Buffi Jacobs came from a classical background. She's played in rock bands and collaborated with musicians and artists of all stripes. She even spent this summer on and off tour. But now, after all those years of work, Jacobs has a new project, one that pulls together all those disparate influences, to look forward to. It's called Anaphase, and it's not lacking for ambition. Maybe that's why her optimism comes with a touch of exhaustion.
"It's just something that I've been thinking about for years," Jacobs says, sounding not unlike a marathoner who just crossed the finish line. "It's finally..." she says, trailing off with a laugh. "Come to fruition. I mean, it's been a lot of hard work getting all the pieces moving, but you know, it's finally happening."
Jacobs, also a current member of Dallas mainstay the Polyphonic Spree, has been instrumental in bringing artists and musicians together under one collective roof, a project called Anaphase, which will be releasing two EPs, "Evolution" and "Connectivity," on the 15th, and performing at The Kessler on the 14th. Their melding of symphonic rock to video and projection installations is an innovative intermingling of multimedia that could potentially stimulate parts of your brain you didn't know existed, or perhaps forgotten about.
"I learned a lot watching Tim and Julie work with the Polyphonic Spree for all those years, and how (they) just seemed to make the impossible possible," says cellist Jacobs. "With the Spree I learned so much about being a musician. And it's not necessary for you to be playing all this complicated stuff at any given time, especially when you've got 20 or so people on stage with you."
Coincidentally, Anaphase itself features 18 to 20 musicians from various areas of focus, and each piece of work is a fluid representation of their input. The music itself is more than capable of standing alone, executing layers of sweeping symphonic soundtracks to the listener's imagination. But combined with various artists, such as Josh Jordan and Cameron Smith, scoring film to the performance, Anaphase may set a new precedent in their hopes to establish an ongoing concert series.
"We're hoping to establish a non-profit with this organization, so yes it is a band, but we want to become a non-profit to establish a concert series," Jacobs explains. "And although this concert was more about scoring to the music we already had, eventually what we would like to do is we would like to have it go both ways."
She adds, "Let's say that there was an artist that had a photography installation. I would like to be able to score music specifically for that art."
And the roster of musicians scoring the rich textures of Anaphase's pieces is pretty credible, including contributors such as Paul Slavens, David Pierce and Nick Earle. Jacobs feels especially grateful for how accommodating the musicians and composers have been.
"Ultimately they see the big picture and they're as excited as I am to get it off the ground," remarks Jacobs. "They donate their time, they donate their talents. At the end of the day, we're making music and it's beautiful, and there's something kind of synergistic. It's a very special collaboration."
But, just like any non-profit artistic endeavor set to get off the ground, it takes funding. "It's hard to get funding period," says Jacobs. "Let's just face it. With art, it's always a struggle to bring something to life, you know?"
As of this publishing, there are four days remaining on the Anaphase Kickstarter campaign. Once their goal is met, it will help fund an ongoing concert series.
As their budget grows, Jacobs also hopes to establish an education outreach where high school and collegiate students can have an outlet for their own collaborations and performances.
"We're still establishing parameters there, but if we make it through this..." Jacobs, pausing once more, gives a nervous chuckle. "If we make it out alive in our concert series and it becomes successful, we definitely want to get the young artists collaborating with the young musicians."
"Because everybody needs a creative platform and a performance opportunity, and sometimes it's hard to get. You know, because there's so many talents around, sometimes we have to fight for the stage a little bit, or fight to get our projects off the ground."