Enter Branch: new album and visuals from Nick Zoulek
Enter Branch: an album, collaborations, films, and media projects inspired by growth, community, and vulnerability.
This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Thu, June 6 2019 2:07 PM UTC +00:00.
Enter Branch is an album and multimedia project inspired by growth, vulnerability, and community. Set in place by the 2016 project Rushing Past Willow (successfully funded here by you), Enter Branch is the next step building upon its message and visceral sound world. While Rushing Past Willow was the culmination of years of artistry, there was still more to explore. Pieces that were once impossible to perform due to their sheer physicality and virtuosity necessary are now fully realized in Enter Branch.
Kickstarter functions on an all-or-nothing model. Either we raise the full amount of this campaign, or I get nothing. While this might seem like a HUGE gamble, I think it conveys just how passionate I am about the project. I'm already all-in with this one, and if you read on, you'll see why.
The project comprises my own compositions, but this time, I'm not alone. Enter Branch combines my solo performance with inspirational artists who believe in the same message of vulnerability and community. Enter Branch includes collaborations from:
Sean Carey (S. Carey, Bon Iver) co-composing/vocals
Nathalie Joachim (Eighth Blackbird, Flutronix) co-composing/vocals
Brian F. Joseph (mix engineer for artists including Bon Iver, Sufjan Stevens, S. Carey, Paul Simon, and many more) mixing
Casey Foubert (Sufjan Stevens, mix engineer, multi-instrumentalist, song-writer) mixing and co-composing
~nois saxophone quartet, collaborating musicians
Devin Drobka (Field Report, Lesser Lakes Trio, Yins) percussionist, collaborating musician
Tontine Ensemble improvising string quartet, collaborating musicians
Amy Petrongelli soprano, collaborating musician
Galen Bundy (Project 206, Groove Plexus, pianist) collaborating musician
Aleks Tengesdal cellist, collaborating musician
The collaborators communicate not only through their artistry, but also through community engagement. This strikes a chord with me. This project extends far beyond an album, creating branches between different communities. These musicians have dedicated so much of themselves to this project. I’m truly humbled by their belief in Enter Branch. This campaign will fund a wide release that does their artistry justice.
All tracks have already been recorded and mixing is about to begin! Excerpts of the compositions are even included in the Kickstarter video. While recording has been a long process (almost 18 months!), it is just the beginning of the journey. Mixing and mastering is next, which is a long (and expensive!) process. Following that, the Enter Branch project will include an album release and video productions. I need your help in order to fully realize this endeavor.
Thankfully, I've worked as a recording engineer for the past 10 years, and much of my research as a doctoral student focused on experimental microphone techniques for saxophone. This covered a potentially HUGE chunk of funding that would otherwise be necessary. But, mixing and mastering are different art forms. I'm seeking the help of mix engineers to fully realize the compositions on Enter Branch. I'm positive that their artistry will bring the compositions to a level that I wouldn't be able to imagine on my own.
Similar to Rushing Past Willow, the compositions of Enter Branch unfold as a narrative, not so different from cinema. Already, I've learned so much about pairing video with my music (you can see examples here). Enter Branch will continue in this multimedia endeavor. In the end, at least of half of Enter Branch's compositions with have a visual counterpart.
However, video productions are an INCREDIBLY expensive pursuit!
Even when I'm serving as the director of photography, financial support is needed for equipment costs, venue rental, props, actors, and financial support for crew members. But, that's just one part of the puzzle.
Enter Branch will build upon visual collaborations found in Rushing Past Willow. While the former project mainly concentrated on dance film, I plan to commission films, animations, and potentially virtual reality endeavors that expand the narrative. Additionally, I will use my own skills in film-making in this endeavor. These visuals will be released online throughout the year after the album release, free of charge for all to enjoy on their own terms. Similar to Rushing Past Willow, I intend to perform with many of the videos in live concerts.
Rushing Past Willow was a fantastic success, reaching audiences around the world, garnering accolades from major press (Wall Street Journal, Huffington Post, Pop Matters, and many more, along with national and international awards for film).
The previous project was limited by one thing; financial resources. The printing of albums, label fees, production, and PR are some of the most costly aspects of releasing an album. While I’m immensely proud of the work that Rushing Past Willow put into the world (especially considering the bare-bones budget), I’ve learned a great deal from the experience. While this was new during RPW's release, I now have a much stronger understanding of how the process works. Now I need the means to do it.
Your financial support will directly allow Enter Branch to reach audiences of all kinds, connecting us through a common message and musical experience.
What you are funding
In order to fully realize this project, I need to raise $20,000. These funds will cover:
$7000 covers initial PR costs
$4500 label fees
$4000 towards mixing/mastering
$500 towards the creation of cover art
$4000 video production and collaboration
In past decades, when the record industry was at its peak, a major label would cover these essential costs and aid with publicity pursuits. But, the nature of the business has shifted. I'm excited and eager to pursue this project on a much larger level. Your donation will help Enter Branch reach new ears, connecting people through an experience of grown, vulnerability, and community.
Exciting Reward Tiers!
Over the past few years, I have used my work as a media artist to fund many of my projects. Enter Branch is going to create this same dynamic! Your donation at many of the "Media Level" tiers will both help YOU acquire some excellent media by yours truly, while also making this project a reality. KEEP AN EYE OPEN FOR SOME SPECIAL POP-UP DEALS THROUGHOUT THE CAMPAIGN!
We Can Do This!
There has been an unparalleled amount of love, time, and financial resources invested into this project. The pieces have already touched the lives of audiences in live concerts, and it is time to share them on an even wider scale. Rushing Past Willow exceeded the reach and expectations of everyone involved. Functioning on a skeleton budget, the project changed lives. This time, we’ll do it right. I can only imagine the impact that your contribution will have.
This is dreaming big...but I would love to pursue another part of this project. I recorded these tracks and engineered them, but the thing is...as soon as the music is out in the world, it's not mine anymore. It's ours. I'd like to investigate that further with a sort of "remix commissioning" project.
If we get past the $20,000 goal, the funds will be split two ways. First, additional proceeds would go to additional visual projects. Second, I will look for mix artists, DJ's, EA composers, etc, and commission remixes from them, giving them free reign over the audio from the tracks of Enter Branch. I would LOVE to hear your feedback on this! Do you have people who you want to remix this music? If we get into the stretch goal, let's talk!
If we made it to the stretch goal, I would commission these remixes and put out an Enter Branch Remix album as a digital-only release.
Risks and challenges
For the past 18 months, I have been recording these compositions. These pieces are the culmination of years of composition and practice. At this point, the compositions feel communicative, authentic, and ready to be shared. Though it was no simple task to align schedules and find times and places to record, all guest artists have already recorded their parts, and mixing has already begun. The rest of the process lies in post-production and the creation of the visual component. To ensure the completion of the project, I’ll be confirming the commitment of a solid team for the release (label management, PR personnel, etc). One thing that I’ve learned from Rushing Past Willow was the sheer amount of time and planning needed in order to have a successful release. If delays occur, it will only be in order to carefully plan this project’s trajectory. I’m working to create the absolute best product possible, and we will go through revisions until the composition is resonating with all parties. But at this point, the necessary foundation is already in place for Enter Branch to succeed.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- All gone!