The prolific cellist, composer, singer, and musician Arthur Russell defied musical classification, and two decades after his death his music still resonates with listeners across the musical spectrum. "Freak folk" singer Devendra Banhart is a fan, as is contemporary classical composer Nico Muhly, who referred to Russell as “the first modern musician.” Russell, who made his home in the East Village of New York in the 1970s until his death from AIDS in 1992, touched the lives of some of our most beloved artists, including Allen Ginsberg, Philip Glass, and David Byrne.
To celebrate Russell’s life and legacy, the popular production company Red Hot (in conjunction with Pitchfork), has been raising funds to produce an Arthur Russell tribute album. Rounding up famed musicians such as Twin Shadow, José González, Hot Chip, the Swedish dance chanteuse Robyn and the Scissor Sisters to reinterpret Russell’s songs, the album promises to be a worthy tribute to a musician who influenced so many people.
The project, which was launched on August 9th, has 24 more days to reach its goal. Pledgers will have access to exclusive media and select backers will be “invited to the exclusive Red Hot + Arthur Russell loft party," where you'll hear a performance by some of the artists included on the album, and will receive a limited-edition LPaccording to the Kickstarter page.
The artist roster for the album includes music by Twin Shadow; Washed Out; José González; Rubblebucket; Laurel Halo; Robyn; Glen Hansard; Javelin; Hot Chip; Nico Muhly; Owen Pallett; Cut Copy; Sandro Perri; The Revival Hour; Will Sheff; Sam Amidon; Ólof Arnalds; Devendra Banhart; Dan Boeckner; Chad VanGaalen; Scissor Sisters; Oh Mercy; and Thao with The Get Down Stay Down, among other contributors.
Check out the video above for more information about the project and find out how you can get involved here. For more information on Russell, see the 2008 documentary about his life and music, titled, Wild Combination.