People Power To Fund Cabaret Diva MAMA ALTO'S Recordings
After six years of acclaimed cabaret performances, diva Mama Alto and her musical directress Miss Chief spent November 2016 in an extraordinary entirely analogue recording facility for vinyl records. Recorded live to tape on original vintage sound equipment - including an actual machine used by Nat King Cole himself at Capitol Records, and an RCA microphone of the kind favoured by Sarah Vaughan - the result is a stunning capture of 25 of their best loved song interpretations from their extensive jazz repertoire.
The recordings are ready, under the watchful and diligent technical mastery of Alex Bennett at Sound Recordings. Now it is time to release them, and the diva has turned to the popular trend of crowdfunding to help make it happen.
"Crowdfunding is a fabulous resource for independent and emerging artists," Mama Alto explained enthusiastically. "In an increasing climate of uncertainty when it comes to arts funding, particularly in the independent and fringe arts sectors, artists everywhere are looking for alternatives to government and big business funding sources." She pauses, flirtatiously bites her lip, and purrs cheekily: "That being said, I highly welcome any government bodies and big business tycoons with money for the arts to give me a call."
At its essence, crowdfunding utilises online platforms - Pozible, Kickstarter and GoFundMe are amongst the most popular - to connect people to artists. Artists upload details of their projects and set a funding target, laying out a budget and offering rewards and incentives to their donors. In this case, Mama Alto's donors are effectively pre-ordering their copies of her jazz cabaret albums, amongst other additional and fabulous rewards.
"Recording this album was an astounding experience," the diva continues. "We spent time in the goldfields country of central Victoria, with the very gifted Alex Bennett at his fabulous Sound Recordings studio. An avid collector of vintage equipment, Alex's gear and his skills with them allowed us to record the way our old school torch singing idols did."
You can pre-order your copies of four distinct releases - "Songbird," "Lady Sings the Blues," "Torch Songs" and "Salon Series" - via Mama Alto's Pozible campaign. Each release represents a separate slice of Mama Alto and pianist Miss Chief's most loved live repertoire from their last six years of collaborations.
Photo: Alexis Desaulniers-Lea.