The Residents, Nels Cline, Josh Freese, Ava Bittova’ + more Collaborate on polyheDren album Psychic Out April 29 from Dren McDonald
THE RESIDENTS, NELS CLINE, JOSH FREESE AND IVA BITTOVÁ HIGHLIGHT POLYHEDREN COLLABORATIVE MUSIC PROJECT PSYCHIC FROM COMPOSER AND PRODUCER DREN McDONALD
Streaming/Sales Profits Benefit Bay Area Music Project, an After School Music Education non-Profit Program that Brings Music Lessons to Children who Otherwise Couldn’t Afford Them
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
OAKLAND, CA & LOS ANGELES, CA (WEDNESDAY FEBRUARY 23, 2022) – The Residents, Nels Cline (Wilco), Josh Freese (Sting, NIN) and Iva Bittová are just a few of the artists performing on the first collaborative music project polyheDren from composer and producer Dren McDonald’s Psychic album released on Friday April 29, 2022 on digital, CD/LP and Atmos/Spatial formats.
100% of the streaming/sales revenue from the release will go directly to the Bay Area Music Project, an after school music education non-profit that brings music lessons to children who otherwise couldn’t afford them.
“This polyheDren recording began with the desire to collaborate with other musicians as the pandemic kept us all at home,” said composure/producer Dren McDonald. “It seemed like a unique opportunity to try to work with musicians I had never worked with before. Going forward, I plan to continue doing these releases, with new artist collaborations that will support different non-profit organizations with new, upcoming albums. This is just the beginning of a much bigger idea.”
The collaborations for this project started organically, with McDonald seeking out vocalists for the first few singles. As momentum began to build around the release of the singles, he decided to extend the project and release a full length. Next he reached out to friends The Residents and Josh Freese to take part. Because Freese had always been a Residents fan, McDonald saw an opportunity for further collaboration. In fact, the song “Sixteen Gold Candles” was the result of sending files back and forth for many months.
While Dren has collaborated with The Residents many times in the past, it had never been with music. He’d helped design limited edition releases, tour merchandise, stage managed and even been on stage with them – as a costumed glob of human jello! While The Residents remain anonymous (50 years since their inception), they don’t tend to collaborate with too many other artists. They just don’t see ‘eye to eye’ with a lot of other folks, so it was definitely a special occasion to be able to bring about a collaboration that involved them and someone of Freese’s talent. Josh’s latest record, “Just A Minute, Vol. 1” (Loosegroove) is a record of 1 minute songs (perhaps inspired by The Residents’ Commercial Album of all 1 minute songs), including “The Ghost of Hardy Fox” (Hardy Fox was revealed as one of The Residents after he passed in 2018). Freese is no stranger to creating musical oddities, as he’s also been a consistent collaborator with Devo, Nine Inch Nails, Danny Elfman, A Perfect Circle, Weezer, and The Replacements.
The song, “Lonely Lullaby,” was written by McDonald specifically for Iva Bittová to sing. The song was inspired by his daughter’s preparation for college (and his mixed feelings about her departure from home). The first concert that he brought his daughter to see was Iva Bittová at the Freight and Salvage in Berkeley, so there was something poetic about having Iva sing that song. As a parent herself, she clearly has the emotional insight to bring that song to life with her incredible performance.
Nels Cline made his name known as the curator of a New Music Monday weekly show at the Alligator Lounge in the 1990s in Los Angeles. McDonald first encountered Cline here, as many of his friends and bandmates took part in the free music shenanigans. Cline always had a reputation for completely putting himself, creatively, into any project that he took part in, and polyheDren was no exception. So much so that Dren created a remix of the original song Nels played on (“Scorpions A Lot”) to include the entire intro that he created, and to feature more of his sounds in a new mix of “NelScorpions A Lot.”
The resulting full-length polyheDren album collaboration is a shared musical vision that lies somewhere between funk, electronic, post-rock and world music with each guest artist revealing an unexpected performance to each track. Track listing as follows:
- Two Sweet Sixteens and Four Weddings (feat. Rini)
- Tethys Express (Album Mix) (Feat. Rini)
- Sixteen Gold Candles (Feat. The Residents & Josh Freese)
- Film Stars (Album Mix) (Feat. Moorea Dickason & Daria Novo)
- Lonely Lullaby (feat. Iva Bittova)
- Scorpions a Lot (feat. Nels Cline & Rini)
- Buckaroo Moon (Album Mix) (feat. Sangin Sara & Daria Novo)
- Planted a Flower (Album Mix) (feat. Ali Paris & Misha Khalikulov)
- NelsScorpions Altered a Lot (feat. Nels Cline & Rini)
Polyhedron definition: poly=’many’ hedron=’base’, a 3 dimensional shape with polygonal faces and straight edges. New shapes in music.
ABOUT DREN McDONALD
Dren spent the 90s running a label (Vaccination Records Co.) while playing in a few SF Bay Area bands on that label, and eventually wound up writing music for film, TV and many video games including Counterstrike Global Offensive (Valve), Ghost Recon Commander (Ubisoft) and Cooking Dash (GLU Mobile). In addition to his game soundtracks, he also released another Bay Area Music Project fundraiser record, The String Arcade (2014), a collection of video game music arranged for string quartet. His music can also be heard in the ubiquitous SuperZoom Instagram feature, and in the Facebook Sound Collection, which is used by millions of video creators every month..
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