NEW MUSIC recording underway + new live videos and shows

::: RECORDING :::

It’s been a crazy cool time of year and I’m happy to kick off 2015 doing what I love – getting in the studio to record new music for my original electronic / jazz / pop project Alarke.  I’m excited to share new songs of mine and new collaborations with my friendSLSTCE. The recording process started recording the #1 jazz drummer stunner Kyle Hutchins at Sound Farm Studios in Brooklyn with engineer Evan Cooney at the end of January and continued at my practice studio and at the beautiful, Grammy-winningBias Studios in Virginia with engineer Mike Monseur. I was able to get into Bias Studios because I won the grand prize in the Washington Area Music Association‘s Professional Artist Support System songwriting competition last year. Man, what a gift. I’ll also have the tracks mastered there when they’re all finished. Still need to do production work on them and shoot some videos for them.

Click on the video to catch a quick glimpse of Kyle, Evan, and me recording at Sound Farm:

At Bias:

This glorious studio was custom-designed by Tom Hidley. The acoustics are wonderful and it looks like it’s in a luxury ski lodge. This pic is taken from their website.

The troll of the console.

I realized then how much I LOVE recording. It’s just you and the mic, alone.  Every subtlety is felt in your body and head. It’s a conversation to someone in your imagination on the receiving end of the mic.

The engineer Mike Monseur:

::: ALARKE SHOWS :::

I’m playing a number of these wondercore music (ALARKE!) shows with bassist Clint Greenlee and Kyle Hutchins (for March shows) at:
The Rock Shop – Wednesday, February 25
Botanic Lab – Thursday, 3/12 (this event will be so good that it deserves its own section)
The Factory New: charity event  – Saturday, 3/14
Legion – Wednesday, 4/15

::: ALARKE @ BOTANIC LAB NYC :::

::: + OPEN JAM : 3/12 :::

You have your jazz jams.  You have open mics. We’re throwing a show at Botanic Lab(part of Casa Mezcal) on Thursday, March 12 featuring Alarke + Creature in the Woods and his band Graffiti Royale, voted top 5 in The Deli Magazine NYC’s best Brooklyn electronic acts, followed by an OPEN JAM SESSION.

For the jam, bring your axe, sticks, keys, horn, voice, poems, raps, friends, and good energy. We also have a lyric book for anyone who wants to write words they want the band to sing and perform – sounds like trouble & fun. Sign up is at 11pm. All music will be improvised in a Jazz-R&B-Electronic-Pop-Rock-World Beat style. Entrance to the event is FREE and there are great cocktails crafted by some of New York’s best mixologists. NOT TO BE MISSED.

Check out the Facebook event here.

::: GYPSY JAZZ :::

::: O’CALLAGHAN’S HOTEL 3/22 :::

::: SUNDAYS AT GREY LADY NYC :::

I love playing the Sunday Gypsy jazz residency at Grey Lady in the Lower East Side,  NYC. We’ve been here for almost two years now. Sundays from 6-9pm. Delicious food & drinks; no cover. Featuring Koran Agan (guitar), Tim Clement (guitar), and Ian Hutchinson (bass).

O’Callaghan’s Hotel in Annapolis, MD will be a first for us on Sunday, March 22 from 8-10:30pm. Gypsy jazz. Tickets are $20. We love our Annapolis shows hosted by Elana Byrd. Phillips Wisor (guitar) and Ethan Foote (bass) hold down the fort.

Other dates – Pera in NYC on Friday, March 6 from 6-9:30pm with Daryus Scheider (guitar) and Ali Levy (bass), Bistrot Lepic on Wednesday, March 11 from 7-10pm with Craig Bumgarner (guitar) and Ethan Foote (bass), and Sweet Afton in Astoria, NYC onMonday, April 6 from 9-11pm with Pooquette (violin) and Darius Scheider.

::: LIVE GYPSY JAZZ VIDEOS :::

::: FROM TERRA BLUES :::

Eight new live videos are up on YouTube <<<— click there – from a fall show at Terra Blues, a NYC institution of a venue. They mainly do blues, but we wiggled our way in through the door and took the stage. I’m so proud of this show with the fantasticPooquette (violin), Darius Scheider (guitar), and Jay Sanford (bass). Plus, I had just found this vintage Karl Lagerfeld skirt the night before for an absolute STEAL of a deal at a Brooklyn French vintage shop.

