Gonzervatory Journal Entry

(c)Alexandre Isard

We were supposed to launch The Gonzervatory tomorrow.

But in a classic plot twist, an older version of our press release somehow found its way to hipster blog Stereogum, who posted it a day early. They even mention that the link (for applying to my new all-expenses-paid residential musical workshop) wasn’t working properly. I almost screamed at my computer screen: “Of course it doesn’t work, it’s not supposed to work until tomorrow.”

But this is part of launching new projects in 2017….months of planning followed by laptop screaming.

Once I calmed down, we simply decided to move the announcement ahead by a day.

But The Gonzervatory has actually involved years, not months, of planning. Back in 2004 when I released Solo Piano, I was looking for a way to engage my audience in relation to this quieter, more reflective musical direction.

I remembered being a kid, making music with my older brother, playing happy songs in a sad way, replacing the happy major chords with darker, minor ones…

So I tested out a stage routine in which I played Happy Birthday in a minor key, punctuated by the line “another year has gone by, motherfucker”. Breakthrough! It killed.

Since then, I made different attempts at sharing my view of music as a kind of a toy.

The Gonzervatory is somehow the human manifestation of my major – minor routine, a place to play with this toy and to take it apart – the direct transmission of a musical vision to younger and hungrier musicians.

Who knows how many will actually apply? Is my dream of forming a kind of musical X-men with me as Professor X going to actually WORK?

Once the fucking link works, we’ll find out!