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Jake Armerding just made the world's first octave violin album!
244 backers pledged $14,948 to help bring this project to life.

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$14,948

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Greetings, independent music lovers! I'd like to ask your help in funding the world's first octave violin album, Sweet Octave. When I say I can't do it without you, it's not hyperbole — the profits made after releasing an album generally don't allow the artist to recoup its initial costs. This is why we crowdfund. Crowdfunding lets everyone get in on the party. We need to raise $11,836 this month to make Sweet Octave a reality. But here's the catch: if we don't raise it all, we get $0.

You and your hard-earned dollars — seven, fifty, two hundred — actually help to bring a work of art to life, a work that otherwise couldn't exist. You get to say, "This matters to me, I trust this artist to make something good, something that will bring me joy, and here's the proof." We used to go up to the merchandise table and plunk down those hard-earned dollars and walk away with the same music, but technology has moved us on from that, for better or worse. And in a weird way, I think it's for better — I like this kind of rallying cry, I like knowing who my people are, it feels like defying the system, it feels personal. And maybe I'm alone here, but I think we could all stand to get a little more personal.

Will you join me? I've come up with a few benefits — posters, concert tickets, masterclasses, sourdough bread made with my own hands — that I thought people would find interesting and valuable, ones that would show each contributor how he or she is special to me and how I value his or her support.

I'm asking for $11,836 to fund the making of this album. A donation of any size is a huge help, and here's where your money is going:

Musicians

Tracking (Recording Step 1

Mixing (Recording Step 2)

Mastering (Recording Step 3)

Engineers

CD manufacturing

Original album artwork

As I mentioned, the Kickstarter campaign only earns money if the goal is met. Yep: if your $100,000 project goal receives $97,685 in contributions by the deadline, it's a no go. Zero funds. Kickstarter asks its creators to have some skin in the game, and I respect that.

I've done something weird and beautiful and fun — I'd love for you to hear it. I was able to do it thanks to the support you've shown me in the past. If I can cover my costs, I'll be able to keep making this kind of art. Make no mistake — you are the reason tiny little blue-collar artists like myself survive. There's no government funding here, I'm not incorporated, and I'd be crazy to recommend this career to my kid. But I love beautiful things — love making them, and love the joy they bring to other people.

Thanks for the support.  It's a privilege to make music for you.

Cheers,

Jake

*Illustration credit: John Hendrix.  Please visit his excellent work at http://johnhendrix.com/portfolio/

Risks and challenges

The music on the album is complete; the artwork will take a few weeks more, and CDs are scheduled to be printed in early February. This means that rewards (excepting the digital downloads, of course) will be delivered in late February.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    The Octave.

    *Sweet Octave* in all its digital glory.

    This was the hardest album I've ever made. It almost broke me. But in the end, it didn't, and I have ten tracks to show for it.

    Full resolution WAV files for you audiophiles, or high-resolution MP3 files for the rest of us.

    Here they are, and thanks for the support.

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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    The Disc.

    *Sweet Octave* in CD format, signed by the sweet octaver. (This and all other rewards also include a digital copy of the album.)

    This reward also includes:
    -*Sweet Octave* (digital)
    -Free shipping

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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    56 backers
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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $30 or more About $30

    The Octave Bonus

    In addition to a signed copy of the official album, you will receive a downloadable set of album demos and exclusive bonus material from the making of the album. From conception to realization, this is the "behind the Octave" package.

    *add $5 to any reward level to receive the download of album extras and demos.

    This reward also includes:
    *Sweet Octave* (CD)
    *Sweet Octave* (digital)
    Free shipping

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    Ships to Only United States
    15 backers
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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $40 or more About $40

    The Poster

    A print of the cover artwork for Sweet Octave by Jamie Winter Dawson, in 11x17 poster format.

    I was pretty excited to get Jamie involved for this round — I knew I was looking for an illustration of some kind, but I didn't expect to get a fine artist to sign on. (It probably helps that we're friends.)

    The poster was rendered from the final artwork, which is acrylic on canvas. Jamie contributed artwork to the 2013 edition of my CSA project, and — fortunately for me — is in the midst of a series of works that combine natural images with modern ideas. She currently lives and works in Kansas City, MO. Her website is below. Shipped to you in a nice cardboard tube, so it doesn't get all wrinkly.

    http://www.jamiewinterdawson.com/

    This reward also includes:
    *Sweet Octave* (CD)
    *Sweet Octave* (digital)
    Free shipping

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    9 backers
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    The Bread

    If I didn't play music, I would bake bread. And that's mostly what I do around the house. I'm not good at baking bread, I'm really good at it. So good, in fact, that I'm offering it as a reward, and I'm giving you three different options. Let's take a look, shall we?

