In the eight years that we have been songwriting, traveling, and performing together as Tangled Blue, we've completed two recordings of original songs and two recordings for camps. One of our major challenges to completing a recording project is the amount of time we spend traveling to our performances. This is one of the reasons why our Advent CD took four years to complete. Up until this point, we have driven to all of our concerts. We've been investing in changes to improve how we do Tangled Blue and thinking about how we can best record our new songs and reduce the amount of time we spend traveling while not reducing the number of communities we visit. Our thinking has led us to the realization that we are going to need some help.
In order to make good, studio quality recordings while away from our home studio we need to upgrade our existing laptop and invest in some new equipment. We also need to further reduce the size of what we travel with so that flying to performances is a more realistic option. With the new songs we have sitting in our journals, we’ve identified four distinct recording projects. These recordings will be 1) a recording of new songs for Christian worship, 2) a recording of traditional worship hymns, 3) new folk/rock songs, and 4) a live concert recording. Our goal is to release at least two of these new recordings in the next 20 months, and we are going to concentrate on the recordings for Christian worship first. We’ve never financed the printing of two recording projects this closely together, and we know we don’t have the financial means to do this without support.
Here’s a list of what we’ve identified as our needs and how your financial support will be utilized:
1- We will hire additional musicians for the recordings. We added the skills of drummer Rob Ticherich to three of the songs on the Advent CD. It gave a great boost to the music, and these new songs will benefit from the same treatment. Estimated expense: $2,500.
2- CD printing and manufacturing costs for the first recording of new worship songs will be roughly $1,500
3- CD printing and manufacturing costs for the second recording of traditional hymn tunes will be roughly $1,500
4- We would like to document our travels and recording process with a camcorder. You may have met us at a concert, worship service or conference in the course of our travels. One of the things that we love most about what we do is how the music brings people together and helps build relationships. We have been dreaming of ways to continue to build those relationships and to include you in our journey. The best musical interaction happens in a concert; The best relational interaction happens after the concert. When we’re not in face to face interaction, the next best option is YouTube and Facebook. A decent HD camcorder to help create new YouTube content will cost about $500.
5- Joel has a goal of reducing the size of his guitar equipment to what he can carry in one trip from the van to the venue. He recently sold some of his guitar effects ($680 via a yahoo forum!) to help fund this part of our goal of being more portable. The ultimate goal is to replace his current bulky crate of guitar equipment with Apple’s Logic Studio / Main Stage Software. With an added midi foot controller, he will be able to control his guitar sounds from our laptop using the software. A 6 gig RAM upgrade for our laptop and an external firewire 800 hard drive complete the package. Together these items will total roughly $1,250
6- In the last year, we’ve been having more opportunity to perform as a trio. When this opportunity arises, Aimée has the opportunity to play both hand percussion and bass. Because of that, Aimée is now in need of a good portable bass amp. We’ve done some research the best fit is an amp by Phil Jones Bass: estimated at $600.
7- A little over a year ago Aimée started traveling with a pair of maple ashiko drums instead of her oak congas. The weight and space savings were dramatic, but the ashikos are very susceptible to temperature and humidity changes. They’re probably not ideal drums to take on a flight, but Pearls new Travel Congas (about 5 inches deep and 12 inches in diameter) are... estimated cost, $600
8- We’ve been researching the best way for us to stop traveling with a mixing board. In the last year Motu released the 828 MK3, and we think this small piece of gear may be the exact thing we’ve been looking for. Estimated cost: $700.
9- The Motu 828 can run without the use of a laptop, but we think it will provide better functionality if we pair it with a new laptop. A new/refurbished MacBook Pro is around $1,500.
10- Aimée’s 16 inch djembe is too big to fly; it won’t fit in the overhead compartment. She would like to get a smaller drum that could be brought on a flight as carry-on luggage and would prefer something with a more organic/natural sound. She’s fond of the Mountain Rhythm Djembe in Maple or Mahogany. Estimated cost: $400.
The 10 dream items we’ve listed above will equal $11,050 worth of investment. We already have a good collection of microphones and recording equipment. You can hear some examples our recordings at tangledblue.com and on our facebook page. We are not asking our partners to cover the whole bill... that’s not partnership, but we know that without some assistance these goals are going to take far too long to meet.
We’ve traveled almost 400,000 miles of roadways in the past eight years, and every stop along the way has been a partnership with good folks who have welcomed us into their communities, offered us a place to share our music and stories, and lent us their ear. We are truly honored by all the generosity we’ve received and look forward to the partnerships these new songs will form. Please consider partnering with us on this journey.
Thank you for taking the time to dream a bit with us. Let us know if we can answer any questions for you. We hope to see you soon!
Under the Mercy,
Joel and Aimée
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