Vermont Arts Council

The People’s Choice Awards: Daniel Kasnitz

40: Daniel Kasnitz

Create an album of original Americana/pop songs, written and recorded in Vermont

Daniel Kasnitz resides in Brattleboro, VT. Experts contend the decline of civilization is traceable to 1975 when, at age 15 Kasnitz performed his first professional engagement playing bass guitar and uttering strange noises, later determined by forensic specialists to be prehistoric-style attempts at singing. He has since befuddled audiences across the USA and some of the more unfortunate regions of Canada.

Against all odds, Kasnitz graduated Cum Laude from the previously prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston. Not content with flailing at just vocals and bass, Kasnitz soon added guitar, keyboards, drums and kazoo to his cacophonous collection of instruments that continue to confuse him to this day.

From the seemingly innocuous choral group On Wings of Song to regrettable pop songs, to his instrumentals Music in Search of a Cop Show and Happy Robots Hit the Highway, Kasnitz has defined new nadirs in many styles and genres, some still unidentified.

Project description

I have recorded many songs and several albums of original compositions. Many of them can be found on my site. I have a large collection of unrecorded songs written since I moved to Vermont in 1996 that are more of an Americana/Folk style than my previous releases.

I have 31 songs that could fit with the theme of the album, tentatively titled ‘Still Willing.’ My goal is to record and release 16 of them.

The finished product will be released through my record label, Vermont SongWorks. The album will be distributed online and on CD, with the option of a vinyl pressing. One distribution goal is to get it into as many retail shops in Vermont that offer Vermont-made products.

The album will be specifically marketed as a Vermont locavore offering of songs written and recorded in Vermont. All of the musicians and engineers involved will either live in or have lived in Vermont. Likewise, all production will take place in Vermont.

The songs share a theme of intimate and often quite specific emotional and energetic ideas. A wonderful paradox in song form is that intimate, specific lyrics evoke the most universal responses. Conversely, lyrics that are general and wide-sweeping in content often wind up meaning very little to anyone and are easily turned out.

The songs on this album will be chosen to create as much emotional depth as possible in a sonorous manner. This will not be an album of screaming complaints. It will offer both humorous and spirituality reflective observations about our time on this planet. The goal is to be uplifting without pandering or ignoring irony.

The album will also showcase the fine levels of craftsmanship that come out of Vermont cottage industries. The songs and production choices of the album will be a bit more traditional than some of my more progressive compositions. The lyrics and vocals will stand center stage.

Media Sample 1

Mix – Midsummer Jubilee. “Clear demonstration of tone. style and quality of the proposed album. The only completed recording likely to be included.”

Media Sample 2

Daniel Kasnitz Lyrics Collection. “Lyrics of the top 16 song candidates for the proposed album. Most are true stories.”

Media Sample 3

Every Step Closer. “Shows recent work in related, though harder edged style than the proposed album.”

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Acadia Klepeis August 22, 2023