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A live symphonic concert celebrating the connection between composer Akira Ifukube and Godzilla. Read more

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Funded!

This project was successfully funded on April 6, 2014.

A live symphonic concert celebrating the connection between composer Akira Ifukube and Godzilla.

About this project

Akira Ifukube and Godzilla....the MAN and the MONSTER. A 50 piece orchestra performing the incredible themes of their connection. An historical event that YOU can help make happen!

Have you ever wanted to hear and EXPERIENCE the music of Godzilla films live in concert? We have, and that is why we are embarking on this ambitious campaign. It is dedicated to honoring a dynasty of film composition at the culmination of three gigantic landmarks in Godzilla series lore. This concert has the approval of Toho Music and will be licensed through ASCAP (American Society of Composers Authors and Publishers). That is why "Ifukube and Godzilla: A Musical Celebration" needs your help.

This year marks the 60th anniversary of Godzilla. Additionally it is the centennial of the man who is known as being THE quintessential Godzilla music composer, Akira Ifukube. With the new interpretation of Godzilla hitting theaters nationwide on May 16th this year courtesy of Warner Brothers and Legendary Pictures, Godzilla’s fans have a great reason to celebrate. And with the 100th birthday of Mr. Ifukube, fans can be a part of an event unlike any other. There has NEVER been a concert like this in North America and the time to celebrate the man and the monster is NOW.

Akira Ifukube (1914-2006) was one of Japan's most famous classical composers. His most known works, however, are his wonderful scores for Tokusatsu (special effects) films for Toho (a genre also referred to as Daikaiju Eiga in Japan). While Mr. Ifukube worked with greats like Akira Kurosawa, it is his collaborations with director Ishiro Honda which gave birth to some of the most recognizable music in cinematic history. Credited as being one of Godzilla’s founding fathers, the musical scores to these inventive but often misunderstood films have become an integral part of what makes them unique. Enhanced by Mr. Ifukube’s unforgettable and dynamic themes, the Godzilla series has brought wonder and awe to audiences worldwide for sixty years.

Godzilla Series Composer Akira Ifukube. Photo Courtesy of www.akiraifukube.org
Godzilla Series Composer Akira Ifukube. Photo Courtesy of www.akiraifukube.org

For decades now, fans have been celebrating their love of the Godzilla character through fanzines, conventions, and film screenings. The longest running and most successful convention has undoubtedly been G-FEST, a wonderful show that is fun for people and fans of all ages.

Since the mid-1990s, it has been the absolute epicenter for western fans of the genre to come together and meet special guests from Japan, attend movie screenings, and enjoy like-minded company. Twenty years and twenty conventions later, the show is going stronger today than ever before. Last year saw attendance of over 2000. That is what makes this opportunity so momentous and there is no better place to have it than in conjunction with G-FEST on the weekend of July 11-13th, 2014. For more information about G-FEST please visit www.g-fan.com

Did you know that Akira Ifukube himself created Godzilla's famous roar and footsteps through the use of a contrabass and a primitive sound amplifier respectively? These sounds were then manipulated afterward into the cacophony of fury that we know today! Let's take a look at what his orchestral notation looked like for those two things!

Ifukube's Hand-Written Manuscript for the Creation of the Roar and Footsteps of Godzilla. Photo Courtesy of Erik Homenick at www.akiraifukube.org
Ifukube's Hand-Written Manuscript for the Creation of the Roar and Footsteps of Godzilla. Photo Courtesy of Erik Homenick at www.akiraifukube.org

The job of reconstructing the music of Akira Ifukube is that of composer and co-producer John DeSentis. John has an intimate knowledge and understanding of Mr. Ifukube's style (Ifukube being one of John's everlasting influences) and has once before provided his music for an orchestra to perform. In 2007 The Austin Wind Symphony, now known as The Cinematic Symphony, asked John to arrange a suite of music from Akira Ifukube's legendary score to KING KONG VS. GODZILLA for their annual "Creature Features" concert program. This was a rare treat at the time because Mr. Ifukube's score to that film was almost entirely excised in the American release. 


As an example, John has provided a midi-version of the reconstructed "Main Titles" from GODZILLA (1954). Please excuse the quality of the midi as this is not meant to represent the true sound of the orchestra but rather a small taste of what is ahead.

THE NITTY GRITTY:

$25,000 is a lot of money. But it's also not a lot of money. Not when you consider what it takes to produce an event like this. Where does that money go? Music of this caliber needs first class musicians and those don't come free. First and foremost, you need that orchestra because unfortunately the local high-school marching band won't quite make the cut.

Ifukube is seen on the far left playing violin with the Sapporo Philharmonic String Quartet in 1933. Photo Courtesy of www.akiraifukube.org
Ifukube is seen on the far left playing violin with the Sapporo Philharmonic String Quartet in 1933. Photo Courtesy of www.akiraifukube.org

Professional musicians are worth every penny. They are highly skilled, able to sight read with ease, and are the single most important element in making this music move. They take what is written and through years of dedicated practice and education, literally form something out of nothing. Those notes can look pretty on paper, but themes of our favorite Kaiju come to true life with booming brass and sublime strings. Then there is cartage fees (that piano won't walk itself to the venue), instrument rental, audio set-up, renting the venue for rehearsals plus the main event, and don't think for one second that those chairs and music stands appear out of nowhere! 

