Composition and film scoring major Evan Chapman (’13) writes about the latest installment in his Loft Session video series, featuring original Berklee songwriters Sam Fischer, Melanie Lynx, Vince Cannady, and Sarah Walk accompanied by a full string section, choir, and various percussion instruments.
The Loft Sessions concept materialized back in September of 2012, with a short four-video series, which featured my good friend, Vince Cannady, a string trio, and three back-up singers. Vince, an incredibly talented vocalist had just begun performing his original music, and up until this point hadn’t received the traction someone of his caliber should. I released four videos shortly after which featured a re-arrangement of “Bridge Over Troubled Water”, “Use Somebody” and two of Vinces originals which were filmed and recorded live in the Berklee loft space, comprised of Berklee students. Upon the release of these videos, it became apparent that this concept furnished the capacity to provide a platform for unrecognized talent in a way that local shows could not.
Shortly after the release of the first video series I started to think of new ways to develop and transform the thematic presence and overall sound of these videos, still encompassing the original objective of showcasing four different performers’ talent. In late December we recorded the “XMAS Sessions” which consisted of four re-arranged Christmas songs featuring Vince Cannady, Jess Newham, Kelsey Worley, Alex Kemper, string quintet, and full choir. This was also a great opportunity for me to exercise my craft as an arranger. Considering the size of the instrumentation I realized I needed to find a conductor and a larger engineering team to facilitate the scale. I was lucky enough to find Leah Dennis, who turned out to be an incredible choral directer and made the rehearsals seamless and Nathaniel Coe III, who was an equal part in the production as I was. The XMAS Session videos turned out to be a huge success and established the series as a respected means to view new Berklee performers, arrangers, engineers and videographers.
The latest Loft Session video series, which was released last month, featured original work by four exceedingly talented Berklee songwriters who I’ve come to admire over the last four years: Sam Fischer, Melanie Lynx, Vince Cannady, and Sarah Walk, sho were accompanied by a full string section, choir, and various percussion instruments.
A month prior to the recording session I would run weekly rehearsals touching on each song with the choir, led by Caitlin Banks. I hadn’t met half of the choir before rehearsing with them and was so pleased that they all turned out to be such genuine, hard working people who through this project have come to be really good friends of mine. So far the latest series is doing really wonderful things for those who performed and I deeply look forward to sharing more videos with the Berklee and Boston community this coming summer!