Album Listening Party on Oct. 7!

SHORT VERSION: PATRON-ONLY ONLINE LISTENING PARTY FOR NEW ALBUM OCT 7 3 PM CST

LONG VERSION:

Hey team,

Writing to you from Reykjavik, Iceland where I’m currently on a trip with my wonderful family! I finished the first round of mixes for the album right before I left, so I’ve been able to check the mixes while staring out at majestic waterfalls, glacial valleys and magnificent vistas (I hear it’s what the pros do). This is the first time I’ve been able to absorb all the songs together in one place… and I gotta say, although they’re not perfect yet, it definitely feels like there’s a record in there somewhere... and I'm getting excited!

To me, mixing is about making sure a song takes you on the best emotional ride it can. Every move you make during the mixing process… whether it’s making a vocal louder, a drum hit stand out, or a violin sound darker… helps to bring home the emotional intention of the song. Listening to a song should feel like a ride from beginning to end… and when it’s over you should feel like that ride dropped you off somewhere cool.

After the mixing is finalized, the record will be mastered.  Mastering has always been sort of a dark art, even to musicians, who will often struggle to tell you exactly what it is:) Basically mastering is the final process the songs go through before they're ready for the public… where we adjust the overall impact/volume/frequencies so all the songs sound like a unified piece of music when played together… in other words, so it all sounds like an album rather than a bunch of separate tracks. I hope to master the record by late September… and then, gods willing, this album will be in the can (more pro lingo right there)!

Between now and then, I’ll be posting the rest of the songs with their accompanying ‘making of’ videos. I’d love to hear what kind of ride the songs are taking you on… and if you have any comments on anything you’ve heard thus far, I’m all ears… you might just catch something I missed!

Even though the album isn’t officially coming out until early next year, there’s no way I can wait until then to share the final product with you… so we’ll be having a Patron-only, online listening party on Oct 7 at 3 pm CST. I will stream the entire album from top to bottom in CD-quality audio (via an awesome tool called SourceLive) while I chat with all of you in real time! Anyone who is an active patron by 10/7 will be able to join us. For those of you who can’t attend the listening party, I will also have a pre-release version of the album with me on tour this Fall.  

I know I’ve said this before, but your support here has been a vital part of this creation process… not only did it allow me to pour my time and energy into these songs, but knowing you were listening really kept me focused and motivated throughout the process, even during those times I was pulling my hair out and wanting to quit music (true story). I honestly feel we made this thing together, and I can’t wait to virtually high-five all of you at the listening party!!

Much love,

Alex Wong

Album Update: The Elephant and the Seahorse

 Dream Pouches with the logo are available for purchase at shows!

Dream Pouches with the logo are available for purchase at shows!

Dear music family,

Happy August!  I know I’ve been a little quiet over here but I promise it’s been for good reason… as of this post, I’m nearly done with all of the recording for the entire album!! I can’t tell you how excited I am to share this music with all of you, and how grateful I am for your presence here every step of this process. Quite simply, this album would never have happened without your incredible support. Thank you thank you thank you!

In the coming weeks we will be making some very big announcements… about an upcoming US/Canada tour (with secret patron-only gifts), about a special cross-disciplinary artist collaboration for the album (that I’m SO FREAKING EXCITED ABOUT), about a patron-only listening party (where I will live-stream the entire finished record only to patrons, straight from my studio), as well as some exciting additions to the Patreon page itself. In other words, shit is about to go down… so get ready!!

But back to the present moment… today I wanted to share a little more insight into what inspired the songs that became this record. I was moved to create this album as a way to deal with my somewhat complicated relationship with my own memory. I’ve always had a deep fear that I’m losing parts of my memory... throughout my life family members, especially my sister, would reminisce about a shared experience we’d had as children… she would recall detailed recollections of events, even ones focused on me, like my own birthday parties… that I would simply have zero memory of. It saddened me that it felt like chunks of my life were simply missing from my own archives.  