::: DIGITAL LIFE :::

Let’s hang in the digital realm.  The internet is a new frontier in this information revolution. I’m living digitally on Instagram as @alarke_ , Twitter as @alarkemusic , andfacebook.com/alarkemusic and for Gypsy jazz asfacebook.com/maryalouettemusic.

Growl, my lionheart

::: A YEAR IN REVIEW :::

Happy New Year! I hope 2014 was a good year for you, full of happiness, inspiration, and music. I remember flying out to Los Angeles in February, on a journey to explore their music scene, and telling my dad as he drove me to the airport, “I want to be in airports more this year.” I was fortunate to travel to Los Angeles, Montreal (the home of my heart!!! (I used to study opera singing there at McGill University, and if you want to hear me in recital singing Rachmaninov, click here)), the Poconos, San Antonio, and Seattle for music and personal excursions. It’s been a shift of a year – a lot of small steps in building my love – writing the music that I sing.  I’ve spent more hours than ever before in the studio writing music; I started a regimen of writing/practicing three hours/day (though that’s a tough goal to keep). Stay current with me through this journey on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Some highlights of the year: releasing the Just You music video, performing my Grand Prize-winning song Lionheart at the WAMMIES (The Washington Area Music Association’s annual awards), performing at the Atlas INTERSECTIONS Festival, having Gypsy jazz shows at the big NYC venues Terra Blues and the Manderley Bar at the McKittrick Hotel (home of Sleep No More), playing a wonderful show both in a community cabin and on a boat in the Poconos, teaching songwriting to kids amongst great musical colleagues with Kid Pan Alley at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, collaborating with emerging NYC fashion designer Jamie McCarty for video and photo shoots, styling wardrobe and aesthetics for fashion photo shoots in NYC, shooting photos with Rick Perez and Kyle Blair, and buying my first non-Gypsy jazz guitar – a Epiphone Joe Pass Emperor II – one that feels so good under my fingers and sounds so sweet 😉

My 2015 resolutions: work smarter, not harder & stay disciplined in the quantity of writing music – quality will come. Appropriately, the chorus from Lionheart is: My fear of light fades away from me / shooting, moving through me blazingly.

Mostly, I’d like to thank YOU for listening and for your support and encouragement. I feel extremely blessed for all of these opportunities and none of it would be possible without you. I want to express my gratitude to you who showed your support by coming to concerts, purchasing my albums, ‘liking’ and interacting with me via social media, and even just being a friend and believing in me. It really means the world to me and I am forever grateful.

::: ALARKE :::

::: @ COBRA CLUB 1/ 14

& CAKE SHOP 1/28, NYC :::

Two shows to kick off the new year: January 14th at the Cobra Club (lineup TBA) and January 28 at Cake Shop (sharing the evening with Justin Hood and Special Guest). These shows are the heart and soul of the music.  I’ve been working with a choreographer to go through dance moves for the live performances. I’ve also secretly been practicing Michael Jackson’s dance moves in my studio. :-O  It’s getting real.

 ::: GYPSY JAZZ :::

::: VIDEO FROM TERRA BLUES :::

A solid group of Gypsy jazz musicians (Pooquette – violin, Darius Scheider – guitar and vocals, and Jay Sanford – bass) and I played a show at Terra Blues on October 8 andhere’s a video of our night! This January I’ll post more of the videos of the night to myGypsy jazz channels on YouTube and Vimeo. Check out what other videos are up there and subscribe. <<<>>>

::: ALARKE :::

::: LIVE VIDEO :::

 

My bandmates in Alarke, Clint Greenlee (bass & synth) and Kyle Hutchins (drums), and I linked up with some friends to film a live set of my original tune, Mignon, and a Lauryn Hill (swoon) cover of Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You. We set up a performance space in my warehouse kitchen in Brooklyn. We installed lighting rigs and had three cameramen. I (not so) secretly wanted to ensure our dear Christmas tree was shown in the background, even though we didn’t want it to be a seasonal video.  That Xmas tree is just endearing, that’s all. The videos will be released in this month. Keep an eye out!  FYI, I have other videos posted on the Alarke YouTube and Vimeo channels. Subscribe to those, too. <<<>>>

