Joanna's Story MUST be Sung!
The opening 'My First Love Was My Bicycle' ("teaser") video gives you, the reader, an idea of who the character Treva Believa is. Her video is the first step. Then we introduce Dame Sonja with the second video.... stay tuned!
The video above, Take Myself Out Dancing, written by me with the help of James Lambert, is a sample of the diverse styles and eras that you will hear in the show. For more recorded songs and soundscapes go to itunes: Joanna Finch or soundcloud:ergot isthmus or www.joannafinch.ca
SOME BACKGROUUND HISTORY:
When I fell off my bike and cracked my head forty years ago I did not know what level of creativity would pour out of my consciousness. I had always had a vivid imagination, but after my head injury my fantasies became my friends.
A guiser of creative inspiration flowed from my mind but the concussion led to epilepsy for which I was given strong medication that dulled my ability to focus. I had to work extra hard to get my ideas out. I struggled to keep up in school. The only thing that made me feel succesful was my ability to transform thoughts into songs.
Music saved my life. I suffered severe episodes of depression, anxiety and self -loathing. Singing made me feel sane, loved; it became my closest, lifelong friend.
When I was twenty-two the epileptic seizures stopped and the fog cleared. I applied to a theatre school in San Fransisco and was accepted. My dreams were about to come true! Then, love came along, and babies and the boonies, and, well, I never made it to theatre school. But I did continue to sing and to write songs and become a recording artist of some renown. (You can hear some of my recorded music on itunes: Joanna Finch)
Now, thirty-three years later I'm stepping back into my dream of making my songs into a musical. I need your help. It's a very interesting story. Please, help me to get back onto the stage where I belong.
I will be sharing any profits I make from my show with Mental Health and the Transition Society, in respect for my Father and Mother and thier perspective "tragic musicals" in which I was their "Cochlea."
"Cochlea the Freakshow Musical" is an avant garde musical-cabaret of three women, who live inside the head of Cochlea, the quirky, child-like narrator who tells the story of her disturbing and hilarious life through the songs and poems of Amanda, Treva and Sonja.
The project is complete when the show is on the stage!
My first goal is to create three videos that represent my three diverse musical styles. I'll be picking up gigs and touring with various bands, sometimes with my WORLD-ROOTS repertoire; sometimes with my SOUL-JAZZ-FUNK sets and soemtimes with my LATIN & CABARET DINNER SHOW. I've started a website where fans can see my tour schedule.
My intention is to get some buzz going about my music in general, during the touring phase, so that when Cochlea The Music is complete I will have generated some interest.
My dreams is to travel with this show. But for now I'll keep my sights on North America.
The process is really where the art is....and for your support in this process, I am very grateful.
Here are the steps that will take me to my dream goal...and here's how YOU can help:
Produce 3 professional videos of 3 songs performed by each of the 3 characters.
FINANCIAL GOAL: $3000.00 each
Money will be spent on hiring musicians; renting location space, hiring videographer/producer; editing and marketting.
A) The Blackwidow's Tango (Winter, early 2016)
Seductive Sonja sings this Marlene Deietrich style tango with the accompaniment of acordian, violin and drums. Set in a 1930's cabaret, The Black Widow seduces her prey, then appologises for her "voracious, rapacious, and salacious" appetite!
B) My First Love Was My Bicycle (Spring 2016)
Treva, the positive, upbeat earthy love child sings this happy,danceable ska tune about the freedom she feels when she rides her bike. Set amid the splendid colours of autumn, accompaniment includes a full reggae band with trombone and tuba!
C) The Beautiful Mystery (Spring 2016)
Romantic, sensual Amanda melts hearts and touches into the soul of all who hear her sing. "The Beautiful Mystery" is a R&B style ballad that released her from a dark spell of depression. Set in a temple, by the sea, and in a stark room, accompaniment includes piano, bass, drums and saxophone.
FINANCIAL GOAL: $3,000.00
This provides me with travel expenses to work with my musicians and directors and all materials, props, etc that need to be purchased for the show.Your contributions to this stage will grant me the resouces to research, write and prepare the show for production. It will also allow me to hire an arranger, director and an editor.
Much of the music has been written and or recorded professionally, so I have a very good start. I have directors friends in Vancouver, Quito, Cuenca and New York who are willing to help me pull the show together, and many theatre professionals from whom I can get support and guidance.
Practice practice practice!
FINANCIAL GOAL: $3000,00
The third stage is when the band, the 'extras' in the show, the director and I, all work out the kinks... (Sonja loves this part...)
There will be spring, summer and fall festivals in which all three characters will perform their individual shows, each of them talking up "Cochlea, The Musical... Freak Show Cabaret!"
The videos that YOU help me to produce in PART ONE will help me to get into these festivals that will give me a greater chance of making "Cochlea" a success.
"Cochlea, The Freak Show Musical" is my chance to make it onto international stages with a show that pulls together 40 years of dedication to my art. It is my opportnity to show you my gratitude for what you have helped facilitate with your support. And the best part: you will get to witness me fully, happily, doing what I love to do best: create music and SING!
I love my Muse. She is so generous. I call her Cochlea.
Cochlea is the inner ear. This name was suggested to me by my dear Rodney Gage who died of cancer in 2007. He also advised me to take one step at a time... which I cannot heed; instead I walk with three inspiring and compelling muses, all eager to animate her character first. Cochlea presented me three women: the "SirenTryptic", to study the scope of my artistic canvas.
