We love our European backers! We have added Berlin, Paris and Rome advance screenings of "Wish I Was Here!"
You can pledge for one ticket, two tickets, or a meet and greet to have a drink and spend some extra time with Zach before we watch the film. These are three different reward levels for each screening, so please make sure you pick the right reward.
If you have already pledged for a different screening, you can switch to one of the new screenings by going to "Manage Your Pledge" on our page and choosing the reward for the city you would prefer.
We can't wait to bring this movie to you!
We also subtitled our Kickstarter video in Français, Italiano, and Deutsch for some of our international friends:
Dear Backers and Friends,
Karelian Soundscapes is at last underway! You know that feeling of knowing just where you are on the map or globe? Right now that feeling tells me that I'm a few hundred yards away from Lake Onega in Russia. These last months of preparation have been extremely busy: I finished my master's thesis, graduated with my Master's Degree in Composition, had my first orchestral premier, and I got everything ready for this trip, including the very arduous visa process. It got VERY close in the end, but I did get my visa which will in fact be good for three years. All the effort was worth it.
The trip to Petrozavodsk
I left Salt Lake City on Tuesday, and flew all day and all night to arrive in St. Petersburg Wednesday afternoon. On the long overseas flight, a very kind Russian sailor named Nikita carried on a very interesting conversation with me in Russian, which helped jumpstart my Russian speaking. I immediately threw myself at the mercy of my ability to get around in Russia, taking a bus from the airport to the nearest metro station, and from there transferring lines until I reached the Ladozhskii Train Station, where I caught my first break and waited until 11pm, when the train left for Petrozavodsk. I slept very soundly and arrived in Petrozavodsk at 6:40 am on Thursday, eventually getting settled in my apartment.
Thursday, May 2nd
As soon as I could I had a walk around with my recorder, trying to get the hang of things. I discovered that it picks up EVERYTHING, which means I've got to stay stationary to get really good samples. Also, just in the few days since I've arrived, Lake Onega is 'opening up' as they say, from the winter ice, and so there has been an uncharacteristic amount of wind. I've got a good windscreen for my recorder but it is no match for some of this wind. Fortunately it is calming down the last few days! In the evening on Thursday I stopped by the local branch of my church here in Petrozavodsk and happened to arrive at the same time as several American serving here. After the last day of having been all on my own in Russia it was a welcome meeting. After that I visited the Alexander Nevski Cathedral, where they were having their one of their Easter week services. (The Russian Orthodox Church celebrates holidays by the old calendar, so Christmas is in January and Easter in May). Afterwards I was invited to attend the Easter Vigil on Saturday night, more on that later! I closed the evening by walking along the bank of the Onega, where I met some college age Russian students with whom I had a great time and who were very interested in my project. They even sang me some of the Karelian songs they learned in school, particularly one about Petroskoi, the Karelian name for Petrozavodsk.
Friday, May 3rd
Part of moving temporary to another country is getting all the ducks in a row, I've got my phone working here and I've got an internet connection now fixed in my apartment. Other things like getting my money changed and my registration done have been hard since the Russians have had their first ever sort of spring break this year from May 1-5, so many things including banks have been closed. The highlight today was meeting at last with the author of my invitation to Russia, Natalia Mihaelova. She is the director the Folklore-Ethnographic Theater for Kizhi, an ensemble that tries to recreate Karelian cultural and musical events for the museum. What I learned at this first meeting is that Natalia and her husband Zhenya are pretty much world-class authorities on Karelian instruments, music and culture. They have in fact literally written the book about it. They've got a huge collection of all sorts of materials concerning Karelian music and of field recordings of Karelian songs and instruments. Every year they go together on an expedition to find people who know old songs so that they can record them and teach them to the ensemble. I just could not have ended up in touch with a better person for my project!
Natalia has set up everything so that I get to spend almost a week living on the island before many tourists start coming. I'll be there starting next Wednesday. They're going to put me to work proofreading the tour guide's english scripts. They said they've got a man on the island who knows some bylina (sung legends), as well as a girl who is a virtuoso at the kantele (Finnish harp) and both are excited to meet with me. Igor Hutter the bell ringer is also waiting for me there on the island.