::: 20 SOMETHING PROJECT :::

I’m happy to be a part of the artist collective Pennigan Productions’ 20-Something Project, which is a collection of conversations with young New York City artists. This series of interviews represents a voice of the generation. A clash between idealism and realism has overtaken our lives. Who will win in a society that encourages wealth and utter commitment to climbing ladders? These handful of artists are in New York City trying to find success in the visual and performing arts. Although they express themselves in different mediums, what is success? What does artistic expression mean if you can’t afford your rent? What is the difference between the goal to make art versus the goal to make money making art? Does the business ruin the creation? The 20 Something project will explore these questions and more.

We live in a city where you are defined by your job. When meeting someone new one of the first questions you are asked is what do you do? The 20 Something Project is trying to change the conversation. Rather than what do you do? What are you about? This project inspires an opportunity for artists to come together and build off one another to create unique successes.

I went to their studio and we chatted about what it means to be an artist in NYC. In these interviews, I feel slightly airhead-y and disconnected in my thoughts, but you get the general idea.  Maybe I’m too serious here and need to just LIGHTEN UP! But also, maybe the burden of being an artist in a city like NYC makes you tough like metal and STRONG LIKE OX.

VIDEOS OF OUR INTERVIEWS:
Introduction
NYC Community
In-studio performance
Music video collaboration
20 Something Project Interview

::: TEACHING :::

Some of you may not know that I have been teaching singing for 8 years now and songwriting for two, and I really love it.  With a background in classical vocal training and on-the-job live and studio experience, I have developed a very specific approach. My teaching is an integration of the speech singing technique (which is very visual and instinct based) mixed with the methodology of bel canto singing technique that I studied when I trained to become an opera singer. As for songwriting, I’ve been teaching withKid Pan Alley and privately, and have some awards for my songs with the Washington Area Music Association and the Mid-Atlantic Songwriting Contest.  If you ever start feeling an inner urge to take lessons in singing or songwriting, don’t hesitate to contact me at: mary.alouette@gmail.com. I teach in NYC, the Washington, DC area, and on Skype.

What’s in Salvador Dalí’s Cookbook? That and new shows/videos.

::: ALARKE TOUR :::
::: BOWERY ELECTRIC & MUCHMORE’S / NYC :::
::: FOGDEN / DC :::

TONIGHT!!  I’m playing a show at the Bowery Electric on Tuesday, September 23 at 11pm.  New band formation with bassist Clint Greenlee and drummer Austin Deyo. Check out the Facebook event here. 

MINI TOUR: playing with DC electronic duos Champagne FeverPleasure Curses atMuchmore’s (here’s the info) in Brooklyn, NYC on Thursday, October 9 with Opal Onyx headlining.  Then we’ll head down to DC on Friday, October 10 and withOutputmessage headlining at the launch party of the new event space, The Fogden, at 4807 Georgia Ave (former home of Art Under Pressure).  Free show (suggested donations).

 ::: GYPSY JAZZ :::
::: @ TERRA BLUES 10/8 :::

I’m really excited to play a Gypsy jazz show with some of New York City’s finest musicians – Pooquette (violin), Darius Scheider (guitar), and Ari Folman-Cohen(bass) – at the established venue Terra Blues on Bleecker Street in NYC onWednesday, October 8 at 7pm.  Here’s the Facebook event information.

::: VIDEOS :::
::: LOCAL LIFE & TRAVELING :::

I want to introduce you to all the people I love, talk about forms of art ranging from music to visual art to fashion to style, share little intimate moments, and the many things that happen in my life as an artist (musical artist, mainly) in New York City. I hope this will all happen over time since I really just want to be in my studio practicing and composing 😉  Click here to check out my first attempt at documenting shiz.

Some friends invited me to Seattle in August and I was fortunate, as part of my travels, to join my award-winning poet friend Mary Emma Koles at a community Kitchen Session poetry & music performance in beautiful (referencing both the people and the nature) Bellingham, Washington. Here’s one clip of a song I performed.  More are on myAlarke Facebook page.