    1. Sourdough boule (1 boule). I got my starter from a friend, who got it from a friend, who got it from a friend. Who got it from a friend. You know how it goes. How old is it? According to my friend, about a thousand years. You know what happens when you bite into something five minutes old made from something a thousand years old? Transcendence. The sourdough boule is my current loaf of choice, the holy grail of bread, the one I'm really trying to perfect; I haven't gotten there yet, but I'm close.

    2. Oatmeal molasses bread (2 loaves). The bread my dad always made, and the bread I grew up on. I lived and breathed this stuff for twenty years, and when I moved out, I took the recipe with me. It's originally a James Beard recipe, but bakers love to make their own personal adjustments, and I've got this guy about as fine-tuned as it can be. A true classic, and it actually fits perfectly into an empty CD cardboard box.

    3. The 100% whole wheat loaf (2 loaves). This, the most recent addition to our household, has been earning rave reviews from the more health-conscious contingent. It's a King Arthur recipe, and as their cookbook says, "Most whole wheat bread you buy at the supermarket is in fact white bread with just a smidgen of whole wheat flour and a lot of added color and chemicals."

    Not this guy. The dark horse of the arsenal, so to speak, it's been coming on strong this winter, when you need something a little heartier to warm your bones. A worthy choice.

    If it's over four hours from baking to shipping, I'll freeze your bread for optimal freshness.

    This reward also includes:
    *Sweet Octave* (CD)
    *Sweet Octave* (digital)
    Free shipping

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    Ships to Only United States
    Limited 35 backers
    $
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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $60 or more About $60

    The Graceland

    I have a bit of an obsession with Paul Simon's *Graceland* - I've now covered the entire album in concert with some of my favorite musicians twice. This left me with some pretty great bootlegs, and I've been combing through them for the last few months with an idea that some of you who couldn't make the show might like a taste of what it was like (and you that caught the shows might like to reminisce a bit).

    The shows feature:

    Greg Liszt, banjo
    Jesse Armerding, drums
    Richard Gates, bass
    Rose Polenzani, voice
    Kevin Gosa, saxophone and piccolo
    Annie Bartlett, viola
    Mina Kim, cello

    This is an exclusive digital live album of *Graceland* by Paul Simon, by Jake Armerding and friends.

    This reward also includes:
    *Sweet Octave* (CD)
    *Sweet Octave* (digital)
    *Sweet Octave Bonus* (digital)
    Free shipping

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    Ships to Only United States
    21 backers
    $
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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    The Bundle

    Choose any four Jake Armerding, Barnstar!, Fretful Porcupine or Rosin digital albums in addition to *Sweet Octave*.

    This includes (besides a digital and physical copy of the album you're supporting) the following releases:

    *Your Voice Like Brake Lights* by Jake Armerding

    *Sit Down! Get Up! Get Out!* by Barnstar!

    *ROSIN* by Rosin

    *Cosmos in The Chaos* by Jake Armerding

    *C'mon!* by Barnstar!

    *Cellar Sessions* by The Fretful Porcupine

    *Her* by Jake Armerding (digital)

    *Songs in Stained Glass* by Jake Armerding

    *Walking on The World* by Jake Armerding

    *Jake Armerding* by Jake Armerding

    Some of these albums also have the option of a physical copy; if you would prefer one, we'll ship it for free.

    This reward also includes:
    *Sweet Octave* (CD)
    *Sweet Octave* (digital)
    *Sweet Octave Bonus* (digital)
    Free shipping

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    Ships to Only United States
    7 backers
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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    The Guest List Plus Meet & Greet

    Two guest list spots to a Jake Armerding, Barnstar!, Fretful Porcupine or ROSIN performance of your choice (to be arranged with Jake) PLUS you get backstage passes: a meet-and-greet with myself and my team of musical criminals (whomever they are for the evening) before we hit the stage.

    The ultimate non-downloadable experience. May be redeemed for any performance featuring any of the artists above except for the Sweet Octave album release party at Club Passim on March 17, 2018.