At the same time, I would often experience vivid memories of places I’d never been, down to the exact buildings that I would discover later in life. I would have memories of dreams that felt like deja vu, only to have them transpire years later (I have journal entries detailing some of these before they happened). I would have memories from dreams that stuck with me so vividly that years later, it became confusing whether they were from a dream or from waking life. I would also have recurring dreams that would pop up over many years as if urging me to find a deeper meaning in them. 

I was particularly inspired by this episode of Radiolab which talks about what actually happens in our brain when we remember something… conventional wisdom tells us that our memory is like a large filing cabinet where all of our experiences are stored, and when we want to remember something we go to the filing cabinet and retrieve the memory. sometimes we have a hard time finding the file but we still trust that it’s in there... somewhere… 

Well, according to this episode, that idea is basically completely wrong. Through a series of experiments scientists were able to show that when we remember something, we are actually recreating the entire memory from scratch. and every time we recall something, we run the risk of altering, changing, and degrading it slightly. So, counterintuitively, the memories we relive the most are actually the ones that may be the furthest from what really happened. This blew my mind, and made it into one of my upcoming songs, called “It Used To Be A Movie,” which you’ll hear in a few days.  All the songs on this album were written to explore these experiences of memory in one way or another.

When I first started working on the album last fall, I designed a logo for the record, pictured above: an elephant and a seahorse. The elephant’s relationship with memory is perhaps obvious, thanks to their reputation in our popular culture as the reigning champs of all things remember-y. The seahorse, however, was a more oblique reference.  As I was doing some research for some of these songs, I learned about the hippocampus, the part of the brain believed to control emotion, memory, and the automatic nervous system. It got it’s name because it is literally shaped like a tiny seahorse…and the name for the genus for seahorse is, you guessed it, hippocampus.  

I hope this brings an added depth to the experience of this album. Now, go back and listen to all the songs and think about seahorses! And as always, hit me up with any questions or comments about my writing process (or seahorses). Always happy to share.

OH! I almost forgot! We are exactly ONE PATRON AWAY reaching our THIRD MILESTONE GOAL OF 160 PATRONS! That’s freaking huge! So if you know anyone who’s been considering signing up, tell them to just do it already and push us over the edge, for they will be immortalized as a hero in the years to come. In all seriousness, crossing the milestone means that I can afford to buy some much needed equipment to greatly enhance the visual content I post to Patreon. Everybody wins!

You are all the best. Thank you for getting us here. More very soon.

Much love,

AW

New song, Shows with Vienna Teng!

Happy Spring, Music Family!

I hope you all had a rejuvenating Winter.  I’ve been very grateful for these last couple of months of down time… I was able to focus on recording my album, get to know all my root vegetables as a newbie vegetarian, and binge-watch Ugly Delicious (essentially torture for newbie vegetarians but what can I say I’m a David Chang fanboy).  Basically Sh*t got pretty crazy up in here.

This week Spring has been gently nudging the creatures of Nashville out from the shadows, myself included, and I’m getting ready to join the outside world again.  I’ve got a couple of fun events coming up next month that I am excited to share with you…

ONLINE CONCERT FEATURING VIENNA TENG AND OTHER SPECIAL GUESTS - APRIL 4

When I started my Patreon page, I honestly had no idea if anyone would sign up.  I created the milestone goals in the hopes that as we grew as a community, I could do something to thank you for your support.  I’m thrilled to announce that we have crossed the second milestone, which means I can afford to stream an online, Patron-only, all-request concert featuring Vienna Teng and other special guests!

The concert will stream live on WEDNESDAY 4/4/18 at 2 pm CDT and is FREE to ALL Patrons.  I will post a poll on the Patreon page and anyone who is an active patron by 3/31 can submit requests for the set list.  The songs with the most votes will make the set.

I’m so excited to get to reunite with Vienna.   She has always been one of my favorite musical collaborators and it’s been over 4 years since we’ve gotten to make music together.  I’m so grateful she'll able to join me for this special concert.  We will be creating unique arrangements of all the songs for this performance… Since we don’t have to face a particular audience, we will essentially play the whole set in a circle, surrounded by various instruments, and hopefully avoid bumping into each other as we move around the stage.

And if you can’t watch the broadcast, don’t worry… selected songs from the show will be filmed and edited and available to all Patrons after the concert!

