They say there’s two sides to every story, and the same thinking can apply to music, as evident in the recent brainchild of three industry veterans, Gone But Not // Duality.
Two distinct adaptations of one original idea, Gone But Not // Duality is a musical exercise in empathy that teaches audiences to consider, enjoy, and respect different perspectives. According to the project’s site, this is about finding the harmony in duality, a goal that will resonate in the hearts and ears of all listeners.
Gone But Not // Duality is the marriage of two seemingly different worlds of music: jazz and hip-hop. The former is aptly represented by classical musician and Broadway performer Lee Musiker, who has shared the stage with Tony Bennett for nearly 12 years. For this project, Gone But Not, Musiker worked with notable composer and producer Ira Antelis, who penned the material and conceived of the next step of the compilation: Duality. Dr. Dexter, who has written and produced for Grammy-award winning artists such as Mary J. Blige and Ludacris, collaborated with Antelis to reimagine Lee’s Gone But Not recordings into a jazz-influenced hip-hop sound.
Available on SoundCloud, BandCamp, and GoneButNotDuality.com, the songs will also be available to license for all media exclusively through Music Dealers.
On November 2, the Lee Musiker Trio will perform Gone But Not // Duality at Chicago’s Jazz Showcase, giving one more adaptation to the original music and proving there are certainly innumerable ways to experience one song.
Q&A Section with Ira Antelis and Lee Musiker
1) Music Dealers: “What was your motivation for being involved in the Gone But Not // Duality project?
Ira Antelis: “Gone But Not // Duality started as Gone But Not. It was a Jazz record I composed and produced knowing that my friend of 40 years, Lee Musiker, would record and interpret it. Lee is one of the world’s great talents and I had always hoped to work on a project with him. Also my other collaborator Dr. Dexter was in the studio when we recorded it and we began playing around with the concept of taking the Jazz version of Gone But Not and releasing a series of remixes at the same time we released the original project. His thought was to call it Gone But Not // Duality to show the different ways one can interpret a piece of music.”
Lee Musiker: “Gone But Not was originally a solo piano recording of the wonderful piano music of my dear friend and colleague, composer Ira Antelis. After much discussion and careful selection, I arranged and recorded these pieces at Ira’s studio in Chicago. The result was greater than what we’d even imagined – a beautiful album of piano music and a true musical collaboration by two close friends.”
2) Music Dealers: “How do you hope audiences to respond after listening to these songs?”
Ira Antelis: “My hope is that there’s something for everyone in the combination of both. For the jazz lovers you have a series of works that fall into the jazz world, but the remixes give an opportunity to speak to a younger audience.”
Lee Musiker: “Our clear intention is for the music to speak for itself and for it to have a poetic and emotional effect related to each piece’s central idea. Gone But Not touches on a variety of styles and defies a “record bin” categorization.”
3) Music Dealers: “What does duality mean to you?”
Ira Antelis: “Duality shows us a different way of looking at something. We as a society tend to look at things one way. Duality and specifically this project opens the mind to see things in another light. I think as a society we could all learn a little by seeing things differently than how we originally looked at them.”
Lee Musiker: “The new incarnation of the solo piano album is called Gone But Not // Duality and is a contemporary soundscape version and the brainchild of Ira and Dr. Dexter. After listening to the new version of “4 A.M. Dreams,” I thoroughly enjoyed this “recasting” and transformation of Ira’s original piece. It certainly says something about his music and the ability to be molded in a completely different shape and style. Not surprisingly, Gone But Not will have yet a third incarnation – it will be performed in a Jazz Trio setting by the Lee Musiker Trio at The Jazz Showcase in Chicago on November 2nd.”
All three collaborators have contributed to the music industry over the course of their careers. Antelis is a highly esteemed composer in the advertising music world, and his custom songs have helped shape the sonic identities of global brands. His legacy in music licensing begs the question – what sync would best suit the duality of Antelis’ new project?
“Clearly the Dr. Dexter remixes would excel with more youthful advertising, such as for cars, soft drinks, and other brands looking to capture a younger audience,” said Ira. “The ballads on the Jazz versions are more introspective, so banks, insurance, and alcohol brands might make the most out of Lee’s recordings.”
Music as duality is a powerful idea, and its cultural relevancy in contemporary culture echoes throughout our society. As events both tragic and joyous continuously shape consumers’ lives, it is important to remember the inherent duality of every experience. Gone But Not // Duality and the masterminds Antelis, Musiker, and Dr. Dexter promote just that with their new project.
by Zach Miller, Music Dealers