Domestica Records is delighted to announce the official reissue of the extremely hard to find “Original Soundtrack” album by Gary Blanchard. Less than 500 copies of this analog keyboard solo effort were originally pressed, and less than 200 still exist. The album was written, produced, and distributed in Gary‘s hometown Baltimore, between 1986 and 1987. But, who better to uncover the story behind the “Original Soundtrack” album than Gary himself? Here is an introduction, taken from the liner notes:
“I am glad to know that this is still happening. This album was part of an important period of my life, and I feel that many will appreciate it. I still see copies pop up on EBay now and then and sell for amazing amounts of money. I have provided a bit of biography, especially focused on the time of the record. (…) I don’t know if you can use it, but it was nice to spend some time reflecting on an interesting time of my life.”
Gary Blanchard began playing guitar in the late 1960s and soon became a regular on Baltimore’s folk circuit. Then on April 19, 1986, Gary came home from a peace benefit show, turned on the TV, and saw Laurie Anderson on Saturday Night Live. After 20 years, Gary decided he wanted to do something different. He bought a $100 Yamaha PSR keyboard, complete with autochord and drum machine, and began to experiment with writing in new ways. Rather than having conventional song structure, the music was more open. The words were sometimes spoken, and sometimes sung. Gary also began writing poems and vignettes to include in his performances. While these songs were not as overtly political as his folk-style songs, they commented on life in the 80s with a uniquely cynical Baltimore view. (Many thought Gary was influenced by Baltimore filmmaker John Waters, especially given Gary‘s love of pink flamingos, but Waters was not an influence on the music.) Gary began to search out other performers to help him bring this material to the stage; at the same time he started working with producer Erik Steensen to create a recording of the music along with some of the spoken word pieces. The album, “Original Soundtrack”, was released about the time Gary did his first performance with The Generic Art Ensemble. Since the program was called, generically, SHOW, Gary decided to name the soundtrack album, “Original Soundtrack”. The very first performance, at Baltimore’s 8×10 Club, was a two person program with dancer Joan Mosca. Soon the Ensemble also featured Cynthia Gaver on keyboard, Stephanie Waters, a talented sculptor, as a performer and second dancer, and Renee Zorn, who joined right before the ultimate performance of SHOW as sound technician; she later worked as a performer with Gary on the programs Experiments in Low Budget Technology and Natural State.
After a break from performing while getting belated college degrees, Gary returned to performing in the early 21st century, back to the singer/songwriter style of his past. Gary feels that the Generic Art Ensemble/Original Soundtrack days gave him an ability to open up his writing. His recent albums feature guitar, but many songs do have keyboards added to give them a fuller, less folky sound.”
This reissue includes numbered insert with complete biography and track-by-track notes by Gary Blanchard himself. Front cover artwork hand pasted on sleeve.