FINDING MYSELF IN MY CHARACTERS:
AMANDA LOVE is the jazz, R&B singer with the soulful, dulcet tones whose serenity is the embodiment of feminine mystique. Amanda teaches me about love; and through her connection to spirit brings me to a peaceful acceptance of who I am.
TREVA BELIEVA is the energetic, poly-amourous earth-honouring social activist whose music is inspired by roots, rock and reggae. Treva gives me the courage to keep believing in the goodness of the human spirit and to share the wisdom of Mother Earth through inspiring acts of social consciousness.
"DAME" SONJA is the sophisticated, cabart diva with operatic influences, whose music sounds like Cesaria Evora, Edith Piaf and Eartha Kitt. Playing as the woman or the man, Sonja reminds me to be completely unrestrained, to revel in dramatic representation of the human condition, and to always make it FUN!
Thank you from my heart for your kindness and support. I hope to meet you face to face soon so I can thank you for helping to make my dream a reality.
In loving kindness,
September 21 2014 as summer turns to fall
(Revised and updated January 30, 2016)
But very soon I will put the link up here for my supporters to see. I'm really excited about this song and video. Shane from Island Soul Films and I worked really hard on it and I'm proud to finally have something to show you.
What did you think of The Blackwidow's Tango video? I'd love to get some feedback!
It is with great pleasure and pride I present to you my first of the three videos you have helped fund...
I offer you, The Black Widow's Tango.
This vintage style video was produced by Shane Philip, of Island Soul Productions, who followed my vision as I conveyed it, and added his video magic to create this wonderful rendition of my best known cabaret song, The Black Widow's Tango. In this video you catch a glimpse of Sonja at her somewhat creepy best.
A year ago, January 31, we rented Studio Live in Cumberland, a state of the art live video recording studio where we set the stage in "Sonja's" boudoir; friends lent their talent as the extras, and we begged and borrowed the props and pieced together the costumes from our "tickle trunks."
We spent an afternoon shooting and reshooting till we got the best, most creative and racy footage to support this song. It was so much fun!
Enormous thanks to Cathy Lee Coates and Dancing Dan for their generous contribution of dancing those sinuous movements; to Eve Szoker for her make up; to Jules Benson for props, costumes and acting; Rachel Mooney for wigs, and to Michel, Dan , Roger, Joel, Adam, Chris and Ron for being "my" men.
Big thanks to James MacRae and Roger Baird for Studio Live, and to you, for helping to fund this video.
I feel I owe you an apology and an explanation for the huge gap between my last post and now.
My timeline for my project has gone sideways, as personal life has thrown me a huge curve ball with the death of my dearest love, the father of my children. I've been quiet and uninterested in continuing this project as I move through the effects of grief. I'm feeling a creative stirring in me as spring is whispering on the wind.
Because I had intended to release My First Love Was My Bicycle First, I put this video on hold, till all the marketing plans were in place for a fall release of the bicycle song, but September collapsed and my focus on art was usurped by real life. I had intended to release The Black Widow's Tango this winter, so at least this one is on track. My big release for My First Love Was My Bicycle is March 20, my birthday.
This has been a year of big changes and growth for me. It seems strange and ironic that life just keeps happening to me, with me, and through me, and the effort it takes to grab those stories, songs, moments of Cochlea's musings and squish them together into a Musical that is not haphazard, but graceful and poignant, requires my complete attention.
So far this has been impossible.
So, my promise to you is that I will deliver THREE videos, and then reassess, how and when and where I will produce my musical.
In the meantime, thanks again for your support and understanding, and for believing in me.
We will be putting out more teasers like this, showing the little details that make the story... interesting.
I want you to meet Sonja, the Cabaret Diva, with this little snippet from the Black Widow's Tango video we shot on January 31st. The entire video was shot by Shane Philip in one afternoon at Studio Live in Cumberland, where I live.
This song encapsulates the sense of freedom and power of a liberated woman who knows how to put a man under her spell. The classic cabaret style set to tango music creates a smouldering atmosphere in which Sonja comes alive. Unfortunately, the man who dares to enter "the dark recesses of her love lair" does not!
We had a fabulous cast of local dancers, artists and musicians who gave their time and talent to my project, including Roger Baird, a great jazz drummer and the owner of studio Live. Featured in the video are dancers Cathy Coates and Dan Boucher, who helped to create the sultry, smouldering atmosphere of this piece with their creative dance moves. In the scene you will also see Michel Duhaime, a Comox Valley acupuncturist and Qi Gong practitioner; Dan Vie, band leader, director and mask maker; Adam Szoke, finishing carpenter and visionary; Joel Fox, massage practitioner, musician and artist; Jon Baker, actor, musician and carpenter; Christopher Boux, craftsman and musician; and Jules Benson, actor, climbing instructor and magic maker. Eve Szoke was the make-up artist.
All that remains to be done is the editing, the remastering of the song and the final packaging to prepare it for Youtube and Vimeo.
We're right on schedule with the budget so far. With 1,000.00 more the video will be ready to show the world! And when these first two videos are out, getting thousands of viewers, I can turn my focus to the completion of writing and producing Cochlea.
The generous donations of curious people like you who believe in supporting live artists make it all possible. Thanks again for your support.
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