Last one! We can’t wait to celebrate with you tomorrow night!
What’s next for Euphonism: We’re taking over the aca-world… didn’t you know?
Last one! We can’t wait to celebrate with you tomorrow night!
What’s next for Euphonism: We’re taking over the aca-world… didn’t you know?
So I should preface this post by telling you I started writing a post about 24 hours after Euphonism landed in London. We arrived around 7am GMT on Wednesday, I started this in the morning on Thursday, and now it’s Friday night (or rather Saturday morning) at 1am, and I’m just now getting around to posting. There’s so much that I want to say about this trip – things we’ve been learning about a cappella, things we’ve been learning about travel and performing, and things we’ve (or maybe “I’ve”) been learning about our own group. As I’ve said, I had wanted to post as much as possible to keep you all, our fans, in the loop about what’s going on over here, but between rehearsals, concerts, classes and touring around the city, I’ve been left with enough time to sleep and eat (which is great because I like doing both of those things). But it’s been a blast, and wouldn’t trade it for the world!
Anyway, here we are – a little less than 24 hours from our performance – and really all I can say is that we are confident. Coming in to London, we certainly believed in ourselves, but after the past two nights of amazing a cappella, we are confident in our show tomorrow night.
I feel like I should qualify that statement. This festival is like no other that I’ve been to before. The spectrum of groups that have performed and the array of music that has been sung is so grossly vast that it’s sometimes hard to realize that the groups have anything in common at all. The Boxettes, Cadence, The Vasari Singers, Fork, Cadenza, all the groups that have performed in the foyer – the only thing we have in common, is that we make music with our mouths, and yet even that line has been blurred. But because of this, we’ve realized that we also bring a wholly unique experience to this festival. Our style isn’t the tight jazz like Cadence, or the hard-hitting original music like The Boxettes, or the effect-laden rock group that is Fork. We are Euphonism, and what we have to offer to this audience is a different look at a cappella than what they’ve seen before. We don’t have to be completely outrageous. We don’t have to “fit in” to a mold. We can just be true to who we are, and that is a very exciting prospect.
On top of that, being able to explore as a group the gamut of a cappella at this festival has really seemed to light a fire. After each performance, I’ve seen a particular enthusiasm out of my band-mates that is very exciting. We’ve been able to experience and explore what is being done in a cappella, and from that we’ve began plotting and scheming about our own show – what we can do, where we can take it. The possibilities seem closer now than ever before.
Tomorrow will be very busy for us, but we are eager and confident in the show we have prepared. All we can hope is that our performance is well received, and that we represent CASA, CAL, and U.S. a cappella to the best of our ability. My hope for myself and for the rest of Euphonism is that we leave it all on the stage – that we give it everything we have. I want to walk off of that stage physically tired and with no regrets. Keep the music alive!
Auld Lang Syne: a noun, meaning times long past.
Oh, hey there. I was just leisurely reflecting on a wonderful year. It’s funny how each December 31st, regardless of the year, I sit back and review everything. I have to say, the close of 2011 is a fantastic opportunity to do so.
2011 has truly been a great year. Now, there were a few hiccups, but it’s to be expected and those said hiccups only made me stronger and eventually lead to what made 2011 great. So bear with me while I reflect! (and be amazed at my mad memory skillz, yo)
January 2011: I contacted thee ever amazing Amanda Aldag to set up an audition for a 7 member a cappella group, Euphonism.
February 2011: Due to a crazy snowstorm, my audition for Euphonism was pushed to February. I had my audition, got called back, and made it–wahoo!! In February, Euphonism was given the awesome opportunity to sing the National Anthem for the Wizards at the Verizon Center in DC. It was also in February that the group decided to get cracking on an amazing recording project.
March 2011: A great month if I do say so. Euphonism was selected to be the opening act for The Swingle Singers at the first ever VoCAL Nation in New York City. We drove up to New York for an amazing aca-weekend. I got to experience fantastic vocals from The Swingle Singers, Duwende, Treble, Redline, Overboard, Cognitive Resonance and The Red States–just to name a few. It was here that Euphonism and The Swingle Singers developed an awesome aca-relationship. And the sassy ponytail was brought back to life. We also participated in Wooten High School’s Fiesta-Asia.
