(04 November 2002) After Epic Records cancelled its contract
with October Project, their beloved fans were left bewildered
by what appeared to be a severe lapse in judgment on the part of
Sony Music Entertainment Inc. Considered by critics and fans alike
to be one of the best new bands of the 1990s, October Project
created music that was uniquely lush and provocative.
The primary composer for the original October Project was the
gifted Emil Adler. Wife and partner Julie Flanders provided the
lyrical content of the band's material. Together, the two provided
the foundation upon which singers Mary Fahl and Marina Belica
added their rich and distinctive vocals.
After the demise of October Project, Mary Fahl and Marina
Belica embarked upon solo careers. Emil Adler and Julie Flanders,
after some time off, formed November Project. The two went on
the hunt for a charismatic and talented lead female singer and
discovered Maryanne Marino. Combining the earthy quality of
Sarah McLachlan and the clarity of Suzanne Vega, Maryanne's
voice was the perfect vehicle for Julie's words and a beautiful
match for Emil's music.
The trio were joined by Doug Yowell (drums), Mike Visceglia
(bass), and Rob Friedman (guitars). Together, November Project
released their only recording, an EP entitled "A Thousand Days"
in 1999. Despite the fact that the EP contains only five
tracks, each song is so beautifully crafted on the album,
that any fan of October Project will find the EP to be a
Upon hearing the first few measures of the opening title track,
"A Thousand Days," it is obvious that Julie and Emil were back in
true form. Julie's poignant and though-provoking lyrics are sung
with deep conviction by Maryanne. The melody of the song demonstrates
Emil's sensational trademark ability to write complex and impactful
"Out of the Past" is a solidly rocking number that allows Maryanne
to make full use of her vocal range. Complete with organ and strumming
guitars, the song moves from mysterious and haunting minor chords to
sweet and full major chords in the chorus. The bittersweet and
touching "It is Time" is a transporting piece that strongly echoes
Sarah McLachlan's "Elsewhere." Throughout, the skill of the
players is strongly apparent.
Piano, keyboards, guitar, drums, and bass all combine to provide a
scintillating backdrop for Maryanne's vocals. The unusual beginning
of "Are You Sleeping" immediately demands the listeners attention.
By the time the song reaches its pre-chorus and chorus, one realizes
that this song will be another classic Adler/Flanders piece. The
melody and timing seem to move all over the place without ever
sounding disconnected or unharmonious. Original and inventive.
"Endless Circle" is simply one of the best folk songs this reviewer
has ever heard. With its almost medieval sounding instrumentation and
Maryanne's emotional voicings, "Endless Circle" provides a perfect
finale for the EP.
After listening to the EP, it is clear that Emil is endowed with a
real, true, and beautiful gift as a composer. Equally, Julie Flanders
harbors such skill as a lyricist that it seems that the two were almost
destined to do what they are doing together--almost as if the
largeness of their repsective talents could only be matched and
complimented by the other's great ability.
Much to the sorrow of October Project and November Project fans,
November Project broke up after releasing "A Thousand Days"
but before a full length album could be released. However, Emil and
Julie have rejoined forces with October Project vocalist Marina Belica
and are currently working on a new full-length album under the name
October Project (EP
In addition, Julie and Emil have collaborated with the vocalist Sylvia
Tosun on her first EP (review) release.
Although it has been a bumpy ride for artists and fans alike, the
wonderful fact is that Emil and Julie continue to create inspired
music together. The fans are listening and eagerly await whatever
"projects" Julie and Emil have in store for us in the