::: THE FACTORY NEW :::

I’m happy to be welcomed into the artist collective the Factory New, which represents a hyper-curated group of artists from around the world. We are connectors, mavens, and salesmen promoting various forms of art.  I shot a few cozy home videos with them yesterday to kick it off.  Here’s a cover of one of my all-time favorite songs (bless Ms. Lauryn Hill’s version!!), ‘Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You’.

::: SALVADOR DALI COOKBOOK :::

Salvador Dalí has a cookbook — a surreally sensual love letter to the palate.

THOUSAND YEAR OLD EGGS

1 dozen eggs
1 ½ quarts of water
5 whole cloves
3 tablespoons of sugar
3 tablespoons of vinegar
Tabasco sauce
2 lemons (cut in 8 pieces)
¾ teaspoon of thyme
4 tea-bags
2 onions
2 cloves of garlic

You certainly know these thousand year old eggs, one of the crowns of Chinese cuisine. We will not presume here to reach their ultimate perfection, but we will simply try to help you follow an amusing recipe which has the advantage of being prepared ahead of time.

First, boil the eggs for ten minutes in salted boiling water. Then take them out, put them under cold running water which will make it easier to shell them. In the same water in which the eggs had boiled, add the cloves, sugar, vinegar, a lot of Tabasco sauce, the lemons (cut in eighths) and thyme. Boil for 15 minutes. Shut off the flame, dip in the tea-bag and let them steep for 10 minutes.

In a jar, put the diced onions and garlic. Add the shelled eggs, and pour the broth so that the eggs are completely immersed. Close the jar and keep it on the lower shelf of your refrigerator.

Be patient for three weeks before opening the jar and serving. These eggs go well with cold meats and fish.

::: TEACHING :::

Some of you may not know that I have been teaching singing for 8 years now and songwriting for two, and I really love it.  With a background in classical vocal training and on-the-job live and studio experience, I have developed a very specific approach. My teaching is an integration of the speech singing technique (which is very visual and instinct based) mixed with the methodology of bel canto singing technique that I studied when I trained to become an opera singer. As for songwriting, I’ve been teaching withKid Pan Alley and privately, and have some awards for my songs with the Washington Area Music Association and the Mid-Atlantic Songwriting Contest.  If you ever start feeling an inner urge to take lessons in singing or songwriting, don’t hesitate to contact me at: mary.alouette@gmail.com

Ok, time to stop typing, and go get ready for tonight’s show at Bowery Electric!

 

Gypsy Jazz & Alarke tour and shows = a Midsummer Night’s Dream

 ::: GYPSY JAZZ IN DC/MD :::

::: SHOW / SONGWRITING :::

::: RETREAT IN THE POCONOS :::

From Monday, July 21 – Wednesday, July 23, some fabulous Gypsy jazz musicians (Pooquette (violin), Brandon Vetrano (guitar), Charlie Castelluzzo (guitar), Ethan Foote (bass), and I are headed to the Poconos to play a show and hang out in a cabin to write songs and enjoy the nature around us.  We went there last year and two original songs of mine, Pulses and Mignon, came to fruition.  A big thank you to our host, Jim Arbury!

::: ALARKE :::

::: @ BABYCASTLES 7/31 :::

A new band for Alarke consisting of musicians Jake DeJongh (guitar), Yohann Potico (bass) & Austin Deyo (drums) has come into existence and I’m truly excited (and a bit overwhelmed by all the preparations!) to present to you this music.  I’ve been working hard in the studio writing new material and just working on being a better musician. This lineup consists of my friends and their awesome music and it’s all going down at a hot new art gallery and music venue in Manhattan called Babycastles.  Here’s the Facebook link to the show.

::: VIRTUAL EXISTENCE :::

I’ve been lounging around lately in this parallel universe that is the online world – Instagram, Twitter, and some Facebook posts (though Facebook is not a good source to stay connected because the posts (even paid promoted posts) don’t reach the followers. I’ve been using Instagram as a vision board to accompany the music and a viewpoint into there whereabouts & whatabouts of my life as a singer. Even though I have two projects with Gypsy jazz and my original music under Alarke, I’m doing my thing as@alarke_ – come chill with me!