April 2011: Euphonism continued being awesome
May 2011: Sweet gigs: A flash mob proposal, singing at a wedding, and participating in 2 DC Fiesta-Asia shows.
June 2011: Euphonism continued being awesome.
July 2011: A hot month for us. We had a wedding gig and our first ever Euphonism Retreat! The retreat was chock full of bonding, singing, equality cooking, photo shoots and laughing. It was a great weekend. It was also here that we learned we would be losing Jeremy “JDubbs” Winston.
August 2011: We had the honor of singing at Camilla and Richard’s wedding in DC. This was a great gig because Camilla and Richard’s wedding was featured in the Washingtonian online magazine. Yay for promoting!
September 2011: Euphonism welcomed Jeeves Murphy to our family! We also continued being awesome and really kicked up our recording. In addition to all the awesomeness, we booked our tickets for London. We had been selected to open up for The Swingle Singers at the London A Cappella Festival. So happy.
October 2011: We sang at a Molly and Mark’s lovely wedding. It was also in October that shared the stage with Vox Pop and Cartoon Johnny at Jammin’ Java in Vienna, VA. The recording continued.
November 2011: The beginning of our Kickstarter. Throughout this month we really saw how amazing our friends, family and fans are.
December 2011: We completed our goal for our Kickstarter. Thank you all so much! We also tied up our recordings and lose ends for our album, which will be out very soon. We also began our hard preparations for London (eek, only 9 days away!) It was also December 31st that Johanna wrote a lengthy reflection blog..
Annnnnnnd I’m done! So, with all that being said/read, I welcome 2012 with open arms! Euphonism has a lot to look forward to in 2012. We’ll be releasing our first ever album, going to London (9 short days away!) and continuing to be amazingly awesome.
Be safe tonight blog readers. It’ll be a party on my feet tonight for sure!
And 2012, we’re totes ready for you. BRANG IT!
With love and reverie,
Johanna “Don’t Toot your Own” Horn
Well good afternoon,
Oh nothing. Just working on creating an amazing CD for our wonderful and generous fans.
WE DID IT! YOU DID IT! With the help of 107 generous backers, Euphonism successfully completed our 30 day Kickstarter project. As a group, we could not be any more grateful. Money is hard to come by, especially in this tough economy and holiday season. It is really special that 107 people gave us a little bit of their generosity so that we could release and press our very first full-length album. Thank you so much!
This album is very special for me. I’ve never recorded anything before. Well, when I was 9 I had a series of cassette tapes that I’d record myself singing Immature and other 90s R&B gems with, but it wasn’t really all that amazing quality. I mean, the embarrassment and entertainment value alone is priceless, but it was never worthy or reproduction. But of course, this one is. This album has so many heartfelt songs with amazing effects and of course.. AMAZING VOCALS/OUT TAKES! Who knew that 7 talented singers could participate in such a harmonious endeavor?
Speaking of harmonious endeavors, we are also very excited to travel across the pond for the London A Cappella Festival in 1 MONTH! It is such an honor to be amongst a cappella legends like The Swingle Singers, Cadence, The Boxettes, and Fork–just to name a few. It will be a wonderful experience and we are so glad that we have the opportunity to share the stage with these great and talented groups.
Well, I am very excited to head on down to the Euphonism house for one of our last few rehearsals before London and before the release of our CD, Stuck Inside a Memory.
Speaking for the group, we are definitely stuck inside of this memory.. The memory of 7 great singers who had 107 generous people help them create an unforgettable CD.
Have a good day everyone!
Johanna “Don’t Toot Your Own” Horn
I’m sure the majority of you reading this will be reading this lovely blog from SoJam 2011 so have fun and please regard my jealousy. Aaaannnd I’m done.
Euphonism has been going strong for 5 amazing years and the time has come to take the sound and show to the next level. You see, ye gentle readers, Euphonism is an a cappella ensemble, therefore it is imperative that the live voices only performance be perfect. Charlie and Amanda have done their homework in creating a techno-savvy live show, but there is equipment that would make our show that much better.
