Pairing the Songs of Travel by Ralph Vaughan Williams with a new work by composer Skyler Butenshon to be sung by Ryan Townsend Strand.
Be sure to check out the video above!
Who is Vaughan Wiliams? Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872-1958) was an English composer of many works from opera to film scores. He wrote the Songs of Travel using the poetry of Robert Louis Stevenson selected from the collection of the same name. Composed at the turn of the 20th century, the nine-song cycle represents some of Vaughan Willliams earlier vocal work.
Who is Skyler Butenshon? Skyler Butenshon (b. 1989) is an American composer born in Astoria, Oregon. He received a degree in music from California Lutheran University and currently resides in his home state. His music has been described as "both intriguing and satisfying to the listener."
Who is Ryan Townsend Strand? (<-- That's me!) Ryan Townsend Strand (b. 1989) is an American tenor originally from Minnesota. He has held an affinity with music from a very young age and seeks a career in music through composition and vocal performance. With a degree from California Lutheran University in both Music Education and Vocal Performance, Ryan will continue on to graduate school at Northwestern University in Vocal Performance this fall.
How did this project come about? I began my relationship with the Songs of Travel by Ralph Vaughan Williams during my Freshman year of college. I selected it to be part of my Senior Recital at the end of that year, and have been preparing it over the past 3 years. Earlier this fall, I realized that I wanted to pair this historic piece with something new. I asked my good friend Skyler Butenshon if he would be willing to compose another cycle that I could perform. I was blown away by the ferocity and determination with which he attacked the project and within a month, I was listening to melodies that had never previously existed. The cycle is 7 movements long and is titled Mending Split-Seconds. Skyler explained to me that the music for each section is based on one moment in his memory. Like the music itself, all the words are also his own. I want to be able to share this amazing new music with as many people as possible, which brings us to the CD and this Kickstarter project. If you love new music and you've never heard of Ralph Vaughan Williams, or if you have and you're wondering exactly who this Skyler Butenshon is (or even if you know of both), you'll enjoy this brand-new musical experience.
What is the "Ugh"? First off, this quip means no disrespect to any of Ralph Vaughan Williams' work. I simply know that many people have either never heard of Vaughan Williams, or are turned off by classical music's stereotyped "music nerd" status. By pairing Vaughan Williams' established work with a sparkling-new work of music, it suddenly becomes relevant to the contemporary listener. I believe this uniquely beautiful coupling of compositions has the power to open the door to a new musical experience for a larger audience.
Why do you need to pledge? That's a great question. As you can probably guess, the upfront costs to producing a CD are not in the daily budget of a college student. But with Kickstarter, all of the funds that people pledge will go directly to creating the CD as well as the rest of the rewards. Think of it as a way to pre-order the music. Plus, as a backer, you'll receive updates along the way from me about the project. Maybe even a video message from Skyler when he returns from India! Feel free to combine your pledge with a friend and get even cooler rewards. So go on, find a reward you like, and pledge!
If you pledge over $50 there will be no extra charge for shipping! However there are two international options for you if you'd simply like a hard copy of the CD. Just an extra $5 will suffice. Thanks for finding out about the project!
No! Only if we reach the goal of $6,000 will kickstarter collect any funds from backers. But if you don't pledge now, you might forget before June 1st!
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Every dollar helps! You can feel proud to be supporting new music in an exciting way. Plus, you'll get exclusive updates about the project along the way as a backer.Estimated delivery:
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Limited edition "I helped take the UGH out of Vaughan Williams" set of 5 stickers. Spread the word!Estimated delivery:
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Download the mp3 version of the CD when it's complete straight to your computer. No waiting on the mail!Estimated delivery:
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Hard-copy of the complete CD with both works and cover art.Estimated delivery:
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**INTERNATIONAL OPTION** Hard copy of the CD with both works and cover art. This covers international shipping!Estimated delivery:
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CD signed by Ryan Townsend Strand & Skyler Butenshon with both works and cover art.Estimated delivery:
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**INTERNATIONAL OPTION #2** Signed hard copy by both Ryan and Skyler of both works and cover art. This covers international shipping!Estimated delivery:
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Digital download of mp3's, hard-copy, and a 11x13 cover art poster signed by Skyler & Ryan.Estimated delivery:
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All of the above, plus an exclusive "I helped take the UGH out of Vaughan Williams!" T-Shirt.Estimated delivery:
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Skype session with Ryan Townsend Strand & Skyler Butenshon. Sing, chat, joke, solve world issues, whatever you want! OH and all of the above, of course.Estimated delivery:
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Digital download of mp3's, hard-copy, signed poster, and a personalized copy of Ralph Vaughan Williams' Songs of Travel.Estimated delivery:
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All of the above, PLUS a DVD of the premiere performance of both the Songs of Travel by Ralph Vaughan Williams and Mending Split Seconds by Skyler Butenshon.Estimated delivery:
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Digital download of mp3's, hard-copy, DVD, and a 11x13 cover art poster signed by Skyler & Ryan. PLUS, a composition of your own commissioning by Ryan Townsend Strand. Details to be discussed between Ryan and backer in order to work out artistic choices.Estimated delivery:
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Digital download of mp3's, hard-copy, and a 11x13 cover art poster signed by Skyler & Ryan. AND the cool T-Shirt. AND the personalized copy of the Songs of Travel. PLUS, a live performance of Skyler Butenshon's song cycle "Mending Split-Seconds" by Ryan Townsend Strand and Skyler Butenshon. Travel and venue details to be discussed.Estimated delivery:
- (43 days)