Also on Thursday I stopped by a small exhibition hall that happend to have some very interesting exhibits of modern art by young Russian artists. I asked around and now I've got a meeting for next Tuesday with the artistic director to see about opportunities for collaboration! I also had some refreshment at the Strange Place Cafe, a wonderful little place right next to the aforementioned exhibition hall full of old antiques are quirky decorations. "Why Strange?" the menu asks. "Because nobody else will be strange!"
Saturday, May 4th
Today I really wandered a lot around the city and caught some breaks in the wind to get some good recordings. I've decided that at least one of the movements of Karelian Soundscapes will feature the sounds of water, and I'm fairly certain that another movement will use the sounds of traffic. Also, I've been, um, 'testing the resonance' of various objects to see if I can sort of build up a collection of interesting sounds that way - railings, poles, anything that I can use to make a noise! Sort of me 'playing' the city as my instrument. Finally Saturday evening I went to the Easter Vigil at the Alexander Nevski Cathedral, or at least the first four hours of it. I didn't realize that it would go pretty much all night! It started at 11 pm, with the church very dark and lit only by the candles placed in front of the icons. at first a single bell rang slowly for about twenty minutes. A number of somber prayers were read by a priest and corresponding refrains sung by the choir from the loft. Suddenly, the lights of the church were all lit, and out from the iconostasis (or veil) burst the priests of the church, carrying candles or icons on poles and looking for all the world like a phalanx of angels. They stormed out into the night, with the congregation following, circling the church. At last they finished and the doors of the church were reopened and the priests shouted "Xristos Voskrese! (Christ is Risen!)" to which the thousand or so faithful responded, "Vo Istinu Voskrese! (Truly Risen!)" Then....oh then! The bells rang. The first time I've really heard them GO AT IT here in Russia this time around. And this is at midnight, mind you! It was wonderful. More prayers and reading of the scriptures followed, including multi-lingual readings of John 1:1, including in English. "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." Each of the Priests got a turn to come out and proclaim to the congregation that Christ is Risen, and each time the affirmation was shouted back. Around 2:45 am they started to serve the Eucharist and I excused myself, since the services were likely to last until dawn! I'm really glad I went. Every great Russian composer has been influenced by the liturgy of the Orthodox church in some way, and this is an opportunity I am very glad to have had.
Sunday, May 5th
Today I went to the services of the branch of my own church here in Petrozavodsk. It was a wonderful reunion with those that I had known here eight years ago, also it turns out that one of the brothers happens to have been schoolmates with Alexander Beloborodov, the composer with whom I was originally going to have worked back when this project was going to be a Fulbright thing. Now it is much more likely I'll be able to get a meeting with him! He is perhaps Karelia's most decorated living composer.
Natalia Mihaelova had told me that on Easter Sunday anyone can go ring the bells of the cathedral, and 'it is considered that your sins are forgiven.' Well, all day I didn't hear the bells ringing, but I happened to be walking by on the way to a dinner appointment when I saw some activity in the bell tower, and the bells started to ring. I asked if anyone could go ring the bells and went up when the answer was yes. Up, up, up the round stairs and through several low corridors. There they were! The closest I've ever been to the bells. The sound was engulfing in a physical way. The largest bell is almost an arms span across. Sure enough, I got a turn to ring the bells, although it was so loud that I wasn't able to explain to the girl holding my camera that I wanted a video. Turns out her name is Ksenya and she works with the bells. She told me to stop by! So I don't think that will be the last time I'm up in the tower at Alexander Nevski.
After my dinner appointment I accompanied my hosts, an American couple serving here, to the evening services at the cathedral. It was like a shortened version of last night, but included some wonderful singing and bell ringing. As I was walking home, it suddenly started to rain quite hard. I hurried home and changed for rain, hoping to get some recordings in the rain. I ran outside into the rain, but I couldn't find my key, so I ran back inside to find it. A few moments later the rain stopped! I got some nice traffic recordings anyway. I also went and sat on the north side of the Onega embankment, where ducks and seagulls were having a conference.
I've been so excited to be here I haven't really wanted to sit still. That means I haven't yet processed through most of the recordings yet, or started to compose. Don't worry, next week's update will include be more multi-media. I think that spending most of the week on the small island of Kizhi will have the effect of slowing things down. I look forward to composing on the island!