Euphonism will not only be upping the live show, but we will be releasing our very first full-length album! We are recording in the Clear Harmonies Studio (courtesy of Charlie Friday). We hope that our CD will be released in early 2012. We are so excited and we are really enjoying the recording process. So far, the outtakes are priceless. I suppose the singing is pretty priceless too!
With all these new strides, we have realized that the tools in which we need to 1) take our live show to the next step and 2) press, produce and perfect a CD, will be expensive. And this why we ask, aca-blog readers… We can haz kickstrtr?
We recently started our first kickstarter called The Euphonism Project. We hope to raise $6,000 to fund new equipment and our new album.
So, the big question… what are you funding?
If funded, all of the earnings from this project will go to help us with the costs of mastering, replication, and art design for our forthcoming album. We will also add a new line of effects units to expand our live capabilities. We are hoping to raise $6,000 to support these costs.
We are scheduled to have the album out by January 2012, if everything goes to plan! Please consider contributing to our project, even a small amount helps, and it is all so very appreciated.
We are incredibly grateful for any contribution and for taking the time to look into our kickstarter.
Johanna “don’t toot your own” Horn
I thought it was high time for “the new guy” to put my voice on this blog, and I’m really excited to be bringing this particular piece of news to the fans of Euphonism… no… wait… I guess I can start saying “our fans.” Man it feels good to say that.
I have the pleasure of announcing that Euphonism… rather, we have been selected as one of Seven finalist in the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra’s “Rock Your Voices” competition. The BSO, an amazing orchestra that I personally grew up listening to, is hosting the inimitable Rockapella at the Strathmore in North Bethesda on Thursday, November 10th at 8pm. The orchestra had the wonderful idea to hold an a cappella competition, giving the winners the opportunity to sing a preshow before the Rockapella concert. There were a lot of submissions, so we are humbled just to be one of the finalists. And though the three finalists were chosen by The BSO, the winner will be chosen by you! So we need your help!
As far back as I can remember, all I’ve ever wanted to do was sing. And ever since high school, ever since listening to “Lisa, I Love You” on Rockapella’s “Lucky 7″ album, all I’ve ever wanted to do was sing a cappella music. Of course, I’m sure it didn’t hurt that, at the time, I had a huge crush on a girl named Lisa, but that’s a story for another day. From high school on, my main focus has been a cappella music, and Rockapella has remained in the spotlight for me. Opening for them would be an incredible highlight for my a cappella career, and would certainly make all the time and love I’ve put in to this craft worth it.
But again, for this dream to come true, we need our awesome fans to go out and vote for our video! What you need to do is point your web browsers to
. On the left hand side, click on Poll, and there you will find a poll to vote for your favorite video. There are some great videos from UMD Faux Paz, Salisbury Squawkapella, and Da Capo, a barbershop group from DC. You’ll also find our video submission of “Your Love” by The Outfield. Vote for your favorite (hopefully that’s us!), and in a few days a winner will be announced! Oh, and make sure that you “like” BSOMusic while you’re there!
Thanks so much for being great fans and helping us out! Keep the music alive!
I was feeling that perhaps my last blog wasn’t as comical previous ones, so I jumped on board to write about the show that we had last night. I also really wanted write about the amazing experience.
When Cartoon Johnny announced their show at Jammin’ Java in Vienna and that Euphonism and Vox Pop were going to share the stage, I was super excited for the following reasons; 1) Jammin’ Java makes good White Russians, 2) The location is pretty close to my hood, and 3) this would be my first Cartoon Johnny show.
The group was excited to be in an all a cappella show. We were also excited because we were working on some brand new songs and this was the perfect place to debut them. Once the show details were finalized and ready, Euphonism began preparing for it. A bittersweet change of plans occurred as Joe Kang, resident bassist, began a new career path and needed to train for work during the week of the Jammin’ Java show. Quickly, Charlie contacted the VP for Vox Pop, Chris Abramson, and asked if he would do VP and our group would re-assign parts for the few songs we were planning to perform. Chris accepted and began coming to rehearsals. Although we would miss Joe, it was a nice solution.
