My latest album, Suita Titan (The Titan Suite), has been my most ambitious project so far.
It started in the last months of 2016, when ARCUB – Artist In Residence invited me to present an new original work in their ongoing series of jazz concerts curated by pianist Lucian Ban. I had some sketches of tunes about Titan, my old neighborhood, and the idea of to make a “concept album” around them, like they did in the ’70s, but no definite plan.
My band includes Adi Stoenescu on organ, Dan Mitrofan on guitar, and Tavi Scurtu on drums. Since the tunes required more horns, I invited trumpet player and singer Vlad Simon and tenor saxophonist Daniel Torres (from Spain) to join us. I also asked my friend Florin Dumitrescu, Romania’s greatest lyricist, to write some lyrics for the last tune of the Suite.
To crowdfund the album, I wanted to make a small movie, featuring some of Alex’s concert footage, and the usual plea for money, but, at the last moment, I thought it would be fun to have some of my childhood friends talk about those times. So, I interviewed my first bench mate from elementary school, Cristi Filip, my high school friends Iana Iuhas, Florin Dumitrescu and Gabriel Grigore, and my mother. Another high school friend, Mihaela Dimian, also sent me a small video with her own memories about me. Right from the start, their stories were so interesting that I knew the film was going to get longer than planned. It ended up being a 53-minute long documentary, a bit longer than the album itself.
My daughter, Medicine Madison, who designed the album cover and 12-page booklet, also edited this film and added effects to maintain the same aesthetic she had created with the album artwork.
During the concert, Vlad Simon’s voice on the last track (În Titan) wasn’t properly recorded due to microphone issues, and he wasn’t available to overdub it in the studio. So, in the end, I overdubbed it myself.
Two weeks before the album release, I asked my daughter if we could make a music video for “În Titan”. The result is an idyllic and surrealistic depiction of my old neighborhood. The music video includes some photographs by my father, concert footage by Alex Domnișoru, some sequences of me dancing, reflected in a pond, filmed by Constantin Măcărescu, and plenty of stock footage. Medicine Madison filmed me while I was singing and dancing, and edited the film, again, matching the album’s aesthetic.
The album was released on February 14, 2019, more than 2 years after its recording. It was mixed and mastered by Uțu Pascu, one of Romania’s greatest sound engineers and bassists (he played on – and mixed – my first two albums for Fiver House, One Life Left and Garden Beast). The visuals for the release concert were made by Cinty Ionescu, based upon Medicine Madison’s documentary.