Akira Ifukube's Personal Violin. Photo Courtesy Erik Homenick at www.akiraifukube.org
Akira Ifukube's Personal Violin. Photo Courtesy Erik Homenick at www.akiraifukube.org

Any money that we raise above our goal will be put right where it belongs, back into the concert. More musicians, some cool bells and whistles, anything to bring the experience to the next level for everyone.

Putting on this concert will be a mammoth operation and no easy task. None of this will be possible without your generosity and support in raising the necessary funds to put on this show. Our funding will be able to cover all costs associated with the event. No donation is too big or too small. There is a funding tier that is appropriate to everyone's budget, but donations alone are only as good as how far and wide the word spreads on this event. So don't be shy about bombarding your social media with a link to this page every single day during the month-long campaign!

REWARDS:

So what does your generosity get YOU, the backer? If you navigate to our rewards section, you will see that we are offering truly one-of-a-kind keepsakes and collectables that will ONLY be available to our backers. None of it will ever be for sale in any way after this campaign is done and they will only be made if we reach our goal. And lets be honest, how many opportunities are you gonna get to have an exclusive art-print by Bob Eggleton?!!? For our top backers attending the concert, you will also enjoy premium seating at the event.

A recent example of Bob Eggleton's work for the IDW Godzilla comic book series. NOTE: This is NOT the print that will be made available for backers.
A recent example of Bob Eggleton's work for the IDW Godzilla comic book series. NOTE: This is NOT the print that will be made available for backers.



For the fans of Mr. Ifukube's music who are unable to make it to the live event, your generous donation qualifies you to own a CD or DVD of this once-in-a-lifetime event that is EXCLUSIVE to project supporters. These recordings are STRICTLY for posterity and non-profit purposes and will ABSOLUTELY NOT BE FOR SALE. They will allow you to enjoy the event at your leisure, for years to come. 

Akira Ifukube in the recording studio with a good friend. Photo Courtesy of www.akiraifukube.org
Akira Ifukube in the recording studio with a good friend. Photo Courtesy of www.akiraifukube.org


But that's not all. In the event of our project becoming successfully funded, we're gonna tell you how you can get a hold of some exclusive swag from Legendary Pictures relating to their upcoming Godzilla film as well as some cool toys from companies like X-Plus and Bandai.

THE BOTTOM LINE:

Friends, whether or not this concert happens is entirely up to YOU. It is a show being put on for the fans, by the fans. It is dependent upon your support, generosity, and spreading of the word. We all have a unique chance to be a part of something special. It's a huge undertaking yes but ONE thing is certain: if this project reaches it's funding goal, then G-FEST in Chicago is THE place to be in July!

And you will have helped to create something that will go down as a massive, powerful, and memorable event.

Photo Courtesy of www.akiraifukube.org
Photo Courtesy of www.akiraifukube.org

 A VERY special thanks goes out to Erik Homenick and his web page www.akiraifukube.org. This is the official English language resource for information about this iconic composer and is packed with great and rare photos and facts.

"Ifukube and Godzilla: A Musical Celebration" Artwork Designed by Archie Waugh.

Risks and challenges

For us, the biggest risk is not taking one. The opportunity to put on an event like this on such a momentous occasion is rare and the people involved in all aspects (production, rewards, etc) are good friends and are each bringing their unique talents to the table in order to execute. Everything in this project can be summed up in one statement: A First Class Effort.

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Rewards

  • You selected
    Pledge $10 or more

    19 backers

    A concert mini poster plus a thank you in our official concert program.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $25 or more

    148 backers

    All the rewards above PLUS....

    A single disc audio recording of the event.

    A NOTE ABOUT THE AUDIO AND VIDEO RECORDINGS: These recordings are strictly for posterity and demo-reel purposes. They will in NO WAY be available for sale or given to anyone other than backers of this project.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $50 or more

    42 backers

    All of the above rewards PLUS....

    A small print created by Bob Eggleton. Bob Eggleton is a Hugo award winning artist who's Godzilla's paintings have graced the covers of books, magazines and comics. This print will be for this concert only and never reproduced again.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $70 or more

    20 backers

    All of the above PLUS….

    A t-shirt of the event in a size of your choice.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $90 or more

    6 backers

    All of the above PLUS.…

    A larger print created by Bob Eggleton. Bob Eggleton is a Hugo award winning artist who's Godzilla paintings have graced the covers of books, magazines and comics. This print will be for backers only and never reproduced again.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $110 or more

    8 backers

    All of the above PLUS….A larger personalized print created by Bob Eggleton. Bob Eggleton is a Hugo award winning artist who's Godzilla paintings have graced the covers of books, magazines and comics. This print will be for backers only and never reproduced again.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $125 or more

    27 backers

    All of the above PLUS….

    A deluxe double disc soundtrack of the actual concert event.
    A NOTE ABOUT THE AUDIO AND VIDEO RECORDINGS: These recordings are strictly for posterity and demo-reel purposes. They will in NO WAY be available for sale or given to anyone other than backers of this project.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $150 or more

    58 backers

    All of the above PLUS….

    A DVD of the entire concert.
    A NOTE ABOUT THE AUDIO AND VIDEO RECORDINGS: These recordings are strictly for posterity and demo-reel purposes. They will in NO WAY be available for sale or given to anyone other than backers of this project.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $250 or more

    7 backers

    All of the above PLUS.…

    A framed keepsake of the event with a special edition conductors baton.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $500 or more

    10 backers

    All of the above PLUS.…

    A limited edition framed keepsake of the event autographed by various Toho personnel.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world

Funding period

- (30 days)