We're raising funds to cover recording, post-production, and replication costs for the follow-up to Jonathan J. Bower's 2014 album, "Hope, Alaska." Currently, the working title for this project is "Brave."
As with the "Hope, Alaska" campaign, we've kept this fundraising goal as modest as possible, budgeting strictly for the musicians and technicians who will help fully flesh out the new material. Any funds over and above his goal, it's worth noting, could potentially allow for a limited vinyl run of the new album.
In order to set the stage for achieving his fundraising goal, Jonathan again consulted with artists and musicians who have previously and successfully completed their own crowdsourcing campaigns. The incentives offered to those who back this new platform were intentionally established following his conversations with them.
Granted, many of these incentives will perhaps appeal to a more old-fashioned brand or demographic of music listener than the hipper, digitized, clutter-free fan of the 21st century. However, if you grew up geeking out over gatefold vinyl album-art, or mesmerized by Anton Corbijn's or Michael Wilson's album photography, or puzzling over an actual, paper-based lyric sheet, then some of these rewards were tailor-made with you in mind.
Some of the incentives we're offering this time around include a series of full-color postcards by album photographer, Brian Adams (known for his book, *I Am Alaskan* and his more recent *I Am Inuit* project and exhibit).
We are also offering digital download copies of the new album ahead of the release date in late fall or early winter 2017 (for the clutter-free hopeful in all of us). Jonathan is also overcoming his fear of showing anyone his handwriting and sending out lyric sheets and filling small notebooks with some of the flotsam and jetsam that went into finding these songs.
Lastly, Jonathan is offering major contributors opportunities to be named "co-producer" on this project, and to have a personalized acoustic video of one of his songs by request - filmed in a scenic location in Alaska. He is also offering house concerts, the ideal means for properly conveying the stories informing his songs.
Videos and house concerts, we must note, will occur on dates that will be discussed and coordinated between the backer and Jonathan following the album's release shows in Alaska in late 2017. But as anyone who contributed to the "Hope, Alaska" Kickstarter will tell you, however you elect to back this project, Jonathan will gladly and full-heartedly return the favor, sending out your rewards as promptly and enthusiastically as he possibly can.
Risks and challenges
Every creative undertaking has risk built into it. As any writer, musician, painter, or craftsperson in any art form will tell you, the only guarantee in any endeavor in the arts is that a work begins and ends in mystery. Every step along the path of one's individual artistic process proves a leap of faith in the work eventually becoming what it is striving all along to become.
For this reason, we made sure not to put this campaign in motion until the songs were in the absolute best shape for beginning production on them. A year ago, when people were regularly asking if I was still writing songs, I was tempted to cave to an invisible, self-applied pressure - born mostly of frustration and impatience - and to rush into the studio and throw down the hardly finished, bare-minimal sketches of songs I then had, and to pass those off as the next record. Today, I'm of course glad that I did not do that and instead continued to wait and work on the material that felt a worthwhile investment over a longer haul than my restlessness preferred.
I share that to say that the songs we've prepared and selected for this recording are about as properly situated and ready for action as they could possibly be.
On one hand, I'm intending to be in weekly contact with backers throughout the campaign. I'll be offering updates, backer-only behind-the- scenes glimpses of songs in real time, solo performances from home, and more. I also intend to continue communicating with supporters through the duration of the recording project. Needing to inform backers of any detours or unexpected challenges along the way will be addressed in the same conversational, candid manner with which I'll keep individuals abreast of the campaign's progress and the recording's development.
Still, granted, there is always the slim chance that after the Kickstarter is funded we could experience what KS calls "collaborator mishaps." Perhaps, for example, an artist, engineer, or designer involved with these pledge packages hits a snag while completing their work on the album. Barring such a circumstance, however, I'm confident we'll have this work underway and in a good working rhythm in no time. We've already begun setting the groundwork for the album and the reward packages tied to this campaign. We've secured James Glaves to mix the project when we've finished recording, and Grammy-nominee Jeff Lipton on board to master the finished product. As with the "Hope, Alaska" effort, we are fairly assured that we're moving ahead of schedule and are attending to things in a timely, reliable manner.
If we experience any delays, I will personally reach out to all who backed the project, and will attend to the delay as quickly as possible. Right now, I have all the artists and designers dutifully on board and committed to the record. I don't foresee many problems in this regard but am prepared to work with any that arise by making contact with backers and keeping in regular communication with collaborators.
There's also always a slight chance that backers of the House Concert incentive option might want me to play at a specific time or date that could conflict with another obligation. I'm willing to work with every backer at this level to insure a quality performance within a reasonable amount of time in relation to their pledge - working together to secure dates that work for our mutual schedules.
This recording and production effort has experienced no major production delays yet, and has lived up to every expectation until now.
This work is my only recording project now, and it is receiving our full focus and attention. We are in the process of putting together the incentive packages and turning photos into postcards and album art. A successful Kickstarter campaign will insure we can properly launch and welcome this project into the world. I poured as much of my own time and money into this project as I could afford to do until now, and so I have set the goal of this Kickstarter campaign as modestly as I can possibly manage. I did this out of respect for the budgets and general life expenses of the demographic of the bulk of my supporters, and also because it seems a proper, respectable dollar-figure given the amount of effort (and the labor of love) required to successfully produce a quality full-length album.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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