:
Cross Genre Artists Revisit Dark Side of the Moon on Album’s 40th Anniversary
Baltimore musicians are reimagining classic Pink Floyd with an ambitious project called Mobtown Moon. This immense collaboration enlists more than thirty Baltimore musicians from different genres to celebrate the upcoming 40th anniversary of the Dark Side of the Moon with a recording and concerts.
Unlike a typical note-for-note replay of the original album, Mobtown Moon features fresh new arrangements, infusing these classic rock songs with elements of jazz, hip-hop, choral music, and other styles. It pulls the material out of a stadium-rock context to focus on its compelling lyrics and beautiful melodies. Longtime Floyd fans and new listeners alike will hear much that intrigues and pleases.
Mobtown Moon is the brainchild of pianist/vocalist and former CityPaper columnist Sandy Asirvatham, and is being co-produced by award-winning singer-songwriter ellen cherry.
Asirvatham’s original music and trenchant arrangements are known for exploring dark emotional themes with a light touch. Emmy-nominated cherry has built a national folllowing with unique indie-pop songs often inspired by historical events. Their memorable duet on “Breathe” includes jazz rhythms, electric guitar licks, and wispy accordion fills, illustrating the eclectic approach of the whole project. cherry says that Baltimore “has a unique petri dish quality that naturally allows cross-collaboration.”
The co-creators publicly introduced the project at a spring 2012 fundraiser in an apt setting: a downtown Baltimore rowhouse. Additional preview concerts drew heavy audiences. A six-week crowdfunding campaign at IndieGoGo raised nearly $6,000 before a local foundation gifted a significant grant. The project still offers opportunities for major donors to “claim a track” as a special executive producer (until December 10) or receive other VIP benefits.
The album Mobtown Moon will be released digitally in March. Physical copies go on sale in April. In September 28, 2013, the full album will be performed at Kraushaar Auditiorium, a popular cultural destination on the campus of Goucher College in Baltimore County, Maryland.
Participating artists span the diversity of Baltimore’s incredibly rich music scene. Featured artists include jam-band guitarist/vocalist Cris Jacobs, gospel singer Lea Gilmore, folk-rock trio We’re About 9, rap duo The 5th L, and jazz heavyweights Russell Kirk (alto sax) and Todd Marcus (bass clarinet).The city’s classical tradition is represented by Baltimore Choral Arts Society (venerated conductor Tom Hall), Poulenc Trio bassoonist Bryan Young, and Morgan State University’s opera director Vincent Dion Stringer.
Mobtown Moon has partnered with several Baltimore nonprofits, including Hearing and Speech Agency of Baltimore (HASA). HASA and Mobtown Moon asked local citizens to record interesting sounds from city streets and neighborhoods. The resulting “found sounds” are being layered into the recording as another genuine Baltimore stamp on the project.