More photos are being added daily to my Facebook page in the Karelian Soundscapes gallery.
Thank you all for making this trip possible! Shortly before leaving I found a journal entry I made over 10 years ago about how someday I wanted to travel to Russia as a composer. I'd forgotten how long this has been a dream of mine. I wouldn't be living the dream without your support! Thank you! I appreciate any comments, questions or feedback you might have!
Wow!!!! Baseball fans will never cease to amaze me. The HalfLiner got funded in just half a week. Thank you all so much for your fervent support of the project; because of you, this becomes a reality. A few quick notes:
I've heard from several folks who are wanting to add extra goodies to their reward selection. If you'd like to add items to your pledge, add the following amounts to your pledge and be sure to remind me of what you wanted added when you fill out the backer survey at the end of May!
$35 for the poster set
$20 for the new shirt
$10 for an original scorebook
$8 for the button set
Here's a detail from the book...
The best part of reaching the goal early is that it means I can start working with the printer right away on getting these things on the press. I was working on getting the files press ready this evening, and I thought I'd show you guys the size difference in this grid vs. the original Eephus scorebook (original scorebook in orange) There's a lot more room to work in the HalfLiner, which was one of my top goals for the scorebook.
Sorry for our long silence - things have been very busy over here with school and work and travel but things are indeed coming along! We recently got our test presses, and they have been approved and are back at Brooklyn Phono being pressed. The packages have all been die-cut and are currently en route to me, and i'll begin printing as soon as they arrive. In the mean time we are finishing up the artwork, and figuring out the book layouts.
The reward prints will also get finished in the next week or two!
We've also got some other exciting news which we haven't announced anywhere yet: We'll be doing a quick little tour in support of the record once its finished! In late august we will be taking off from NYC and heading south, west, and then back up the far coast. All the cities we'd like to stop at are listed below. Many of the dates are not booked yet, so if you know anyone who might be able to help with a show please get in touch at email@example.com.
Philadelpiha, PA // Pittsburgh, PA // Cleveland, OH // Columbus, OH // Louisville, KY // Nashville, TN // Birmingham, AL // Memphis, TN // Little Rock, AR // Dallas/Ft. Worth, TX // Austin, TX // Lubbock, TX // Santa Fe, NM // Flagstaff, AZ // Santa Cruz, CA // San Francisco, CA // Berkeley, CA // Ashland, OR // Eugene, OR // Portland, OR // Olympia, WA // Seattle, WA // Vancouver, BC
We hope we'll get to see most of you at one of these shows!
Thanks all, we'll be in touch again soon.
Greetings interwebbers of the universe! Just in case you've been living under a rock in a cave on the moon; thanks to all of you beautiful backers and pleasant pledgers; we achieved our Kick Starter goal! Here at Hulgreen Productions, we've been laboring away on your rewards. In fact, you may have been noticing some "thank you's" cluttering up your news feed and Twitterverse. It really means the world to us that you're so committed to bringing back "The Bang & Bump Show".
If you pledged an amount that gets you a DVD, boy are you in for a treat! They're all done and loaded with some outstanding never-before-seen or heard bonus features.
Tees, posters, DVDs, credits, and other rewards will be delivered on schedule as listed on our Kick Starter rewards page.
We can never say thank you enough, and rather than just have you keep reading it over and over; how about we SHOW you! Jerome and I are so excited with our new equipment that we decided to test it out just for you! So without further hesitation...
Thank you all so much! And stay tuned for more updates and news!
Dave Hulteen, Jr.
My dear backers --
Мои уважаемые "поддерживатели" проекта --
I hope this one reaches you fine. As you might have guessed the current phase of our campaign is not very encouraging, which says... nothing.
We’ve got a great deal of help today from the artist's widow and trustee of his estate, my friend Irene Bakhchanyan.
Irene offers her own rewards for our donors.
- In a $500.00 tier donation - a unique hand made "collatypia" (artist's proprietary term for his only technique - a mixture of collage and frottage ). Image size approximately 2-13/16 x 4-11/16, a sample image is attached. Needless to say that all images are originals.
- In a $1,000.00 tier - an artist's book with appr. 12-20 images made in the same "collatypia" technique. All images are unique. All books are originals. Sample image are attached.
