Composer, vocalist and founder of VIA, Paola Prestini, had a few minutes to discuss the launching of the VIA Records label, which will be debuting with 3 very promising new projects: Oceanic Verses by Prestini herself and featuring vocalist Helga Davis; Anna Clyne’s The Violin, featuring Cornelius Dufallo, and a 2-part CD by Paola’s husband, cellist and member of the Kronos Quartet, Jeff Zeigler, to be called North and Glaub, respectively.
The launching is to be funded by Kickstarter, and you can be a big part of that in making a donation of any size by clicking here or on the bottom link.
CM: Can you talk about the launching of this new label?
Paola: Basically, my company has kind of gone through a re-branding. It’s always been about music and collaboration, and now we’re hired our first staff member, and a new managing director, and we’re actually starting to have a collective of artists that we present often. It became really clear to me that there was room and space for one more recording label that was really dedicated to the kind of artists that I like to present, and to new music and multimedia. So, we’ll generally be doing multimedia releases, and I’m excited about it! I think that there’s always room for more opportunities for composers and musicians who are kind of thinking out of the box.
CM: VIA is, of course, the name of your already existing company.
Paola: I started this company in my early 20s–It’s been in existence for a long time, and it’s always been the hub for my own work, so I tend to commission all of my works, but I also commission other composers to work in multimedia settings and also other musicians to do the same, and they tend to be musicians who are also improvisers and composers, like Neil Dufallo.
CM: So what are the multimedia albums that are part of the launch?
Paola: Anna Clyne’s album The Violin is a collaboration with stop-motion animation, and she doesn’t want to release the piece without that as a vital part of it. My album Oceanic Verses is a tryptic, a film tryptic, and I can obviously release the record with the music by itself, but I’d like to have one version of it where people can experience it in this kind of 3D environment. Jeff’s album Glaub will also feature projection design, and we’re still trying to figure out if that album is going to have multimedia components. With Jeff, it’s really exciting for me because I get to work with my husband, which is really fun!
CM: There seems to be a lot of power couples in new music! [laughs]
Paola: Well, he’s an extraordinary thinker, and I think this is such an opportunity for my company to have such a great artist on board and also for him to be able to express his own taste out of the [Kronos] quartet.
I feel like this is a big moment for our company, and these are our cast of characters that I tend to work with a lot like Helga Davis, Jeff (who was also on my Tzadik album Body Maps) and also Neil, who did a touring project with me–They’re all composers and performers who I really love and admire, and I’m excited to launch my label with them!
CM: The Kickstarter program seems to be working out well for lots of these projects!
Paola: I’m a fan of Kickstarter! What’s exciting about it is that it puts funding into the hands of people who support your work, and it empowers people to actually support the work they want to support and want to hear without having to give major donations. We did a Kickstarter last year for my opera, and it was successful! It was a lot of work, so I learned a lot about what I going to do this time.
UPDATE: The VIA Kickstarter campaign was successfully funded on March 21st! Congrats to Paola and the VIA team!