    This reward also includes:
    *Sweet Octave* (CD)
    *Sweet Octave* (digital)
    *Sweet Octave Bonus* (digital)
    Free shipping

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    Ships to Only United States
    7 backers
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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    The Cover

    Some of you may know I've been doing an annual show of cover songs with some friends at Club Passim every December. It's a wicked fun time for us (you touring songwriters know what a relief it is to play someone else's songs for a change) and a wicked fun time for the audience. But the choices are kept under wraps — selected in an underground vault, delivered to Club Passim in a locked briefcase, you know, the works — and our devoted audience essentially has no say in the matter.

    Is there something you've been wanting to hear? Would you like your own personal recording of a song not written by me, professionally recorded, perhaps with some violin or mandolin accompaniment? This is your stop.

    Name your song, and I'll find a way to cover it. I will never release it to anyone else, it's all yours, and if I decide I want to perform it at the 2018 Under The Covers shows at Club Passim, I'll ask your permission first. Support at this level, and I'll be your personal jukebox.

    This reward also includes:
    *Sweet Octave* (CD)
    *Sweet Octave* (digital)
    *Sweet Octave Bonus* (digital)
    Free shipping

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    Ships to Only United States
    3 backers
    $
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  10. Select this reward

    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    The Master Class

    The e-class. An online masterclass in songwriting, performing, violin, mandolin or guitar. The word "masterclass" always gives me pause — I didn't sculpt the David or anything — but I've successfully made a living at this game for twenty ­five years, so I know how to do it.

    This reward gets you an hour of my time and expertise on any of the above subjects (or another mutually agreed upon — I'll divulge my secrets on making sure the dough doesn't stick to the proofing basket or exactly how I prepare my Yorkshire Gold tea).

    This reward also includes:
    *Sweet Octave* (CD)
    *Sweet Octave* (digital)
    *Sweet Octave Bonus* (digital)
    Free shipping

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    Ships to Only United States
    Limited 2 backers
    $
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  11. Select this reward

    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    The Overdubs

    I don't know if you knew this, but I play violin. And mandolin and guitar, and sing. Are you a recording artist who could use some beautiful or gritty sounds to flavor your tracks? This is your stop.

    When I'm hired for a session, I'm expected to provide myself and the instrument — the artist handles all the logistics for studio, engineer, etc. For this reward, I'll throw in all the logistics for free: I'll handle setup and tear down, equipment (see below), engineering and editing along with the aforementioned creative skills. I'm a pretty decent recording engineer — I made the track you're hearing in the video above. This reward level is for a single song, but if you're looking for more, we can fix that.

    Equipment list for instrument overdub session:
    ProTools 12
    AKG 414­BULS microphone
    Beyerdynamic M160 ribbon microphone
    Millennia HV­3 dual preamplifier
    Conversion: Apogee Rosetta ad (up to 96k)

    This reward also includes:
    *Sweet Octave* (CD)
    *Sweet Octave* (digital)
    *Sweet Octave Bonus* (digital)
    Free shipping

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    Ships to Only United States
    Limited 0 backers
    $
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  12. Select this reward

    Pledge $750 or more About $750

    The Song

    I'll write you a song, on the topic of your choice. Then I'll professionally record it for you and send it to you. (Note: I'm married, so any love songs will be sung with a certain "character actor" quality to them.)

    No subject is technically out of bounds, and the nerdier the better — if your lifelong fantasy is listening to me play a new Star Wars song called "Black Lightsaber" ... well, I'm all about that.

    This reward also includes:
    *Sweet Octave* (CD)
    *Sweet Octave* (digital)
    *Sweet Octave Bonus* (digital)
    Free shipping

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    Ships to Only United States
    0 backers
    $
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  13. Select this reward

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

    The House Concert

    I'll perform the entirety of *Sweet Octave* or an alternate set list of my songs at a location of your choice (heated, if possible).

    You'll want to invite other people — it'd be weird if it were just the two of us, wouldn't it? — and you should feel free to defray the cost of this reward by selling tickets.

    Travel is not included, but otherwise there are no holds barred — you've hired my music for the evening. This reward can also be tailored to suit your needs — I've provided violin solos for wedding processionals, worship music for church services, even a private concert on a houseboat — so if this reward is your stop, chances are good we can make it fit.

    This reward also includes:
    *Sweet Octave* (CD)
    *Sweet Octave* (digital)
    *Sweet Octave Bonus* (digital)
    Free shipping

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    Ships to Only United States
    2 backers
    $
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Funding period

- (30 days)