Mr. Moon Album release (ZIP Records)

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We are excited to announce the release of our first album with our theatre-music project: Moon Cabaret. The album will be released on October 8, 2021 with ZIP Records.

“We are so excited for this release. With Mr. Moon we combine haunting folk music tunes with a backing band of contemporary avant-garde circus brass… hope you love it as much as we do!”

— Laurien Schreuder

Moon Cabaret combines quirky philosophical songs with Latin rhythms and brass-filled melodies with a Mexican flavour. Their music might be best described as ‘avant-garde cumbia’ and it is sure to get you moving.

The band is fronted by opera diva Laurien Schreuder and Mexican clown & music-virtuoso Osito von Ropi (formerly Los de Abajo), with percussion from squeekologist Gunga Alan Purves and additional brass, guitar, clarinet and saxophone. This roaming ensemble has played before at the Eurosonic Festival, Paradiso Amsterdam, Ollin Kan Mexico, BBC Radio and places far beyond. Moon Cabaret is the most recent project from Snowapple, also known for its folk-infused vocal trio of Laurien Schreuder, Una Bergin and Laura Polence.

The album, Mr. Moon, which will be released on 08 October 2021 through Zip Records, is a collaboration between Snowapple Artistic Leader Laurien Schreuder in the role of songwriter, Michiel Hollanders in the role of producer and Gregg Moore as arranger (on the album Schreuder also sings and plays clarinet, Hollanders plays string instruments, including ones he has designed and built himself, and Moore plays brass instruments). Moore first began working with Snowapple eight years ago, when the band played a concert hosted at his house in California and Hollanders connected with the group during one of their first theatrical productions, Project Lucy. Mr. Moon grew out of an intensely collaborative process between Schreuder, Hollanders and Moore, in which each member of the creative team contributed to realizing a collective vision- with contributions from musicians, designers, translators, actors, directors, and more along the way.

Laurien Schreuder said: “We are so excited for this release. With Mr. Moon we combine haunting folk music tunes with a backing band of contemporary avant-garde circus brass… hope you love it as much as we do!”

Gregg Moore began writing arrangements that he describes as “Balkan Banda Circus” style for Snowapple several years ago and there was an instant match. After more and more arrangements, the idea arose naturally to record an album from the results. Moore’s expertise in brass band writing includes ten years as director of a brass band in Amsterdam, and spans styles as diverse as banda music from Mexico and Balkan music from Southeastern Europe. Moore worked closely with Hollanders to create an electroacoustic sound for the album, blending acoustic instruments like baritone horn and clarinet, with electric instruments like guitar and bass. Moore feels especially proud of the covers on the album including Niño Perdido, a popular banda tune, and La Llorona, an important song for Latinx feminists. “We’ve taken these songs to places that people never imagined that they would go” in terms of style and arrangements, shares Moore.

Michiel Hollanders characterizes his role as producer as “trying to create space for everyone to do their thing”. Hollanders mentions working with people from many countries, cultures, languages and time zones as one of the highlights of the Mr. Moon project. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the production process took more time than normal. It was simply not possible to gather the musicians together in Los Angeles to record in person as originally planned. The upside was that the production could be given breathing time to come together; resulting in an extremely organic, polished sounding album. During the demoing process, Hollanders began recording certain important lines on guitar (to provide musicians with a backing track, instead of a click track to record with) leading to the development of the hybrid electroacoustic sound featured on the album.