Music Video Release

::: JUST YOU :::

::: MUSIC VIDEO RELEASE :::

Tuesday.  Big things will be happening.  The music video for Just You will be public. Stay posted on my social media sites on facebook –
http://www.facebook.com/alarkemusic and @alarkemusic
COME HANG!

Here’s the exclusive link to the video that you can see RIGHT NOW for you select royal people:
http://youtu.be/FBUlqIA15ho

It won’t be public until tomorrow, so I ask you to keep it as our little secret and then spread it like wildfire tomorrow!

::: GYPSY JAZZ :::

::: @ THE MANDERLEY BAR :::

Tomorrow night, Tuesday, May 20 at 11pm, the Gypsy jazz violinist Pooquette and bassist Eduardo Belo will join me at the Manderley Bar of the McKittrick Hotel, the after-hours hang for Shakespeare’s fallen hero, Macbeth, in the film noir shadow suspense ofSleep No More. 

::: SONGWRITING :::

I’ve been in the studio and on stage a lot this past month.  Sadly, I had to say goodbye to working with Ethan Foote (bass) and Sami Arefin (guitar) for Alarke, since they live in Washington, DC and Baltimore and it was just too hard to travel, rehearse and perform and get a decent show together.  Ethan, Sami, and I still play Gypsy jazz together in DC, though.  Additionally, the famous rapper A$AP Rocky stole my drummer, Alex Dadras (though I’m very happy for him), so Alarke is undergoing a structural change. Hence no shows as of late.  It’s been grinding time in the studio writing new material and being open to inspiration.

How are pineapples grown? … gypsy jazz album … ¡ Los Angeles !

 ::: SONGWRITING IN LALALAND :::

I’ve been playing less live shows of my original material recently to focus on writing new songs.  There’s nothing more exciting that envisioning sounds and music and bringing it to life.  Earlier this month, I packed my bags and headed out to Los Angeles to discuss songwriting with a Warner Music A&R.  During my time there, I also met with a producer whose studio is in the same compound where Pharrell, Justin Timberlake, Katy Perry, et al. record.

A friend and I also visited the Getty Villa and had a little photo shoot.  Here are a couple snaps from my time out there:

I went to Hollywood in the week leading up to and during the Oscars.

Los Angeles had their worst winter storm in a long time that week.

I’d have to say that I loved the glalms = glam palms.  I’ll be back, Hollywood!

::: ALARKE

@ Friends & Lovers 3/25 :::

I’m playing a show of electronic / jazz / R&B / pop = wondercore at Friends & Lovers, a new hot venue in Brooklyn, on Tuesday, March 25 at 10pm.  Also on the bill: Dadras(DJ set) + DonChristian + ButterflyTreeHere’s the Facebook event.  

::: GYPSY JAZZ ALBUM :::

WANTED!  I’m going to record a Gypsy jazz album in a few months and am currently prepping the concept.  It’s going to be a mixture of original material and classic Gypsy jazz songs.  I need your suggestions for songs to record.  A theme would be nice.  What Django Reinhardt / hot jazz tunes do you like?  Let me know on Facebook here or tweet me @alouettethelark.
::: QUEENS ARTISTS SLAM :::

My new video for Just You will be screened at the Queens Variety Slam on April 4from 7-9pm. A tight setlist of multidisciplinary performance artists will explore the boundaries of poetry, comedy, sculpture, video art and music.  Admission also includes a color booklet with some of my work as well as that of a handful of other very talented visual artists. There might even be cake.  Space is limited and it will sell out.  Tickets & more info available here.

Jerkpoet is a new press and journal specializing in poetry of distinct quality. Sold out of bookstores in New York City and Portland but still available online here. Made by hand and  machine in a shoebox apartment and will one day be sold in 7-11. A book of short poems will be out on April 1 & Jerkpoet 2 will be out this summer. Submissions of poetry and PSA’s (free ads for your side projects) may be made to jerkpoet@gmail.com.

Queens Council on the Arts
37-11 35th Ave (entrance on 37th St)
Astoria, Queens, NY 11101

::: PINEAPPLE FIELD :::

::: SELF-PORTRAIT

WITH JELLIED COW TONGUE :::

ALARKE * JUST YOU MUSIC VIDEO * NUBLU * GLASSLANDS * ATLAS INTERSECTIONS

UNVEILED!