DUO CONCERT WITH VIENNA TENG FOR CITIZENS CLIMATE LOBBY, BOULDER CO - APRIL 7

The following weekend, we are supporting Citizens Climate Lobby with a benefit show in Boulder CO.  The concert will raise money for CCL to help send CCL members to Washington to spread awareness about and discuss solutions to the multitude of issues caused by climate change.

SATURDAY APRIL 7, 7PM
UNITY OF BOULDER SPIRITUAL CENTER

2855 FOLSOM, BOULDER CO
TICKETS AVAILABLE HERE

Vienna and I will play a duo show consisting of both of our material, and I will also debut some songs from an upcoming duo album with Jesse Terry inspired by the village of Kivalina AK, one of the first American towns to be lost to rising sea levels within 10 years.  The album will be released in Fall 2018, but you can hear our first single, “Landfall,” on my Patreon page now…

NEW SONG FROM SOLO ALBUM RELEASED ON PATREON


Last month I released the second song from my upcoming album, Me, Forever,” on my Patreon page.  

Here's a sneak peek…

This song was written with my good friend and collaborator Amber Rubarth.  As I’ve mentioned before, all the songs on the new album are a way for me to explore my relationship with my own memory.  I've had my tarot cards read by two different psychics, several years apart, who both told me that I've lived several lives in Paris... one suggested that I travel there, walk around the city, and try to find my old house.  Last Fall I had an opportunity to be in Paris, and I did just that.  This song follows the path I took wandering through the city that day.  

If you missed the first song, “Show Yourself,” you can check it out, along with a video of the recording process, for free right now.  I am releasing all songs from my upcoming album exclusively on my Patreon page, the BEST way to support my ongoing ability to create art.  If you like what you hear and see, please consider becoming a patron!

The third song, “If It’s A Crash,” will be released to Patreon later this week.  Inspired by a recurring dream of a car crash, it became a song about my struggle to learn how to embrace the unknown.  Become a patron and follow along as I record my album!

OK, that’s it for now.  Thanks again for reading, and for being with me here.  I am so incredibly grateful for your support.  Hope to see you online or at a show soon!

Much love,

Alex Wong

New Song, Live Stream, Thank You!

Happy Holidays, music family! 

I hope you are having a beautiful holiday season, surrounded by people who you think are awesome.  Personally I think you’re awesome for reading this email.

As I go over 2017 in my mind while writing this, I’m feeling pretty overwhelmed with gratitude for the adventures that music has brought me on this year.  It took me overseas several times; to produce a record in London, attend a songwriting camp in Sweden, and tour all over Europe with great artist and dear friend Megan Slankard.  It also brought us around the US/Canada on tour, where I got to meet lots of new friends and reconnect with old ones. 

One of the things I’m most grateful for this year is finally getting a chance to work on my second solo album.  It has been 5 years since I released my debut album, A City On A Lake, and I am so thrilled to finally get to share some new music with the world. Last October I launched a Patreon page in order to invite listeners into my creative process as I record the album.  I’d never done anything like that before and had no idea what to expect, and of course I was terrified that it would fail miserably and no one would sign up, not even my mom.

Thankfully my mom proved me wrong, as did so many of you!  Your support has made it possible to do some amazing things like donate $1000 to hurricane relief efforts in Puerto Rico and commit to printing vinyl of my upcoming record, which just blows me away.  But even more importantly, it has rekindled my creative spirit in a way that I honestly haven’t felt in a very long time.  I’ve never been more excited to make music than I am right now, and I just can’t thank you enough for that.  

If you are a fan of what I do and want to support my ability to make music on my terms in the best way possible, may I humbly suggest becoming a patron.  I will be releasing all of my new music here as well as studio and tour videos, sneak peeks at brand new songs and other exclusive content. You will receive the first single "Show Yourself" from my upcoming record (not yet available to the public) instantly when you sign up at any level. Click here to learn more.

