"Breckin, which means freckled, is the moniker of Melbourne-based visual artist, poet and singer-songwriter, Heather Marsh.
Her debut album, Shiner, is both bruised and brilliant. It illuminates and holds an oblique mirror to the perennial subject of love and loss in a series of songs that are equal parts elegy, sympathy card and therapy session."
- from my website www.breckinmusic.com
The album took almost three years to complete and has had a personal investment of over $10,000 to produce - being recorded at Pharmacy Studios Melbourne, with commissioned co-producer Richard Andrew, mixed and mastered by Nao Anzai, with beautiful piano and string arrangements on a number of the songs by Paul Binns and Biddy Connor and with an album sleeve featuring the stunning pencil work of artist Selene Cochrane.
The debut single The Story Bridge and subsequent single Life of the Party have received incredible support - being picked up and played by 3TripleR and PBS Melbourne, 4ZZZ Brisbane and reviewed and selected as Song of the Day by KEXP Seattle.
The singles have gorgeous videos - the first, The Story Bridge , created from cut-up vintage footage by Jack Cooper and the second, Life of the Party , by cinematographer David Meagher set at a little girls birthday party gone awry.
This work has all been funded so far through working freelance jobs in addition to my day-job. Making this work has not been negotiable for me. As an artist, making and releasing into reality the works which are born in my mind feels as necessary as breathing (ok - maybe *slight* exaggeration).
Shiner is a beautiful album and a project that has called on all my resilience and resourcefulness as an artist to create. I have brought my whole self to making a work that deeply satisfies me as a creater and voracious music lover.
I hope you love it and that if you support my project it will become, if not the high rotation on your stereo at least the late-night bittersweet you seek out for solace.
Love in Life as in Art
Pressing of 150 albums (12#, 180 gram vinyl) $2,800 at local outfit Zenith records
Pressing of 100 printed CDs with sleeve at Implant Media $400
Postage on albums and sleeves to supporters $500 @ around $8 per item to post 75 items
The biggest challenges are already behind me, which were:
- Writing, arranging and recording ten songs
- Commissioning a co-producer to play on the album, a strings arranger, a pianist and a string quartet
- Creating the concept for videos and working with film-makers, finding set, recruiting cast, organising props, turning around edit feedback
- Creating an artist website, commissioning professional artist photos, making soundcloud, bandcamp and youtube pages and channels,
- Commissioning a designer for the album sleeve and disks both vinyl and CD
- Writing hundreds of personalised emails to press, radio and media to promote the singles
- Setting up APRA regitsration, getting ISRC codes for each song, buying barcodes for the albums...
I have learned that the list of things to do when producing music FAR outweighs the list of things to do when making visual work or writing. I now have a new appreciation for all the indie artists whose work I love (and buy!)