October Project is a pop / rock band that was signed to major label Epic Records from March 1993 to June 1996. Their music is often categorized as adult / alternative. The members of the band during that time were Mary Fahl (lead vocals), Marina Belica (keyboard/vocals), David Sabatino (guitar/vocals), Emil Adler (piano/vocals) and Julie Flanders, the band’s lyricist and at the time a non-performing member. Flanders and Adler were the band’s primary songwriters. Urbano Sanchez, the band’s percussionist, is listed as an additional musician on the two albums released by Epic, appearing in all band photos during that period, but was not an official member of the band.
The most recent lineup (2001-2006) is Marina Belica (lead vocals), Julie Flanders (vocals), and Emil Adler (piano/vocals). While both Sabatino and Sanchez are occasionally featured in live concerts, the band has regularly performed with Martha Colby (cello), Chris Benelli (percussion) and Craig Benelli (guitar).
Adler and Sabatino met at a jam session in New York City. At the time Adler was finishing his Master’s thesis in music composition at Rutgers University. Together with their friend, Paul Byrne, they started a music production company, Tritone Productions. In 1985 they built a recording studio in a New Jersey garage, which Adler would eventually use to produce the first demo recordings of singer/songwriter Lee Feldman and Sufjan Stevens' college band, Marzuki. October Project would use the studio as its home base during its developmental phase.
Flanders was introduced to Mary Faldermeyer (later Fahl) through a mutual friend. Adler met Fahl in the summer of 1989, and plans were immediately made to form a band.
The band spent eighteen months in their garage studio refining their instrumentation and arrangements, and occasionally changing their configuration. Sanchez was recruited as percussionist and was invited to join the band, but declined in favor of retaining sideman status. The five-piece version of October Project played its first gig in November 1991 to a capacity crowd at the Bond Street Café in New York City.
The band quickly earned a devoted following by playing regularly at many of the music clubs of downtown Manhattan, including The Speakeasy, The Sun Mountain Café, Beowulf, CB's 313 Gallery and The Bitter End. It was at CBGB’s that they were first heard by their future manager, Peter Ciaccia. They soon took up residence at the original Café Sin-é on St. Mark's Place, where they often traded sets with other artists of the time, most notably Jeff Buckley.
After a nine-city promotional tour of Europe the band returned to Nashville in early 1995 to record their second album, Falling Farther In, produced by Peter Collins and engineered by David Leonard. It was released in September 1995. A headlining tour of the US included additional players Julian Coryell (guitar), Kevin Jenkins (bass) and Craig Thatcher (drums). Among the artists who opened for October Project on that tour were Joy Askew, Jane Kelly Williams and Once Blue (comprised of Jesse Harris and Rebecca Martin).
In June 1996 the band’s contract with Epic was terminated without official explanation from the label. The band members decided to discontinue their mutual involvement.
Lead singer Fahl has been pursuing a career as a solo artist. Her writing collaborators have included Bob Riley, Ramsey McLean and Glenn Patscha. In 2001 she released Lenses Of Contact, a four-song EP of her collaborations, produced by Jeffrey Lesser. Signed by Sony Classical, she released a full-length album, The Other Side Of Time, in 2003, also produced by Lesser. In 2006 Fahl recorded From The Dark Side Of The Moon for V2 Records. The album, produced by Mark Doyle and David Werner, is a re-interpretation of Pink Floyd's, The Dark Side Of The Moon. Following the restructuring of V2, the album remains unreleased as of early 2008.
Vocalist Belica has been pursuing a career as a solo artist under the name decembergirl. She invited former band mates Flanders, Adler, Sabatino and Sanchez to participate in recording a new version of October Project's single, "Return to Me," sung by Belica and produced by Adler. The cover became the feature track of Belica’s five-song EP, Decembergirl, released in 2000. Belica also composed a full-length instrumental album, One Sky, released in 2003, produced by Randy Crafton and Chris Cunningham.
After working together in the studio and performing at several venues as OP(iii), Flanders, Adler and Belica chose to reunite under the name October Project. In March 2003, the trio released a six-song EP, Different Eyes, produced by Adler. In June 2006, the tribute album, October Project Covered, was released, featuring performances by sixteen independent artists of songs by Flanders and Adler.
October Project has been inactive since 2006. Their official web site was removed in September 2008. No announcement has been made regarding the band's future.