Exciting news! To All My Dear Friends will be working again with the Hope Stone Dance Company on performances of the Squared Dancer ballet, composed by Marc back in 2012. Performances will be held over the course of a week at the end of February in Houston Texas.
Multiple performances will be staged for 400 kids at a time to help bring art into children's lives. Marc states "I remember my first symphony experience as a kid. They played circus music and it changed my life forever." Hopefully these performances, brought into the school system through the efforts of Hope Stone Inc and the City of Houston, will change the perspectives of a few kids. Art has all but disappeared from the schools. We will do our best to spark children's curiosity while providing plenty of entertainment.
Of the upcoming performances Marc says "The ballet had to be revised for children viewing. Not that there's any lewd scenery or anything like that, ha ha, but because we wanted to pack as much into as little time as possible. Jane [Weiner] and I spent a lot of time working out abridged versions of each movement, to get the ballet below 20 minutes runtime. We both want to make sure the children's interest stays peaked the whole time. Let's blow their little minds with art."
Totaling 7 performances, there will also be an abridged performance of Squared Dancer for Hope Stone's Annual Gala on Thursday February 27th.
02/07/14 Fully Awake
We are proud to announce work on an exciting project. Collaborating with film directors Cathryn Davis Zommer and Neeley Dawson, To All My Dear Friends is composing the soundtrack to the film Fully Awake, a documentary on the experimental Black Mountain College (1933-1957) based in Western North Carolina.
During its short existence, Black Mountain College significantly affected the American art scene, creating new models of artistic production that altered the very definition of "art." A haven for the avant-garde, the curriculum inspired collaboration and innovation.
Buckminster Fuller built his first geodesic dome at Black Mountain College. John Cage staged the first multimedia "happening". Albert Einstein was on the Board of Directors. Merce Cunningham developed a unique dancing style and started his dance company. The Black Mountain Review published early Beat poets long before their work garnered attention elsewhere.
Through interviews with former students, teachers and historians, and archival photography, Fully Awake explores this vibrant community, focusing on the college's unique educational style and the long reaching influence of its radical pedagogy.
Fully Awake is currently in post-production with a release scheduled this Spring 2014. Check out the Indiegogo campaign for more information on Black Mountain College and to offer your support to a film that beautifully captures history and innovation in the 20th Century.
"Every moment there seemed alive in a way that few have since. This had to do with being asked to be fully awake, to be at a new threshold of perception, whether in class, in the work program, in our own work, or in the life of the community... It let us perceive how much we, each of us, had meaning in the process of the life of the community. That was our education." -BMC Student
11/07/13 Dollar By Dollar
Where has To All My Dear Friends been for the last 4 months? No touring. No album release. No site updates. So what has been going on? Don't worry! There has been plenty of bustle.
Remember awhile back when we wrote about the concept of busking, or street performing? Marc has taken it to a whole new level this year. First he upgraded his gear, which included creating his own portable and rechargeable power source (we hope to write about this soon in an upcoming article). Then, with little to no rehearsing, Marc journeyed to the streets to create all new performances. Not only was everything performed live but Marc also chose to create entirely new music, often times completely improvised in the moment.
"Creating sound on the street is very special and unique. It's composing a soundtrack in realtime. My muse is downtown Asheville. In the beginning I found that I had to do a lot of recreating from scratch. I needed to customize my violin tone in a way that wouldn't work on the stage. And vice versa, my stage effects wouldn't work on the street. Or it's not that they wouldn't work, it's just that I found certain things to work better."
Performing on the street is more than just developing perspective and creativity. There's quite a bit of opportunity for exposure and financial gain. "I was about halfway done with the new To All My Dear Friends' album and I ran out of money. It's always been a DIY effort for me. Probably due to the fact that I grew up poor and also because I have an insane work ethic. Little resources is what I'm used to. Find a way to make things happen and then do it. Period. So I hit the streets, and I hit them hard. It's crowd funding without a computer!"
"There's a special flow to the streets. And once you learn this flow, the city will start working for your greater good, and not against it. I basically developed a work routine to maximize my time out on the streets. And in the process I found myself gaining relationships with some amazing people."
There's almost a month of studio time invested in the new album, recorded in both Ohio and Florida. Plus a vinyl and CD release is slated for early next year. Be sure to keep an eye out for updates on the new album. If you're not signed up for the newsletter, than you should do it here. With tourist season coming to an end in the Appalachian Valley, Marc will dedicate this winter to finishing the album, composing a soundtrack for an upcoming film, and refining his sound for some big activity next year.
06/28/13 Live Artwork!
