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Paula is going home to Romania, to record an album in the village where she was born - with a Grammy-winning producer.
ZMEI3, the band of Romanian immigrants in Berlin, recorded their debut album in Transylvania with a Grammy-winning producer.
ZMEI3, the band of Romanian immigrants in Berlin, recorded their debut album in Transylvania with a Grammy-winning producer.
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393 backers pledged €23,770 to help bring this project to life.

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The voice of Romanian soul

€23,770

393

UPDATE - YOU DID IT !!!!!!!!!!!

You helped us reach our goal 40 hours before the deadline !!!!

Now all the extra money will go for promoting this album.

Thank you so much!

THE LONG WAY HOME

Paula is the haunting voice of the Romanian band Zmeitrei.

She was born in Transylvania, Romania, in a small village where her father was the priest. As a child she was the voice of her people, singing traditional songs like no other. 

One day she left her country to become an opera singer. But the world of opera didn't make her happy. She was missing her home, her music, her true voice.

That's what she feels and sings with our band Zmeitrei. And now the first album is ready!

THE SPECIAL RECORDING

This album is a journey inside our Romanian soul.

To make this experience true and powerful, we will record the album there, where our voice was born. In our homeland, in Paula's village.

It's our unique chance to record this album with the Grammy-awarded producer Ian Brennan (Tinariwen), who specializes in world-class field recordings. A unique chance to share our culture with the world!

Paula's village in Transylvania
Paula's village in Transylvania

THE PRODUCER

Ian Brennan is a GRAMMY-winning producer with three GRAMMY-nominated records (Best World Music- 2011, Best Traditional Folk-2006 and 2007). Amongst other projects, he has traveled to southeast Algeria to record with Touareg rock legends, Tinariwen, for their 2011 release "Tassili" on the Anti- label. He has also produced Rain Machine, the solo debut of Kyp Malone (TV on the Radio). In the studio, he has worked with the likes of Flea, Lucinda Williams, David Hidalgo (Los Lobos), Nels Cline (Wilco), DJ Bonebrake and John Doe (X, the Knitters), Corin Tucker (Sleater-Kinney), Bill Frisell, Jonathan Richman, Richard Thompson, and more.

THE SONGS 

The songs of the album tell true stories about the people and the places that we left behind. That's why they must be recorded there, where it all happened. Here's one:

Rică din Obor  was the Romeo in the ghetto. He had eyes of almond and he knew he was loved by girls and wives. He wore earring and a dark stone on his finger. Then, one evening of spring, he met a knife.

THE BAND

Paula Turcas is the voice of our band Zmeitrei. Born in Transylvania, she left our country to embark on a long journey of evolution and self-discovery. After touring in Europe as an opera singer, she's now going back home to record her first album with Zmeitrei.

Mihai Victor Iliescu (that's me), former lawyer, former creative director. Six years ago I quit the corporate job to follow my dream and become a musician. I'm the guitarist of the band Zmeitrei and I also write the lyrics. Most of the stories in the songs are true, because I lived them.

Oli Bott  is transforming his vibes almost into a rock lead instrument. He studied at Berklee with Gary Burton. After performing once with us in Romania he felt so inspired, that he started composing the music for Zmeitrei.

Arnulf Ballhorn is a gentle giant whose bass gives our sound edge and completeness. He studied double bass at the University of Arts in Berlin, and he's very much into Contemporary music, Tango and Jazz.

Special Guests: Nelu and Adam are two old harmonica masters who live in Romania. Two forgotten geniuses who've been playing for more than 50 years, with a range from extreme virtuosity to extreme sensitivity. Now we want them to play with us, so that you can rediscover all their mastery.

WHY KICKSTARTER?

First - this complex project reunites the efforts of many talented people and involves a huge amount of creative and financial elements that must come into place. We can't make it alone but we can make it with your help. 

Second - our country and our music are virtually unknown to the world. We see this as a tremendous opportunity to share our culture with the people who care - that's you, kickstarters - and let you decide if you want to join our journey home.

WHERE WILL THE MONEY GO?

If we meet our goal, the bulk of the money will go to produce this album at the highest world-class standard. 

  • At the end of August 2015, the production team will travel from California to Europe, then to Transylvania, with loads of field recording equipment. They will remain there for two weeks and travel to several places that have a special relevance for the music. For this to come true, we need a budget of €10,000. 
  • At the same time, Paula and the band, located in Berlin, Germany, will join the producers in Transylvania. We will need to transport our instruments (3 guitars, double bass, electric bass, vibraphone, amps, percussion). The costs are €7,000 - but we will try hard to pay this by ourselves.
  • Then, when the recording is finished, the producer will travel to France to mix the album at the same studio who did the amazing job for Tinariwen - €3,300. 
  • Then the album will travel back to California for the final magic touch of mastering - €800. 
  •  The rest will go towards manufacturing the CDs and other rewards (€3,500+), shipping (free for you!) from Berlin to the US and worldwide, €3,000+) Kickstarter fees (€2,000). 

Wow. It's already more than €22,000 needed right there. But I spoke to Paula, and she said: "Is it all or nothing?" "Yes, it is all or nothing" "Then let's do it, all or nothing". 

And if we exceed our goal, we dream of making a European tour so we can play our music for you. And even a tour of the US !