Those of you who have already made $500.00 or $1,000.00 pledge are automatically "upgraded" to receive these rewards.
And finally, no matter how big or small is your contribution I love you all. Thank you!
Be good! And please SPREAD THE WORD!
Very truly yours
Как вы, вероятно, заметили нынешняя фаза нашей кампании не особенно удачна.
Что... ни о чем не говорит.
Сегодня мы получили существенную помощь от вдовы художника Ирина Бахчанян.
Ирина предлагает свои собственные награды тем, кто поддерживает наш проект.
И мы ей очень благодарны.
- тем, кто делает/или уже сделал вклад в $500.00 уникальная авторская "коллатипия" (термин самого Вагрича Бахчаняна для описания уникального способа работы - смесь коллажа и фроттажа). Размер работы 2-13/16 x 4-11/16 дюйма. Каждая работа уникальна. Два образца работ прилагаются.
- тем, кто делает/или сделал вклад в $1,000.00 уникальная авторская книжка с 12-20 иллюстрациями сделанными в той же технике коллатипии. В приложении образцы.
Не в зависимости от того, насколько большой или маленький вклад вы сделали я вас всех люблю. Спасибо!
И самое главное: поделитесь нашим проектом с друзьями.
Hey all! I wanted to send a quick update to let you know the first round of rewards have arrived - VINYL STICKERS! I got a nice little box via FedEx from Sticker Robot and I AM EXCITED!! The stickers look great (see the pic attached) and I'm hoping to start mailing them soon.
Next up, T-SHIRTS! I'm finalizing the female t-shirt reward now, should have it all tightened up by this weekend and off to the printer on Monday. Ladies, if you haven't responded to the survey about shirt size, please do ASAP!
And gents, please be a bit more patient. The reason the ladies get their t-shirts first (aside from my gentlemanly upbringing coming to the fore...), I'm still finalizing the puppet design for Prince Tanab. I worked on his body today. I'll finalize the t-shirt once he's dialed in better. ... so patience, guys!
You'll also see my workstation for Sky. There are two versions in the works, the "normal" version (left) and the "goddess" version (right). Also, you'll see a giant face!?!, a third head from the mold for the "bridal" version, and a few other odds and ends. Costumes are in full swing too (thanks to Ayumi!).
And one last thing - I won't ask this often, but a friend is trying to raise money for his Kickstarter and I wanted to let you know about it. His name is Rob Reger and he's creator of Emily the Strange. Many of you know Emily, and I believe many of you LOVE the character. Rob now is trying to raise funds to do an animated video of Emily that looks fun and rocking. He's reaching out to fans to help him make it... so I hope you'll consider. Emily exemplifies the mantra "Being Different is Okay." And I can tell you, this is not just empty air. I know kids who've been inspired by the character. If you were one of those kids, please consider giving Rob your support. Thanks! His campaign:
Here's a report from Ben & Tom, our hardy film crew, on the progress of Vik's boatbuilding mission - the first phase of One Long Journey.
We thought we would give you a update on how everything is going here at Hesford Marine, our home for the past month. Since arriving at the boatyard Vik has, between numerous tea and the ciggy breaks, made surprising progress.
For the first two weeks in the yard Vik was joined by his son Kelly, who worked tirelessly to install a new kitchen and lay laminate flooring, all under his father's watchful eye. Early casualties have included the front windows, the oven door and Vik's favourite fan heater - with the film crew being at least partly to blame! (It's pretty crowded in that little boat, especially when you're wielding a mic boom). Kelly had to return home, but his efforts certainly got Vik get off to a flying start.
Since going solo, Vik decided to make some minor modifications to both the kitchen and the flooring. Once satisfied, he turned to building a pair of handy folding beds. His most recent accomplishment is an onboard toilet/shower and a fresh water system that doubles as a fridge-come-worksurface. Although these are all yet to be tested, Vik's meticulous planning is sure to pay off.
A very symbolic touch was the hanging of his prized vintage curtains, a striking feature of his various abodes for the past 30 years (You might remember them from our trailer!). That was the point where the boat finally began to feel like a home as well as a vehicle.
Now the inside of the boat is almost finished and "only the nuts and bolts remain", it is time to start work on the back cabin and the boat's exterior. One exciting feature will be Vik's motorbike with its own crane, not to mention the striking colour scheme!