Wow! It's so amazing when visual artists feel inspired to create while listening to TAMDF live. We though it'd be fun to show off some of the artwork that has been gifted to Marc after performances. Whether on the street, at a concert hall, or in someone's home (house shows woot woot).. these spontaneous creations never cease to amaze us with how well they capture musical moments in time.
We start with a simple sketch. Simple yet complex, this piece was created and gifted to Marc at a house show in Rochester New York back in July 2011. It was a phenomenal night with TAMDF playing alongside Jeffrey Lewis, Seth Faergolzia, and John Ludington! This art piece definitely was the icing on the cake! Unfortunately the artist never told Marc her name. Very mysterious and beautiful!
Next up is a moment in time. It's an amazing capture but we're not sure who the photographer is. This was at a house show in Asheville North Carolina.
Here now is an ABSOLUTELY AMAZING piece that was "photographed" by the very talented Henry J. Sullivan. Henry was passing through Asheville and happened to catch Marc performing on the street last week. What a beautiful piece of art! Marc has this framed and it is on display in his studio.
Ok so it may be weird to hang up artwork of yourself but because this is such a beautiful piece, that should make it ok and not weird!
This piece was created at a show back in July 2010. The artist is Evan Galbicka of The Church of Holy Colors. It was done on a 6" x 6" block of wood and was gifted to Marc after the show. It's so neat to see visual interpretations of music!
Next is a sketch that was done just last Sunday. That's right, less than a week ago! The artist, whose name is unknown (unless you can decipher the signature), caught Marc performing in downtown Asheville in front of an art gallery. This is better than any tip put in Marc's tip jar!
And finally we thought it'd be fun to add this beautiful piece into the mix. Although it wasn't done at a live show, we're pretty sure Alma Elaine Shoaf was listening to TAMDF at least some of the time while she created this piece. Haha. This poster art was commissioned by Marc and is available for purchase at live shows.
To all you visual artists out there... if you're ever at a TAMDF show and feel the desire to do what you do best, please don't hesitate to break out the pen and paper or the camera or even the paint brush! We'd love to see your creations! And to all the artists that have created while listening to TAMDF, whether live or with a recording: Thank you for creating something beautiful and intertwining TAMDF's music into the process. It really does mean the world to Marc!
And here are some highlights from the three weeks Marc spent in Houston. This was part of a collage that was gifted to the Houston Met.
01/25/13 Dear Friends
Hello. My name is Marc Hennessey and I am the creator of To All My Dear Friends.
It started out as a project to express my emotions through a violin and in doing so turned into a whirlwind of dreams becoming reality. It felt like I had somehow found a way to connect people with their true selves, others and the world around them. All this through emotions. I've always been a firm believer in the deep rooted emotions that are hidden away from our daily lives. Using a violin as my tool, I've been able to tap into what some would call the heart or intuition.
I needed to find a way to get the music out into the world. I couldn't keep it to myself. But in a world of saturation and disconnect, how could I find a way? Thousands of others scramble every single day in an attempt to rise up to financial success with their artistic merit. Where did I fit in? Where do I fit in? It's never been about money for me but unfortunately in this day and age funds are required to record albums, go on tour, and keep the various musical tools in working order.
Thus began the DIY ethos. Do it yourself refers to a concept of self sufficiency. Follow steps 1 - 20 without the aid of a paid specialist. Of course first you must create steps 1 - 20 and then you can follow through with them. It's a very hard and lonely course. But you do it anyway. Perhaps you don't have the means to pay an expert or perhaps you have no other alternatives. In my case it was both.
Harnessing the music has always been easy for me. Performing is something I love doing. Creating the proper environments through visuals and sounds capes is also fun. The hard part is booking shows, contacting press, doing graphic design, maintaining presence on the internet, and all the other aspects involved with touring. I know that I can only do this for so much longer on my own. I took a break from heavily touring in 2012 to give myself a rest from these tasks. But to obtain the goals I have in mind, eventually I will need help. To create performances that will greatly impact the lives of many, I will need help.
A new album is in the works though! It's being recorded over these next two months and though it will be ready this spring, it's likely to not be released until summer due to financial reasons. It's a very expensive undertaking to reach the quality that I desire and the listener deserves. I won't be doing a fundraiser this time but may offer pre-sales online to help raise the necessary funds.
The new album will be something great and I will tour in some fashion after it's release. Thank you for all your support. Past, present and future.
We are proud to annouce work on
an exciting project. Collaborating
with film directors Cathryn Davis Zommer and Neeley Dawson,
To All My Dear Friends is
composing the soundtrack to
the film Fully Awake...