Everyone Orchestra and Conductor Matt Butler have announced the third event in their Virtual Sessions Series, featuring an incredible lineup of prominent women musicians from across the musical map. The FREE performance takes place on Friday, August 14th at 9:30 PM EST and can be viewed on Everyone Orchestra’s Facebook and YouTube pages, along with video partner NUGS.net.The lineup includes:
Natalie Cressman (Trey Anastasio Band)
Mimi Naja (Fruition)
Jenny Conlee (The Decemberists)
Alana Rocklin (STS9)
Tikyra Jackson (Southern Ave)
Andrea Whitt (Zucchero Fornaciari)
The Virtual Sessions series is a one of a kind production and is the brainchild of Butler, who looked for ways to translate the energy and 100% improvisation of an Everyone Orchestra show into a virtual world where he can’t interact with musicians or fans face to face. To overcome this, Butler needed to re-think his process. “Unlike a regular Everyone Orchestra show, I had to decide on the conducting moves in advance and map out the song. I knew I had to fully simplify the cues I might typically give in a live performance. I also wanted to create a track that gave the musicians ample time to rip long solos and be similar to the beginning of an EO show classic, “Funk in A.” says Butler.
Once the musicians received conducting cues and accompanying tracks from Butler, they were then given the freedom to improvise based on those initial inputs, allowing for something as close to a fully improvised performance as can be expected from musicians coming together virtually from across the country.
The virtual environment added additional challenges, as Butler and production partner Todd Kushnir needed to piece together all the individual musician’s home recordings and sync it to Butler’s conducting to ensure the final product looks seamless. “One thing that’s unique about the outcome is that during a live performance, for the most part, my back is to the audience. In the video, you get to see what is typically saved for just the musicians. It’s like a little behind-the-scenes magic” says Butler.
Says Butler on this particular project. “This is an important lineup for me. I’ve been discussing doing a female-based EO for years and this time in quarantine is making it possible. Women are underrepresented in our industry, and there is room to do better in so many ways, but the bottom line for me is that this group of musicians that we’ve assembled is BAD ASS, some of the best in our scene hands down and I can’t wait to see what we create together!”
To get a taste of what a Virtual Session event is like, here is a clip of “We Got This” from Virtual Session #1.
While this event is free, donations are appreciated, as most musicians have lost their outlet for income until the pandemic eases and they can return to the stage. To help Everyone Orchestra and the amazing musicians participating in the event, donations can be made to:
Venmo - @Matt-Butler-EO
Paypal – EOConductor@gmail.com
For more information on Everyone Orchestra, please visit www.everyoneorchestra.com