AMERICAN chanteuse and songwriter Melody Gardot has marked International Jazz Day with a call-out to musicians to collaborate on her new single, From Paris With Love.
In a case of adding music to Melody, she “wants to contribute something unique to this new movement of “connection despite distance”.
“During this complicated time, we miss essential connections with one other,” she says on Instagram. “We miss hugs, we miss our family, our friends…in short we miss love. So, I want to make a love project to help break the feeling of isolation between us.”
Now living in Paris in lockdown, Gardot is asking musicians confined to their homes across the globe to perform in place of a standard orchestra on her new single on Decca Records to benefit healthcare workers and other musicians via the charity Protégé Ton Soignant.
Amid the constraints of the Coronavirus pandemic, Gardot, 35, has been forced to put the recording of her new studio album on hold, but the situation has inspired her to launch her collaborative initiative.
The principle is simple: bring together an orchestra of string and wind instrument players at present unable to work and pay them as if they were in the studio together.
“There are so many magnificent artists and musicians on the planet who are not able to live their art or exercise their profession right now,” says the New Jersey-born singer and multi-instrumentalist. “I am at home in Paris waiting like everyone else.
“I realised we can try to do something beautiful all together and come out ‘virtually’ from our confines to continue producing. I hope this project will give love and hope.”
Musicians should apply via www.melodygardot.com and will be sent musical charts, backing tracks and instructions on how to record and film themselves performing the piece at home.
From these submissions, individual parts for the final recording will be chosen by Gardot and her long-time collaborators, producer Larry Klein, conductor, arranger and composer Vince Mendoza and engineer Al Schmitt.
Any musician chosen and featured in the final recording will be paid a fee relative to a standard UK union recording wage.
The single, once assembled, will be accompanied by a video, featuring all participating musicians, performing from their homes, dotted around the globe. From Paris With Love will be a taster for the direction Gardot is heading on the album, whose further details will be announced soon.
In waiving their profit on the track, Gardot and Decca will pay a minimum of 50p to the charity Protégé Ton Soigant for each download sold in the UK and 20p for each permanent download sold outside Britain or for every 150 streams.
In her Instagram message, Gardot provides a step-by-step guide for musicians to take part in the project.
1. Film a five-second “video-portrait” of yourself. “Film it horizontally, make sure we can see enough of you, chest to head, and with a fixed camera. It’s like taking a picture but five seconds long and in video format.
“Don’t move too much. Just pose and record in some natural light in front of a neutral background, wearing a solid black or white T-shirt.”
2. Handwritten horizontally, using a large black Sharpie or black crayon on a white piece of paper (standard A4 format suggested), say “From (wherever you are) With Love”.
“Scan or photograph the paper (highest quality possible) and send both items (your photo scan and your video) to the email address: firstname.lastname@example.org,” says Gardot. “In your email, please include your Instagram handle (if you have one), so we can find you later.
“After receiving these things, we’ll put together a surprising collaborative video clip featuring all your submissions alongside a new piece of music called From Paris with Love.
“A large portion my royalties from this song will be donated to a Covid-19 relief charity to help medical workers during this time. This way, we share as much love as we possibly can together.”
Gardot adds: “Please remember, if you send this along, it means you’re OK for me to use your image in this project, so think about breaking the ‘quarantine pyjama’ uniform if you don’t want everybody to see you that way! Your mom and mine will see this.” Full terms and conditions can be found at https://decca.lnk.to/termsandconditions.
“We’re only collecting these over the next few days, so please don’t wait too long,” advises Gardot. “Feel free to pass this message along. This is just the first step of this collaborative journey, so stay tuned…With love, from Paris.”