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Susan McKeown's new album explores Creativity, Suffering and the Pursuit of Happiness through poetry and new music.
Susan McKeown's new album explores Creativity, Suffering and the Pursuit of Happiness through poetry and new music.
142 backers pledged $8,595 to help bring this project to life.

About

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'Singing in the Dark' is an album of songs that explores Creativity, Suffering and the Pursuit of Happiness. Taking as it's theme creativity and madness, the lyrics come from poets of the last thousand years who, for the most part, were writing through the lens of depression, mania and substance abuse. I came up with the idea for the album seven years ago when I read Kay Jamison's book 'Touched with Fire: Manic-Depressive Illness and the Artistic Temperament' and have been developing the project ever since. New music for the poems was written by myself, Elaine Agnew, Lisa Gutkin and Frank London, and there are songs from John Dowland, Violeta Parra and Leonard Cohen. The recording began on Achill Island on the west coast of Ireland in August 2008 and is now almost complete - you can hear some of the tracks in the video. Having financed the project to date on my own, I still need additional funding to finish the recording and for duplication, distribution, publicity, and a video project for the tour. The national tour kicks off with the launch of the album in New York on October 30 and many of the performances will feature discussions on the topic of creativity and mental health which will be streamed or recorded for posting on YouTube. (Tour dates in Ireland are planned for February/March). I've partnered with the non-profit organizations NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness), Fountain House, BringChange2Mind, MDSG (Mood Disorder Support Group, NY) and Shine (Ireland). These groups will benefit from a portion of the proceeds raised from the sale of the album.
The tour dates are taking shape and so far include: Portland, ME (pre-release: Oct 16); New York (Oct 30); Boston (Nov 13); Baltimore (Nov 18); Eugene, OR (Nov 26); Portland, OR (Nov 27); San Francisco (Dec 1/2); Denver (Dec 3); Taos (Dec 4) and Albuquerque (December 5).

I need at least $10,000 to accomplish these goals, but I'm setting a funding goal of $7,500.

You can learn more about the project in the video here made by my friend Maria Rosenblum.
Thanks to her and also to the CUNY team for the in-studio footage. Profile photo by John-Francis Bourke.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 25 or more About $25

    You will get a signed advance copy of 'Singing in the Dark'

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    Pledge US$ 50 or more About $50

    All of the above plus a thank you on Susan's website and a bonus track (this track is an extra unreleased track and will not appear on the CD)

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    30 backers
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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 100 or more About $100

    All of the above plus a signed piece of original art work by Susan

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    21 backers
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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 250 or more About $250

    All of the above plus two tickets to the launch after party in New York or a meet-and-greet after any show on the US tour or one of the Irish dates in spring 2011.

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    4 backers
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    All of the above plus two tickets to any show on the US tour or one of the Irish dates in spring 2011 and a meet and greet.

    You also have the option to give your pledge reward to a friend or donate it to NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness), Fountain House, BringChange2Mind, MDSG (Mood Disorder Support Group, New York) or Shine (Ireland).

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 5,000 or more About $5,000

    All of the above plus a private performance for you and 30 of your friends (must be within 2 hours drive of New York City).

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Funding period

- (30 days)