NEW SONG - “THE LIGHT” FEATURING MEGAN SLANKARD

I want to share a brand new unreleased song with you, called “The Light.”  Megan and I wrote it a few months ago and filmed a live acoustic performance in her San Francisco apartment right before our Fall tour.  Big thanks to friends Karen Shih and Jordan Rose for their beautiful videography!

The song was inspired by the idea of relative distances… how something like “space” can feel so far away but actually it’s only as far as driving to the town next door, if one were to point their car straight up… and how sometimes you can be standing right next to someone and feel worlds apart.  It hasn't been officially recorded yet, but I wanted to give you guys a first listen as a little holiday present:)  Click here to listen to “The Light”.

If you enjoy the song, I highly recommend you check out Megan’s Patreon page as well!  I’m a big fan of her songwriting... it's creative and unique while remaining totally authentic and heartfelt.  She also has one of my favorite voices in the biz, as demonstrated by this song...

LIVE-STREAMED CONCERT FEATURING SPECIAL GUESTS - EARLY 2018

We recently reached another milestone goal on Patreon which means I can afford to present a full band, live-streamed concert from my studio in Nashville in early 2018.  I’ll be arranging my songs for several musicians including a string ensemble, and I have invited some very special guests to sing with me that you will not want to miss!  If you join Patreon at any level between now and January you will get access to watch the show.  Here’s a little taste of what it might sound like.

Thank you again for being a part of this journey.  It means the world to me.

Much love, 

Alex 

New Album on Patreon!

Dear Music Family,

I hope this letter finds you and your loved ones happy and safe.  My thoughts are with those dealing with the aftermath of the many recent natural disasters around the world.  More on that below…

It’s been a while since my last note. I hope you all had a wonderful summer.  Here are the highlights from mine: I got an inflatable Kayak and went lake camping with Charlotte the dog.  Charlotte got a lifejacket which has handles and is hilarious. I missed the eclipse completely. I got a basil plant and haven’t killed it yet. I spent a lot of time in my studio producing records and working on new music.

Also I’m going to Sweden in a week!  I was invited to the High Coast Songwriting Camp, consisting of 18 songwriters from all over the world.  I have no idea what to expect, but I’m super pumped about getting to meet/work with some super talented artists.  And I wouldn’t be mad if a little of that Swedish pop genius rubbed off on my new record.  Speaking of which…

I’m thrilled to announce that recording for my second solo album is officially underway!

The recording process can often be ridiculously isolated… an artist holes up in a studio, house, or underground bunker for weeks/months/years, does irreparable damage to personal relationships and personal hygiene, and emerges some time later to drop new music on an unsuspecting world. However, I’ve always loved when art is more of a conversation than a monologue, when listeners share their experience of the music and the artist reveals the seed behind an idea and how it becomes a finished song.

I want to invite my listeners into the creative process with the help of Patreon. Here’s how it works: You pledge a small monthly amount (as low as $1) and in return I give you access to cool stuff, like unreleased new songs and demos, behind-the-scenes videos of my production process from my studio, and even private online/in-person concerts and custom-composed music. All Patrons get exclusive access to the songs from the new album as they are completed, long before they are made available to the public. When you sign up at any level you will immediately get access to the first song from my new record, “Show Yourself.”

In light of recent events, I am donating 100% of all first-month proceeds from everyone who pledges by October 31 to disaster relief efforts in Puerto Rico.

It’s a strange time to be a musician as well as a music fan… we often wonder how to best support the independent artists we love… should we buy CDs, stream them on Spotify, or go see them on tour?  If you’re a fan of what I do as an artist, Patreon is THE BEST way to support my ongoing ability to create music and share it with the world. Please consider checking it out!

One more thing: None of this would be possible without the steady hand of my friend and new community manager for this Patreon campaign, Josephine Huynh.  She’s been working tirelessly alongside me to get ready for the launch, helping to design rewards that would be fulfilling for supporters, and helping to keep me on track throughout this process while I was consumed with writing and recording the music and occasionally pulling my hair out.  She’s talented, intelligent and organized, and I know firsthand that her support for the artistic community means the world to us musicians. People like her are a huge reason why we keep doing what we do.  Thank you Josephine!

Thanks so much for being part of this conversation.

Much love,

Alex Wong