::: Announcing : ALARKE :::

This is the moment. I’m launching my new original music project, called Alarke(pronounced ‘uh-LARK’).  Why the new name? It’s simple: I want to distinguish between my two unique musical projects – Gypsy jazz and original electronic music (with influences of Django Reinhardt’s music, of course). Until now, I performed under the name Mary Alouette for both styles of music. This was confusing to fans and booking agents.  Beyond that, Alarke means exploring fresh sounds, pushing  boundaries, and following my artistic instincts wherever they lead me. My new music fearlessly incorporates influences that span the ages and the globe. It is uniquely me, and I am so excited to share this new vision with you.

So, here it is.  The official unveiling of the new Alarke website: 
http:www.alarke.com.

Take a look and tell me what you think via FacebookTwitter ::: @alarkemusic

::: JUST YOU :::

MUSIC VIDEO RELEASE PARTY

::: AT VIDEOLOGY /// FRI 1/24 :::

Here’s the blurb:

Alarke’s Just You fuses cutting-edge electronic beats with flavors of Gypsy jazz guitar and psychedelic synth lines.  The song is truly timeless.  So it’s only fitting that this music video literally transcends time and space; transporting you into the magical abstract universe of new media artist Jason Levine’s one-of-a-kind audio reactive projections.

These live-generated, colorful beams of light were custom designed to react to every inflection and intonation of her voice and the musical instruments – at the very moment that they happen. Her voice conducts this symphony of light as it fills the space with electrifying calligraphy, without ever fully illuminating her alluring mystique.

Ultimately, Just You is just Alarke, as her voice conjures hypnotizing rays of light. Come be one of the first to watch Just You blaze onto the music scene – you’ve never seen anything quite like it before.

Screening at Videology in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.  Featuring: live beatboxing with projections performance by Jason Levine and DJ set by Lynas.  Friday, January 24 at 10:30pm.  No cover.  Click here for the event info on Facebook. 

::: NUBLU /// WED 1/22 :::

I’m stoked to perform with my band at the famed electronic jazz club Nublu in the East Village, NYC on Wednesday, January 22 at 9pm. The magic under the little blue light that marks the entrance to the club emanates from a group of players from all over the world with regulars hailing from Brazil, Eastern Europe, the UK, the US and everywhere between. What’s more, they happen to be among the most sought after musicians around. They’ve regularly shared stages and made recordings with Herbie Hancock, David Byrne, Sun Ra, Beck, and John Zorn to rattle off a few. It’s going to be a good show. See you there.  Click here for the Facebook event info.
 ::: GLASSLANDS /// TUE 2/11 :::

Located in South Williamsburg, Brooklyn, Glasslands is a converted warehouse, formerly a homegrown community art space turned psychedelic venue partyhaus.  Alarke will perform a set on Tuesday, February 11 opening for the experimental art pop album release by Christine Hoberg. Also sharing the bill are Frances Cone and Dani Mari.Find out more on the Facebook event page here.

::: WAMMIES DC /// SUN 2/16 :::

My song Lionheart off of The Lark EP won the grand prize in the WAMA (Washington Area Music Association) PASS Songwriting Competition. Amongst many prizes that include sessions with an industry lawyer, manager, and publicist, studio time at Bias Studios, and contributions towards CD printing, my band and I will perform at the 2014 WAMMIES award ceremony on Sunday, February 16. The WAMMIES recognize significant achievements by DC-area musicians.  You can listen to Lionheart here.

::: SHRUGGING SOUNDS :::

AT ATLAS INTERSECTIONS

FESTIVAL

I’m thrilled to be a part of this Atlas INTERSECTIONS Festival on Saturday, February 22 at 9:30pm.  Eight days of performing arts celebrate the diversity, energy, and excellence of artists and audiences from DC and beyond. This festival is presented as part of INTERSECTIONS at the Atlas Performing Arts Center, Feb. 21 – Mar. 8, 2014.  Check out what the Atlas INTERSECTIONS Festival is about in this feature by the Washington Post.  MORE TO COME ABOUT THIS VERY SPECIAL PERFORMANCE!