LAFAYETTE - It
began 10 years ago in the electronics laboratory of the University of
Southwestern Louisiana's music department and was completed last year
at Sony Music's state-of-the-art recording facility in New York
City. "I spared no integrity in making it," said
recording artist Isadar, also known as Fabian Thibodeaux, a
29-year-old Church Point native. "I waited until I could
afford it and do it right. Like when something wasn't working,
I'd put it on the side until I could afford to finish it
properly." Isadar, who moved to New York City three years
ago, is back on his own turf promoting his second release, "Dream
of the Dead." He'll be at Barnes & Noble today, 2pm
to 6p.m. and Sunday, at the Acadiana Mall's Sam Goody/Musicland,
2p.m. to 6p.m. for in-store appearances and album signings.
"Dream" is a vocal/multilayered album similar to Isadar's
influences, such as Kate Bush, Peter Gabriel and Laurie
Anderson. And, it's quite a bit different from his 1990 release
"Near the Edge of Light," which is a collection of new-age
"Some of the
songs have so much going on that you can't hear everything,"
Isadar said of "Dream." "And that's
intentional. It's meant for multiple plays. You've got to
listen to it over and over again and then you can start focusing in
on all these sounds." Isadar was pleased with the
resulting mix by the technicians who also worked on Sony releases by
Mariah Carey and Michael Jackson. "We took the primary
tracks, which stand out front and are the meat of the song, and put
them in their place," he said. "And then we spent
countless hours going back and including all of the subtle
details. It may be very far in the background, but it's still
there. And that energy is still there." "And
whether or not people will hear it, is irrelevant - they feel
it," Isadar said. "And that's what I was getting at,
that's where I was coming from. And where I was going with it
was that result: Getting that feeling in the end."
While time passes
and people change in the course of a decade, Isadar stayed with his
original idea for "Dream" over the last decade.
"I didn't change anything," he said. "When
I laid it down on tape at the time I wrote the songs, I pretty much
kept it." Isadar put down a majority of the tracks as a
USL student with electronic keyboards at the music department's
electronic lab. "They didn't have the capacity for me to
record anything that required a microphone" he said.
"I had all these electronic sounds on the tape, like percussion
driven off a drum machine, keyboards, and synthesizers."
With his work on
eight-tracks, he headed over to Lafayette recording studio, La
Louisianne, and transferred it over to 24-track. There he added
vocals and other instrumental work by locals Richard
"Dickie" Landry (who played sax and toured with Laurie
Anderson during her "Home of the Brave" world tour and
appeared in her film), Rufus Thibodeaux (who's fiddle work on Neil
Young's "Comes A Time" album earned him a Gold Record from
the RIAA), Oran Guidry, Laura Drake and others.
Before he made it
to New York, he hit studios in New Orleans and Metarie, then recorded
and mixed a track at Danny Bennet's studio in New Jersey (Tony
Bennet's son). And by 1989, the project "started evolving
and just growing out of itself," he said.
Isadar moved to
New York City in 1993. After a series of temporary jobs, he
landed a position doing administrative work at Sony Music
Entertainment in their domestic Business Affairs, Law, and A&R
Administration Departments. There's something about
southwestern Louisiana he can't find anywhere else. "The
energy here is so strong," he said. "There's no other
place in the U.S. that has this kind of commitment to music.
You'll find it sporadically across the nation, but nothing so
concentrated." In addition, people in the music business
recommended that Isadar release his work within a 50-mile radius of
his first release in order to build up interest and momentum.
While he's promoting a recording of this style, Isadar doesn't play
live. "I'm more of a recording artist," he said.
"I think my role should technically be 'writer/producer' and
have someone else out there doing stuff. With this project, I
never intended to play live. "I'm more into the video/film
thing - that's what I'd prefer to do," said Isadar.
"If something did take off, I would perform live, but I'd want
to do it like performance art, like Laurie Anderson. That's
really what gets me - that's the kind of energy I want to put out
there - where there's lots of visual things happening. Lots of
film loops, slides, light and laser effects."
Isadar is working
on demos in his home studio. They sound nothing like his latest
release. "If I were to put out the music that I'm doing
now, it would have nothing to do with this album," he said.
"I move very quickly in and out of styles. Right now, I'm
doing dance stuff." Isadar was committed to producing the
Euro-art-rock "Dream" because of the money and time he put
into the project. "I would've felt really guilty by just
shelving that and skipping over to what I'm doing now," he
said. "I just felt like as an artist, I needed to put that
out there first." By next year, Isadar plans to take a
12-inch single with remixes to NYC clubs in hopes of gaining enough
interest to get a record label to pick it up for distribution.