Fast forward to last night. I, of course, tend to get for lack of a better word….spastic (?!?!) before shows. My family was coming and it was the first time they were going to hear the soothing sounds of Euphonism. I badgered my family and made sure they arrived promptly at 7:00 when doors open. I feared there would be a crazy line around the Jammin’ Java block for the Cartoon Johnny show.
Actually, I was just worried that since it was Cartoon Johnny member Malcolm’s last show, it would be crowded. My husband could barely get in throught the doors it was so packed. He heard that some record executives would be there for us. (Last two sentences are to be read with sarcasm..and a little humiliation on my part..I’m still getting made fun of for worrying about crowds…no judgement please)
Vox Pop opened the show with some great renditions of “Animal”, “Wild Horses” and “Fireflies” just to name a few. Chris Abramson floored the crowd with his VP Solo. Vox Pop did an awesome job! Then it came time for Euphonism.
We opened with group favorite “Mercy”. Amanda killed it with swagger and confidence. Then, we debuted our version of Adele’s “Hometown Glory”. Laura’s voice sounded incredible. The backups were a tad slow, but it was nice. I thought it fit the mood at Jammin’ Java well since it was all black with candles on the tables. It fit the scene. We then sang “If You Could Only See” by Tonic. We had awesome effect pedals courtesy of Amanda and Jeeves. It sounded like legit rock-n-roll instruments. Then we sang Charlie’s favorite solo “You are the Best Thing”. Amazing. Following that was Amanda’s favorite “Not like the Movies”, it was amazing. Then we did our new single (to be released soon) “If Ever I could Love”. We changed keys a bit there–but other than that Laura sounded great. And we closed with a John Baer 80′s gem, “Your Love”.
We felt pretty good–other than some minor tuning issues. It was nice to sing some new songs and show the crowd our use of effect pedals. When we finished, we enjoyed listening to Cartoon Johnny and just hanging out. It was a great show!
I know I look forward to my next all aca-gig! I love the people that are associated with a cappella. We rule.
Johanna “Don’t Toot Your Own” Horn
This post is long overdue! I’d like to share with you, faithful reader (I know there are some of you out there!) some thoughts on the experiences Euphonism and I had at the inaugural VoCALNation conference and festival, put on by CASA.
I think there had been CAL meet-ups, retreats and festivals (or quasi-festivals) before, but certainly this was a concerted effort to really focus on CAL’s needs as a new demographic in the a cappella community.
I had attended festivals before this that were put on by CASA, and others, and they are fabulous, generally, across the board. There’s a lot of love for this art form out there. However, as an adult, I can certainly observe and respect that almost all of the contemporary aca-singers out there for the past decade have been in the collegiate arena. It’s a huge scene, and that’s where CASA has to put it’s main focus, but it gives the festivals a decidedly college-centric slant, which again, while understandable, doesn’t provide a ton of knowledge for those of us who have moved on from that scene into adult-land, with its different challenges and requirements.
That’s why VoCALNation was a) so welcome, and b) so exciting. The highlights of SoJam and LAAF among others, was always hanging out with other CAL singers and talking shop, and to have a weekend devoted to sharing knowledge, showing off our performance skills to each other, and just finally MEETING a lot of people in person was amazing.
So, that’s enough about VCN in general terms, I want to share our experiences. Euphonism had been selected via video contest entry to have the great privilege of being able to share the stage with Treble (CAL hosts for the weekend, they did an amazing job), the amazing Duwende, and the Swingle Singers! I got to see the Swingles in London on my honeymoon in 2010, and it was, in short, incredible, and the opportunity to meet and learn from them was something we were all very excited about.
I’m going to touch on three points of the weekend, and how they helped us grow as a group.
First, the Friday night showcase: each CAL group had the opportunity to perform for our peers in a cool venue in NYC, Kenny’s Castaways, which was excellent, and Euphonism elected to do one song, which went well. What we got out of that evening was that our second car coming up to NYC had an adventure, ie. got stuck in horrid traffic and almost ran out of gas, thus 4 of our 7 members arrived at Kenny’s mere moments before we had to go on stage. Euphonism has faced this situation of being rushed before a show before, and before this, we had not handled it particularly well, and it definitely (in the past) affected our performance negatively. However, I was so pleased that we were able to rise to the import of the situation, and really focus and calm ourselves before we went on! That was a big step for us, and now, we are definitely calmer in the face of pre-performance snags than we ever have been as a result.
