Album Release

The new Arlene Bishop live concert album will be released at Toronto’s Hugh’s Room Live on Tuesday November 14.

Featuring an innovative 30-voice vocal orchestra called The Spirit of Adventure vorchestra, Arlene Bishop’s heartfelt songs were captured live in concert along with her typical funny between-song banter in the Spring of 2017. Written on the theme of Everyday Bravery, the show is a heart-bursting, ass-kicking, mind-blowing experience of stepping into the unknown with a sense of adventure. The band and vorchestra are reuniting at Hugh’s Room Live to perform the album in celebration of its release. Admission includes a limited pressing of the CD, and vorchestra members will be available to discuss Bishop’s uniquely loving and inclusive approach in bringing the idea to life.

The highly anticipated album will be released to the rest of the world on December 2nd via arlenebishop.com. It’s pretty freaking awesome.

Visit https://youtu.be/ADMCjFGf9tM to see a two-minute teaser video for Together Tonight, along with behind-the-scenes footage documenting the five-year long project.

Arlene Bishop & The Spirit of Adventure are thrilled to be sharing this special event with Arlene’s dear friend Fraser Anderson, on tour from Bristol, England. Fraser’s beautiful songs, charming presence, and remarkable voice will round out a perfect evening.

A Live Album Called Together Tonight

Not only were the songs about our shared and unpredictable mortality, but the process of making Together Tonight was an experience in how we belong together. Many of us met as strangers, even I didn’t know a few of the people who reached out asking to sing, and everyone wondered how they would fit into the project with a concept they didn’t understand but they trusted that I knew what I was doing. One thing everyone had in common was a sense of community. And a sense of adventure.

We met over eight weeks of rehearsals. With the help of our conductrix, Miss John Copping, I conveyed my vision that the vorchestra think of themselves not really as a choir or back-up singers, but as personified feelings. Yeah, I know, pretty flakey. It was a wild ride: funny, cathartic, and thrilling.

Presenting music like this – recording performances over several live concerts – was a risky concept. Combining the songs with the vorchestra singing, punctuated with my between-song banter, was untried. The singers were of varying levels of singing ability; many are accomplished popular performers, some work in music behind the scenes, some had never been on a stage or performed before. My stream of consciousness-between-song blabbering can be delightfully hilarious, but it can also go sideways, fall in the gutter, slip over the edge, traveling into weird territory while I figure out some elusive entertaining truth. I needed to get organized, not so much scripting myself but challenging myself to follow a prepared thread. No one, including me, had been involved in a project like this before.

Between songs we talked about philosophy, songwriting, and performance. The singing parts were called things like longing, loneliness, regret, anger, understanding, celebration, strength, resilience, and death. Over the rehearsals we realized how much we all felt like outsiders and how getting together brought out a strong sense of belonging. I made notes along the way about what I wanted to talk about and hoped my subconscious would do some good creative work while I concentrated on leading the vorchestra and band through.

Over three concerts with sold-out adventurous audiences, the actual performances were mind-blowing and heart-bursting experiences. Okay, that’s a lot of hyperbole but it’s hard to explain without going over the top. The vorchestra sang their hearts out, I had something to say, the audiences went along for the ride. We were totally together. All of us belonging. That’s why we called the album Together Tonight.

Technical Credits to-date

The planning for performances and recordings start months and years before anyone sees or hears the results, and often the people who are at the beginning stand at the back of the room (metaphorically and/or really) making sure everything supports itself.  The behind the scenes crew makes it happen.  This is who has been involved so far:

THE SPIRIT OF ADVENTURE CREW

Live Album Recording by James Paul and Dave Joseph, The Rogue Music Lab
Creative Whisperer, Scott Dibble
Photography and Video by Scott Murdoch, Five by Five Photography fivebyfivephotography.com
Performances produced by Arlene Bishop/The Twelve Steves, with Lauren Atmore, project coordinator
Arrangement recordings produced by Elana Harte
featuring Arlene Bishop, Elana Harte, Kim Jarrett, and Tory Cassis
Videos produced by Arlene Bishop/The Twelve Steves
Additional videography by Owen Packham
Graphics by The Twelve Steves with additional illustrations by David John Shaw
Props by RinkyDink Display
Hummery arrangement by John Copping
The Social Capital venue coordinated by Carmine Lucarelli

Our Sponsors

While we want it to look and feel like music-making just magically happens, there are costs associated with putting a performance together…and recording a live album…and producing a documentary about the process.  Most importantly it means paying people what they deserve.

I’m likely preaching to the converted here but the truth is that most musos work several different jobs and still live very close to the poverty line.  It has nothing to do with talent or success.  It has everything to do with having our contribution being incredibly meaningful but somehow undervalued.  For me it was important to pay the singers an honorarium (bucking the tradition of always asking musicians to donate their time) and for the rehearsals everyone was fed a delicious home-prepared vegan buffet and refreshed with a beverage from the bar; the venue was also paid (another source that is often asked to donate); and the support team were compensated for their expertise.

As an independently produced project, the scale of reaching into the community and bringing so many people together means reaching out for some assistance.  I started by signing up for a micro-funding platform called Patreon and was lucky to secure the support of some generous souls for the earliest rehearsals.  The deal was that I’d create a video showing every step of the process and my patrons would automatically donate an amount per video produced.   I got great feedback from my patrons and I’m grateful for their blind support.

As the project rolled along, a greater number of singers came forward than expected, the scope of things became more obvious and some tasks needed to be taken care of by someone other than me.  (It would seem that I couldn’t be in three places at once doing four different jobs, even though I wanted to be in complete control of everything and everyone.  Ha! ) Well, I was just freaked out and tired enough to boldly ask for some corporate sponsors to come forward and holy moley thank the stars they did.  Thank you for the support of these adventurous supporters of my project.

 

Many thanks to supporters on Patreon who continue to encourage the creation of the Vorchumentary: a video log of the many steps between concept, performance, and album.

Thank you to Indiegogo patrons who ordered their album CD, DL, and songbooks in advance, many who took advantage of the multi-unit offer.

Concert performances were possible through the generous sponsorship of these good people:
Thank you, for bringing out the best in everyone, The WYSIWYG Co.
Thank you, Bhatia Music for your tireless technical and administrative support.
Thank you to Lianne Doucett at Authenticity 101 who practices everything with integrity.
Thank you, Royce G. Charles-Dunne, for your support of independent music makers.
Thank you, Gold Entertainment Accountants for your unabiding passion for music.
Thank you, Yawd Sylvester for contributing in countless ways.