As with all large scale builds the original schedule has somewhat slipped and the launch date is now set in stone (well, maybe chipboard veneer...) for early June.
All in all, we've both been impressed by Vik's hard work, as well as being extremely patient and accommodating to an ever present and occasionally obstructive film crew. A long journey lies ahead, but we are sure Vik is going to make it with style.
Tom & Ben
Photos by Andy Lawrence 2/5/13
The NPR bandwagon for PORTRAIT OF JASON keeps on rolling—this time with an astonishingly smart and canny review by film critic John Powers on Terry Gross's wonderful FRESH AIR! This is one of the most thoughtful, observant and enthusiastic appraisals yet of the film—ENJOY!
by John Powers
If reality TV has a redeeming value, it's that it teaches you to be suspicious of claims that you're seeing real people doing real things. This is especially so in an age when memoirs bristle with made-up events, and everyone from the Kardashians to the Obamas orchestrate their media coverage. These days, it's hard to tell whether an article, book or TV show is showing you the real person or only a performance.
The same uncertainty lies at the heart of Shirley Clarke's Portrait of Jason, an extraordinary 1967 nonfiction film that's just been rereleased in a fabulous restored version from Milestone Films. Shot over 12 hours in Clarke's apartment at New York's Chelsea Hotel, the film could hardly sound simpler: It's basically one man with a drink in his hand who talks into the camera about his life.
Yet this man is anything but ordinary — he's a loquacious 33-year-old hustler who dreams of having a nightclub act. And from the beginning, he could hardly be more complex or elusive.
He starts the movie by saying his name is Jason Holliday, which sounds rather upbeat, but we quickly learn that's not his real name — he was born Aaron Payne. And for the next 105 minutes, Jason tells you his story.
About growing up in Trenton, N.J., where being gay was not cool. About working as a houseboy for folks who blithely called him a "spook" — he's African-American — to his face. About orgies and hustling and being locked up.
Along the way, Jason does impressions of Mae West and Katharine Hepburn, sings a number from Funny Girl and tells a hilarious story about Miles Davis. But as the hours pass, and he drinks more and more, Jason starts to melt down behind his handcuff-shaped glasses. Yet whether Jason is laughing or crying, he holds you rapt with tales that conceal as much as they reveal.
While Jason's race and sexuality made him a born outsider, Shirley Clarke was a self-made one. The daughter of wealthy New York parents, she began as a dancer but moved to nonfiction film. There was always something radical in Clarke waiting to be released, and she found it in African-American culture; she took a black lover, Carl Lee, and made groundbreaking films about junkies and gangs and jazz musicians. Her subjects reflected her own estrangement from an American mainstream that wasn't interested in them — or in her. In that sense, Portrait of Jason is a portrait of Shirley seen through the looking glass.
Clarke knew she had a mesmerizing subject in Jason, whose stories are punctuated by a laugh whose mercurial meaning — from delight to pain to impacted fury — could keep a psychology class busy for a semester. Still, she and her colleagues keep goading him to give more, to bare himself more deeply, until he eventually breaks down, offering us the naked truth of his soul — if, that is, you believe we all have a single, secret, unified self hidden by myriad social masks. But is the drunken, weeping Jason really a more authentic Jason than the laughing storyteller?
Many people think so — it's not for nothing that John Cassavetes admired the film. Yet if Clarke and Co. truly did tear off Jason's self-protective armor just to make a movie, its detractors aren't wrong to call the process queasy-making and sadistic. Documentary is nearly always exploitative, and this would be the avant-garde version of newsmen pushing cameras into the faces of grieving parents just to capture their tears.
Then again, it's not clear that Jason isn't simply performing his pain as deftly as he performed his amusement — playing the classic role of the tragic gay man. After all, he tells us early on that he's learned to hustle in many different ways.
You see, beyond its astonishingly intimate look at one man, Clarke's movie gets you thinking about essential issues that most nonfiction naively or cynically ignores. It raises profound questions about the nature of the self, about the relationship between fiction and reality, and about the way that film doesn't simply record raw truth but shapes it into something reflecting the filmmaker's vision of life.
Clarke was hip to all this, which is why the movie is titled Portrait of Jason and not simply Jason. There's a world of difference between the two — and she knew it.