By definition, stromata are the supporting frameworks of cells or organisms-the connective tissues that comprise the organs making life possible. For Charlotte Martin, Stromata means more. A fitting title for the latest release from the Los Angeles-based artist, Stromata is not only the story of a girl who saw her way through hardship, but also the statement of a woman who took charge of herself and her music, redefining what she is made of.
Circumstances changed for Charlotte in the two years since she began writing and recording songs for Stromata. After five years and two releases on RCA Records-the EP In Parentheses (2003) and the full-length On Your Shore (2004)-Charlotte left the label in early 2005. Undeterred, she released the Darkest Hour and Veins EPs on Test-Drive Records that same year, and embarked on headlining tours in support of each. The Veins tour climaxed with the private taping of Something Like A DVD in Los Angeles in November 2005, and the following spring headlined another tour to coincide with the pre-released DVD. Along the way, Charlotte married her longtime collaborator and co-producer, Ken Andrews (Pete Yorn, Year of the Rabbit, Failure). Together, they formed Dinosaur Fight Records and aligned the new venture with Fontana Distribution.
With a newfound freedom to create music, Charlotte found herself at musical and personal crossroads. Two years of virtually nonstop touring had effects. While on the road, Charlotte experienced the spectrum of human emotion: heartbreak, loss, guilt, and triumph. These years of intense transition and infinite potential found themselves in the words, notes, and production of Stromata.
No longer beholden to the demands of label executives or hampered by artistic insecurity, Charlotte emerged a strong, self-aware artist knowing what she wants from her career, and what she needs to feed her muse. With experiences of the past propelling her forward, Charlotte began writing and recording Stromata. For the first time since the beginning of her career-from singing with her mom in the car at age 3, to directing show choirs at 14, to graduating from Eastern Illinois University with an opera degree at 21-she had a clear vision of what her music needed to be and how to make it. Taking the production helm, Charlotte was inspired to take the focus off the acoustic piano and indulge in the world of analog synthesizers, digital percussion, and vocal collages.
Coming into her own as a composer/producer/engineer, Charlotte experimented extensively in the studio, both lyrically and sonically, for Stromata. Unafraid, she wrote about faith and relationships, allowing herself to be honest about letting some things go and fiercely holding on to others. She approached the production with the same fearlessness. Looking to nobody but herself in the studio, Charlotte completed all of the initial demos and digital percussion on her own-a stark and compelling contrast to the full-on live band and orchestra recordings of On Your Shore. In addition to implementing new micing methods and rhythmic ideas, Charlotte explored the far reaches of her own vocal harmonizing and layering techniques, resulting in a powerfully diverse collection of tracks showcasing the true power of her voice and skill as a songwriter.
Stromata stands as Charlottes most ambitious and experimental album to date. Resonant drums, electronic flourishes, and illustrative synth and keyboard work form a lush backdrop for Charlottes expressive storytelling and classically trained voice. Stromata is the expression rooted in a lifetime of experience forming the fabric of a true artist.
Stromata is available September 12, 2006.
An Evening With Charlotte Martin and Friends
Charlotte Martin partners with fellow musicians and friends to support Save Darfur
Los Angeles, CA - October 23, 2006 - On December 2, The Knitting Factory is hosting "An Evening With Charlotte Martin and Friends" in Los Angeles, CA.
During the two-hour event, Charlotte will perform live on-stage with fellow musicians and friends. Guest performers* include Ken Andrews (Failure, ON, Year of the Rabbit), Tommy Walter (Eels, Abandoned Pools), Emily Wright (Ben Harper), Justin Meldal-Johnsen (Beck, IMA Robot), Terami Hirsch, Fernando Sanchez (J.D. Natasha, Pablo Portillo), Billy Hawn (Guster, Damien Rice), and Beth Katte, and all have collaborated with Charlotte on past studio and live projects.
Tickets are available beginning Friday, October 27 at 12:00pm PST courtesy of TicketWeb. Advance tickets are $22.50 or $25.00 at the door. The $40.00 VIP ticket option includes "front of line" access, balcony meet and greet** after the show, and one copy of Charlotte's new album, Stromata.
A weeklong silent e-auction will begin on December 2 to coincide with the special concert event. A portion of the proceeds from the event and e-auction will benefit Save Darfur. The Save Darfur Coalition's mission is to raise public awareness about the ongoing genocide in Darfur and to mobilize a unified response to the atrocities that threaten the lives of two million people in the Darfur region. (www.savedarfur.org)
Bands, artists, and labels interested in donating autographed merchandise and memorabilia for the e-auction should email firstname.lastname@example.org by Friday, November 10.
Please join Charlotte and friends in support of Save Darfur.
Event sponsors include Curly & Spike (www.curlyandspike.com) and Dinosaur Fight Records (www.dinosaurfightrecords.com).
*Guest performers are subject to change; more to be confirmed.
**Meet and greet is with Charlotte Martin only.