Second, our coaching: As part of being selected through the video contest, Euphonism was fortunate to receive a coaching from the Swingles (in this case, Clare and Kevin), and this was an amazing experience for us. In the prep for the weekend, I had been constantly emphasizing all the basic musicality we all work on (and often neglect) like dynamics, clean cutoffs, putting feeling into our performance, as I really did not want to sell this opportunity short for us with an hour of dynamics work. Euphonism rose to the occasion completely, and the Swingles were able to really dig into our arrangements, style, and tiny performance details in the coaching. This helped grow in 2 ways. First, obviously, all of the suggestions they made were so helpful in elevating our performance of the material. Second, it was very validating for the group to not hear an hour of “you have to really own the solo on this” or “you need more dynamics/balance/etc”. Now, when we’ve heard that in the past, it has always been timely and what we needed to hear at the that point, but it was so gratifying to finally get some professional acknowledgement that, yes, we had those thing in hand, and could move on to more specific tweaks. It was really a boost to the whole group that we saw proof that we had raised ourselves up a level in focus, musicianship, and performance.
Finally, the performance: As I stated before, we had the second slot in the main performance of the weekend. We selected the 3 songs we most wanted to share with the community, and were able to perform in a great setting with amazingly talented people. The group grew from this in several ways. First, learning to adapt to different situations (as we had Friday) on the fly in both rehearsals and the performance, and not let it break our stride was a huge accomplishment! We learned that we can handle a big stage, and that’s been a confidence boost that’s definitely carried forward, and made us hungry for more and better gigs. And then, right after we had given a solid performance, we were inspired by Duwende and the Swingles as to how much further we could go in our musical journey. That was the key moment for me, personally. Never stop pushing!
The confidence that Euphonism gained that weekend, in our musicianship, has been such a benefit, in every possible way. It has inspired us to push ourselves, our singing, our arrangements, our tech, our performance, to new levels.
I’m proud of what we accomplished that weekend, and I’m so excited about what the future has in store for us!
So when it rains, it pours. This time around, we are grateful that all of our incoming news has been good. Scratch that. It’s been awesome.
In the past few days, we’ve had some great leads on new local concerts. Some we still have to keep the details under wraps on, but we can announce 2 for now! On October 24th we’ll be making another stop at Jammin’ Java in Vienna for a performance with Cartoon Johnny and Vox Pop. It should be a great night of a cappella in honor of Jammin’ Java’s month-long celebration of their 10th anniversary. The other concert is a little farther down the horizon on March 10th. We were honored to be selected as performers in the INTERSECTIONS 2012 festival, celebrating arts in DC. We’ll join Reverb for an afternoon concert at Atlas Theatre on H Street.
And then there was the not so local news….we are going to London! On Monday we learned that we’ve been selected to perform an opening set for The Swingle Singers at the 2012 London A Cappella Festival. Thrilled doesn’t even begin to describe our excitement. As we are still letting this news sink in, there really are no words…but I imagine we’ll have lots of them as we chronicle our preparation in the lead up to January, as well as all about the trip itself, so stay tuned, dear fans!!!
And on the personnel front, last night we completed our search for a new member, meeting with a deep pool of talented auditionees. It was evident that we were excited, as the group was a little more giddy (ridiculous?) than usual! After a lot of laughter and a lot of great singing, we decided to offer a cappella community standout Jeeves Murphy our 7th spot. Jeeves has been an active member of the DC/Maryland a cappella community for several years and currently serves as the DC/MD/VA ambassador for CASA, which you can learn more about at acappellaembassy.org. Please join us in welcoming our new friend into our awesome circle of family and fans!
And finally, as summer is now wrapping up we’re entering the final stages of tracking on our new album which is shaping up to be something we’re really proud of. We can’t wait to share the finished product with you. So much to look forward to – we’re ready for fall!