FINAL THOUGHTS

This album is our once-in-a-lifetime chance to express our Romanian Soul, making more people across the world fall in love with our beautiful, forgotten country.

“It is imperative that voices from lesser recognized regions be heard. Our very health as a civilization depends on it. There could be no better ambassadors to the world for Romania, than Zmeitrei.” (Ian Brennan, Grammy-winning producer) 

Those of you who will join will climb mountains with us, will sing at campfire with us, will see the stars with us. You will become part of our soul - and of our music. Join us on our road home and you'll take a trip to your deepest emotions.

Thank you very much. See you in Transylvania!

Risks and challenges

To turn this beautiful idea into something unprecedented, we are working with the best people worldwide. This makes our project truly international, as it will unfold in four countries and two continents. The band is based in Berlin, the recording will take place in Transylvania, the mixing studio is in France, and the mastering in California. Given this complexity, we deliberately chose broader deadlines for our rewards, to be 100% sure that they are delivered before time.

Every person in our team is highly professional and responsible. Unless an alien ship abducts Paula, everything will be good.

Our producer Ian Brennan has an extensive experience in delivering unique world-class albums. At the other end, I'll be personally arranging the details of the recording session back home, and working hard there for two months beforehand with the best people I know so that in the end you'll experience an amazing story.

Also, everybody in Paula's village is already waiting for us, discussing what to cook, what to dress, how to help us bring their girl back home.

Of course, there are vampires there, so who knows....

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge €10 or more About $11

    A DOWNLOAD OF THE ALBUM BEFORE IT'S RELEASED
    + download the photo album of Paula's journey home to Transylvania
    + download one song that's not going to be on the album

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    88 backers
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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge €20 or more About $22

    A PHYSICAL COPY OF THE ALBUM
    + all of the above

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    103 backers
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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge €30 or more About $33

    A PHYSICAL COPY OF THE ALBUM
    SIGNED BY THE BAND, WITH A NOTE FROM PAULA
    + all of the above

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    59 backers
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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge €40 or more About $44

    A PHYSICAL COPY OF THE ALBUM
    BITTEN BY A VAMPIRE AND SIGNED BY THE BAND,
    WITH A NOTE FROM PAULA
    + all of the above

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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge €50 or more About $55

    ONLY LOVERS LEFT ALIVE, SPECIAL EDITION TRANSYLVANIA ZMEITREI T-SHIRT
    + all of the above

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge €60 or more About $66

    TRANSYLVANIA SURVIVAL KIT: GARLIC + CROSS + HOLY WATER + SHARP PIECE OF WOOD
    + all of the above except t-shirt

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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge €70 or more About $77

    SIGNED BOOTLEG DEMO ALBUM
    When we started our band we recorded a demo album of 10 Romanian traditional songs. We were at the beginning and had a totally different sound, with a beautiful soft touch - you can listen to a couple of those songs on https://soundcloud.com/zmeitrei.
    + all of the above except t-shirt

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    3 backers
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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge €100 or more About $109

    ALBUM CREDITS - YOUR NAME WILL BE WRITTEN IN THE ALBUM
    + all of the above

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    53 backers
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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge €300 or more About $328

    PAULA, IN BLACK DRESS, RECITES A POEM OF YOUR CHOICE IN THE BACKYARD OF THE VILLAGE CHURCH. VIDEO RECORDING MADE EXCLUSIVELY FOR YOU
    + all of the above except the rewards which are limited in quantity.

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    Limited 3 backers
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  10. Select this reward

    Pledge €500 or more About $547

    PAULA WILL SING FOR YOU A SONG A CAPELLA (within reason) and send it to you via transfer.
    + all of the above except the rewards which are limited in quantity.

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  11. Select this reward

    Pledge €700 or more About $766

    THE BAND WILL COVER A SONG OF YOUR CHOICE (within reason) and upload it on Youtube.
    + all of the above except the rewards which are limited in quantity.

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  12. Select this reward

    Pledge €1,000 or more About $1,095

    ONE DAY WITH THE BAND IN BERLIN.
    Breakfast in Berlin, the capital of Germany, with all the band. Then we'll walk you through the city and show you around, and afterwards you'll join our rehearsal. Then the band will cook you dinner. *note: accommodation and transportation not included.
    + all of the above except the rewards which are limited in quantity.

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  13. Select this reward

    Pledge €2,000 or more About $2,190

    THE BAND WILL PLAY A PRIVATE SHOW FOR YOU. *note: if your house is more than a 4 hour drive from Berlin (Germany), you will also have to cover travel and 4 hotel rooms for 4 people. If you have any questions, please message us. Thank you!
    + all of the above except the rewards which are limited in quantity.

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  14. Select this reward

    Pledge €3,000 or more About $3,285

    WEEKEND IN TRANSYLVANIA
    WITH THE BAND
    Join us in Transylvania and you'll participate to our special recording! You'll sing with us at campfire, be with us when we climb on the mountain, and of course visit Paula's village, where you meet her family and friends, sit at the table with the band and the locals, and of course meet her father before taking a night walk through the old cemetery. Plus a one-day Transylvanian castle tour. *note: all inclusive ex. flights.
    + all of the above except the rewards which are limited in quantity.

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Funding period

- (30 days)