A gift for Victoria Heitzmann’s birthday this year is easy: just help crowdfund his album.
You may already know Heitzmann as a busker at Dana Square Park in Cambridgeport, or during Sunday performances at Citywide Senior Center in Central Square before the coronavirus pandemic. You might have seen her performing with the band Total Eclipse a cappella at Cambridge Rindge and Latin School, where she just graduated. You can follow her on Instagram, where his poetry articles became weekly live sessions.
Realizing the dream of recording your music isn’t so much tied to turning 18 on July 16 as it is a race to finish it before leaving to study biochemistry in the fall, Heitzmann said at a recent call. While she was hoping to take time to focus on music, the University of California at San Diego does not allow sabbaticals.
She expects to end her summer recording sessions with up to nine songs paid for with a $ 5,000 campaign, which is nearing her goal.
His completed debut track, titled “Goldfish,” is a powerful proof of concept – a heartbreaking rebuttal of a damaging relationship that floats on a carefully chosen guitar and echo-haunted production. (A non-album mix of “Goldfish” and other songs is on Heitzmann’s SoundCloud, called ash4bones.)
“My album is about healing from abuse and trauma and finding love in there,” Heitzmann said. ” I shared [“Goldfish”] with people who have been through things similar to me.
Listen to “Goldfish”:
Heitzmann grew up in France, but came to Cambridge with a Harvard-trained mother who returned there for a job. Although the family is now dispersed in New York, Connecticut and Dubai, Heitzmann chose to stay put, living with friends. Now she finds out Cambridge shaped her as a person – biochemistry is ‘something I would never have done if I had stayed in France’, she said – and as an artist . After two years in the Boston Symphony Children’s Chorus, at Cambridge Rindge and Latin School, she started Total Eclipse and served as President of the Poetry Club.
Although she has been playing music for the past nine years, starting as a classical pianist in Interlochen, Mich. And Berklee College of Music in Boston, it was in Central Square that an eighth-year Beats By Girlz scholarship gave her allowed to learn Ableton music production. “The goal was to educate the girls because the girls usually don’t mix a lot. I saw that and I thought to myself: “Wow, there is a lot of potential to make music even if you don’t have a band”, or just to enrich your music as a whole ”, he said. she declared.
A cappella singing, musical training and poetry came together recently with the help of guitar teacher Dan Sitar, with whom she trained four years ago. He told her that if she ever wanted to make an album, he could play a role. “When I finally felt ready this year,” she said, “I emailed her. We just started working together.
A final element was listening to a lot of music from Lizzy McAlpine, a Philadelphian and friend of a friend who studied songwriting at Berklee College of Music until 2020. She helped shift Heitzmann’s interests. towards a simpler pop in a field tinged with jazz and diminished chords. “I was still writing because I was probably 7 years old. But during my forties my style of music changed a lot – just because I had time to focus on it, and there was a lot going on in my life and, of course, the world that inspired me, ”a said Heitzmann. . “During the pandemic, I started to write a lot more and try to find the meaning of music.”
If his production schedule at a Billerica studio and the Boston Cybersound allows it, Heitzmann plans to perform more publicly, at Harvard Square or Boston Common. “I’m kind of trying to get out more,” she said.
When fall arrives, however, she plans to put aside the guitar and the accomplishment of producing an album at age 18 to embrace her studies.
“It seems all the more relevant during this time,” she said, “where the chemistry kind of saves the day.”
- Victoria Heitzmann’s crowdfunding campaign is here.