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Our goal is to transport our boat and students to Ullapool Scotland, to play and record music for whales with Sephira, The Musical Ark.
Our goal is to transport our boat and students to Ullapool Scotland, to play and record music for whales with Sephira, The Musical Ark.
132 backers pledged $12,120 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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$12,120

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The Sephira, also known as The Musical Ark (www.facebook.com/TheMusicalArk) was built collaboratively by students and teachers at Moravian Academy, a pre-kindergarten to 12th grade college preparatory school in Bethlehem Pennsylvania. The vessel is a seaworthy St. Ayles-style skiff, rigged with eight long piano wires from masthead to stern to make it a sea-going harp. The string length and resonance properties of the hull are designed to play notes in the frequency band of whale song. 

Sephira's Tuners
Sephira's Tuners

On her maiden voyage at the St Ayles Skiff races during the Wooden Boat Show in Mystic Seaport in July 2012, the Sephira made up for her shortcomings as a race boat by being awarded the honor of "Best in Show" in that competition. Now Sephira and her crew have their sights on still grander feats.

 Lead by teacher and artist Michael Brolly, the student crew of rowing composers and musicians will enter the First International St Ayles Skiff World Championships in Ullapool, Scotland  on July 8-14, 2013. While on the Scottish coast, the Sephira will be towed into open waters to a location where whales are known to congregate. Once in  place, the ocean-bound crew of scientists aboard the research vessel Silurian have graciously agreed to measure and how far Sephira's haunting notes carry in the ocean. Further, the crew of the Silurian will record the tunes to let the Sephira crew know what she sounds like in the deep and if our cetacean companions offer a response to her notes.

Our $12,000 fundraising goal includes $8,000 for the vessel's round-trip across the Atlantic Ocean - in a 40 foot-container, it was a bit too far to row - as well as $4,000 to support the crew of pioneering students with travel and accommodations. Please help us make this epic voyage possible by supporting this project with a donation. The crew of Sephira thanks you for your patronage.

Sephira's Crew On Deck
Sephira's Crew On Deck

Risks and challenges

Our school has the facilities and creative students needed for boat building. We have already booked the boat's passage to Scotland. If Sephira is lost at sea or during land transport, we would have to build another one and that would cause a delay. But building the second would be a lot easier and quicker than building the first, and we'd just have to enter her in next year's race.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $20 or more About $20

    CD of Richard Leo Johnson playing 2 original compositions on the Martin Martian D 28 acoustic guitar. This is the world's first and only Martin D28 with a built-in Theremin, designed for Martin Guitar Co. by Michael Brolly.

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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $30 or more About $30

    DVD of students at Moravian Academy playing an original tune on Sephira, in costume! + Reward #1

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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    DVD of the world premiere song in a Playing for Change video that we will make when we have successfully gotten the boat and students to Scotland and back. + Rewards #1 and #2

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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    CD of Sephira's music, hopefully accompanied by whale song, as recorded by the research vessel Silurian. Plus an invitation to the special Victory Bash and launch of our Playing for Change video to celebrate the success of this venture! + Rewards #1, #2 and #3

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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    A donor 's name plaque on Sephira's stern, plus all of the above rewards!

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Funding period

- (45 days)