THE ALBUM IS FINISHED! Like A Moth by Maggie Cocco’s Science for Sociopaths took 18 months to record and 3+ years to develop. It is my first self produced album (with input from trusted partners), first analog album, and the best thing I’ve ever done.
To recap a history of the project till now, Like A Moth is a COVID baby. My first opportunity to perform after the first COVID lockdown in New Zealand was at a Fringe Festival where, as the name suggests, all things “fringe” are celebrated. I decided to embrace whatever fringiness lay deep inside me, starting with a rather nerdy special interest. I’ve adored song cycles since studying them at University. Everything about them, from the intimate and theatrical format to compositional techniques, appeal to me. I looked at a handful of songs that, beacuse of the heaviness of their subject matter, I rarely got the opportunity to perform and, finding emergent themes, started to weave and write Like A Moth as a contemporary song cycle for voice and piano.
Maybe it was because I felt too exposed performing as an inexperienced solo artist, or because even in this format my songs were clearly pop-y and accessible, but I decided that it needed more fringiness. Not knowing anyone besides my partner in my new locale, I reached out to Fringe organizers in search of visual artists collaborators. Dancers Tyler Matheson and Jasmine Fischer-Johnson agreed to perform at the inaugural Science for Sociopaths Multimedia performance at the Whangarei Art Museum (WAM) in 2020, and for many varied shows after. WAM happened to have an interactive sculpture by Kim Groeneveld and Trent Morgan called Shared Stories on display. During dress rehearsal, it occured to me that the audience should not be passive observers of this performance. I would engage the sense of hearing, Tyler and Jasmine would engage the sense of sight, and interaction with the sculpture would engage the sense of touch. The interactice and multisensory approach would allow heavy themes within the song cycle to be processed by and move through the audience in a cathartic shared experience that lay waste to the fourth wall. A concept was born, and it was a watershed moment for me.
From 2020-2023 I organized twelve multimedia performances of the Like A Moth song cycle, all completely unique in execution save for the commitment to concept. In early 2022, Andy Hodgins, owner of Anzac Road Analog Recording, approached me about recording Like A Moth. I’d had no experience with analog, which is a very different process to digital recording, but Andy afforded me one of the most valuable things one can: time. I was graciously afforded all the time I needed to learn the process and get it right. One or two sessions a week, most weeks, with breaks for tours. It was both grueling and luxurious, and perfectly suited to preserve the mana of the live performances from which it evolved.
Something was niggling me. Months into recording Like A Moth, the solo album for lone voice piano felt l like it was missing the collaborative energy that made live performances so magical. When I imagined what would fill the void, I started to hear the varied odes of cello co-narrating the story. After weeks searching for a cellist in NZ, I followed up with a cellist in England whose name had come up in my search many times. Cue immediate musical chemistry. Bonnie’s brilliant musical mind, alongside that of sound engineer Alex Selman, has made this album into everything that I ever wanted from a good collaboration: something true to a vision and greater than the sum of its parts.
I’m proud to say that presales for Like A Moth the ALBUM + ART BOOKLET go live this week! The album will first be available on Vinyl and CD, with plans for a digital release in 2024. More on that soon. Until then..
THANK YOU, dear patrons, for being my community through time and space. I can’t thank you enough, and will do so effusively and repeatedly for as long as you are with me. You fill my tank, literally and figuratively. You make me feel understood, supported, and appreciated. When it’s hard to make art in a world that both desperately consumes and undervalues it, you remind me that this work matters. Today, I have four offerings:
1. The presale link with a special discount code just for you as soon as it goes live within the week!
2. A sneak peak at the new album artwork, hidden in the gallery above.
3. A YOUTUBE LIVESTREAM TONIGHT of the new album, performed in full by myself and Bonnie at Lopdell Theatre in Titirangi, Auckland from 7pmNZST/10pmPST/1amEST. Don’t worry if you miss it because of time zones or busy-ness, I’ll repost here.
4. The Analog Tour featuring shows in New Zealand (Whangarei, Kerikeri, Auckland, Nelson), USA (Berekley, San Francisco, Oakland, Ann Arbor, Macomb, Grand Rapids, Detroit). I will update Linkt.ree with individual show details as they become available.
What a journey we’re on! Thank you for doing this with me 🤍