I'm recording a symphony on themes of spiritual death and rebirth with the fantastic musicians of the Wichita Wind Ensemble!
I am seeking funds to record Carnival of Souls, my symphony for winds and percussion (effectively a large concert band) with added cellos and basses, harps, and electronics. This composition was premiered in March 2012 by the Wichita Wind Ensembles Professional Band under the direction of Dr. John Taylor. I've been a member of the Professional Band since it began in 2007 as a member of the horn section. The premiere performance was a gratifying success, but the hall was not ideal for the expansive ensemble I specified in the score.
(Edited July 16: I've uploaded the MIDI demo of Carnival of Souls in its entirety to YouTube. Now you can listen to a mock-up of the whole piece before deciding to pledge: http://youtu.be/BQhQ85arCd4)
Now I want to take this composition to the next level by producing a high-quality CD recording, placing the fantastic musicians of the Professional Band in a hall that will bring out the best in their sound, as well as adding a full complement of low strings for the richest texture possible. The finished recording will be available as a digital file in the future, but the physical CD will be a limited edition. I have commissioned glass artist Molly Noon to create an original work to be photographed for the CD's cover and liner notes; I will share pictures as they become available.
"Guy does not write 'easy' music, but instead expands the horizons of everyone that performs his compositions." -- David Martin, co-founder and General Manager of Delano Chamber Players
Carnival of Souls is a work in three movements, played without a break; it is approximately eighteen minutes in duration. The three movements ("Venus on Stilts," "Virtue in Chains," and "The Creature Whose Substance is Bliss") form a narrative arc based in part on Dante's Divine Comedy, progressing from spiritual death and bondage in the first movement to celestial harmony in the ecstatic finale. The musical language is chromatic but not atonal, with emphasis placed on long-term melodic development.
This is an important work for me personally, because it brings together several aspects of composition that have long fascinated me. It is scored for wind band, a medium I love for its diverse palette of tone colors and rich sonorities; the addition of strings and harps ties it both to the orchestral tradition and to the legacy of pop music studio wizards like Brian Wilson and Enoch Light; it builds on the tradition of "visionary" symphonic music by such composers as Hector Berlioz, Charles Ives, Olivier Messiaen, and David Maslanka; and finally, the music's electronic component adds both another layer of sound and a DIY aesthetic that is, paradoxically, handmade.
I've been composing and putting together performing ensembles for the last twenty years, and I have the experience and drive to see this recording through. As an example, one of my recent projects, Where Seldom is Heard, was composed to honor the 150th anniversary of my home state of Kansas (further description in accompanying article):
I've also been a publisher; in addition to symphonic music, I am passionate about ragtime and early jazz. I am offering signed copies of five of my original piano rags as one of the rewards for supporting this project (sample pages may be seen at http://www.primematerialpress.com):
Remember, Kickstarter funding is all-or-nothing: it is critical that we reach our $10,000 goal before the deadline, or it won't happen. All of the money raised is going to the performers or toward recording and production expenses. If you feel moved to contribute, please keep the ball rolling by sharing this project with your friends and family. Every donation helps!
Thanks and God bless!
Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.
pledged of $10,000 goal
seconds to go
Funding Unsuccessful This project reached the deadline without achieving its funding goal on August 8, 2012.
Jul 9, 2012 - Aug 8, 2012 (30 days)
Pledge $1 or more
Receive a personal thank you e-mail!Estimated delivery: Sep 2012
Pledge $5 or more
Receive a signed thank you card!Estimated delivery: Sep 2012
Pledge $15 or more
Receive a digital download of the finished "Carnival of Souls" recording, plus digital copies of the album artwork!Estimated delivery: Sep 2012
Pledge $25 or more
Receive a "Carnival of Souls" CD, including artwork and liner notes!Estimated delivery: Dec 2012
Pledge $75 or more
Receive signed sheet music for five piano rags by "Carnival of Souls" composer Guy Vollen!Estimated delivery: Sep 2012
Pledge $150 or more
Have a one-on-one Skype session with Guy Vollen: discuss music, the creative process, or the Kickstarter experience!Estimated delivery: Sep 2012
Pledge $250 or more
Reward #4, plus you will be listed as a "Supporter" in the CD liner notes!Estimated delivery: Dec 2012
Pledge $500 or more
0 backers Limited (10 of 10 left)
Be listed as a "Supporter," plus receive a signed copy of the full score to "Carnival of Souls"!Estimated delivery: Sep 2012
Pledge $750 or more
Reward #4, plus you will be listed as an "Underwriter" in the CD liner notes!Estimated delivery: Dec 2012
Pledge $1,000 or more
1 backer Limited (3 of 4 left)
Be listed as an "Underwriter," and composer Guy Vollen will give a lecture or lead a master class in composition in person for your group or class (travel and lodging not included)!Estimated delivery: Sep 2012