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A recording of new songs by composer Jesse Olsen Bay, based on unpublished writings by his grandmother, author Tillie Olsen.
A recording of new songs by composer Jesse Olsen Bay, based on unpublished writings by his grandmother, author Tillie Olsen.
119 backers pledged $5,788 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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Tillie Olsen was an internationally renowned writer and seminal figure in the Women's Movement.

Jesse Olsen Bay, Tillie's grandson, is an award-winning composer from the Bay Area.

Makings is an original song cycle by Jesse, based on Tillie's "Blueys" -- blue sheets of paper on which Tillie wrote notes, ideas and sketches. In essence, her journals.

Jesse began Makings in 2004. Tillie passed away in 2007. Now, the recording of Makings is just a few steps away from being finished, and we need your help.

Jesse says:

"This is some of my best and most important work. It is a deeply personal exploration of Tillie's powerful writing and emotional inner world. These songs are profoundly affecting, to me and to everyone who hears them. I'm so eager to share this music and Tillie's powerful words."

What's left to do: mixing and mastering (by Carlos Arredondo of New, Improved Recording -- $2500), manufacturing ($1600), graphic design ($400), digital distribution ($200). Funding beyond our goal will help with PR/web design, and future performances of Makings.

Once the album is finished, it will be distributed as widely as possible. Between fans of Tillie's writings and Jesse's music, a lot of people will want to hear this. Local album release concerts and a series of regional performances are being planned for 2013, with national performances on the horizon.

You can help make this music available to the world. Releasing Makings will expose a new generation to the beauty and importance of Tillie's writings, and will be a major step in Jesse's work as a composer and performer. Any contribution will help.

Donations of $100 and above will receive a special "Makings Demos and Out-takes" CD featuring sketches and alternate versions of songs that won't be included on the final recording. This music will be unavailable anywhere else!

You can listen to musical excerpts, watch videos, and read more about Jesse here. Please send this to anyone you think might be interested in supporting this project.

Thank you!

---

Tillie Olsen (1912-2007) was an internationally honored writer, human rights and anti-war activist, and a formative voice of the Women's Movement. She is known for her powerful, brilliantly crafted, poetic writing depicting the lives of working-class people, women and people of color with respect, profound understanding and deep love. Her books Tell Me a Riddle, Yonnondio from the Thirties, Silences and her essays and lectures have been translated into twelve languages. Her works are considered by many to be central to working class literature, women’s studies, and the understanding of creative processes and the conditions which permit imagination to flourish.

Jesse Olsen Bay is a Bay Area based composer and multi-instrumentalist. His recent work has been supported by American Composers Forum, Meet The Composer, and Zellerbach Foundation. He specializes in collaborating with dancers and choreographers, for which he has been nominated for two Isadora Duncan awards. Jesse is half of the eclectic singer-songwriter duo Ramon & Jessica (with Dina Maccabee) and collaborates with percussionist/instrument-builder Paul Kikuchi in Open Graves.

Risks and challenges

The biggest challenge in finishing this project will be mounting a successful PR and distribution campaign. This beautiful, important music needs to reach a lot of people, and any funds received over the initial goal will be put towards this use. Jesse will draw on his vast network of professional and personal contacts, including record labels, musicians, writers, and teachers, to help in this task. You too can help, by spreading the work about this exciting project, and by signing up for Jesse's email list at www.deconstructmyhouse.org to stay updated.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    A high quality digital download of "Makings" once completed.

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    A signed CD copy of "Makings" once completed.

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    Your choice of any of Jesse's previous albums, in CD format (for discography visit www.deconstructmyhouse.org) - PLUS - a signed CD copy of "Makings" once completed.

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    Pledge $60 or more About $60

    Your choice of any three of Jesse's previous albums - PLUS - a signed CD copy of "Makings" once completed.

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    9 backers
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    A special "Makings Demos and Out-takes" CD, featuring songs and material that is unavailable anywhere else - PLUS - a signed CD copy of "Makings".

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    7 backers
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    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    VIP tickets to the "Makings" album release concert - PLUS - "Makings Demos and Out-takes" - PLUS - a signed CD copy of "Makings".

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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $300 or more About $300

    A complete set of Jesse's previous albums (7 CD's) - PLUS - VIP tickets to the "Makings" album release concert - PLUS - "Makings Demos and Out-takes" - PLUS - a signed CD copy of "Makings".

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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $600 or more About $600

    AN ORIGINAL SONG on the subject of your choice, composed, performed, and recorded by Jesse - PLUS - tickets to the "Makings" album release concert - PLUS - "Makings Demos and Out-takes" - PLUS - a signed CD copy of "Makings".

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

    A PRIVATE CONCERT by Jesse of songs from "Makings" - PLUS - tickets to the "Makings" album release concert - PLUS - "Makings Demos and Out-takes" - PLUS - a signed CD copy of "Makings".

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Funding period

- (30 days)